Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Last Updated: 04-09-2013
I suppose I should begin by saying that my personality does not suit Zelda in the slightest. I suck at being graceful, and all princess-feminine-regal-like. It's rather obvious I am better at being Linebeck, but I guess there are some traits that Zelda and I share (patience, maybe).
This costume clearly is not completed, but I'll still share everything that I did/plan on doing.
The dress is made of an ivory bridal satin. I heavily altered a prom dress pattern that I don't remember the name of... So if you would like it, just PM and I'll look it up. I altered the size of each pattern piece towards the bottom of the skirt, to make each "panel" an equal size (which is important for the harps and whatnot). I also flattened the neckline (it was originally a sweetheart), and made the V-shaped dip in the back. Since I am a whopping 6 feet (including the boots), I had to lengthen this bad boy like nobody's business. A lot of people don't notice this, but Zelda has 8 kick pleats all around the dress that extend above the harps. 2 of them were cut on the fold and drafted directly into the front and back pieces, and the other 6 were just sewn in, then pressed. The petticoat is a MASSIVE amount of gathered tulle that has not yet been sewn on the lining. I lined the dress with an anti-static lining to prevent zapping my comrades and opponents. I also attached standard bra cups since I didn't want anything to show in the back where the dip-thing is. There is a zipper which is hidden by the bodice, and plastic boning in the front-side seams to help give the dress more structure. The hem is a satin honey-like ribbon that I machine stitched directly onto the dress. The chain designs (not done yet) will be drafted and painted on with a similar honey-gold color. There are 8 harps all around the dress, which I painted by hand. The dress was so heavy that I had no choice but to attach straps. I think that covers the dress...
The bodice. Holy mackerel. Since I derped up my first two attempts at this costume, I was absolutely DETERMINED to get the bodice as accurate as possible. I used a combination of draping AND pattern drafting to construct a simple bodice pattern, that consisted of a back and front piece with two darts on each piece. I penciled in a pretty low U-neckline, and small straps. After all of the basics were done, I draped/pinned more fabric onto the basic bodice mockup to get the signature Zelda bodice cut-out shape in the front, where it splits under the bust in the center and curves around the hips to a point in the center back. It took me at least 10 tries to get it to scale. The final bodice was made from silk dupioni, which was originally a dusty pink color. I used a color matching tool on Rit's website and my own eyesight to find a dye combination for the silk. This took me at least 2 years to decide on one of the combinations. -_- It really needed that purple-pink two-tone effect like it does in the game. In whiter lighting, my bodice looks more purple, and in more natural light it looks more pink. MISSION: SUCCESS. I lined it with a dyed cotton so you can't see any stitch marks (unlike in my photos, which are pre-revisions). I picked out this material called "suede lace" which is a small rope like stuff that I used for the lacing in the back and the small closure in the front. Again, it's not shown yet, but I used 4 gold eyelets for the lacing in the back and craft foam for the weird grey clasp-thing. I plan on either painting or embroidering the glyphs by hand. Oh, and the bodice has the same sort of v-back that covers the dress' back-line thing.
I purchased some white opera length gloves at a local store for the base gloves, and drafted my own glove covers to layer over the base pair. There are a lot of different opinions about the colors, and I personally see the designs as a dusty pink color. I drafted the designs and hand painted them. There's a small piece of elastic that is sewn in at the tip and wrapped around my middle finger to prevent sliding around my hand. The grey portions are a suede cloth that I plan on painting or embroidering.
Dear God, the armor. Oh the horror! I wouldn't say that I struggled with this, exactly, but I DID spend the most time making sure every gosh darn piece was to scale (at least for my size, lol), and accurate. I suggest you visit Akuriko's page for tips on the armor bit, because that is where some of my inspiration came from. I was in a time crunch, so I skipped the resin coating. Depending on whether or not I like the armor pieces for permanent use, I may or may not coat them in the future. But anywhoo, everything is a combination of model magic and craft foam, which is sanded, sealed, primed, painted, and weathered. I created hooks with wire for most pieces so the attachments would be hidden from the front view. Clear elastic was used to keep the neck piece and pauldrons in place (but still flexible and maneuver-able, mind you). No special tools were involved with the sculpting. Just my fingers, a toothpick, and a pair of scissors. This costume requires a lot of patience if you plan on making it. Pro tip? Don't use hot glue on the hooks (the ones I made to attach everything together). Don't even use superglue. Epoxy those darn things down. I learned this the hard way as pretty much every tapestry piece fell apart before the costume contest began. As far as the tiara goes, I made a circlet that fits over a wig with jewelry wire, and smushed some model magic over that.
The part that I am most proud of is the tapestry (some call it a tabbard). Even though I was really proud of the first one I made, I wanted to match all of the colors perfectly, scale it better, and get rid of the rough edges. I did use the original pattern that I made for the detailing, though! :) The tapestry is made out of cotton (I think) and it was gradient dyed grey so it would fade towards the bottom, and I did a second gradient dye with a dark blue on the top half to match up with the references I had. I mixed some fabric paint colors to achieve the swampy green at the bottom, the gold for the Triforce, the magenta for the designs around its border, and the tan-white gradient for the edges/rest of the details. I gradually added more white to my tan color mixture to achieve the effect of a gradient right around where the crest is. All of this was done without a stencil, or anything to prevent the paint from going everywhere. I've got a pretty steady hand so it wasn't a problem. After I painted it, I used a hidden-stitch (not exactly a blind stitch, but I don't know what it's called) to line the tapestry. I didn't want any stitch marks showing on the front. The tapestry makes me so happy. :'''D
What else, what else... AHA! The wig was such a monstrosity. For the amount of time I had to spend on it, it looked pretty nice. However, I will be redoing this part. The original wig (shown in the pics) is a Galadriel in Spanish brown from Ardawigs.com. I ended up hacking off half of its length (even being 6 ft and all), so I recommend something shorter. I pulled back two sections in the front for a polyanna knot, and saved two large sections for the hair the hangs in front of her ears. The back of the hair was then secured with the spiky ponytail holder, braided, and wrapped the same way as the pieces in front. All I did was roll up some similarly-colored felt, put it in inside each section, and blend the fibers around it (making the felt near impossible to see). I wrapped the front hairpiece things in white bias tape and stitched it in to hold it in place. I sprayed the heck out of it so it wouldn't frizz out in transport. I think the bottom of the hair is a big challenge for most TP Zelda cosplayers. I just sculpted some model magic, painted it, and hot glued it to the bottom. Surprisingly, it holds very well.
The earrings were made from craft foam, shaped with jewelry wire, model magic, and some thin red ribbon. They are actually functioning earrings, since I rigged some post earrings to the foam and stuck a hole through the other side. I don't recommend it though. They are pretty heavy and make your ears feel they are being anchored down.
The ears were purchased from Aradani Costumes, and I LOVE them! I also purchased blue colored contacts to match Zelda's eye color, but I forget where I got them D: In the SSBB trophy you can see see has a pair of brown boots. You can also see them on the GMod ragdoll that is taken directly from the game files, the stretched out textures, aaand on the plastic figurine that my sister just happened to have. Anywhoo, the boots were a gift from my mother (thanks, mom!) I think they are from Amazon? I don't know for sure. Other than that, I bought some white tights to go under the boots and voila! Princess Zelda!
My friend EllaNutellaCosplay did my makeup, since I am no good with that stuff. For that I am very grateful. Thank you, Ella!
It would be wrong of me to take all of the credit on this cosplay, since many of my friends and cosplay inspirations played a HUGE role in the making of it all. @Narayu, seeing your beautiful Zelda cosplay on deviantArt was what motivated me to make my own, and I am so thankful for all of the help that you gave me!!! Seifer-sama: Seeing your Zelda for the first time at Kumoricon made my jaw drop, you are so gorgeous *_*. I also want to thank Akuriko, since you shared your methods with everyone and it helped me times a billion.
This has been my dream cosplay for over 5 years now. On and off I spent that time drawing, erasing, and re-drawing all of the details and templates used for each aspect of the costume. It was a labor literally filled with blood, sweat, and tears, but it was so worth it in the end.
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