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Cosplayer Enkai > Costume of Madam Red (Black Butler)

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Black Butler
Madam Red
Year Completed:
Construction Difficulty:
Fanimecon 2009 Best Chroreography
Costume worn at:
Anime LA 2011
FanimeCon 2009
Permanent Link:
About this Costume
Construction Details:
As with too many of my costumes, I "finished" enough for masquerade, then finished for real later. And even then, I'm not quite finished because I want to remake the skirt, vest, and cravat. Because I'm insane.

I went decided to go with the anime/last Madame Red chapter manga outfit mostly because having my husband as shinigami Grell in tow presented some good photo opportunities (and since it's all she wears in the anime sans ball dress, we can still do photo ops when my husband loses the wig to do normal Butler Grell). Also, I love the coat. It more ended up as anime version because I also loved the hat, so this way I could have both!

The skirt and the current vest were made from Joann's Casa crepe in bordeaux. The tiers on the skirt were cut as circles; this was anticipation of our dance skit. I wanted the skirt to have as much movement as possible, and I love how circle skirts spin when moving. I actually made a corset for this costume, not that'd you see it, and I fit the coat and vest over top of it. (and then I lost enough weight that the corset doesn't do anything any more, so I bought a second corset...part of the reason for wanting to remake the vest).

One cool part of the vest was that I used some casa satin in the same color for the collar to add a little texture difference. I had some extra of that fabric lying around from my Miria (Baccano!) costume, I like how that came out.

The coat was constructed from wool suiting with black silk trim (as well as the bow). The biggest story behind that was from dying it. I ordered the wool online, and it turned out way too bright for how I wanted the costume. I've dyed fabric before, so I just figured "eh, it's a natural fiber" and ordered darker red dye. However, the process for dying wool is not the same as cotton, and I needed a stove top. Unfortunately, the pot I had was not big enough to really be able to get the fabric to move around as I wanted, so the dye job ended up horribly splotchy. I had to get really creative with cutting the parts so as not to have any splotches show. If you look closely, you can still see some of the panels are slightly different colors than the others, although I think it just adds to the texture.

The black silk had a striped texture to it, and I really like how that came out with the wool suiting.

The hat is really my crowning achievement of the costume though. That thing was scratch built from a wool+acrylic blend felt. It, like the suiting, was also *way* too bright, so I tried dying it with the same dye I used for the suiting (not the same dye bath though). Unfortunately, there wasn't enough wool to actually change the color. I got the idea to do a sharpie dye bath similar to how people sharpie dye wigs. I think I used 10 sharpie markers and close to a gallon of rubbing alcohol, but I finally got it done and enough that it wouldn't rub off.

I then expanded a wig head to the size of my head in a wig with some paper clay. Using that as a base, I used a fabric steamer and steamed the felt to shape it over the wig head, giving it an actual curved shape. I did two layers like this, and sewed it to a large brim lined with thick interfacing, and then sewed the trim on. The fabric starch I used didn't last very long, so I eventually made the shape permanent with fabric stiffener. I'm so proud of that thing.

My shoes change at every con. I did some boot covers for the initial Fanime appearance that were horribly uncomfortable and apparently made of too-thin vinyl that they basically fell apart. The next few times I brought out the costume, I just used some nice business-style pumps. Next time I bring it out, I'm ordering some cool Victorian spat-style red boots I found on Amazon. I'm just hoping I don't have to paint the red darker like I have with just about everything. >>
Personal Thoughts:
This was another one that got chosen because of our cosplay group (we were doing a dance skit with couples' dancing, and we were trying to pair actual couples as best as possible; my husband was cast as Grell). But I look damn good in red, so I was happy to oblige. XD
Wig Details
Wig Brand
Cosworx / Cosplay.com
Wig Name
Original Color:
Styling Time
2 hours or so?
Wig Quality Rating
3 / 5.00
Styling Notes
This was a pretty simple wig, really. Madame Red's got a blunt cut, so I didn't have to do much to get the cut to look natural. The most difficult part was at the front of the wig. The Wisp wig I used wasn't quite long enough in the front. Fortunately, my husband's Grell wig (as well as a Yoko wig I was working on) were ordered in the same color, so I just sewed up a couple wefts from some hair I cut out one of those wigs, can't remember which one. I then sewed them into the front of the wig, mimicking Madame Red's hair part. But beyond then, not too bad.
Wig Review
Wig was pretty normal. I like the Coscom color blends quite a bit, but the quality's really only mediocre. Kanakelon fiber. That wig line's not available anymore, so it's not like it really matters. I avoid shopping coscom anyway after what happened when I was ordering a new Grell wig for my husband.
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