Chi by the Numbers:
- 328,020 stitches in the skirt embroidery alone - that’s 2.6 miles of thread
- 24 hours to embroider and trim skirt and bodice
- 4 hours patterning and cutting out fabric
- 12 hours sewing
- 3 hours applying grommets
- 5 hours designing & printing on 3D printer
- 8 hours sanding & painting accessories
- 2 hours styling wig
- Total costume construction time: 57 hours
To make this dress even more special, Chi was made with leftover silk from my wedding dress.
Pictures courtesy of SkyKing Cosplay & Photography for the photoshoot, and David Troeh for the con floor shot.Learn More
I created this Magica De Spell dress from the DuckTales universe for a commissioner to wear to Zenkaikon 2014. It's made of high-quality Monece satin. I modified McCall's 2041 pattern by lengthening the sleeves, adding cuffs, and creating the scalloped hem.
Photos courtesy Anna Muchia and DeathCom Multimedia.Learn More
Best in Show, Snowflake KC, 2/2/14
Best in Show, ConQuesT KC, 5/24/14
Best Workmanship in the Master Class, Archon St. Louis, 10/4/14
This flash suit from the 2013 film Ender's Game is the most ambitious costume I've attempted to date. Between gathering reference images, drafting patterns and construction, I spent more than 80 hours on the suit - and that doesn't include the armor!
The boot covers were made from scratch by a process known as draping. Simply put, I taped butcher paper onto a base shoe and duct tape dummy leg until it looked right, then drew pattern lines and used those pattern pieces to make the final product. The cover has a velcro closure, so I can easily tie the shoe underneath.
I'm still not quite sure how I pulled off the gloves. They were made from scratch as well, and I only used draping on the wrists to get the right shape.
A friend drafted a form-fitting leggings pattern for my Vanellope costume, so I reused it to make these pants. I drew the appropriate shapes on the pattern, cut them out, and used those as pattern pieces.
The jacket was based on Simplicity pattern 2341. I traced the pattern onto butcher paper, assembled it with Scotch tape, put it on my mannequin and traced out applique shapes, just like the leggings. The primary challenge with the jacket was its stiffness and bulk. I used Aleene's Stretchable Flexible Fabric Glue to attach Peltex (think super dense quilt batting that holds its shape) to the silver spandex, then appliqued each piece onto the base jacket. The darker gray, rubber-looking bits are actually pieces of a yoga mat stitched to the base coat.
The shoulder and knee armor were carved from Styrofoam and coated in Apoxie Sculpt to ensure a smooth finish. We then vacuformed the masters to make the final pieces, and fiberglassed the insides for stability. We used epoxy putty to attach the armor to the jacket and leggings.
The neck armor was made with a combination of papercrafting and wirework. After the master was complete, we vacuformed it as well. See a video of the vacuforming process here.
My husband designed the flash gun in Sketchup, then 3D printed all the components. He designed custom electronics to make the side spinners and the bulb at the end light up. Check out the video of the gun in action here.
The helmet was the biggest challenge of the whole costume. After my husband helped me make a plaster head cast, I used plasticene clay to sculpt a helmet. I then used Rebound 25 brush-on rubber to make a mold of the clay base, and cast the helmet in resin. We vacuformed the face plate, and the Dragon Army emblem on the back is a vinyl decal printed for us by a friend.
Visit my Pinterest board for reference shots and construction photos.Learn More
I created this Blue Mage costume for a bridesmaid in a Final Fantasy themed wedding. (I also made Quistis and Fang costumes for the wedding.)
The shirt and leggings were made from a modified pattern out of stretch cotton. Since the fabric was not available in the exact color we wanted, I dyed it with Rit.
The overcoat was also made from a modified pattern - primarily changed for the collar and cuffs. It is made from cotton twill, cling-free polyester lining, and lots of fusible interfacing!
The hat was made from scratch, since I couldn't find a good sailor hat pattern. The feather was the biggest challenge, since it has such a distinctive shape; I accomplished that by gluing the feather to a thick wire bent at just the right angle, then attached the whole thing to the hat.
The scarf, brooch, belt, pouches and tights were provided by the commissioner.Learn More
I made this costume of Aeris Gainsborough from the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in 2009. It is completely screen-accurate, down to the jacket's fabric (do you know how hard it is to find maroon denim?), buttons and seam lines. The flower basket was made by my husband.
Photograph courtesy of Flickr user wcm777.Learn More
I made this Quistis cosplay for a bridesmaid at a Final Fantasy themed wedding. (I also made Blue Mage and Fang costumes for the wedding.)
Instead of the traditional black SeeD uniform, we opted to make hers in shades of blue more appropriate to a wedding. The jacket and skirt are made from cotton twill edged with homemade satin bias tape. I doodled the design for the lapels, then scanned the design to create an embroidery file. I also made the tie.
I designed and 3D printed the tie clip, then printed and applied a Balamb Garden sticker to it, and sealed everything with varnish.Learn More
I made this Fang costume for a bridesmaid at a Final Fantasy themed wedding. (I also made Blue Mage and Quistis costumes for the wedding.)
Fang's wrap is made from silk dupioni, and all the details were hand painted with the help of a stencil my husband designed and 3D printed. He also created and 3D printed the buckles on her belt.
The bustier was made from a heavily modified pattern, and the arm guards were made from scratch, both with faux leather. I used cotton twill and 1/4" cotton cord to create the ribbed belt.Learn More
This ball gown, made for Naka-Kon's formal ball in 2015, was designed by the client. The ribbons posed an interesting challenge, as I had to find something that would stand straight up without support. I ended up using wired ribbon with the wire removed, because the sturdy edging helped the ribbon keep its curled shape, but the wire itself would have snagged the delicate satin.Learn More
I made this costume from the main character of the PS3 game "Journey" in 2014. The poncho was based on a cloak pattern, and the cowl was drafted from scratch. I made 3D printed stencils for the yellow portions of the costume, and used Jacquard fabric paint to fill them in.
This costume took approximately 4 hours to cut and sew, and approximately 13 hours of hand painting from start to finish!Learn More