The Secret World of Arrietty
Last Updated: 02-20-2014
My friends and I all had been trying to think of another group cosplay to do when the idea of cosplaying Ghibli Heroines came up. As soon as the subject was breached, I called my dibs on Arrietty. I thought that movie was absolutely charming, and I thought Arrietty was a character that I could really relate to.
The wonderful thing about Ghibli designs is that they're very simple. The not-so wonderful thing about Ghibli designs is that they're very simple, which means that there's not too much room for error. I found that with this costume, any errors I made really showed, so I ended up having to make, re-make, undo and redo a lot more than I have had to do with any of my other costumes. Everything had to be smooth and clean.
This was my first time working with stretch knit fabric, so I learned all about how not to cut the fabric the wrong way the hard way. I used a Burda turtleneck pattern to which I added a basic circle skirt.
The hairclip was made using the lovely lithe-fider's hairclip as a model. The structure was made out of carboard that I then covered with orange paper. I then painted and modge-podged the whole thing. The spring on the inside of the clip was made by wrapping a playstation extension cord around a toilet paper tube. The axel for the hinging action of the clip was a hot glue stick. The round knobs on either side of the clip were just water bottle caps that I had painted orange. In the bottom of the clip, I glued magnets so that the clip actually opens and closed as if it had a spring. This detail didn't really matter much in the end because the prop was too heavy to stay in my hair without adding hair combs. I also had issues with getting the clip to not fall backwards off my ponytail, so I tied a jewelry clasp to brown colored thread and tied it around the middle of the clip, then clipped the jewelry clasp to a hair tie on a small upper ponytail to keep it anchored. If I wear this cosplay in the future, I'd like to find a better way to keep the clip on my head so that way my hair will look a little more true to the film.
The belt was simple! I bought one of those brass rings they sell at the craft store, painted it with silver spraypaint, and then just sewed a long piece of yellow to either side. since it had to sit up higher on my one hip, I didn't actually have to make it so the belt would cinch, which was nice.
The fishhook lasso at my hip was made using a coat hanger as a base, duct taping around it for bulk and then covering it with paper clay to mold the details. I sanded it, painted it black, then modge podged it. My fiance taught me how to tie a hangman's noose, so I used that particular rope technique to attach it. The green thing that held the lasso to my belt was made from knit material, snaps, a button, and a circuit board to keep the back stiff so the weight of the lasso wouldn't pull the green part out of place.
I found the boots at Marshall's for $15 and added the lighter leather bits on the tops, the fronts, and the toes of each boot. Thank you, sewing machine, for being a tank and sewing through all those layers <3
The pin sword was made using a whittled down dowel rod and a styrofoam ball, and it was probably the easiest prop I will ever have to make in my life. I actually broke it in half the day I had to leave for the convention and managed to rebuild it!
Finally, Arrietty's bag was made using my very own eyeballing skills. Who needs a pattern when you can just draw what you think it should look like on the canvas with pencil, cut it out and realize that it actually works? I was going to use twill for the strap that was a little closer to the color in the film, but it just wasn't laying against my body right, so I went with the more earthy green knit fabric in the end. The stitches in the strap were made by hand sewing felt. It was really nice to have a bag to put my things in that actually went with my character so that I wouldn't have to dump my bag on one of my friends if someone asked for a picture!
I had a lot of fun cosplaying with all my friends. Since it's so simple, I'd love to make this one of my convention Thursday cosplays in the future.
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