Final Fantasy XII
Last Updated: 02-16-2007
I'd been sort-of considering an Ashe costume for a while, but I think I felt rather intimidated by all the armour and the difficulty, so decided to leave it until I actually played the game. However, for the UK release of Final Fantasy XII there was a cosplay competition (equivalent to the one in the US) and the contest was enough inspiration to get me enthusiastic again! Although it was announced with a two week deadline, I decided to have a shot at it anyway, and I'm glad I finally got the motivation to make the costume!
The armour etc. is all craft foam. Detail either done with layers of foam or by pressing in designs before painting. I also embedded a few studs to get particular shapes - like the ones on the wrist guards. I made black stocking sections to go under the armour, using the sticky tops from a pair of hold-up stockings to go inside and (hopefully) hold everything up on my legs ok. The armour's then glued to the black fabric underneath.
Shoes were a cheap pair of sandals which had straps approximately in the right places and a relatively accurate heel. I added foam to alter the shape a little, and create a paintable surface since the shoes were originally covered in glitter. I'm surprised at how well it worked, clearly there are no limits to the powers of foam! Underneath I wore pink socks. I tried making some from the same fabric as the skirt, but it didn't have enough stretch. Couldn't find any knee length socks, so I resorted to sewing two pairs of ankle socks together to make them long enough!
The skirt is made from slightly stretchy fabric so it can pull on and off, and I made a matching pair of shorts which are sewn into it (well, not really shorts; more like a leotard with a little more coverage). I'm still concerned the skirt's too short...but I suppose it's accurate. The belt buckle came from a cheap belt, was painted, and then I made my own belt for it using the same fabric I used on the boot cuff things.
Waist cincher is denim with plastic boning. I did all the stitching in white to try and recreate the effect on hers, and give it that classic denim look. I couldn't get a buckle with a central bar, so improvised and added one using a paperclip (of all things...). The white top was an absolute pain. Took three mock-ups, and I'm still unhappy with it. It was trial and error all the way, changing my mind continuously about everything as I went along, but I got it alright in the end.
The gold detail is bias tape, ribbon and PVC for the designs. Brooches and pieces on the front of the top are foam again, and the gems in the brooch are painted fimo clay. Sleeves were very simple, elastic in the tops and foam pieces glued on. My wrist guards are on bracelets of the same stretch gold PVC as used elsewhere, so they just slip on and off.
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