01 December 2012

The Making of Saber Bride Costume

Today we have the cosplayer Conjurer who cosplay the Saber Bride to share with us how he did the Saber's costume.

* Photo credit to Jason Elpheus Wong

Now over to Conjurer.

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The whole costume started off at the drafting of the torso area. No sewing template is used here (I have never used those). The material you see here (and throughout most of this walkthrough) is furniture-grade faux leather. Drafting a piece of garment with no other aid and special rulers, requires precise measurements and geometric calculations. Due to the large chest forms (of Nero) and rigid nature of the material, the general axis for the draft have to be tilted to compensate for the limitations.


After working on it for about a day or two, this is the result after assembling the pieces from the previous picture. It is now tight fitting when E-cup sized augmentations are equipped. Since the original design of the character costume is a form-fitting body suit, I have to make my sleeves as small as possible unlike most garments having two times the allowance. This causes skin abrasion, a small sacrifice for the look.


Next is to add zip, black leather edging, and grey laces. This process is a little tricky since the materials have different consistencies, and are generally narrow and hard to hold together while running them through the sewing machine. I redid this two times to get it look neater.


More drafting, this one is actually one half of the pants area. This is one of the hardest part to both draft and sew. The cutting have to be optimized to look female, meaning that the crotch area have to be higher. It's kind of uncomfortable to wear, but then again, a little sacrifice for the look.


Pants and torso connected together to form a bodysuit. Due to the rigidity of the leather, the stitches at the cross junction between the four segments of the pants is extremely difficult. It almost couldn't go under the pressing foot of the sewing machine. Another challenge is having to put the entire highly-resistant garment through the limited space within the sewing machine, just to attach the pants to the torso segment. I broke only about three needles or so for the outfit, mostly when I was working on this part. These took me about another day or two.


These are belts made from the same leather as the rest of the suit. Made by sewing the leather around interfacing strips, then adding the buckles and reinforced with eyelets. The process is fairly easy, except for the tiresome and repetitive riveting of the eyelets.

The above gold belt is made out of two different designs of gold ribbons wrapped around a bigger interfacing strip. Truthfully, the reason for combining the ribbons was only to expand the surface area to the right size. I personally feel that improvisation is reasonable, even more so when we don't want to waste, or have limited resources. The ribbons are the leftovers from my previous costume of Mami Tomoe.

The cuffs are decorated with organza ribbons around the edges. This is again, quite easy to make, and I learnt that I could use UHU glue to paste the organza ribbon onto the leather to aid with the sewing process


The collar is decorated with pleated ribbons, laces, and organza ribbons, again with the pasting before stitching.


The boots are made by parts salvaged from a pair of high heeled shoes, and the usual set of other materials seen throughout the whole process. Dismantling the shoes took me half the day (had to be very careful) and lots of thinner. Then I spray-painted the base before gluing it onto the rest of the boots. Contact glue is used here. It is a pity that, due to a lack of time and materials, I could not redo the boots. The cutting is actually wrong, though I could still wear it.



The gold skirting is made by pasting laces onto a netting, then spray-painted gold. These are laces that I bought at the budget corner of the shop. Since I need a much more complex design, I folded the lace to look the part. One flaw in using this method is the hardening and warping of the improvised laces after some time. The preparation of the complex laces took about two days.


This is a diagram of the sword "Aestus Estus", which I drew using a vector-based software. It is printed out 1:1 scale on paper for me to work on the blueprint for the insides.

These are the two sides of the outermost shell of the sword. Made by tracing the blue print on a PVC sheet and then cutting it with a pair of scissors. The folds are made by scoring the sheets with a penknife, then folding them. Since PVC is prone to scratch and snapping, it is safer to bend or fold it carefully by hand, but with much difficulty.


Added a spine which consists of PVC pieces, 2 x metal rods, corrugated plastic board strips, glued together by silicone. Bending the metal rods was quite challenging especially at the points where the angles are steep. Once bent, you cannot undo it in the direction from where it previously was. The rods will become fragile and they break. I had to bend two of these rods until they have identical shapes, which took me quite a bit of time and patience. I broke one of the rods in the process and had to redo. The base of the pommel added here is a copper pipe.


Added white LED strips and circuit box. Decorated the pommel with craft foam. Frosted the interior of the sword's shell to increase diffusion of the light by spraying the interior with matte lacquer. After that, it's just sealing up the sword with the other half of the shell and some silicone, followed by the stenciled and spray-painted decal.


The gold skirting is attached and pleated onto the gold belt by segmented velcro strips. Since there is a variety of materials use in the accessories around the waist, I made them modular. the skirting and flare can be removed from the belt for maintenance.


The flaring skirting is made by wrapping organza and netting around craft wires for support. A large portion of this is made by pasting the layers of fabric together with UHU glue. This is done on a ceramic floor so that it can be remove from the surface when dried. The wire used here is commonly used in lanterns. It can be easily reshaped for poses. The colouring is done by spray painting red-brown and black progressively.


Flowers on the headdress is acquired by salvaging a bouquet of fake flowers. The chains and padlocks are real metal chains and padlocks.


As you can see, I'm not such a good craftsman, and I learn by proving my theories right or wrong. In fact, all my costumes that I have made thus far are full of flaws. But above cosplaying itself, I get a greater sense of satisfaction in completing my own costume. Even more so since I did it without help. All methods used in the making of this costume are thought of by myself alone. In case you are wondering, I have never attended any classes, courses or workshops related to making of costume and prop. What I'm trying to say is that, it is possible to acquire unfamiliar skills, even without help, as long as we put our heart to it. I hope this helps you understand a little more about my work, and I really appreciate your effort for reading thus far.

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Thank you for Conjurer to share with us the making of his Saber Bribe costume. I hope you are impress like I did to know it take so much hardwork to self-made costume cosplay work so beautifully.

Following up next, we will be having an exclusive interview with Conjurer about his cosplay life experiences and why do he cosplay and made costume. Continue to the interview here!

Meanwhile you can support ConJurer in the contest by clicking on the "like" button on EACH of his pictures IN http://cosplayidol.otakuhouse.com/2012/11/asia-pacific-finals/conjurer-singapore-cosplay-finalist/

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