I knew that if I started cosplaying it would open a can of worms. There is sooooo much I need to post about. I think I remember last time I promised I’d do a post on the Junketsu skirt, and now I’ve got the epaulettes to add to that, and I’ve also started an Attack on Titan costume which desperately needs a post because I levelled up and made a fully-lined jacket. Every button buttons, every pocket, er, pocketses, and there was a grand total of zero cheating involved anywhere.
How has all this been accomplished around work and singing practice? Well Victorian noise restrictions prohibit musical instruments after 10pm on weeknights, but seeing I’m technically not an instrument and I’m louder than most power tools (not even kidding a tiny bit there, I cruise at 95-100db and max out just over 110db), and the regulations on those say 8pm, I try my darndest not to sing after 8:30. That’s when the sewing machine goes on instead.
It also might seem overwhelming because I’ve got a hell of a lot faster. Partly because I’m actually doing things more efficiently. Adding seam allowances to pattern pieces, for example. I think not having to design is helping too. I just look at someone else’s picture and work out how to make it. As much as I love designing, from a sewing perspective this really helps because when I know I need 2.5m of caramel cotton duck/twill/light wool because based on the pictures that’s what a Survey Corps jacket requires, I can just get it and leave and then I’m not wandering around the Fabric Store for three hours patting things and dribbling and making no decisions.
So that Junketsu progress! I’ll save the Attack on Titan jacket for another post.
With the skirt, remember how I said I was adding the side panels in last so that I could retain the clean line through the front pleats? Well that was… interesting.
I went with my traditional by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants/visual-measuring method with pleating, after I wasted an hour measuring them out only to find they looked dorky. It also gave me a chance to line up the edges as perfectly as I could and fernangle them in at the back and front where they attach to the existing pleats that had been cut in one with the bodice panels. I can’t remember for the life of me how I did it now, but it resulted in a small extra pleat that pops out of the back pleats like so:
I lapped and topstitched it because I’m lazy and didn’t want to rearrange it once I’d got my pleats just so, and also to avoid any nasty puckery surprises that method may have thrown my way. The topstitching also looks purdy and helps keep the seam allowances flat and out of the way.
Well, except where the princess seam is, but bear in mind that this photo is of a tiny tiny area, and this may or may not have been the light level I was working in (shut up. I know it’s bad for my eyes, I swear I don’t do it deliberately, it just happens.)
In short, it was a frustrating process but the results were pretty good. It even left me with lovely convenient little pockets to stick the ends of the gold bias binding in. You may recall me saying I just pinned it all on there and went for it:
Behold the evidence. Pro tip though, use small pins. Preferably not the kind that are mysteriously blunt when confronted with more than one layer of fabric, but like freaking mini-scalpels when you accidentally get yourself. Inevitable when you have that many pins in a heavy, bulky, curvaceous garment that you need to turn around six million different ways under the needle. The ends of my fingers look like Deadpool’s face right now.
And lastly the epaulettes. I used a pair of my dad’s old boards that I had lying around (I think he gave them to me for a costume party in highschool), as a template and then rounded them out a heap at the ends. I cut a heavy cardboard layer, and for the first one I sewed fabric covers on (the second one I got lazy and bought glue), and then painted them gold. Then I got cheap piping cord and glued that on, also painting it gold so everything would match. Buttons from a nasty old cardigan were added and painted too.
Then I hauled my butt out to Spotlight (it’s only like a twenty minute drive, I shouldn’t whinge), and got gold fringe (and now I’m wishing that I’d bought a roller foot for my machine at the same time, because I’m doing this right now instead of going to Spotlight. Also because there are gas works going on in my street today and I’m not even sure I can get the car out). Fortunately I’ve got a good colour memory so the colours are a perfect match. Is colour memory like pitch memory, do you think? I don’t need a tuning fork. I am the tuning fork. Can produce A 440 on demand so long as the demander is polite. Anyway. I used a double layer of fringe on each one because one layer seemed kind of stingy and a double layer looked thick and luxuriant. I got a metre all up and had only 5cm left over, so it worked out well. Neither am I regretting going to town on the length of the fringe. I had my doubts in the fluorescent-light-bathed aisles of the Maribyrnong Spotlight, but if there is one thing that Kill la Kill cosplay should not be, it is underwhelming.
Then more glue and a mug-plus-gaffa-tape contrivance to allow it to dry. And I’ve got to add, I have an ancient tube of this stuff called ‘Fray-Block’ which claims to ‘secure serged threads’. I have no idea from whence it came, but it is magical stuff and it works a treat on say, cut edges of fringe and cord without resorting to the unsightly bulk of a big ol’ glob of glue.
Full credit to my lovely baroque flute friend for the epic tea-cozy. She doesn’t just flute, she knits and sews and shoots arrows like a boss too (not even kidding, she shoots actual arrows). And here is the Junketsu in its current state, just waiting for some finishing touches and an enormous pair of boots. (You thought I was going to say something different there, admit it.)
Oh look! You can even see a tiny bit of a certain jacket in the corner… I wonder what that could be for… *sticks hands in pockets and walks away whistling in a manner both knowing and irritating*