Sunday, March 23, 2014

Anime Boston Commission

I've alluded to a commission I've been working on in a couple previous posts but I haven't gotten around to even introducing it yet! I was asked to make a costume for the Anime Boston convention of a character from Final Fantasy XIV. I've never played the Final Fantasy game series so I don't know much about the characters at all, but I was provided with a very detailed sketch of the character called a Bard Relic.

Concept art for the character

It looked rather complicated at first but I was able to pick it apart into smaller pieces and lots of layers. It still took me about twice as long as I expected to sew, but that is always the case. I'm absolutely horrendous at estimating how much time a certain project is going to take. I started out with some of the simpler layers and made good progress at first, but it was the smaller details that bogged me down.

I made the little capelet out of some heavy white linen. The little brooch is sculpey and rhinestones, and there's a couple really pretty clasps on the side opening.

My mannequin has a fat neck, but you get the idea. The hat was a little more complicated to make and was my first foray into haberdashery. I started with some felt and stretched it over a makeshift hat block to get the crown. The brim is sewn to the crown with a piece of wire running through the seam, and another piece of wire at the edge of the brim to keep the unusual shape it has. Some feathers complete the look.

The pants were a fairly straightforward piece as well. They're made out of stretch jersey to be a little more form-fitting. I used cut up lace and some bridal appliques to recreate the floral design on the red side. The striped blue fabric I was lucky enough to source a fairly good match for online.

The main bodice was the most difficult and time consuming of the pieces. It's open in the back and just barely closes in the front making it very difficult to fit. It has layered, poofy sleeves and lots of tiny little diamond trim detail. The sleeves were so heavy I had to add a piece of elastic to the top of the shoulders to keep them from getting pulled down. I couldn't find an appropriate trim, and trying to sew dozens of little grey diamonds would probably result in my own demise so I settled for painting the detail on.

The brooch is made out of sculpey again, and there's a couple more in the shapes of stars on the sleeves. The sashes also got the paint treatment.

There's a small white wrap-around half skirt with little gold bead details that I completely forgot to take separate pictures of. There's also a small red bag that goes around the waist.

Put all together at last I think it came out very successfully! This is definitely one of the more complicated cosplays I have done, second only to Darth Maul in my opinion. It was a nice challenge of my sewing skills and my resourcefulness in translating drawings into wearable clothing. That being said, I'm glad it's over and done with and I can get back to my historical comfort zone!

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