Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cosplay - Asuka Langley Soryu/Shikinami

So it's been some time, almost a month since an update post and it's going to be separated into different cosplays I have been mutitasking on instead of one enormous and overwhelming post. It's probably only going to get busier for the next few months, so here's a kick off update for everything!

My friends and I are planning on Fanime for out next big trip, and it's quite exciting so far. We have a great set of plans, a wonderful circle of friends we want to meet up with including one who recently moved to San Jose, and just overall celebrate a good spring convention! We also have been talking plans for Anime Expo, Japan Expo, and Wonder Con.

I went yesterday to a small gathering in Little Tokyo with my best friend Shii, which was quite fun. I made a quick cosplay that has turned out to be extremely fun to wear and pays homage to my love for VNs. I wore Miori from Alice Parade, and I'll be wearing her to another convention. After that, I'm currently working on some new cosplay plans, and progress for Madoka (I am almost there with the top!), Dr. Shaw from Prometheus, and then working on all of my other Evangelion ideas.

I got started early in February in my whole Evangelion kick after finishing my Mari remake for Anime LA. I didn't even get to wear her, and more recently have ordered the proper tie and headset/headband for her. It should be here by next week with some other cosplay items for the next planned projects! I actually have a plan to get more Asuka designs out in the coming year, possibly one for Fanime, but some ages ago after the con I wanted to get another simple project going. I figured the Evangelion uniforms would be a comfortable and pretty choice, since they're quite classic and can double up for not just Asuka, but Rei and Hikari. I wouldn't mind cosplaying as them either.

I purchased around January the materials and kept everything simple, and after finishing Enishi's pants, and Madoka's skirt, I got started on it.

 This is Rei's image, but it's identical to Asuka and Hikari's uniforms as well.

I didn't make a standard pattern or modified a pattern for Asuka's skirt, and rather just worked off measuring and doing some math between adding waist and hips length, and adding room for darts in the back and pleats in the front. Ironically, I initially freehanded the pleats just by eyeballing and pinning to take them to the mirror to get an idea of the final product. When I went back to measure it, it was not that far from the real pleats placement.

The pleats are box pleats on the skirt, which are folded to meet the other pleat on the opposite side, coming together and forming a larger, whole pleat. This is what is going to give the flair of the bottom "triangles" of the skirt.  It's not very hard at all to do box pleats or knife pleats, and they're always lovely whenever you get the end result. It takes measuring and making sure you're pleating in the same amount on fabric on both sides so that can you get that ideal, equal pleat. 

So that's the measuring and pinning process right there, and then once I had all the measurements figured out and continuously kept checking to see that it would properly fit, I went ahead and pleated the back with a single box pleat in the center and added a dart on each side to add some tapering to the back.

After that, I stitched down the pleats and secured them, and proceeded to iron the bottom half of the skirt down to create that space from the pleats. As you can see, the ironing makes a huge difference since it creates those crisp angles that you want from the pleats.

I then did the same for the back pleat, and as I had already stitched down my darts, all I needed to do was sew the two panels together from the left side, leaving the right side open to add the zipper.

I added the zipper and pardon my pajamas since I sew at night, I went ahead and tested the skirt. It fits extremely well and I'm actually really happy that the pleats have such a nice crispness to them.

I did a small test with the old wig I have for Asuka, and then the clips are in the mail with my Mari and other cosplay stuff, so I used a large red clip of my mother's to simulate the clip.

Finally, I added the straps, which are two long rectangles with a little angling up top and were sewn together along the back. My original idea was to attach the straps permenently, and then I got the idea of being able to make them detachable with snaps because the skirt without the straps can be used for my Mikuru cosplay in place of the older, quickly made one from some two years back.

Here it is with the Mikuru uniform top! I haven't worn this cosplay in about two years after making it for a cosplay picnic. I wasn't too happy with the skirt however because it was actually thinner material and I made it literally in a half an hour because of the huge time crunch we had. I love the look and feel of this skirt with the uniform too, so it's being cost-effective and multi-functional without compromising the cosplay's accuracy too much!

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