Last Updated: 08-31-2013
For MinamiCon 2013 I was thinking about improving my old Anemone costume and wearing it once again, but instead I decided to make the Eureka costume which has been sitting on my potential costume list for ages.
I used Simplicity 6567 for the dress to have something with sleeves and princess seams as a starting point, and it worked out very well. I made a mock-up following the pattern almost exactly at first, just cutting it a lot shorter and broadening the sleeves a bit. I added the pleat at the back, adjusted the neckline and drew on where the different coloured panels needed to go. The pattern was ideal because I barely had to move the princess seams to get the different coloured sections in the right places. I cut it apart along the new seamlines I’d drawn, added seam allowance and that more or less became my final pattern.
For the actual dress I used cotton drill. I couldn’t find anything suitable in turquoise, so dyed some of my white fabric. It turned out a bit brighter and darker than I’d have liked, especially when compared to the wig, but it’s growing on me. I lined the dress for comfort and to ensure it wouldn’t be see-through (I also wore white shorts underneath, inevitably). There’s a zip down the back and the centre back waist strap thing fastens with a snap on one side to allow for the opening.
I was quite picky about this dress (I’m not always so conscientious!) and I’m pleased with the results. Only thing I adjusted after Minami was the fit at the waist. I pre-washed all my fabrics, overlocked every raw edge, paid attention to the grain on every piece, fully lined it and understitched the neckline. The hem is finished by hand so there’s no visible stitching anywhere on the outside of the dress.
I used cover buttons for the turquoise ones and managed to find cover buttons with a raised rim to use for the silver ones. I needed to paint them since the rims were gold and I also used a compass point to punch the indentation in the middles. The strap fastening things are craft foam with a stud stuck on and they’re painted the same silver as the buttons. They’re secured to the dress with velcro to also make them removable for washing.
The patch on the sleeve is a circle of leatherette to have something which wouldn’t fray. I painted it gold (on the reverse, fabric-y side) to match the necklace and hairclips. Then there’s a circle of black leatherette on top, reverse side up, and a painted red stripe. Again, the patch is velcro-ed on so I can take it off to wash the dress.
My first attempt at the necklace for my Anemone costume used fabric and really was not successful! For Eureka, I initially tried a polystyrene ring – I carefully cut around the inside of the ring to get the flat edge there and also extend the diameter of the inner circle. Then I cut the ring apart where the black stripe at the front would be and also at the centre back to have it come apart in two parts. I used sticky-back velcro to act as the closure at these joins. I spent some time sanding it as well as smoothing it with filler, then it was all sealed with pva and painted gold with the black stripe at the front.
The polystyrene necklace wasn’t an ideal size though and ended up quite fragile, so I kept looking out for something better and eventually found a wooden budgie perch ring! Love using random objects like that for costumes. I used the same sort of approach as for the polystyrene – sawing it apart into two pieces and using velcro for the closures. After some sanding and priming, it was painted with gold enamel. It's still not completely accurate, but I think this necklace is a better size and the wood is much more sturdy.
For the boots, I thought about making covers, which would allow me to use the same fabrics as on the dress and ensure it all matched, and it’d be an easy way to incorporate the zip down the front, but I’d always prefer to avoid making bootcovers if I can help it. I can never get them to look as good as real shoes, so I was really pleased to find some suitable boots on ebay to adapt. I had to make them shorter – luckily they’re pull-on so I didn’t have a zip to worry about. I cut the tops shorter, folding over and gluing it to hem it, and added the tab at the backs using the fabric I’d cut off. I also sliced down the centre front of the boots and glued in zips.
I decided gluing on turquoise fabric would be too awkward to avoid fraying and fit it nicely around the toe area, so I cleaned the surface of the boots with acetone and used Angelus leather paint, mixed with some acrylic to adjust the colour and also some pva thrown in there to make sure it would remain flexible. I also painted the little rectangles on the dress cuffs at the same time rather than try to sew on a tiny piece of fabric there! The boots were actually more cream than white, so they were painted with some Dylon shoe paint I had, and then when that ran out, white acrylic and pva. Amazingly I got away with all these paint mixtures and haven’t had any issues with it cracking.
I found an oval-shaped papier-mâché box the right sort of size for the leg pouch and made a fabric cover for it, using card for the silver clasps. The strap fastens with velcro and I used double-sided tape to secure it to my leg, which held ok for most of the day.
I bought the wig from cosplaywig on ebay. I had to re-part it on the opposite side and was able to put in the zig-zag parting successfully. Otherwise, it only needed a bit of trimming and I used a curling iron to flick out the ends at the back. I made some attempt to colour my eyebrows using acrylic paint applied with a mascara brush. The hairslides were cut from card, painted gold and glued to real hair grips. Contacts are Geo brand Angel Violet from CircleLens2U.
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