Cost to make: $234.13 CDN
OMG THIS COSTUME WAS A NIGHTMARE!!! This was a dream cosplay of four years, which to be honest I never thought I'd have the guts to pull off. And it cost me so much to make @_@ But, in the end, it's proved worth it. Luckily though, the cost was over the course from August to January. Which isn't so bad when you space it out like that. I debuted this with my friend Nefer and Liliana as Sephiroth and Emperor Mateus of Palamecia from Dissidia: Final Fantasy for Con-G 2012. A lot of hardwork and dedication went into making this cosplay. And I'm so proud of myself for tackling this costume, and for how it turned out. Okay, onto construction!! (sorry, this is going to be a tad lengthy).
Boots: 30 hours
Biggest nightmare of the cosplay. I used a pair of Mary Jane style shoes as a base for the shoe part of the boots. I started working on these in late August/early September, to make sure they would be finished to satisfaction. I started off with a mockup, and from there after some refinements, I used an exacto knife to cut the final pieces of armour for the shoes, the spines, and the buckles out of craft foam. For the armour on top of the shoes, I made the basic shape, and reinforced and strengthened it with four layers of craft foam, and two coats of PVA glue. To secure them to the shoes, I used a combination of duck tape and hot glue. The final layer (the 5th), was glued down with PVA, with a bit of extra security using hot glue. I strengthened the toe of the armour using a combination of duck tape and wire, which I then covered with some extra stretch velvet which I secured there using hot glue. Armour pieces that are around the shoes (the heel, and inside the heel), I doubled them and secured them with the same mix of duck tape and hot glue. Once satisfied with placement of all my armour pieces, I took pieces of scrap stretch velvet and using liquid stitch secured it to the parts of the shoes that are not covered by the foam armour. The design on the shoe armour was carved using sculpting tools for clay, and re-defined with the dull edge of a scissor blade. I painted about 5 coats of Silver Anniversary paint, then three coats of Regal Violet around the edge, and did the heels as well. The buckles were painted in Metallic Inca Gold separately, and then using PVA glue, secured them to the boots. I then covered the whole works with three coats of Mod Podge for sealing and shine.
I made the shafts of the boots without a pre-existing pattern. This was custom-made to the size and length of my own legs. Once the shafts were made, I made them even tighter (taken in by about four inches) as they were made using stretch velvet. At the top I made a casement for the elastic band to help hold them up, and they would hold tighter as well. The armour on the boots were made using craft foam and stretch velvet. I cut the shapes using an exacto knife out of craft foam, and I made pouches specifically for each piece of armour. Once the foam pieces were sewn inside the pouches, with velvet liquid stitched to one side of the foam, I hand sewed them to the shafts while wearing them, to make sure that everything would stretch in the right way. I didn't sew all the way around on the middle pieces, so that there would be a nice curve for when my knees would bend. The spines were hand sewn onto the shafts as well, and were made of craft foam just like the other pieces of armour. I painted them with the Regal Violet and did two coats of Mod Podge. Using liquid stitch, I secured scrap velvet to the entire backs to help strengthen them.. They were sewn onto the shafts all the way along the bottom, and then given a quick whip-stitch in the top-middle so that they'd stay up.
Wig: 2.5 hours
I ordered a 100cm wig from discount_A on Ebay.ca in Silver White. The wig ends at my hips (the accurate length). Using a Sharpie marker in purple I added the colour to the bottom of the wig by running the marker through the hairs. After the purple was added, I layered the wig using thinning sheers. Because this wig has bangs, it made it much easier for doing Kuja's. I pushed them out of the face and secured them with hair glue. Using a hair dryer and hair glue combination, I styled the flips at the front.
The feather was interesting to secure into the wig. I cut off a good part of the stem of the feather and shoved thick wire up through the wig and into the feather. I curled the wire around into a loop around itself and hand-sewed it into the wig. The feather effectively stands up with this method. After the feather was fully secured, I took Copics in a couple of shades and added a few colours around the feather. Dulled down a touch using the colourless blender.
Accessories: 6 hours
The golden bracelets were lots of fun. I took bracelets that I had bought at Ardene as a base, and then using wire of the same colour, wrapped it around to create the intricate design. I put a small dab of hot glue on the wire so that they wouldn’t slide on the bracelet.
The purple/gold bracelets have been fun too. The buckles are made of craft foam painted gold, and sealed with Mod Podge. The strap portions are made of velvet and elastic. I secured the buckles to the straps using liquid stitch.
The glovelets were made using a pattern that I took from a pair that I bought at Ardene. I adapted the pattern to work for Kuja’s. I cut out the holes in the glovelets very carefully, and using liquid stitch I added the ribbons around the edges. For the thumb holes, and decorative holes, I hand-sewed the ribbons.
Codpiece/Skirt Combo: 7 hours
For the codpiece and "shorts" themselves I made them out of velvet, and also made the patterns from scratch. The shorts pattern was made using a regular pair of shorts as reference for shape. To make the codpiece part though, I made it to the right shape, and so that it wouldn't look like it just stopped, I lengthened it to stretch to the back of the shorts. I made a small pouch to stuff inside to give a little extra form, and so that it would be a bit more like "armour". Kuja needs some protection, and, he's male. I added beading onto the codpiece, which is where much of the work went for a couple hours. Once beading was finished, I hand-sewed the codpiece onto the shorts.
The skirt was also made from an original pattern. I measured around myself to see just how big I would need to make it. Once the pattern was made, I cut it out into two separate pieces, and sewed them together. I pressed them, did a top stitch with 2.8 stitch length, and then pressed it again so that the skirt would lie flat. Once I had pressed the skirt twice, I then sealed the top and pressed that as well. I sewed the skirt onto the shorts with the machine (that way I knew it would be on tight).
Th straps were rather fun to do. This was the second time I had made straps for cosplay - Agito/Akito being the first. But because these straps were bigger, they were not as difficult to pull through after I sewed them into tubes. For the straps that sit on my waist, I shoved elastic bands inside to allow extra stretch. I then liquid stitched ribbon onto them. The hip straps were done in the same manner, just longer, wider, and instead of elastic bands inside, I sewed in strips of craft foam. Once the straps were finished, I hand-sewed them onto the codpiece. The three smaller straps with buckles were done into tubes, and then the bottom (the part that you see) was sewn up. The buckles are made of foam and painted with Metallic Inca Gold, which were stitched to the straps. And then the straps were hand-stitched onto the hip straps.
And the final details were the decorations and the ribbon along the skirt. The ribbon on the skirt was secured using liquid stitch, and I made sure that it was not going to be visible above the hip straps. For so many Kuja cosplayers do that, and it's inaccurate. I drew the design on the ribbon using Copic Sketch Markers from Japan. The colours I used were YR00 (Powder Pink), E33 (Sand), and 0 (Colorless Blender). The decorations were another matter entirely. First, I made two panels, smaller than the decorations themselves and hand-sewed them to the codpiece, making sure that everything would sit right. The decorations are made out of foam and stretch velvet. The edges were painted using Regal Violet, and then I used Mod Podge to seal it. Once the decorations were completely ready, I hot glued them onto the panels. After the glue had fully set, I used liquid stitch to do the designs on them using ribbon.
Jacket: 15 hours
GAH I HATED THIS PART SO MUCH!! *cough* Yes. To start with this, I did the white, billowy part of the sleeves. I used the sleeve pattern from a medieval fantasy dress by Simplicity (#4940) for the shape. Because of the way the pattern is, I had to do each sleeve in four parts. They were sewn together and then pressed and top-stitched. Afterwards, I started the body of the jacket. I took the Matrix coat pattern (Simplicity #5386) and modified the heck out of it making the jacket much shorter than the pattern calls. The jacket is made of stretch velvet and broadcloth.
The shoulders were perhaps the worst part of the costume. I made a pattern from scratch for them, and made four, two huge and two a bit smaller. I sewed the smaller ones inside the big ones. I sewed the white part on before I started doing the part of doom. I also sewed up at the under arms so that it would stay better. Once I had everything sewn together, I stuffed the shoulders with Fiber-fill so that they would keep their form. The previous idea of using quilting batting didn't work out, so I went with my original idea. After they were fully stuffed, my mom and I hand-sewed the sleeves to the body of the jacket.
When it came to making the collar, I used craft foam inside the velvet to make the collar stand up. So the collar is quite thick, but it stands up like it's supposed to. It took forever to get it all sewn in with having the large puffy sleeves sewn on. Once the collar was in, I used hot glue and liquid stitch to secure the ribbon on. That's not coming off any time soon. And it never will. I do not intend to take this jacket apart - EVER!
I made the silver bands out of a mix of craft foam and satin. I hand-sewed the bands to the jacket, though on the front one, I used a piece of self adhesive velcro so that I could put the jacket on and off with relative ease. It's very convenient.
Shirt: 2.5 hours
I had to take a shirt pattern with a cuffed sleeve and modify it into a midriff tank top. I measured with some assistance, to where the shirt would need to end at it's longest.The diamond shapes were cut out with all one piece.The entire shirt is made out of a heavy gold satin. It's so pretty, and fits perfectly with Kuja.
After all the pieces were cut out, I made pieces to go along the bottom, and sewed them together. This way, there'd be a nice smooth line at the bottom of the shirt. I also made custom facings for the front and back of the neck so that it'd lie flat. For addeded security, I sewed the inner seams to the outer part (if that makes any sense). Then I pressed the shirt and did a top stitch. The last step was sewing on the dome snaps so that I could easily do up the shirt.
Armour: 6 hours
The neck armour was pretty simple. I made that out of craft foam and velvet. I cut it out to the correct size, and then using liquid stitch, I secured the velvet to the foam. I painted the edges dark purple and then did a few coats of Mod Podge to seal it. I quite enjoyed it. Using liquid stitch and hot glue, I secured ribbon to it. And to be able to secure the armour to the jacket, I hot glued stick on velcro to the foam and jacket.
The shoulder armour was done in part by my mom. It was made with the remaining satin for the silver bands. We made six circles, two large, two medium, and two small. They were sewn all together with the quilting batting attached, and then cut a slit in the bottom, flipped around, and then hand-sewn closed. They were then all sewn together by hand. As well they were sewn onto the shoulders by hand.
Told by Kyle Hebert that it's awesome
Told by 6Teen voice actor Christian Potenzia that Kuja is epic
Handshakes and hugs for masquerade performance
Fangirls and fanboys~!!!
Many many compliments :O