Monday, February 25, 2013

Cosplay - Yukishiro Enishi Pants

So my first project on my new Pfaff 360 certainly had to be Yukishiro Enishi's pants. The cosplay will be worn by my friend Kureno, who also was kind enough to give me this machine as a gift. Our group has decided for Fanime 2013 to make a fun Rurouni Kenshin group, and initially I was supposed to be Kaoru until our plans changed and I selected Tomoe instead. I actually am really excited about being Tomoe since I love the simplistic design of her kimono. I admit however, I've never made a kimono but there's a first for everything!

I made the plan to work on Enishi first since he is much more straightforward and I actually really enjoyed the color blocking design in the pants. These pants personally feel like they are tempting to make out of athletic knits, but in keeping this cosplay a bit more accurate to its time period, I stuck with more cotton-based fabrics. We wound up finding a nice, thick cotton and slightly thinner cotton that I could double up for the blue stripes. I also purchased some elastic for the top, and I actually had the thread already at home for a number of other projects that were blue and orange.

Warning! Image heavy! 

 This is Yukishiro Enishi. He's actually a character I didn't know too much about from Kenshin until I read more about him and got a great explanation from Kureno about him. There's alternate designs for him, but Kureno wanted this one since it is more athletic-looking and easy to move around with. AND THOSE PANTS. Those colors!

We didn't buy yet for the shirt, but that's the next project on this!

I began by using a medical pants pattern that I added some more length to since Kureno wants to capture that similar baggyness along the bottom hem of the pants. It was a really straightforward process.

 And here I just basically cut the strips.  I kept them to about 2 1/4 and then a bit for seam allowance, once again it bing a straight process. I made sure to add the extra length to the strips as well. 

Sewing! And it was my first time sewing on the Pfaff, which is an absolute dream! I began by sewing the crotch seams first and then proceeded to work on sewing and attaching the stripes in order to fully sew the leg seams. I absolutely lovce this image because you can already see the beautiful clorblocking of these two colors. In order to experiment first off to make sure I had the proper size for the stripes, I began with a smaller stitch and then wanted to go back and see if I could add or remove from it to make it look nice. I intend on cleaning all these seams out properly at the end of this process! 

And after a little sewing, I got the stripes attached and thus the legs were completed! This definitely needs to be ironed by a lot all over again to make everything look as pristine as I want it to be, but so far the concept is there! Now to add the waistband elastic, which now ironically is one of my favorite parts. 

I follow the standard elastic guide, which admittedly took me some time to really get good at. First, I create a casing by folding down to the desired length and creating the clean little casing. I measure out my waistband length (which in this case was Kureno's) and a tiny bit more just in case, and then fasten a safety pin to one of the ends. I then guide the pin and elastic through the waistband casing until the reach the end and stitch the ends together. I then continue to adjust until I get the proper amount of ruching in between and seal up the casing. 

 And presto! I love how lovely the colors look together, and I definitely need to iron this out and clean out little ends and the inside of it. Thankfully, it is already ridiculously clean on its own! 

 And here's a picture of the full length of the pants (despite my towels in the back ^^;). Now all it needs is some last minute work and it's good! I also made the band that isn't featured here, but it is made of the same orange material and we will be attaching it on its own on top of the pants so that it is form fitted to his waist but not stretched out. It was made by large remnant pieces, and it's great to say that these pants were very cost effective! The cotton is also really thick and durable, easy to handle, and the machine's new stitching is actually really taut and study! 

I can't wait to finish the shirt for Enishi to get the whole final look! Kureno already has purchased the wig for this, and is shopping for glasses. I will be starting on Tomoe within the week after I finish getting some more materials for her! 

New Sewing Machine!

So I have not updated in a little while, mainly due to the fact that I was pretty sick (and still am) with the flu. I've been getting proper rest and also resting my back since I haven't been the best with it as of Anime LA. I am happy to say that I am doing loads better with my back! 

My first update is the blessed news of a new sewing machine!

 It is a (new) Pfaff 360 machine, and it is the most awesome present from my close friend and fellow cosplayer, Kureno! We went a few weeks ago to shop for our new Rurouni Kenshin materials for Fanime, and my friends have long known my woes about my poor other machine, which has been severely overused throughout all these years. I hold such a sentimental attachment to it as well, so I wouldn't want to get rid of it even if it was ever broken, but we did need something sturdier to get the job done. We looked around the fabric store for some models they had, but then we went to a repair shop and found a lovely set of different older models. I took a liking to this Pfaff and a Kenmore, and it was the Pfaff that became the final choice! I have since been using this since and it works like an absolute dream! 

I think it opens up a great deal of opportunities in being able to sew more and get more out of cosplay and design. I look forward to the great events tis machine will contribute to, as well as I owe my friends and family for the greatest amount of support in this hobby and generally anything I have decided to do! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cosplay - Kaname Madoka Skirt

This is a cosplay I wanted to make last year but I simply didn't have the time to do it. Ironically, I didn't think I had enough materials either back then until I this year while unpacking my Anime LA items, I discovered to my surprise that I had more than enough fabric to make Madoka's uniform top (and naturally, all the others girls' uniforms) and if I could find a nice plaid to work with, I'd make the skirt for it. I had been considering to be Homura/Moemura for quite some time, so I loved the idea. 

I went to the fabric store and discovered to my surprise that they had 1.25 yards of this plaid that resembles her uniform skirt closely. It's not exact, and I didn't think of spending the time to custom order it, so I went with this lovely plaid. I have seen some doujinshi designs for Madoka with this kind of plaid, and it's a much better alternative than using an old Persona 4 Yukiko skirt. 

Usually I assumed that I required more fabric than usual, but I figured I'd somehow make this work. To my surprise, the length is absolutely perfect and I even had a little extra. I started out by cutting my pieces in half and matched them up, sewed them together in a clean, French seam, and then hemmed the bottom. 
Then I had this awesome long and hemmed piece of cloth. It usually doesn't take me very long, but today I sat on it a little longer since my machine's been a little touchy lately. This is just supposed to be a calm crafting project! 

So after that, I set some of the extra bit aside for my waistband and ironed the ends together to make that nice, clean look. I pleated my skirt by using an measured index card as my guide, and then pinned the pleats, made sure they were to my liking, and finally ironed them taut. I then added the waistband and topstitched everything and added the zipper and I have yet to add the button, but it virtually fits like a glove!

And here's the end result!  

I admit I'm not the same size as my dress form, but I put her up on Ema Heshire, my mannequin just to see the overall balance of the skirt. It looks really nice and I'm actually happy that it's quite wearable for other occasions. I also a finnicky about length, so I usually make my skirts long enough to make sure I sit properly! 

I'll be making the jacket soon once I get my pattern for it completely done!