November 28, 2015

Samurai Deeper Kyo's Hotaru cosplay progress part.2

Oh hiya!

I've started working on my next cosplay namely Hotaru from Samurai Deeper Kyo. On this here second part I'm gonna go through the making of his two kimono and the "obi" (sash). :) If you missed the first part of the progress you can read it here: part.1 progress post

I started out by making the inner kimono. It's always pictured with some kind of chequered pattern, so that's what I went for. I picked a close enough fabric from mom's attic (because eff yeah, free fabric!) that is white with dark red small chequered design all over it. I would have preferred an orange fabric but mom didn't have any... Oh well, if it starts bothering me in the future I can always just sew another one.

Hotaru, as seen in the manga.
His inner kimono rarely shows more than just the collars peeping out. I decided to make a very basic kimono pattern (even though it's not really needed since it's all just rectangles, more or less) just to have it for future projects, to save some time and headache.
I decided to make the sleeves short –like on a martial arts gi– to save fabric and make it easier to wear; they won't ever show anyway lol. So yeah, I just cut out all the pieces and started by overlocking all around the edges on everything.

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 inaccurately.

This is all the patterns I needed for the (knee-length) kimono. The biggest piece
is the body panels (only half of actual length), okumi panel, collar piece
and sleeve. Note that the sleeves are budo gi style.
I then just naturally continued by sewing the pieces together, starting with the back seam and then the sleeves. I had some problems with the point where the sleeves meet the body, aka the armpits; for some reason I just can't get this area neat no matter what I do – it's the bane of my sewing existence lol. >_> Oh well. At one point I couldn't work more because I didn't have any interfacing fabric so yeah, I had to wait until I got that from mom before I could fix the collar. I decided to do the sash meanwhile so that I wouldn't waste any class time.

Fabric for the obi/sash.
Nothing to say about the making of this – I just took a long strip of fabric (the whole fabric bolt width) that was approximately 15 cm wide, folded it in half and sewed it shut after zigzaging around the edges. Oh and yeah, I had been to the fabric store earlier and I had found this perfect orange chequered fabric and guess what? >u< The best part was that it was on a permanent sale for only a puny 3 € per meter, zomfg!!
I had not seen it before in the store Eurokangas, y u hide stuff from me? but I obviously bought it for the obi on the same go when I went to fetch white cotton twill for Hotaru's main kimono there anyway. I was wondering if I shouldn't buy the orange fabric for his under kimono too (because it's so cheap) and make another one...?? I can't decide!

But yeah, back to the inner kimono. Because I started with rectangles for the body panels I had to make room for the collar so that it would fit. I cut two slits into the shoulders on the very top of the front side. I later rounded the whole collar area, using the slits as reference, so that the collar would fit nicely.

Slits cut for the collar placement.
I went to pick up some interfacing fabric and some orange fabric for Hotaru's outer kimono's collar. Of course I picked the same orange fabric that I had used for his pants on the earlier post.
But yeah, next time in class I continued to sew the inner kimono. I started by ironing on the interfacing fabric to the collar and then I sewed on the okumi panels to the front. After that I sewed on the collar and cut off the excess when I reached the end point. The raw ends of the collar I just folded inside and ironed in place so yeah, the bottom ends are not actually sewn shut.

Collar end folded inside and sewing.
Lastly I fixed the hem and then ironed all the seams open, for a nicer finish. I noticed when done that this kimono ended up shorter than I had first thought – it barely falls to my hips. This is actually not a problem because I'm just gonna tuck in the hem into the pants anyway so yeah, the less fabric there is the less bunchy, unfomfortable and ugly it will look. :'D But yeah, what I hadn't thought about was that because of the short length the collars are shorter too, which just miiiiiiiiiight be a problem. I can't tell just yet – I need to try everything on once finished to be able to judge.

After school I went to buy fabric paint in town for the Yin-Yang symbols on Hotaru's main kimono's sleeves and well, much to my lack of luck there were like all the colors except fucking orange. I mean, there were even several different shades of "light skin" colors (the pale peach-y shades) but not a single orange. Are you kiddin' me? -.- I don't know what's with this cosplay – nothing goes as I had planned it, not even the easy things that I should be able to do in my sleep go without errors! #badluckcosplay

Art from one of the "chapter pages" (163 to be precise) in the manga.
I'm assuming that this one is a fan coloration though...
I settled for buying a shade called "chestnut" which is like... err, if that's the color of chestnut then I've never seen a chestnut in my whole life lol. ._. It's a dark orange, close to the reference photo above (that's why I'm showing it) but with a very slight hint of brown. It was the only color available that was even sort of reminiscent of orange lol. It sucks to live in a small town where there's little to choose from when it comes to crafty stuff.
The thing is that because I'm doing the manga version of Hotaru the colors are inconsistent as hell – on some photos those sleeve symbols can be red, on the next bright orange and on the third a "sketchy" style filled-in gray. My personal preference is leaning towards orange so orange it is; luckily I already have some white fabric paint at home so I can lighten the orange paint, if needed.

Back at school I cut out the pieces for the white kimono using the patterns I had made earlier. I decided to make the sleeves really long since Hotaru's sleeves vary in length from panel to panel but yeah, most times they do look wide and flowy. I also wanted to have biiig sleeves because it's awesome. Period.

Flowy sleeves are flowy.
What has harder to find out though was what shape his sleeves had – on most images it was impossible to make out what the bottom shape of the sleeves were. I thought for the longest time that his sleeves narrowed down to pointy tips but yeah, I wanted to be sure so I started scrolling through the manga. After staring at countless images of Hotaru and thinking it through I decided to go for square sleeves on my cosplay of him, mainly because that's how real kimono sleeves are. I could just as well have opted for doing more fantasy-like pointy sleeves (it's not like Hotaru is the only one who took some liberties from "kimono rules"!) but nah, I'd rather do a bit more of a "what if Hotaru was a liiiiiiiiittle bit more accurate" approach. Hahah. Well... that accuracy thing gets thrown in the wall anyway because of his sword and tengu geta, but we'll get to that maybe later.

I even made a quick comparison collage!

Open in full-size to get bigger version.
Oh, and this is of course just how I personally interpret and view his sleeves on every single image I decided to use; you might view them differently and that's okay too ~

But hey, I had just enough fabric to get all the parts I needed (2 meters) with no scrap pieces left, phew! Before starting to sew anything together though I decided to paint the Yin-Yang symbols on his sleeves; I did this at home because, ironically enough, I'd have more table space for painting in my ridiculously tiny apartment than on the big shared table in the sewing class. ._. I also dislike being stuck sitting between two other strangers and having their stuff scattered around mine on the table so that I can't rotate my fabric –and move around the table– to get the best painting angles...

Yin-Yang design sketched onto the sleeves. I used those circular
objects to get perfect circles ~
Painted sleeves, booyah!
Because I didn't have a perfect fabric paint color I was constantly mixing the dark orange with white while I painted on the fabric. I always did the orange first and then took some white and blended it in before the paint had time to dry – this made the end result look more lively because it's not all just a single shade. :) I'm satisfied with the outcome. Oh, and I of course set the paint after it had dried completely by ironing on the "wrong side", 5 minutes per sleeve.

Hmmm...
I'm starting to feel like this post is getting long (no shit Sherlock!) so I'm just gonna split it once more and save the rest for a third part. ^^ I'll maybe include some wig testing on the next part so stay tuned!

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