Bubbles (Miyako Goutokuji)
The Powerpuff Girls Z
Last Updated: 01-12-2007
The idea behind a Powerpuff Girls group came from Mewski, when she asked me if I could make Blossom's costume for her. After seeing the designs, I decided to join her as Bubbles. That gave us two out of three, and it seemed pointless to stop there, so I recruited summoner_eilidh as Buttercup! Since I was already making Mewski's and my own costume, and to best ensure they all matched, I agreed to make the third one too. Both Odangochan and I had initially offered to take on Mewski's commission, but I was in a better position to do most of the work, and eventually, as part of the group myself, it made sense for me to take on the main job. However, Odangochan still kindly helped me out, and made the group's belts!
The wig is the Innocent style from Amphigory. Because I have it in mind for a different costume, I didn't bother altering the style of the ponytails at all. It's not exactly accurate to Bubbles' style, but I still think it's a nice interpretation of her hair. I snipped out small chunks of the ringlet curls and made them into wefts which are sewn in at the front to make those loose pieces she has. The hairslide is foam, covered in the same turquoise fabric used for the rest of the costume for it to match, and the glue to a real hairslide so I could clip it in.
I'm aware the main outfit is a leotard with a skirt over it. But a leotard would ideally mean a stretch fabric, which is incompatible with the crisply ironed pleats in the skirts. I suppose I could have made leotards from the non-stretch skirt fabric, but it really seemed pointless when there'd be no way of telling they even are leotards! So we agreed upon dresses instead. Bodice sections were easy, I'm pleased with the hidden zips at the sides. It was the skirts that were difficult. I wanted to have the pleats flare at the hem like in some of the references, and I didn't quite manage to achieve what I was after, but they do indeed flare out a bit. Each skirt is made up of 10 panels, one for each pleat, and the panels are shaped to be wider at the hem than the waist, so they remain tapering like that when pleated. The problem I had was that if the hem was too full, then the pleats wouldn't hang correctly and it'd be a sort of gathered skirt. So I had to limit the amount of flaring.
Luckily, the bloomers we wore underneath helped with the whole flaring thing. They hold the skirt out a little, so the pleats generally sit correctly. The bloomers came about since we weren't going with leotards, but wanted shorts or something under those short skirts. So I made fun bloomers to match the jacket colour scheme. They have hearts appliquéd on the bum XD
I had a lot of problems with finding turquoise fabric for Bubbles. For the other costumes, I got lovely cotton twill which was perfect, but I had to resort to plain polycotton for Bubbles, which worked out reasonably when interfaced and spray-starched to death! Since it's my own costume , it'll be less problematic to do any improvements in future if I find better fabric.
I had trouble finding fabric in all the colours for the group, so I again used polycotton. However, I lined all the jackets (they're reversible) and the double layer worked out fine. The most difficult aspect was the sewing the white stripes on the collar and waistband thing. The nasty bit is that they're on the inside as well as the outside, so had to match up nicely, and were generally a nuisance. Everything else was pretty simple though. The snaps are functioning (and painted to the right colours), regardless of the fact that the jackets are too small to neatly fasten! On the backs, I chose to go with the plain white design from the artwork. That way it can be changed to the coloured version from the actual anime later if we decide to, but for the moment, this simpler design spared me mixing paint to match the colours of the fabrics. The "P" logo is done with iron-on transfers.
Chokers are strips of fabric velcroing at the back, the "P" symbol is done with transfers, same as the jacket. These refused to stay facing the right way, so will probably have to be glued/taped in position in future. Rings were plain cheap ones I found, with gems glued on. The "P" logos were carefully painted. Earrings are maybe a bit oversized, but were cheap. I had to paint them all white (and promptly found white ones soon after).
As I said, the belts were made for us by Odangochan. They're white pleather, velcroing closed. She had swatches of the fabric I used, so the colours of the dots match up. Gold detail is 3D paint, which looks really authentic, and the "P" symbol things are gashapon cases!
I bought fingerless gloves on ebay (it gets more difficult when you need three identical pairs) and added on the puffy bands. The stripes on them were made from the fabric I was using elsewhere ensure everything matched. They're padded out with toy stuffing.
Shoecovers were patterned out by fiddling around with newspaper draped over a pair of trainers. That gave me the shape, with just a seam at the back. Then the puffy bands, made the same way as the gloves, were added to the tops. The shoecovers were the first thing I made, so I could give them to everyone in the group and allow them time to find suitable shoes to glue them to. The covers simply went over white trainers, and were glued on with the white border left showing at the bottom. The toecaps and semi-circle at the backs are foam, added on to get the correct shape of the white border.
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