Final Fantasy IX
Last Updated: 03-30-2007
FF9's one of my favourite games, and I've had my Garnet dress for a few years now, so it was time for a change! I decided on her short-haired look since I was fed up with my long wig, and that meant I was able to trim my old Rukia wig and recycle it for this costume.
I found suitable gloves (actually gardening gloves) and adapted a pair of boots. They were cut shorter, and I intended to use the fabric I cut off to create the flap at the front, but I didn't have quite enough to manage it in one piece (I could only have done it with an obvious seam down the front). I eventually found a cheap bag which was made from nearly identical fabric, so that was disassembled and used for the extra parts on the boots and the straps on the gloves! All the white stitching is painted on. I already had the necklace from my previous Garnet costume, and the black choker is just fabric fastening with velcro at the back.
For the shirt, I bought a lovely white peachskin fabric which drapes beautifully. The sewing was very last-minute and didn't go all that well, but that doesn't matter when not much of the shirt even shows! One problem I encountered was getting it to stay on my shoulders, which was a nuisance with the low front and back, its looseness, and having to have the neck so wide. There's elastic to try and help with that, and the orange bodysuit straps mostly hold it in place. In spite of the problems constructing it, I love the fabric and full sleeves.
For the bodysuit I used Kwik Sew 3273, which only has a back seam. I'd had a lot of problems finding orange stretch fabric, and at one point had resorted to yellow lycra. With discrepancies in references, shades from yellow to orange are all accurate, but I wanted orange since her in-game sprite is decidedly orange and that's what stuck in my mind the most from playing the game. All I could get was fluorescent, shiny lycra though.
Luckily flower_sceptre did me a huge favour and got me a matte orange stretch fabric, so I was spared using fabric I wasn't so keen on (and no need to try any dye experiments). She really saved me with that, and I'm very grateful. I was a little unsure about it since it was 2-way stretch and the pattern was for 4-way, but it turned out fine. The discarded yellow fabric became a trial run, particularly useful for the adaptations to the pattern and getting used to sewing stretch fabric.
I tried to copy all the seam lines around the chest and at the back (as best as I could determine them from the references) and spent a ridiculous amount of time studying the fmvs and screenshots to try and figure them out. There's a limit to how close I could get due to the lack of references, but I at least have something resembling hers. Similarly, when it came to the leg straps, I did my best to copy what I could determine from the game.
The white mage coat came about since Minami Con's held in March, and a cosy coat is ideal (and probably ideal all year round in Britain...). I also realised I could just adapt an existing coat if I wasn't too concerned about complete accuracy. I found a cheap one on ebay, and converted it to zip up rather than fasten with buttons (I'd deliberately chosen a coat a little too big for me so I could take it in enough to hide the button holes). The triangles etc. are all red felt, and the design of the hood/collar piece meant it was easy to add it on to the coat as a separate section. In the end, the only real inaccuracy was not having loose sleeves and big wide cuffs. That turned out to be a nuisance since the cuffs don't fit over my gloves easily, and the coat also fits so neatly that it won't go over my necklace! It's annoying that I can't change between coat-wearing and the plain costume that easily.
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