Why I made this costume:
This character design really caught my eye when I first saw it. I loved the colors! Everything was bright and vivid with a variety of colors that worked well together. I was most excited about making the kimono and the pattern on it. I really wanted to work on something to make my own patterns and it was a perfect place to start! Not to mention purple is my favorite color. I have also been considering doing another character from this series but I will see what happens. I started out with Sen Tokugawa because I took a samurai warrior history class and the Tokugawa Clan was my favorite to learn about!
About the costume:
So because this costume took me a while to make I am going to talk about how I made each part starting from the bottom to the top of this costume.
Shoes- I thought making the shoes was going to be more of a pain than they ended up being. I took a base shoes just to use the wedge heel mostly. I basically stripped the rest of the shoes off. I painted the heels black. Then I sewed four different shaped pieces to fit together to create the shoe. I made a nice maroon linning to match for fun. I also painted the grommets maroon to match, which took a while because there was a lot of them through the whole costume and they are so small they were hard to paint neatly; so it took some time. Then everything was sewn together and added the purple laces!
Tights- For these it wasn't too hard mostly just measuring. I had to make sure to get the bans the right lenght, spacing, and amount of bands. Sewn them down on each side. Did that to both making sure I had the tights streched out.
Skirt- I made a lot of pleated skirts before this so it was pretty simple for me. Just a lot of mesuring once again. Making sure all the bands where the right lenght with right spacing. Adding them took a lot longer than acually making the skirt.
Obi- I used a thicket fabric so it would hold a nice neat shape and not bunch-up or wrinkle. I added on claps on the sides to wear it very fitting. Sewn on the white stripes to the top and bottom. Also added in the extra white fabric pieces that I sewed making them seperate and then adding them together. The rope was bought that way and I just made by side into a knot and the other a loop simple!
Shirt- So I decided to make it more of a black and less of a grey looking color. I didn't want the fabric to seem too faded. I figured the bright colors would pop against the black better anyways. I think it looks good this way. So I had to cut up different panels of fabric and sew them together to get the lines going down. This is mostly a lot of meauring and planning out to get it just right. The sailor top was easier because I had made one before. Then I had to sew more of thoes bands on it which takes forever and kind of a pain.
Sash- Took longer than it looks like mostly from sewing both sides from every single band on the sash. Along with other parts of the costume. There are a total of 88 bands sewn on this costume.
Necklace- I also used clasps for the neckalce. I have thinner rope that I bought to match the obi and the rope in the hair ties. For the design I used two rows of rope going across. The made arch shapes on the bottom and put little red beads in-between each one.
Wig / Wood-Blocks- The wig was cut and styled by me no dying this time. I sawed the wood blocks to the shape I wanted. The I drilled the holes in and sanded it to a nice smooth shape. After that I drew the kanji on the blocks and went over it with a wood burner. Added some extra rope through them and tied it and sewed it in the netting of the wig.
Maroon Kimono- This is one of the layers that is underneath. I used a really thick fabric to hold a nice shape. I cut a little design in the back by the shoulders but it is hidden by the other kimono. So I mostly had to meaure out all the panels to get it to look just right. It took me some time to really decide how I wanted it so I used a different fabric before I worked with the real stuff. After I had a general idea I felt I was ready to start! The got all the pieces sewn and everything then I added gromments to sew the pieces together like I did withe the shoes. They were also painted as well. There is a total of 84 gormments in the costume putting them in wasn't really that hard but painting them took longer to have to wait to paint all sides and re-doing.
Top Kimono- This part took the longest because the whole thing was hand-painted. I also had to plan out the full design and then sit for days and weeks painting it on there with a little brush. I first planned out the design from drawing it on paper and working from there. After figuring out the full pattern of the kimono (never use patterns btw). The the painted them all. After that I sewed in the lining and sewed the whole thing together. Probably easier said than done! I probably sent way to much time trying to get every part to look perfect but it will never be a perfect costume to me. The the rope rapped around my shoulders was half-way hand dyed. The I twited it and sewed it where I wanted in the back. I like how that part turned out even though it's a small part of the costume.
Staff- Finally the last thing! Took a while to make but the kimono still took a lot longer!! Maybe a week to make this full thing. Shaping out the balde was the easy part and painting the pole. Then it was everything else! The hilt, the end piece on the staff, and the weight were all hand crafted and painted! Also the staff is able to come apart in three pieces which I had to figure out in order to be transforpted from place to place. Although some conventions still do not allow it because it is over 6ft. tall. The blade took a long time after carving it out, it took many many layers of paint to get it just right. So the blade itself took a week on it's own. The gold pieces were cut out and painted then glue on nice and tightly. The rope was bought and tied onto the pole and weight.
So I think that covers the most of it!
2011 Archon 35- Master Class- Best in Master Class
2011 Archon 35- Best Anime Recreation Overall