Cosplayer Jazqui > Costume of Maeda Keiji (Sengoku Basara 2)
About this Costume
- Construction Details:
I hand-painted all of the designs on the robe-thing, the waistpiece, and the sleeve, which took about nineteen hours and fifteen minutes total. I did it all with Jacquard pearlescent paint. The robe is the wrong side of some yellow satin, lined with a red floral brocade, with a roll of fur glued onto the seams because I forgot to sew it in when I was sewing it up. The main body of the shirt is a snakeskin-ish pleather that I would usually advise against using for costumes, but it worked in this case. The waistpiece and sleeve are both poplin, and I sewed it on top of the shirt with some piping in between. It obviously zips up the front, but I didn't leave enough slack, so I can't zip it up all the way or I can't breathe. Fortunately he doesn't seem to attach it all the way in a lot of scenes in the anime. Drafting the armhole/sleeve was an adventure, but I got it. The weird yellow shredded thing is 1/3 of a circle skirt and a ten-inch wide shoulder section of a robe (with the pieces that hang out of the yellow robe sewn on as a sleeve) attached to a waistband that ties on my other side, worn under the shirt so it's not visible.
The "hakama" are not historically accurate, but I figured Sengoku Basara is not really the epitome of historical accuracy, so I didn't make myself suffer. They're made from a blue-violet bottomweight (the only fabric I could find that I liked), and I tried to make them lighter by using RIT color remover for the first time (oops) and they ended up grey, so I dyed them more of a red-violet like I wanted.
The waist tie is made from two three-foot-long white cotton ropes, one of which I dyed black, and then I twisted them together and attached a red rope at the end to make the tassel. I glued red fringe along the edges of the rope. The horseshoe buckle is made out of foam board and Grecian gold Rub n Buff.
The arm and leg bracers are grommetted faux fur lined with cotton and lace up with leather lace. I drew the stripes in with Sharpie much like I used to in order to color faux fur I put on notebooks in grade school. The "waraji" are a pair of bamboo flip flops that I attached loops of string to so that I could lace them up properly. The tabi are made out of a cheap broadcloth because I started to give up on life after about 50 hours of labor on the costume.
Nene's charm is official merchandise that Gamie bought for me for Christmas two years ago. I replaced the cord because it wasn't long enough to wear, just long enough to use as a phone/purse charm. Chopsticks are from Ichiban Kan and painted red, and feathers are pheasant feathers.
The knee, back-of-hand, and thigh armor are all made from craft foam. The knee and hand armor is rub-n-buffed. The belts/bands of the thigh armor were spray painted, and I hand painted the front pieces with Jacquard pearlescent paints. The knee armor is fastened to my leg bracers.
- Personal Thoughts:
- I had wanted to make Keiji for two years, and I kept putting it off so I could brainstorm it more and prepare myself better. And I am SO glad that I did because my crafting skills have gotten exponentially better since I first got into Basara, and tbh the only one of the materials I initially bought for the costume (cause I got all of the fabric) I ended up using was the poplin for his sleeve. I needed that thinking time.
This costume is IMPOSSIBLE to walk in. Welcome to Basara, where the samurai are gay and your legs don't function. I'm looking to make a few fixes so that it's easier to move around in for the next con, probably involving adding cuffs to the pants so they stay on my legs/are slightly longer/stay in the bracers, fastening down the kneeguards, and finding a way to hold the thighguards in place.
I give this costume a "hard" and not a "very hard" if only because the costume wasn't THAT difficult so much as incredibly tedious and time-consuming, not to mention incredibly intimidating because of all the different pieces. But it was a lot of new experiences in terms of craftwork, and I am overall pleased with the results. Maybe next time I'll have made a sword or a Yumekichi.
- Styling Notes
- I cut the bangs and some sections of the actual ponytail and styled them into Keiji's spikes, though not as intensely as I could have. I cut the wefts of the ponytail apart and sewed them into the original wig and pulled them through a PVC pipe which I disguised with some fabric to use as his hair tie.
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