Cosplayer Ali > Costume of Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHoLic
About this Costume
- Construction Details:
The kimono is modified from an off-the-shoulder dress pattern (the same one I used for Ariel) which Ashley helped drape on me so the collars would all lay flat.
The butterflies and circles were all satin-stitched onto black dupioni disks, which were then attached to the kimono and edged with a hand-stitched cording.
The corset is fully boned and my first time working with an outer layer, which is only attached at the top, bottom, and back so the boning casing channels wouldn't show through. It laces up the back (with 30 hand-pounded grommets) and annoys me because I can't get into it on my own. Ashley made me several yards of red silk bias tape to play with, which was hand-stitched to edge and decorate the corset. Ashley also found and painted the buckles for both costumes. One of my favorite aspects is that quilted fabric we found for the top of the corset, which matched our coral silk and had a butterfly pattern quilted into it. Corset may be my favorite part of the costume (after the wig).
It's only barely visible, but one of the parts I love on this one is the triangle print fabric on the innermost collar, which Ashley made for me. She carved a linoleum block and printed the triangle pattern, which turned out to be a bit more of a pain than expected because of how much we needed to make the collars curve.
Then, under there somewhere, are some thigh-highs that I attached a bit of lace to, and added buckles to the garter belt straps.
- Personal Thoughts:
- Oh, I wish I'd had more time for these. We started after recovering from Fanime, and were working mainly on whatever fumes remained after finishing the Geass costumes, and spent a lot of those rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing. Also, despite passing the wrinkle test we performed on it in the fabric district, the green fabric later proved to be a giant pain to work with and maintain. It still hangs really well, though.
- Styling Notes
- I'm really proud of this wig. It can be totally disassembled in about a minute. There's a headband-like structure made of plastic boning with two loops sewn together into prongs. (It's basically the same thing that supported my Robin wig, only this time pointing straight up.) The headpiece (made of a cut styrene sheet that was heat-shaped and painted gold) has two loops that slide over those prongs (with four loops for the detachable beaded strings, with the butterfly kanzashi on the end, which were another of Ashley's contributions), and then the fan hairpiece (foamie core, covered in felt, then wrapped with wefts from an Arda ponytail extension) slides on top to hold that down. I'm pretty sure I could cartwheels in the thing and the pieces wouldn't budge.
The two long strands on each side are leftover wefts from the ponytail, attached to clips and then attached to the wig. The shorter ones ended up getting sewn in, but the longer ones are detachable for storage and maintenance.
- Wig Review
- The Blue Steele really is a wonderful base wig. It's soft and thick and stays very smooth and takes to cutting extremely well. The cap does run a bit large, so I definitely need to make sure it's pinned pretty well or it has a tendency to shift, but the problems I run into with my Yuuko wig are almost entirely related to the long extensions and trying to maintain them.
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