maanantai 4. marraskuuta 2013

The making of Melty de Granite

It’s November already which means that World Cosplay Summit is only 9 to 10 months away. Which of course means that we have been tardy with updating our blog and other social media sites. We can (of course!) explain this all. It’s becoming dark here in Finland and only thing I wish to do is to wrap a blanket around myself and cosplay Swadloon. And play Pokemon X which has been an awesome game (praise Goomy!).
This is Swadloon. Isn’t it cute and grumpy?

Anyway. We still haven’t been updating anything about our preliminary costumes so within 72 hours, me and Maria will be making our separate entries of said costumes. Then we can finally move towards the WCS and plan for buttcapes and which creperies we will visit the most.

I agree.

I’m a great fan of the original tsundere-kyara type. By this I mean characters who begin  as  angry, cold or even borderline violent but when the series progress turn into a more gentle and even affectionate (like certain red-headed girl from PEI and such). In recent years however tsundere archetype has lost its most important thing - transition - and now tsundere girls (and certain boy characters) are nothing but blushing and hitting bunch of unbalanced behavior.  Which I rather dislike as the softness should be permanent thing not something that comes and goes. Girl tsunderes usually share the same traits: flat as a board (and very insecure of it), lots of hair, small build and an ego bigger than Moon.
I like this

I don't like this (a Kuroneko is fine though)

My initial reaction towards Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan –anime series was a mix of amusement and disbelief. Character designs were cute as Tony Taka’s usually are and the theme of the series was funny: they bake bread and it’s a very serious thing (well, not as serious as in Yakitate Japan but that’s a different thing). But it isn't actually a very good series as directing is somewhat lacking and anime rarely manages to capture the feeling of visual novelish games (which Shining Hearts is). It still had few good themes in it and the whole package was enjoyable at least.

Buy our bread please!

The episode in which the character I cosplayed, Melty de Granite, appeared was the fifth of the series and as a character, she seemed to be a rather typical modern tsundere: always a bit angry but not really. Her violent outbursts were very mild and towards her loyal manservant (or rather floating… ehm… creature?) Sorbet. Not towards a poor guy with personality flatter than a doormat.  What got me into the character was actually Sorbet, not Melty herself. First I made a 1:1 plush of said flying butler-thing and after that the costume.

He is so adorable!

When WCS-prelims approached, we decided on these costumes as they are from series that isn’t too hard for the audience to understand.  Melty and Maxima also share a few similar parts of clothing (namely the capelet and gloves). So, while being very different, Melty and Maxima still work very well together). And with a nice idea for the skit everything was settled.
Maxima on the left, Melty on the right

Now I have told you everything about the series and motives behind the costume, so onwards to the most interesting part - cosplay itself.

My Melty has six different pieces of clothing:

-          dress (pink and black parts are sewed together)
-          small capelet 
-          socks
-          gloves
-          shoes

The dress, as mentioned, is made of two parts: the overdress and underskirt which have been attached to each other to ensure that the underskirt won't move anywhere. For the overdress I used some sort of party satin they sell in a local fabric store chain Eurokangas. 

This company. They also sponsored us a gift cards for fabrics fow WCS! This is a shameless advertisement!

I’m not a fan of shiny fabrics (aiming for the natural look even in cosplay) so I turned the fabric over and made the dress with wrong side up. I think I bought 1,5 to 2 kilos of the fabric which means around 5 meters or so of it. The underskirt is made of 5 meters of pink taffeta, 13 meters of horsehair braid (to ensure the fluffiness of the ruffle) and to support everything, there is 5 meters of non-bridal-kind of tulle under these layers. There is no zipper on the dress and wearing the dress is possible when the front ribbon is loosened. It wasn’t a very nice dress to put on. Really. Never again.

The hat and the capelet thing (keep?)  are made of same fabric as the dress. The hat is made of yoga mat that has been glued and then taped together. The initial size of the hat was much bigger than the finalized product but after thinking about moving around the convention center, I decided on a smaller hat (which is quite large still). The hat was then covered with black fabric and underneath of the hat with color changing lilac taffeta. On top of the hat I added a big hot pink bow and ribbon and self-embroided lace (as nothing sold in the fabric stores quite matched the reference pictures).  Then 3 meters of gathered pink taffeta were sewn under the hat. I really loved my hat and I think other people liked it too.  

The first version with my everyday boater hat
 Working on it... completed!

Small parts were actually the most hardest part of the cosplay. Gloves I made of stretchy stocking material and added lace (eBayed from South Korea, I think. Or from China) and pink taffeta ruffles on top of them. I have never liked making the gloves and those are my weakest point in cosplay. I appreciate those people who can make their gloves look good.

For the shoes I recycled an older pair of sandals I had bought for cosplay. Those shoes were absolutely perfect if you don't count the colour (beige) until I noticed that decorative straps were not as they were supposed to be. So everything had to be remade. The closuring mechanism for the shoes wasn't that well planned but with silicon tape and few other tricks they were able to stay in their supposed place. Accessories were mostly bought from internet. For the ears I used best ever latex ears made by Aradani Studios  and for fake earrings (I don't have any piercings so real earring were out of limits) I bought larger heart trinkets from eBay.
Not a quality picture

The wig was also a rather curious thing: white wigs rarely fit me well as my skin has yellow undertone which makes the combination of skin and wig very awkward. The "silver white" (search by these words in eBay) color was perfect for my Nordic skin color and I recommend it highly for anyone with yellowish skin. I combined two wigs for added fluffiness and the result was better than I expected.

I really don’t want to estimate the price of the costume so let's say it cost too much. After everything I can honestly say that it took around 80 hours to make this costume but as I made one bit there and another here,it didn't feel that long.

Now, have a meringues. Receipe is from Not Quite Nigella.


Thank you for reading (or watching the pictures, whatever). Now let's hope for Maria to post her entry!

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