Tagged: learning curves

Learning Curves: Alicia, Part Two

Alicia. Why are you taking so long? Stop being so needlessly detailed and we’ll be friends. As said last time, this costume has the lovely tagline of “I have no idea what I am doing”, and this is still true. But somehow things are pulling together and she should be ready for Japan Expo this July!

Right now the costume is about 90% finished and there’s only a few things left now – some extra trimming/styling on the wig, making the belts, and finishing the gauntlets! They’re all annoying jobs but I can’t wait until they’re finished. Here’s the reference and how it’s looking so far;

tales-of-zestiria-playstation-3_212616 CI_90460_1402836403

Being perfectly honest the whole costume has been kind of frustrating, even things like the dress were a bit of an ache – sorting the patterning was hard and the square details were really messy and awkward to do but it has turned out tidy and as accurate as it can be for how many references there are. But it looks tidy!

The armour is coming along quite nicely, and the boots are now complete. They’re not as tidy as the gauntlets, but they look pretty neat for my first attempt, and they’re functional! (This still amazes me). The shapes were particularly hard to do since it needed to be fitted around the ankle and wider at the top, but once I figured them out it was pretty easy to assemble. Everything is made with craft foam and worbla.

10441077_638949586192088_4331832186543495626_n CI_90460_1402697665

Unfortunately a lot of the armour has been compromised because I’m running out of time, so the boots aren’t fully primed, but they will do for now and I can always smooth and respray them later if I need to. You can see them completed in the photo at the top. The plastic kind of digs into my knees… but it’s not all bad, at least it keeps my posture in check!

So now I’m on the final stretch which is awesome. The gauntlets are the only big job left, and they’re almost done too. To be honest I can’t wait until this costume is finished so I never have to look at worbla again!

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning Curves: Alicia

I’ve been considering using this blog for some more musings, and with my current project I figured there’s no better time. I’ve been working on Alicia from Tales of Zestiria, the newest Tales of title to be announced. The design is absolutely gorgeous and I figured it’d be a fun challenge to try and make something a bit different.

This costume has the tagline of “I have no idea what I am doing”. Quite rightly so. I am pretty confused how this costume is even working, to be honest. Not that I’m complaining!

So here’s an article with what she looks like:


I can sew things reasonably well and I usually make things with my own patterns, but this costume is different. Unlike most Tales of costumes I’ve made I don’t have a 3D model here and there are only a few references out right now, all of them with inconsistencies. There’s also armour on the costume which I’ve never tried before – I’m not very good at sculpting or making things with my hands, so it’s a pretty big costume project for me, especially considering how impatient I am.

So I figured I’d throw some progress up here to show how things are working out so far and to show the fruits of my labour so far!

10153814_618147648272282_3225446517328496452_n 1982164_619267561493624_8132577436780535195_n

So here’s the first bits of progress on the tunic and emblem; at first I painted the emblem and frankly it was a complete mess. So I scrapped it and embroidered it instead – it was machine embroidered in 12 seperate sections and had to be aligned bit by bit, which made it a long, difficult task, but the final result is pretty snazzy!

The tunic was patterned around the embroidered panel and is cut in one long piece including the front from an original pattern. The sleeves were also originally patterned to include the cut under the arm and the piping, which was pretty challenging but worked out nicely. This time spent on this tunic is probably the longest I’ve spent on a single garment for a costume and was a huge test of patience.

10250205_621569884596725_3094094025972334084_n 1509295_622073081213072_736093012948611719_n

And here’s some armour progress! So far these are the bracer panels. The base skeleton is made from yoga mat foam and covered in Worbla (available in the UK from Coscraft). Worbla is a heat activated mouldable thermoplastic material that hardens as it cools and is really easy to shape for armour or accessories. It’s my first time really using it on a big scale and it’s great stuff, a bit heavy when moulded but really sturdy and easy to use. It also moulds to itself so I’ve not used any glue here!

Once the armour shapes have been shaped I’ve been finger painting polyfilla onto each piece and smoothing it with water. Because the pieces are quite big altogether it’s taking a while but it’s turning out pretty nicely. Once the polyfilla has dried, I’m going to coat everything with a few layers of gesso and sand everything to smooth down the layers before spray painting the panels. It’s annoying waiting between layers, though, since the polyfilla and gesso take 2+ hours to dry per layer, and there’s tons to go!

The black panels at the top are made from clear sheets of thin polypropylene, which was spray painted black. This was also pretty terrifying. I tried making them from 3mm acrylic which went horribly wrong, whereas this stuff bends and paints and cuts so easily.


Hopefully things are gonna continue to go smoothly here, but I guess I’ll see. So far it’s pretty frustrating having to wait but I’m really excited to see how this costume turns out. I’m due to wear it at Japan Expo, Paris, this July, so I’ve got just over a month to go!!

…That and once it’s finished, I can finally say I’ve done an ‘armoured’ costume and never have to make one again!

Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments on Learning Curves: Alicia