I admit to my dismay that I was not accepted into the Anime Boston masquerade. It's disappointing because I really enjoyed performing onstage last year, but, as they say, when one door closes another door opens. The AB formal ball would have overlapped with masquerade, but now that I will be able to attend I decided to take the opportunity to make a cosplay worthy of a formal ball!
Before we start, I wanted to share a little humor with you. This seems to be becoming a tradition.
This is a photograph I took a few weeks ago when a couple friends (who may remain anonymous, or not, according to their own choosing) and I were playing Cards Against Humanity. The premise of the game is you must provide a card from your hand that humorously fills in the blank or answers the question on the black card. The person who won the previous turn judges the winner. Anyway, the judge had quite a difficult time with this one because she couldn't figure out the difference between preteens and the Chinese gymnastics team. They're basically the same thing, no? I've got another mind-numbingly hilarious card combo, but it's a *little* inappropriate. I'll have to think for a little while before I decide whether or not to post it.
Time for some on-topic shit!
I procured this dress at a local dress boutique:
It's a beautiful layered lace dress in a slight ivory and I had no real reason to buy it beyond the fact that it was only twenty dollars and I have a weakness for impractical stuff. The dress was the beginning of the cosplay, as I really don't have much time to finish this before Anime Boston rolls around. Most of my sewing supplies are also going into storage for the summer.
To the Minitokyo machine! I turned up this image in the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle secion:
The dress is ambiguous enough that I can easily use my recently purchased lace parfait. For my purposes I'm modifying it a little to complete it in the available time frame. For this, I need a cloak, wig, and hairpiece. The staff will be too much if I am trying to dance. Gloves are a possibility, though unlikely.
Not wanting to spend a ton of dough on this thing, I decided to make my cloak using fabric box scraps left over from other cosplays. I came up with these fabrics:
An ivory taffeta left over from when I made the bustle to go under my Victorian dress. There's a lot of it left because I opted not to make an extra petticoat.
A scrap of purple and gold fabric of unknown fiber content left over from my Eisen cosplay. It really is a beautiful, beautiful fabric.
The overall layout of this cloak is fairly simple. I decided to gather the taffeta along the top edge and stitch it to a yoke made of the purple and gold fabric. The yoke ties behind my back, exemplified later on in this lengthy and purposeless blog post.
I wanted the collar to be a little higher in the back. Also, my purple fabric wasn't in a large enough piece to cut the back and front of the yoke in one piece. The rectangular extensions in the bottom of the photo are stitched to the collar pieces. Seams created by this process are, in the end, concealed behind my back.
I've no interest in creating a boringly unpatterned cloak, so I painted the memory feather design on the center back of the cloak:
On either side I wanted Sakura's wings of memory to appear to fall from my shoulders.
Patterned first in newspaper:
Traced in tailor's chalk:
I unfortunately ran out of fabric paint before completing the design. Back in Boston I will be able to purchase more paint to finish the design. I really like how the wings turned out; I can't wait to see them when they're all painted and finished. If there's time, and if it works, I'd like to shade the design for a little bit of a 3-D effect. We'll see how that goes.
There's enough painting done that I was able to put together the cloak:
For the record, it is REALLY hard to keep a cloak like this on a mannequin without arms. I needed about ten minutes to set up this bloody shot.
I'm a little dissatisfied that the design isn't showcased better, but I knew that a lot of it wouldn't show just because of how I decided to make the cloak. There wasn't much to be done unless I wanted to buy more fabric for a circular cloak. That's a definite NO. I needs monies to buy stuff Anime Boston.
Over my ballgown with its large petticoats, however, the cloak spreads out beautifully. In the end I think it is a success!
Up and coming is a hair clip based on the ones in the Tsubasa artwork I posted at the beginning of this blog post. I made it in two pieces out of paper clay, and I'll post photos once it's far enough along that there's enough to write about!