Umi's armored artbook outfit from Clamp's Magic Knight Rayearth! This was a collaboration with Velvet Rose Cosplay as Hikaru and TifaIA Cosplay ~ as Fuu. Sarah Esperkin Cosplay also managed to finish her Emeraude in time for the Akon group as well!
This project actually started summer of last year when I picked up the bulk of the fabrics for all the Knights at the Fashion District. We were all very set on having fabrics that matched and though I loved the idea, I can't tell you how many hours I spent looking around for the best color options. Most of the fabrics came in two of the colors, but the third was either ugly or nonexistent. I finally settled on fabrics I thought were not only close color wise, but that just looked pretty in general. And then I put them away for the entire year and didn't mess with it until a month and a half before the con. XD Big Mistake on my part as this costume ended up being a little more difficult than I initially thought. :P
Tifa actually started her Fuu first and was able to discover that the way we were originally going to do the skirts wasn't going to work. Instead of tattering the fabric, we actually cut it at a very steep slope, which in the end made it look very similar to the artbook design.
Somewhere along the line we decided to add overlays to the outer skirt, which was fine by me, more flowy! I went back and forth on how best to replicate Umi's mass of fabric and eventually decided on doing something similar to her other artbook shirt with the deep pleats. I'm pretty pleased with it, but I may need to tweak it a bit with the way the codpiece and belt work. A task for another day.
The top, super easy... it's a wide tube top with elastic. Done. XD
The belts are made from this lovely floral vinyl. Tifa and I had to paint our belts the right color as their were either too dark or too light, but it was worth it to use such a pretty vinyl! It worked really well for all of the belts, but I don't think it was stiff enough to handle the corset, so sometime down the line, I'd like to add boning to the corset.
The armor was by far the biggest monster on this costume. I played with a ton of paper shapes until I settled on something I liked for the pauldron. Luckily the rest of the armor came together a little faster than that, but there were a lot of issues with how to rig this and how to make it work with all the belts. I finally settled on making the armor into buckles and wrapping the vinyl around it (which looks kind of like what's happening anyway). The end result worked out really well, especially for something so last minute. For the most part I had a lot of movement and really didn't have any issues with anything falling off.
The jewelry was all done with these beautiful sea glass beads, which seemed fitting for Umi. I hope at some point I can get some close up shots of the beads. I'm still pretty new to jewelry, but I was pretty proud of what I managed to pull together. All the large gems are resin, as usual. I used the powder dye this time which was perfect because the color ended up being so vibrant! The bracelet was something I wasn't sure I would have time to work on, but I managed to finish the costume a few days before the con so I figured I should try and squeeze that in. I ended up painting the same vinyl gold and sewing the sea glass beads on to it.
The boots were probably the easiest part of the costume. I painted the base the same color as the fabric and made fabric tubes to go over the tops of the boots. Easy right?
The cape was born out of pure jelly-ness. All the other girls have pretty capes and I wanted one too. So I made one. XD
Overall I'm fairly happy with this costume. I think it needs a few tweaks and a sword and then she will be great. I look forward to reprising this group again at another Akon. :)
Currently working on the sword. I've finally done all the sculpting for it and am preparing to paint it. <3
Sword is finished. It's made with a combination of wood and worbla. I did all the sculpting with worlba which went pretty quickly after all the practice I've had with Kain. I had some left over resin gems from when I made the casts for Umi and just used those in the sword. Everything came together pretty quickly and I'm super happy with this. I'm very excited to wear her again soon. :D