Terra has always been a dream costume of mine ever since I saw her Dissidia costume. This has been the longest costume process for me to date. I began this project in September and finally completed it in June.
The bodice is a slightly altered Mccall's bodice pattern, complete with lining and boning. The fabric for the bodice, gloves, and boots is a gorgeous red and black taffeta. The hand embroidery for each of these pieces was a challenge. I made a mock up pattern for each of these pieces and then drew on the flowers based off of the many studies I had created from staring at the PSP model. I used the pattern pieces as a template to keep the designs uniform. The embroidery technique I used is called short and long stitch, and it's what gives the embroidery the gradient. Despite the extra time it took to finish each flower using this technique, it was worth it to keep the costume looking as close to the original artwork as possible. The gold scalloped designs around the wrist of the glove were appliquéd on instead of embroidery. The trim at the bottom of the bodice was a lucky find that just so happened to perfectly match the costume.
The pants are spandex and based off of a dance pattern. All of the flowers are appliquéd on. The boots began as a hideous pair of gold boots, but I used a taupe spandex to create a new boot cover and then attached the embroidered boot on top of that. The "laces" on the boots were simply sewn on and I glued pearl buttons on top of those to make them look semi-functional.
The wraps were the easiest to make, but the most difficult to work with. I had to reattach them several times before I came up with a design I liked. The wraps are made from various fabrics, mostly satin types and crepe. The designs on the pink, lavender, and white wraps are appliquéd on as well. The two sashes that hang down are Japanese fabrics; I chose these as a connection to my Edgar and Sabin costumes (both of them have two Japanese fabric sashes as well). The trim for these sashes was fairly difficult to find, but I finally found two colors that matched each other in design and matched the colors on the sashes.
The cape, uhg, the cape was a project I procrastinated on. My last experience dyeing fabrics went well enough, but lead me to dislike gradient dyeing. Nonetheless, I was determined to get this cape to look just like Terra's on the game/artwork. I spent hours measuring exactly where the colors would switch. I used a cotton batiste fabric and dyes from Dharma Trading (I love them!). I dyed two separate capes; the outside with the warm color gradient and the inside with the purple gradient.
The beads were all painstakingly found online. They are all round glass foil beads and a few pearls mixed in on the crown and waist string. I just barely had enough for the crown, the cape, the tassels, and the string of beads on the waist. The gold spacers on the string of beads are custom molds of resin I painted gold and strung in between the glass beads. There are also various resin gems throughout the costume. The dagger startd out as a dowel for the handle and funfoam for the blade. I wonderflexed the blade and used paperclay on the handle to make that odd curved shape.
Now for the biggest monster; the wig. This was something that truly frightened me. I have had such bad luck with wigs and attempting something this advanced seemed beyond me. I studied Kukki-san's tutorial on making a high ponytail and use it as a major reference throughout the wig process. The wig was bought from a store on ebay, I actually bought two, one for the base and the other was used as wefts for the ponytail. The base wig was stubbed, glued, and a foam core placed over the stub. The wig was originally curly, but by the end of the process all the curls were pretty straight, so I had to re-curl the wig myself. The bow is a purple polyester with wire on the inside to help it keep it's shape and a lovely gold trim I found was sewn onto the ends. The crown is wonderflex and fun foam with round foil beads and pearls attached to it using fishing line.
I learned so much through this process and I am so happy with the final outcome. The only thing I might add later would be the sword she has in the artwork. Other than that, I am happy to call this dream complete.
Update: I just finished V.2 of my boots. They have a wider base and are way more comfortable. I remade a new boot cover out of spandex and extended the back of the red boot cover so it sits loosely on my legs.
Update: Just finished the sword, I will try to have a picture up soon, I promise!
Update: Version 2.0 of the Wig is finished as well. All the accessories and the methods are the same, just a higher quality wig. :)
Update: I finally added the flowers to the back of the cape. I used five different organza fabrics, cut out a circle, burned the edges, and layered them together on the cape. I used a pretty bead for the center of each one too, just for added color.
Craftsman Design Award at Fanime 2011