Last Updated: 09-19-2010
First, a thank you to the Cosplay.com community for suggesting this character for me in the "Who do I look like" thread. I was surprised at how good of a fit this character was for me.
Out of all of the costumes, this was probably the most labor intensive.
It started out with 4 yards of white cotton, and I used every piece of it. No leftovers. Which is weird because I always have leftovers.
The kimono was patterned off of a tutorial I found online for a shirt, and simply extending the design to be full length. I sewed everything together before going into dying since the art on the back is intricate. I didn't want to keep the kimono in pieces and dye them before sewing for fear that I was going to screw up the gradient. So I sewed and then dyed using RIT powders. The main color is a mixture of the Scarlet and Tangerine, done with a gradient to fade from one color into another, and eventually back to white.
After drying and ironing, the entire kimono was hand painted with Folk Art Fabric paint in white, pink, and purple. I've lost count on the number of sakura's, but there has to be at least 150, if not 200, looming on the back of the kimono as well as the collar and sleeves. The phoenix on the back was painted over a section of the blossoms with 3 different types of gold fabric paint. For some reason or another, none of the paints wanted to behave alone. But together, they worked.
While that was drying, I made the top out of white cotton as well as a skort. Sorry boys. Not making a bikini bottom for this one. Also pre-made the gloves, sash (it's not really an obi with the way she ties it and it being so thin in width) and hair bow with white cotton. All of these pieces were dunked into purple RIT dye until they achieved the right shade to match Setsuka's outfit. The gold on the top and gloves is a ribbed silk.
Once the kimono dried and was ironed again to heat seal the new paint, I added the wrist band trim. The fringe was a single layer and didn't have the detail of Setsuka's. So, I got out a gold fabric paint pen and made it myself on the sleeves after sewing on the fringe. Unless you get super freekin' close to the costume, it all melds into one.
The hair tie was given the same treatment as the kimono with fabric paint sakuras added. A hair clip made from sculpty was glued to the hair tie. The pendant and charm on her shoulder and belt are all from craft foam. The kanzashi flower secondary hair clip was made from scrap fabric, which happened to involved the correct shade of yellow. All made from cotton with the purple being dyed again to get the correct tone.
The shoes are 3 sets of flip-flops tacked together. Way cheaper then buying elevated flip-flops. I made a foam seal around the shoes to give it an even seam. The pattern on the side was painted with normal acrylics (and held up quite nicely at the convention). Though I'm not use to wearing flip-flops so I had 0 arch support and could feel it in my lower back after a few hours.
The parasol was by far the biggest headache. Finding the parasol was the first issue. Surprisingly, it's extremely difficult to get one on the cheap. Though after visiting countless junk stores, I was able to get one. It was a bonus that it happened to be in the right shade of red. The jist of what I did: Scraped off the pre-existing paint design, re-covered one panel that had been torn, painted sakura's all over the umbrella and tinted the runners and rib in purple, and created a cardboard shaft for the umbrella to encompass a foam dagger at the bottom. For more information, I'd recommend checking out the parasol picture as it has a full description of what I did.
Estimate Cost: $48.99
Left to do: Make the tattoo. I'll need to invest in tattoo paper for this one.
Overall, I'm quite satisfied with this costume. I may not have gotten a single picture taken during the convention (other then passing my camera off to a friend), but the time and energy placed into this piece makes it a true joy to wear.
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