cosplay · cosplay sewing · FOs · sewing · sewing tutorial

making a cosplay: Taako {part 1}

Due to finding a bunch of super cool cosplay pages on Instagram, I’ve started sewing my own cosplays in the past couple months. (Hard to believe it’s already the middle of March. Yikes.) So far, I’ve made a kimono and a yukata, and I have many, MANY more plans as the months go on.

Right now I’m on spring break, so I have one gloriously blessed week to sew to my heart’s content. I was planning on starting on a bit of 18th century wardrobe sewing (because that’s my newest obsession), making a fur trimmed cloak, a red suede vest, and a blue Regency gown. Then through a text conversation with my sister, we started planning a cosplay for her.

Actually, I started planning it (basically steamrolling over her with my enthusiasm for the project) as she just nodded and went along with it and paid for the fabric. Teamwork at its finest.

Her cosplay is Taako, a character from the Adventure Zone podcast. I know very, very little about it but I do know he’s an elf wizard thing with an…interesting fashion sense, a fancy hat, and an umbrella. Beyond that, no clue. HeyCutSew has a pattern for a Taako cosplay, but because I wanted to get it done this week and can’t wait for a month of shipping time (and I’m broke), I decided to wing this. It’s either going to be really great or really awful. I’m hoping it’s the former.

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I decided to start with an apron style skirt. I had an idea for how I wanted it to go: two pieces of fabric that would tie together at each hip, hanging about to the knee/mid-thigh.

She choose two colors of fabric and the plan changed to make it reversible, still tying at the hips. (The other two fabrics are for the hat lining and her cloak, which I’ll be working on today. After my own cloak.)

The fabric is a Silky Solids from Joann, in a teal and a gold. (For some reason, my camera hates the teal and it looks like a medium blue in almost every picture, but there is actual natural light for the first time in months so I’m not going to complain too much.) It’s about 42 inches wide and we got a yard of each. I cut each piece in half on the fold line.

I had to decide how to bring it in at the waist while still being able to make it reversible. I thought about gathering it at the waist but that would make it really bulky. Then I thought about pleating. I pinned one big box pleat at the front and showed my mum to get her opinion. Neither of us really liked it, so I changed to two smaller reverse box pleats on either side of the center point.

When I say reverse box pleat, I mean I made two box pleats then flipped the fabric over to the reverse side. This worked because of the type of fabric it is doesn’t really have a right or wrong side.

I tried to make the pleats about even. 4in from the center to the middle of the pleat, 3in wide pleats, and about 5in from the side to the center of the pleat. It worked…decently well.

I cut the twill tape into fourths for the waist ties. I think they came out to about 28in?

I basted each pleat before sewing the two pieces together. This fabric is slick enough, I didn’t want to be fighting with my pleats while sewing. I also switched to the lightest needle I owned because my machine is incredibly fond of eating fabric and breaking needles.

I pinned each piece wrong sides together, pinning the ties in each corner, and sewed around the whole thing. I left a 3in wide hole in the side so I could flip it.

After sewing and turning, I top stitched around the whole thing. I made sure to triple reinforce the sewing over the ties, since they’re going to be taking the most stress.

I had surprisingly few problems sewing with this awful silky fabric. I think it’s because I made sure to change needles, sewed with a big stitch and loose tension. I also was smart and used a different color for the bobbin and the spool, matching the colors of the fabric pretty well.

After I finished both sides, I tried the apron skirt on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit the way I originally planned for. I didn’t pleat it down far enough so each panel is enough to cover the entire front of me. My hips are wider than my sister’s, so I’m hoping it doesn’t just swallow her. Here’s a couple pictures with both panels tied on, one color over each hip.

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Overall, for a pattern I completely winged and just flew by the seat of my pants with and sewed in an afternoon before work, I’m actually really happy with it. Hopefully my sister likes it and doesn’t wear the acid yellow, fur trimmed coat she bought over my lovely sewing. My hopes aren’t high on that front.

Empress of China · FOs · hats · knitting

FO: empress of china hat

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As I’ve said before, I’ve been on a hat knitting kick recently. With one just finished, three more on the needles, and several more planned, it’s safe to say I’m addicted to hat knitting. They’re just so versatile! Any weight yarn, any size needle, any pattern, and you’re bound to get a nice hat.

One of my WIPs is a pair of gray and red boot socks. I finished the first one and had a decent amount of yarn leftover. The hat sort of…spontaneously jumped on the needles. I honestly have no idea how it happened. It’s some kind of knitting magic, I tell you.

At first I was simply going to knit with the gray marl, which would’ve made a nice but kind of plain hat. Then I remembered I had a small amount of coral yarn that I had dyed with kool-aid a few years back. It wasn’t enough for a hat on its own, but it certainly made a lovely stripe! I used every single bit of the coral. It looks so much nicer than the gray would’ve alone. The color is truer in the top and bottom pictures.

{Yarn is Patons Worsted, pattern is Ribbed Cap from One Skein Wonders}