Wow, where to begin.
I guess the skirt would be a good place to start. The skirt was made largely in the same way as Ciel's Robin dress, by draping black lining fabric over the hoopskirt (The same one I used for Ciel), and dividing it into thirds. I didn't have to worry about being too neat, because the tulle would cover it up. Hurrah for tulle!
Most of the tulle on the skirt was ordered off eBay. I bought a roll of black bridal tulle, it was 12" wide, and 98 meters long. I thought that 98 meters would be more than enough, but like with many things, I was wrong. In the end, I had to buy an extra 10 meters from Spotlight and cut it into 12" strips. I measured the circumference of the skirt, 12" up from the bottom, and multiplied it by 3, and that was the length of the tulle I needed to cut. I ruffled the tulle by sewing a running stich along the top of the tulle, and then gathering it up to the right length by hand. Then I would sew it on the skirt. This long, long process went on for 4 months. But in the end, and over 100metres of ruffled tulle later, it got finished, and thatís what matters.
The purple top was made by cutting up an old t-shirt for the pattern, and the skirt part was a simple circle skirt. The two bows on the front both have stiffening in them to help them keep their shape. The collar was made from normal fabric, bias tape was sewn around the edges for the red, and the gold ribbon had to be hand sewn in place before I could machine sew it, because it was too thin to sew neatly with a machine straight away. The white triangle trim was made from thick white ribbon and a tutorial I found online. The collar closes at the back with a jewelry clasp, and the ends were finished with some pretty end closureÖ ThingsÖ That I found at the fabric shop that were perfect in every way. Iím still ecstatic I found them. The chains that go around my shoulders are just measured and sewn in place.
Over the purple skirt is another two circle skirts made of tulle, because in the reference picture it looks like there is more tulle over the purple. The only way the tulle is attached to the purple top is by the small tacks that were used to keep the chains in place. You canít really tell by looking at it, but the chains are attached in the same lengths and drapes as the reference picture, It was a total pain, but it was worth it. The blue gem came from a packet of basic plastic gems, but the back it is attached to is a whole other story. Not one of the craft of sewing shops I know of carried anything like what I needed, but then one day, when I was just about to give up hope, there was exactly what I needed, but the gem in the middle wasnít what I needed, ĎOh, wellí I thought, ĎI can always scrape the pattern off the back and paint it with window paintí. On stupid me, I should have known it wasnít going to work. But anyway, I managed to damage the jewel, and after a month and a half of sitting there, with only a few days before the convention, I decided to just glue the blue gem on the top, even though it didnít fit in the little spot where it was supposed to go. It turned out rather well. Of course, after the convention was over, the little backing frame piece was all over every craft and fabric shop I know. Seriously.
All of the strange squiggly ruffles such as the one on the hairpiece and the top were made from circles that were hand tacked in place. Itís a bit hard to explain, but it was the same method as the white ruffles on Cielís hat. (Can you tell the Robin dress helped a lot in the making of this cosplay?)
The corset was made using a pattern I found online. I got my dad to put in the grommets, because they were too hard for me to do. (Haha, Iím so weak) Due to lack of reference pictures, the gold design on the front was left largely up to my imagination, but I tried to stay as close as possible to the original art. The gold design was white fabric with stiffening on the back that was cut out, fray-stop was applied around the edges, and was painted gold with normal acrylic paint. After that I glued them in place with strong fabric glue, but it was starting to come off, so I had to hand tack the edges to make sure it didnít come off. The red around the edges is bias tape, and the gold ribbon had to be hand stitched in place before it could be machine stitched. The corset was boned with two layers of polyester boning in most of it, and three layers in high stress areas (Like the middle and the back). I had to use polyester boning because I didnít have time to order metal boning online, and because one sales girl insisted that ĎNo-one uses metal boning anymore, and you canít buy it anywhereí and another one at a different shop had never heard of it. The back is laced with red ribbon.
The detached sleeves were an absolute nightmare. In the reference picture, it looks like they have tulle over them, so I tried to attach tulle, but it turned out being more trouble than it was worth, because I was running out of time. They are made from stretch fabric, and, like most of this cosplay, the red on the edges was bias tape, the gold was hand stitched before machine stitching, and the triangle trim is the same stuff as on the collar. They attach to my middle finger by a gold ring that was an absolute last minute by, and was attached with super glue. When I first put them on, they hurt a bit, but after a while, I barely noticed they were there.
The wig started out horribly, but after a bit of work, it turned out fine. When I got it, the top was horrible and messy, like they had used a straightening iron on too high of a temperature, and made it all frizzy. Apon closer inspection, it turns out they had sewn the wefts in backwards, and the messy bit, that is usually underneath all the nice fibres to give it a bit of volume (I thinks itís called the Ďdogs hairí or something) was facing up. This wasnít all though, the ponytail clipís clip was too small for the size of the ponytail it was trying to support, and was difficult to open even without all the slippery fibres covering it. The base wig was my biggest problem, because normally I would straighten it as best as I could with the straightening iron, however, the wig was curly, and you canít brush curly wigs because it makes them go frizzy. But then I decided to cover it with the ponytail clip, because that would need sewing in anyway, because the clip just wasnít working at all. So I sewed the ponytail clip over the messy part of the wig, and I left an opening at the bottom to insert a stuffed stocking to give the ponytail a bump like it has in the reference picture. Then I quickly cut the fringe. I forgot to do the little antenna bits, but I will do them eventually.
The headpiece was my absolute favourite part to do. It is a basic circle cut from black stiffened felt, and I cut spaces to slip in two large bobby pins to attach it to the wig. I then hot glued some feather boa around the edge. The purple ruffles were glued on, and then the middle was filled in with flowers. I was lucky enough to find the perfect size and colour of roses for the headpiece.
I already owned the base shoes. They started out as completely black, but I painted the black leathery bit gold with shoe paint. I added some decorations to the ankle straps. The decorations were made in the same way as the headpiece, however they were smaller.
The contacts I wore were Dolly eye blue. I love Dolly Eye contacts. They were perfect for this cosplay because in the reference picture, Luka had freaky bright blue eyes that did not look too natural. These contacts were great to wear for the whole day, and were the absolute perfect colour.
By the middle of the day, the hoop skirt was falling apart, and you could see it poking out from under the dress. I will definitely have to fix that for the next time I wear this cosplay.
I originally had not entered the cosplay competition because I did not pre-register in time, but half way through the day, they announced that they were taking on the day sign ups. Me being me, rushed straight there and signed up immediately. I met some really awesome people in the cosplay competition, and I ended up winning best female, which I am still absolutely ecstatic about! Everyone in the competition had absolutely amazing costumes though. However I was a little disappointed to see so many bought cosplays in the competition. There used to be a rule that if your cosplay was bought, you had to do a skit otherwise you were not allowed to enter. That rule seemed to be dropped in the rush of on the day signups. However, Iím sure everyone had fun, and it was an awesome day overall.
Melbourne Manifest 2012