September 13, 2016

Star Guardian Lux cosplay WIP

Here's something I've been really excited to share about! Yes, I've been working on a new cosplay! Some people around me have already know about this but I didn't want to like announce my cosplans because at first I wasn't sure if I was going to start making it, secondly, I was just super slow at making the costume. It's been a year since I've started working on it..... you be the judge. But really, this is actually the first time I'm making an entire costume from scratch and it's really challenging, especially when you're pretty much a perfectionist. I was really busy with college as well so I only had to work on it sometimes on weekends or long holidays.

This post is basically a documentation of my costume making progress so far. I'm almost done with the costume and its accessories, but the prop is only like 5% done. (T_T) And just to inform you beforehand, I'm going to bribe you with pretty pictures of the costume so far and the rest are all crappy phone images that I took while I was working on the parts. Couldn't be bothered to take nice pictures of it, sorry :P

Here's the progress on the costume so far:
I am left with the 'petals' to sew on then creating 2 huge ribbon bows, one for the front and one behind.

The top is zipped from behind, the zipper head starts from below. This was my first attempt in sewing sailor collar and this curved design was really tough to sew. D: I have minor mistakes here and there which you won't see because they will all be concealed. :D (Actually I'm just too lazy to unpick anything)

The skirt is layered with 4 layers of tulle inside. The top layer fabric is satin so I thought that if I didn't have anything below it's going to drop on my figure, looking limp and not magical girl like. Btw, I chose satin for most parts of this costume for the magical girl look and satin is pretty hard to work with *cries* but it's so pretty *cries*

For the 'petal' of the design, I'm planning to sew them to the hem of the top. Galvanized wires are inserted into each side of the petal pieces and will be sewn down. I've asked another coser about sewing wires into the costume and how to take care of it afterwards and she told me to just dry clean it and it should be fine. (Or I'll never be able to wash it :X)

Lux's headband. I didn't want to use the hairband method because if I plan to wear it for hours the pressure will definitely give me a headache. Here the band is crafted with EVA foam and the star is made of acrylic sheet (more info below) and I attached these hair extension clips which I bought from Taobao to each side of the band. For this character her headband ends around her ponytail so the wig itself will be able to hide the ends of the headband. The 'wings' around her headband will be attached separately using the same method. These hair extension clips hold really well, I clipped them onto my brother's hair and he jumped around and it stayed firmly.

Oh by the way if you're wondering how the character design is like, here's the reference picture I used.

From here onward are crappy phone photos so please bear with me. :P

I actually first started working on the costume from the skirt. The skirt pattern is a circle skirt. If I'm not wrong the length is about 35cm for can google up the pattern if you're interested to know. The tulle beneath are all cut into circle skirt pattern as well with some having a larger waist diameter so I could gather them up. I first baste the tulle layers altogether then pin them together with the satin and sew. Both are tricky material to sew and it wasn't easy for me to control at time, but overall it looks pretty fine. I did this in school where there were mannequins around, I wish I have one at home so I can work on costumes easily...

Here's how the headband looks like before it was spray painted.

I posted this on Snapchat but I thought I'd post it again since that one's gone after 24 hours lol.

At first I tried to find Christmas stars that would fit the size I needed but there wasn't any. Then I happen to come across this Facebook video on how to make an origami 3D star. I took the pattern and manipulated it to get the size and shape I wanted. While crafting it's always good to use a paper pattern you have an original pattern which you can use over and over again to create similar duplicates. I still keep every piece of my paper pattern so far...just in case.

Anyways, once I've got the pattern I transferred it onto the acrylic sheet, cut it out then score the folding lines. It's basically what you see step by step in the series of images above. I chose acrylic sheet because it's really lightweight and it's easy to work with. For some of the stars I glued a piece of foam behind then cut exactly according to its shape so it has a base behind which I can attach the star onto something else.

This was taken halfway while I was sealing the EVA foam. When working with foam you need to seal them before you can spray paint them. Foams are porous material that will absorb your spray paint if you don't seal them beforehand. There are various methods out there to seal foam, but I went for the cheapest solution which was to mix white glue with a tiny amount of water and spread evenly over the surface with an old paintbrush for about 5-6 layers. The downside of this cheap method though, is that sometimes after I spray painted, the pieces accidentally got stuck onto the newspaper I laid below to protect the ground and when I try to peel it off the entire glue just rips off. (T T) This is why your paper patterns are important so you can redo those pieces.....

For spray paint, I like to spray about 1-2 layers of thin white paint as a base so that the colour that I'm going to spray later becomes more vibrant. Ah btw I spray painted the white foam pieces white too so that they look glossy..... Please don't ask me why I did that lol ^^;

Here's the ankle guard! This piece was rather challenging since it's my first time working on this kind of accessory. I first wrapped pieces of paper fitted around my ankle then sketch out the pattern that I want. I wore the boots that will go with the costume for this because you will need to consider the extra layer for the pattern or else it will be too tight. Once I got the pattern done I heated the foam with a clothes iron (HAHAHAHA) then shape the foam around my ankle. Be careful when you do this though, because clothes iron might leave unsightly marks on the foam lol. I heated mine from the inside so it wouldn't show but it is best if you get a heat gun. To attach the ankle guard I hot glued two strips of velcro on each side. Be generous with your glue because it's better to be safe than sorry haha XD

I was really happy with the outcome of the pair of ankle guard..... Until I tried walking with them on. Impossible, I tell you. I don't even know how Lux does it, going into combat in these unconventional ankle guards.

What I meant is that when you wear them on, the wings on the side will hit each other and you don't want that to happen..... so unless you can walk with legs crisscrossed all the time or you walk like a penguin. (_ _;) I'm pretty sure I'll only wear them when I camp at one spot during the event and take them off when I need to move around.

Also, for the strips around the top of the boots, they are actually foam base with PVC leather wrapped around it. I don't really want to sacrifice these boots yet because they are pretty costly so I'm just attaching them firmly around the boots instead of sewing them on.

Hope you enjoyed reading the progress up till now. I'm actually done with all the accessory parts but since I worked on most of them when I was back in Malaysia, I didn't bother to bring them over to Singapore because I'm only planning to wear it on Comic Fiesta this year *hints* come find me *hints* There's still 3 months time till the event and I hope by then I can really finish everything up because I'm planning to do a cosplay pairing with my cousin haha! We're both going to cosplay characters from League of Legends and I'm really excited about it already :D

Part 2: Star Guardian Lux prop WIP

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