Last Updated: 07-29-2015
This costume was definitely a challenge for me, but all in all it's a lot of fun to wear and I'm very proud of how it turned out. I still have plans to make a Wayfinder someday.
I got a lot of help from using Malinda-Chan's construction notes on her Aqua, so definitely check hers out if you're stuck.
Top - Made with a navy blue milliskin matte spandex and stretch vinyl. I drafted the pattern for the blue part by hand and adjusted as needed, but I used a waist cinch pattern for the black corset piece and modified the panels on a linen mock-up version to get the two side laces versus one front lace. I used an invisible zip on the back, but for ease of getting in and out of this costume, I would definitely get something bottom-separating and just shorten it to the length you need.
Interfacing was used in the collar to keep it's shape and snaps used to keep it closed.
Skirt - The first version (not picture) of this I made out of a light blue apparel lining because I liked the way it would flow in the wind. But once I wore it with the wig, the colors were WAY off and it didn't look how I wanted it to. Draft two was done in in a lovely blue satin color that makes me very happy. The pattern for this I made myself with linen mock-ups, using Malinda-chan's notes as a base. The top band was made in four pieces, with seams in the top and bottom, and front and back (where the zip went). The side panels were pleated on the top and then attached to the thinner bottom rectangle which was gathered at the top end.
Shorts - Black bicycle shorts purchased from Forever 21.
Black Socks - Bought from Sock Dreams and used sock glue to hold them in place. Sock glue is a miracle.
Sleeves - Made from bridal satin that was on sale, matte side showing. I drafted a mock for these and fitted them to my arms. And this is how I found out one of my arms has more muscle than the other! So safe to say I had to re-draft the pattern. A band of craft foam was sewed in at the top of these sleeves to help them stay snug, and snaps were used for closures. I usually don't have much trouble with these staying up.
Gloves - I bought a pair of micro-fiber suede gloves in taupe off of eBay and modified them instead of making them from scratch. All of the bias tape was hand-stitched on.
Sashes - Made from a jet set knit and sewn in loooong tubes. In total, there are four pieces. Two of the sashes were made shorter. These two a fastened on the front, inside of the corset top, then crisscrossed and tied in the back. In order to keep them up, I used Malinda-chan's idea to sew in elastic loops on the back of the corset, beside the zipper. Before these two sashes are tied, I just slip them through these loops and viola.
The other sashes that make the side bows are just in two long pieces. I usually have to get help with this part, but one sash is stretched straight across the front of the hips while the other is stretched across the back. Then, each of these are tied in bows around loops made by the crisscrossed sashes in order to make them stay up.
Hard to explain, but maybe it'll make sense to someone.
Arm Armor - I used tips from this tutorial to create my armor pieces out of craft foam: http://23rdangel.deviantart.com/art/Aqua-Armor-Tutorial-360169343
Mine are strung together on elastic and held in place with knots so that the pieces can slide and bend with my arm.
Boot Armor - Truth be told, my least favorite part. I made these by making my own stencil and adjusting as needed, and then making the armor from craft foam. I sealed, primed and painted it fairly easily, but have had trouble getting the armor to stay on my boots without too much trouble. For now, I have settled on using sticky-back velcro. Although this still pops off easily, it's a quick fix to just stick it right back on.
The ankle pieces became less cumbersome when I fixed them to velcro around my ankles instead of attaching them to the boots themselves. This ensures that I can walk a little more normally without straining the bond between this armor and the boots. Most of the time they don't even need adjusting.
Destiny's Embrace - A redux version of the keyblade I originally made for Kairi. the blade part is made from a wooden dowel rod, painted. The flowers are fake ones purchased from Joann and Hobby Lobby which have been glued to a cardboard backing with foliage that was spray painted gold. The cardboard was then screwed into the wooden rod for stability's sake. The vine was also spray painted gold, leaves were add with hot glue and then it was also attached with hot glue.
The handles were carved from expanding foam, covered and painted. In the original version of this keyblade, I just hot glued them to the dowel rod, which held great until the first time someone bumped me on the crowded con floor. For the second version, I actually drilled through the dowel and into both handles and placed a thin wooden dowel in as a supportive crossbar, both at the top of the handles, and at the bottom. Then, liquid nails was put in the holes to hold everything together.
The small nub at the end of the keyblade is made from Crayola Model Magic, which was dried, covered in spackle and then sanded for a smoother finish before painted. A craft foam layer was put over it before the handles were secured for the extra design.
Finally, the chain for the charm is made from braided red parachute cord, looped through a wire in the end of the keyblade. A paopu charm was made from craft foam, sealed, painted and attached to the cord.
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