Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Idea and the Hunt

Some months ago, I saw the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Ever since, the themes of the show and relationships between the characters have been rolling around in my head, helped by me poking around the internet to read more about the ideas behind the franchise. A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at Madoka cosplay, which gave me the urge to make dolly cosplay. Deciding what clothes I wanted to make was simple, I'd make the school clothes and Homura's magical girl outfit. The former as I have a fondness for uniforms, and the latter as i liked how simple it was compared to the other magical girl outfits. Also, I think it has a strong resemblance to the school uniform.

With those choices out of the way, it was time to find reference pictures. Much to my vexation, the Madoka wiki wasn't the easiest site to access, it would often show an error page if I clicked on it. I resorted to Google image searches, which are far from efficient and took multiple tries to find everything I needed. Full frontal photos were easy enough, closeups not so much, and pictures of the back were decidedly tricky. Also making things complicated was trying to find official rather than fan art in order to get a more accurate look. Hardest of all was getting a decent image of Homura's inner collar. Some pictures and cosplays made it look like it was standing, but as it turns out the collar lies flat.

Here are the pictures I found, in case others want the references.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Joy of Fluff

This is something I made Linnea a while ago, when I was on a 1838-1840 kick. I'm aware that this is painfully specific, but I was intrigued by the sleeves that were in vogue at the time. The bodice decorations can be fascinating too.

This is the second dress of this time period I made. The first dress didn't have the delightfully puffy sleeves I was hoping for, so I hoped to make up for it in this one. The sleeves are cut into four pieces, tight upper sleeves, a cuff, big full lower sleeves and a ruffle to hide the join. It backfired a little in that the lower sleeves are too long and collapse upon themselves. Not the sort of look I wanted. Oh well.

The bodice has dropped shoulder and six pieces, with center back and side back pieces, and two parts in front. For this I added a box pleated ruffle. The skirt is plain and fluffs out wonderfully.

Beneath is a petticoat of plain white mystery fabric filled out with gathered panels of lace. By now I am fairly certain that tiered ruffled petticoats weren't period to this time, but it does the job well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Art of Pillaging

This was an interesting outfit to make. My swap partner had a long list of things she would like to receive. The short of it was an East Indian influenced steampunk pirate set of clothes. Other details included lots of brown, not much black, with maybe a hint of red and orange. The cut should be loose and baggy to allow for movement, hats and scarves, with pockets and pouches aplenty for storage. Gears, buckles, embroidery, steampunk style squids and octopi, and prop knives were also welcome.

As I don't have much brown fabric on hand, I bit the bullet and bought a yard of brown synthetic. After looking at some Victorian and Edwardian era East Indian clothes, I had a rough idea of how the designs should be, which was thankfully geometric. That made patterning and assembly much simpler.