October 24, 2017

Little Witch Academia cosplay WIP

Hi there!

In this post I will be sharing on my process in creating the costume for Akko and Diana from Little Witch Academia. I've been a fan of this series ever since I watch the short films, which you should totally check out, and when the series came out last season I was so thrilled and convinced my friend to watch it. We both fell in love with the series and wanted to cosplay the series, it's the first time for me to be cosplaying the same series with a friend!

Since I was still in the midst of job hunting, I had lots of free time at home so I made the costume for both of us. We split the cost of materials equally and my friend drove me around to shop for materials. It's an equal effort where we both contribute whatever we are capable of :D

In the series I really love Sucy and Akko but in the end I chose to cosplay Akko because of her positivity and energy throughout the series. Sucy resembles me more IRL though hahaha~ But that's what's fun about cosplay isn't it? To be able to become someone who's different from the daily you. ^^

Character sheets are important references whenever I make costumes!

I also like to illustrate the costume before I start. That way I can better visualize the outcome and also catch the details of the garment as I draw. You can see that I also mapped out materials and colours as I brainstormed the concept and some sewing techniques I plan to use in the construction of the garment.

Usually I do this before I even go out to buy fabrics. As I work on the costume I also add in notes for future references. This is like a blueprint of my project!

I'm sewing 2 sets of costume this time. Akko and Diana's costumes are similar except for the details and their skirt length. In fact when I looked through the reference pictures for the rest of the cast, everyone had different skirt lengths! The animators took the effort to alter their uniforms to represent each of their personalities and it made me love their work even more ♥ So for my drafts, I drew 2 lengths then cut out the fabric piece for Diana who has a longer skirt first then cut off the excess to make the length for Akko to save time.

With the fabric pieces cut out, I started sewing and handsewn the detail for the last touch. I take about 1 full day to sew each dress.

Next I started working on the accessories. For the buckles on the hat I used paper clay from Daiso, the quality of the clay isn't the best but it's cheap hahahaha! As for the belt buckle I made it out of 10mm EVA foam.

Once spray painted, I touch up and added some weathering on the buckles. It was my first attempt in weathering paint job, definitely lots to improve on but I think it looks much better than before where the paint was one toned. You can see from the buckle on the hat, left is after, right is before.

Also sew a witch hat with a really wide brim, fused with really stiff interfacing. It still droops a little but I think it looks pretty good! Attached the buckles and everything with hot glue.

For this costume I tried making boot covers for the very first time! I dig up some tutorials online and started manipulating from there (pinterest is a good source!).

First I added pieces of paper in front of my leg where the curve shape of the boot extends to, wrap up the entire section with cling film. Then I also added the tip of the shoe with a cone shape piece of paper and fit it well on the shoe. Next, proceed to tape the entire thing with duct tape or cloth tape. Once done, sketch out the pattern with pencil first then line it with a sharpie. Do pay attention to how it looks like from all angles! It's not easy to sketch it by yourself, trust me because that's what I did for my own boot covers and it took so much time and effort, so get a friend to help if you can.

We had different shoe sizes and we used different shoes as the base so I had to take custom pattern on her leg too, but it was much faster as I can retrace the curves from my pattern and alter it a little to suit hers. We got her's done in 30 minutes. :D

Mark out the pieces then cut them out. Cut it from the back opening so that the rest will slide out easily, then you can slowly cut out the parts.

Since I used the same fabric as the garment which was a woven, non stretch cotton, I had to interface the whole thing so that it keeps the shape. Transfer the pattern onto the interfacing fabric and try to press it down and smooth it out as much as you can because the cloth tape pattern can be kinda wonky, then cut it out. Use the interface fabric that has been cut out as a guide to lay onto the actual fabric, add seam allowances then cut it out. This way both sides of the pattern stays consistent.

I first sew the 2 large pieces together then sew the bottom where the tip slides onto the shoes. Add a conceal zip at the back opening and take note that the zip has to open up all the way till the curve of the heel of your foot, or else you won't be able to wear it. Sew on the crescent shape on the sides, the band of fabric in front and the piece for the heel.

You can see where I fold the hem in is really messy at this point but don't worry, we'll get to that soon. For the boot covers to stay attached to the shoes, I added a velcro piece below and also added an elastic band to hold the heel fabric in place later on.

To cover up the ugly edges, I used felt fabric, trace it over the boot, cut out and hot glued it. It doesn't have to cover all the way till the bottom since it won't be visible once you wear them.

Here's how they look finished, and you can see my friend testing out her Diana boots!

Time to make the wand!

I've already cut out the EVA foam pieces for the grip here. What is missing here are contact glue and hot glue gun.

First of all I sharpened the wood dowel using a sharpener hahahaha! It's the easiest, fastest and safest way to shorten it and create a sharp tip. With the sharp tip I pierced through the EVA foam pieces. Made a paper pattern for the head of the wand, traced onto 5mm foam and cut out. I used contact glue to stick it together first then reinforced with hot glue gun.

Moving on to the grip. Here I already pierced the EVA foam pieces for the 2 ends of the grip, then with the rectangular pieces I measured and cut out, I continued to cut and shape them so that the 2 sides will close together and form a smooth curve. It doesn't have to be perfect but try to get the shape as good as you can then cut out a valley so that there is space for the wood dowel to go in. Glue them with contact glue. Once done, cover the entire area of it with contact glue again, then get your pva leather piece ready to wrap around the grip. I cut my pva leather about 1cm width. Cut away any excess pva leather and touch up if necessary. Sand down the EVA foam for smoothness then seal it.

For the end of the wand I used paper clay again to sculpt. I roll it into a ball then slowly shape it into a cone. Also, this is why I left some excess length of the wood dowel at the end so that the clay can grip onto it and not fall off. Let it dry overnight.

I painted the wand with acrylic paints because I didn't have silver spray paint and I didn't want to spend that money on a small prop. Weather the entire thing so that it looks used and you're done!

Here's a photo of me trying out the costume! My wig hasn't arrived yet when I took this but I don't have a photo of the entire costume worn with wig and makeup now lol :P For my wig I used a Dva wig and restyle it since I couldn't find an Akko wig which I was happy with. I'll be posting photos of my in this cosplay on my social media so be sure to follow me on my Instagram or Facebook page! Thanks for reading up to here! ♥

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