October 20, 2015

Samurai Deeper Kyo's Hotaru cosplay progress part.1

What's up everyone?

I've started working on my next cosplay – Hotaru from Samurai Deeper Kyo!
I've been wanting to cosplay him ever since I first read the manga back in mid-late 2012. He's just such an awesome character so that, even after all these years, my cosplay wants didn't fade a single bit. SDK is one of my favorite shounen mangas and I wish that more people knew and cosplayed from it...

Now that I'm back in school and I got to continue my sewing classes I decided that it was finally time to make this cosplay into reality!
To start I went to check what fabrics mom had available on the 5th September. I don't want to buy fabrics if mom has usable ones in the attic because hey, free fabrics! o/

This time I was lucky! I found all the fabrics I needed, save for white cotton for the main kimono's body. This means that the only fabric I will actually need to go buy is the white fabric – and probably some fabric paint. 

Most cosplayers that I see online cosplay Hotaru with red pants and red collars on his white kimono. Personally I always viewed these parts as some middle-ground between orange and red. I honestly think that it looks a bit boring/bland when it's all only red (even his inner shirt is red) – I wanted to have a bit more variation, aka color. Because of this I decided to use a flaming reddish orange fabric for his pants and collars and besides, on some official art these parts do have an orange touch to them.. so I don't think that I'm being horribly inaccurate either. Huhuhu ~

SDK Hotaru reference.
So yeah, I started out by making his headband. Super easy; I just took some red rib knit fabric, folded the width in half and sewed it together.

After that it was time for the inner shirt. I used red linen for it. Actually the whole cosplay I made in school, during my handicraft classes, because why the hell not?
I decided to make the shirt as a sleeveless very loose-fitting top. I wanted it to kinda "hang" in the front (because that's how I always imagined it) so we cut the front pattern's upper part into pieces and spread it out for extra width.

I apologize for the crummy cellphone-quality photos ahead; I didn't have my SLR camera with me in school during this project. Most photos show the colors reaaaaally wrong.

Shirt pattern making going on.
I first did a mock-up prototype out of some scrap fabric to check if the shirt's front worked it did. I then cut out the front and back piece out of the linen fabric. After I had cut out the pieces I used the school's overlock machine to sew around all the edges (same purpose as zigzaging) and well, after that you don't use the overlock anymore. This is seemingly the professional/right way to do it, according to my teacher who has studied sewing in some proper school...

All the edges "zigzaged" with overlock.
Gotta love this thing, everything looks so neat!
With that done I sewed the shoulder and side seams closed, easy peasy. After that I noticed that because I had used a non-matching thread for the overlock the beige threads would show in the arm openings so, err, I had to hide that somehow. if you wonder why I simply didn't change for red overlock threads then that's because school's thread color choices are super limited... 
So yeah, I made some extra curved pieces (from my very last scrap pieces – talk about no fabric waste!) to sew onto the arm openings to hide the overlock seams. I have no idea what the proper name is for these. OTL

Sewing on the... things... whatever-they're-called.
I used the iron to get them to stay in place, aka on the shirt's inside. I put a wet rag on top of the spot that I wanted to iron and I then pinned the "flap" in place so that the seam would, after being ironed, be set on the inside. The iron I set to max heat (because linen) and then I just pressed it on the fabric and let it be still until the sizzling sound of the water/steam faded. After that was done I sewed them down at the shoulder and side seams (nowhere else, only two attachment points) so that they wouldn't flop over on the showing side and look ugly. I sewed exactly on top of the existing seams (on the right side) so that the seams holding the "curved arm pieces" would be close to invisible.

With that done I only had left to finish the hem and the collar. Nothing weird here – I just folded the edges in twice and sewed a straight stitch all around and then it was done.

Next up were the pants. My teacher didn't even bother to use a pattern for it, so I just scribbled some measures down and then she drew directly on the fabric and just cut the shit out. I'm not too sure how good of an idea this was because later on a lot of things ended up being different lengths; too long, too short, too narrow, not aligned etc.
Once again I started by using the overlock machine and sewing all around the edges on all pieces. Then, naturally, I sewed the crotch/butt seams. Next I put the side seams together and that's when I tried the pants on for the first time – just to notice that they barely went past my ass. It still worked but it was way too tight for comfort... and the meh part was that I had zero leftover fabric!
The pant legs were way too long – they were full length when they were supposed to only reach slightly below my knees. D: So yeah, I cut off like 30 cm from both legs and then, to get more width to the waist, I had to use the scrap fabric I had just gotten from the too-long-legs.

Pant legs shortened. (one piece spread out and put to the top)
I just cut up the side seams I had just done, to save time. I then cut the scrap pieces from the legs into triangles and sewed them to the sides of the pants.
Next up was sewing the waist; I left a gap so that I could thread the elastic ribbon through when done but oh boy did I rage on this. I basically just folded the top and sewed a straight stitch all around, leaving a hole for the elastic. Little did I know that doing this super simple task proved to be the most frustrating part of the whole pants. xD The fabric seriously was alive; it twisted and turned and made ugly bumps and folds all over and I had to pick up the seam ripper and undo the whole thing. I cursed the pants to the depths of hell lol.

Turned severed pant legs into triangles for extra width...
I had to do tacking stitches and iron the waist to get the fabric to lay still and well, it still managed to move around when sewing. Fuck you, fabric. Oh well, at least it turned out better than on my first run so I didn't rip it up again; it's still rather not-so-pretty on the inside (luckily it doesn't show on the outside) but whatever, no one's gonna see it except me so lolol.

Tacking threads on waist fold...
I hemmed the pant legs no problem and then I just ironed the seams open and my pants were done. Oh, and I had to cut off like 5 cm from each leg earlier because the front and back sides of the legs totally didn't match. >_> It was either cut the legs shorter or have the butt and crotch seams being horrrrrrrribly mismatched. By some miracle the pant legs were still, even after that forced shortening, a suitable length for Hotaru. What the heck man.

I'm not all that super pleased with the pants; I might redo them one beautiful day... if I can be bothered. But they'll suffice for now.

On the next Hotaru costume progress post I'll make both the inner and the outer kimono, the obi and possibly some of the other small details, like his ear decorations. See ya!


Mouru said...

Omg, I didn't think I'd see anyone doing sdk cosplays anymore :D I can't wait to see this <3 Makes me wanna do more cosplays from this series again, I still kind of want to cosplay Shinrei or Yuan (´ヮ`)

(You should've seen my reaction when I saw this post because I just started to read sdk again after many years, best timing!)

Shiro Samurai said...

Hrgsfds;sdgdsd I know right!?? I remember when I saw that you had done SDK cosplays I was fanboying so hard. ;w; I love this manga and I also want to cosplay several characters from it, Akira being one of those I plan to do as well!
DO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET~ It would be so awesome to see! <3

That's funny because I recently started rereading the manga too! :'D I'm so hyped about this cosplay! Join me in the SDK love! o/

Psst, random info: from what I've seen it seems like SDK cosplays are more popular/recognizable in Sweden than in Finland. I've seen Hotaru cosplayers, young Akira and at least one Benitora in Sweden. I think it might have to do with the fact that SDK manga was published in Swedish for many years ago... (I remember seeing the manga in stores!)