Tao is retired for now. She was a pain; I needed a handler (thanks again, Taber), despite the fact that I could use my hands, and the mask caused a massive headache. Though she was fun and got a lot of love and comments, unless she get's requested, she's not happening again.
Taoaka is not a great first sewing project, first major sewing project, or first sewing project in which you create your own pattern, but can teach you a great deal if you have someone to help you.
Three words:Argh. The sleeves.
I didn’t like BlazBlue at all when I first started playing, but a few weeks later boredom brought on by 100 degree weather turned me back to it. I started with Tao and… stuck with her. I love her fighting style, her expressions, and her mysterious face, XD. She’s cute to the point of nearly-but-not-quite annoying, and her way of never giving up makes me love her all the more. So, after joking around about doing a Tao cosplay, I decided to do it.
To start, I chose a jacket pattern intended to be used for fleece or wool fabric, “See and Sew” # B4331. It came with a great hood, which was a nice bonus. Then I drew out what I thought would be a good modification for the pattern before applying it to fabric- nice, cheap fabric, as in, 1.99 per yard. I pinned it together and thought, this will work, and cut out my new pattern in my fleece.
Warning to other sewing newbies, as well as myself: good idea, yet bad idea. It’s better to be more precise, I’ve discovered. Yet, at the same time, it sure is nice to have so much spare fabric to work with, so I guess I’ll just go with “too much is better than too little”.
So, the sleeves. I didn’t think it was possible to pattern them like normal sleeves, so I decided to do them in two pieces. I took my sleeve pattern and sketched the top of the sleeves in two pieces. Okay, this is hard to explain without a reference, so I guess I’ll put up a sketch up later. Then I extended the sleeves into Tao’s humongous paws!! That was certainly the easy part. From there it’s pretty cut and dry- well, after you get the sleeves attached. That was an uphill battle, and it was the point that I wished I had a bit more fabric in the lower half of the sleeves. It ended up fine; it just took two days to get them on right. I recommend knowing someone who has a lot of sleeve knowledge with you before trying this. Then again, I knew nothing more than how to go back and forth on my machine before I started this, so maybe it’s just me.
The paws were easy. To place the paws onto the sleeves evenly (read: I didn’t want to bother sewing them on by hand), I used Wonder-Under by Pellon, for both the black-to-gold and gold-to-sleeve pieces. It was fairly simple to use and quick to boot. Note: like several other Tao’s before me, that I left the paws incomplete in their waxy-ness. I plan to use thin Velcro pieces to hold the bottom of the paw prints to the sleeves, so that I can get my hands in and out of it.
The shoes have a styrene base, and will have a bit of craftfoam on the inside for comfort purposes. I'll add more about them as we go.
Sac-Anime 2011 Best Craftsmanship Beginner Division