Monday, September 26, 2016

WIP: Chara and Marle (Animangaki 2016)

It's been awhile since my last proper post! I've had a rather enjoyable time back in KL for Animangaki 2016 so I would like to blog about it! Before I actually blog about Animangaki, I'm gonna write abit about my cosplays for AMG and the WIP/preparations for it.

Just a day after I posted my revamped Cosplay Plans for the year, Hani approached me to ask my to join their Chrono Trigger group as Marle to replace Sizer who cannot make it for AMG. I knew about the plan months in advance since Raz was in it, and since Chrono was a series that is dear to me, I jumped right on it. This also means I only have 1 month to prepare the costume, and I wouldn't be able to commit to so many costumes, so I decided to delay my Ace Attorney plan.

Also, we didn't get a doujin booth spot this year thanks to the amazing new lottery system. So that's one less source of income. TT Skylar who was supposed to CP Ace Attorney with me ended up being unable to attend AMG anyways, so I guess the change of cosplay plans and being boothless kinda works, since I'll probably be relying on her a lot to help with the booth. ;'D

No booth means I don't have to design new badges! Although, I ended up doing so anyway since Comic Fiesta Mini is 1 week after AMG.

I was mainly focusing on 2 of my cosplay plans: Marle and Chara.


You would imagine that a simple cosplay like this would've been easy to pull off, right? I thought so too, but I met with loads of problems with the T-shirt. My plan was to keep Chara's gender ambiguous, as it was in the canon, by using a chest binder and following the official art/sprite where Chara was wearing long pants instead. But if it didn't go as plan, I could always proceed with the short pants/feminine version.

Tshirt #1 from Tesco

I know that the colour was inaccurate, but I was worried I couldn't find the Tshirt in time so I bought this as a back up.

A test run! Looks ok, except for the colours.

T-shirt #2 from the Reject Shop

1-2 weeks later I found another shop that had the t-shirt in just the right colour for Chara! Even with yellow on it, but it's a text print that is sitting a little too high up the t-shirt. I decided to buy it because I really liked the t-shirt colour, and thought that I could remove the print since I've tried doing the same thing before with a black t-shirt for my Yuffie cosplay. (back then I used thinner)

Boy was I wrong.

Initially peeling the letters out by soaking the t-shirt with spirit

After hours of peeling and soaking in spirit, it still showed poor results

This plan was taking me too much time, and showing no results. Even if I were to paint on the t-shirt, the letters would show. I was really disappointed and so I went back to T-shirt #1 I tried painting it to see if I could settle for something less accurate.

Using the seal-the-rest-of-the-cloth-with-masking-tape technique! And my tiny ass brush. Don't judge.

Final results were horrendous...

As soon as I started painting, I felt that something was wrong. I had no choice but to push on. When I was done and I tore out the masking tape, I was devastated. I was painting using a yellow acrylic paint that I've used for my Franziska costume, but somehow on this teal green t-shirt, the yellow had turned into a mustard brown colour. Maybe I should've painted a layer of white underneath before starting? But whatever it was, it's too late for me to make changes, as the "yellow" layer was already so thick and hardened that it made the t-shirt look/feel unnaturally stiff. It'd be too much to paint another layer of white, and then yellow, again.

The t-shirt was too demotivating to look at, so I decided to scrap my plan to cosplay Chara... for now. At least, until I find the right green t-shirt. Alas, I couldn't stay determined. TT

I even made the Locket using acrylic resin. But... not this time. TT


As mentioned, Marle was a last minute cosplay plan. I decided to sew the costume becuase it seems pretty straightforward and easy (AND NO SLEEVES). I did try looking to see if baggy white off-shoulder jumpsuits were a thing so that I could just buy it off the rack. BUT NO, they only have them in black. I even checked Taobao! I guess ain't nobody wanna wear white. TT


I was referring to this tutorial while making my jumpsuit. Since Marle's pants are really baggy, I used a sweatpants as reference, but made the pattern much bigger. I bought about 4 meters of fabric and had leftovers at the end. I chose a fabric that was light, flowy and nice to touch, but isn't too sheer and see-through.

While working on this project, I was watching the World Cosplay Summit 2016 entries and a Chrono Trigger Let's Play. |D Time well spent!

I used a sweatpants for pattern reference. I made Marle's pants much bigger, with seam allowance

How the fabric looks after cutting. Pin the sides and get to sewing!
(just sew the curvy parts, not the parallel straight lines down, those are sewed later when you open the fabric - I made a mistake lol)

The size of my pants before adding the elastics

Sewing the hem at the ankles and inserting the elastic with a safety pin

After adding the elastics, with a thicker one used for the waistband

After finishing the pants, I made the top. I measured it so that it would be able the stretch and pass through my hips and bum, since I'm making a jumpsuit. But after sewing and trying on the parts, it seems that it'd be easier to keep the pants and top on separately. Besides, I would have a belt on top of everything anyways.

Sewing the top. I slotted the elastic through the red lining that is attached to the white fabric.

Mostly finished! I just tucked the top into my pants instead of sewing them together

Belts, Armlets, etc.

Thanks to Raz, who had a store of gold reflective material... thing (I have no idea how to describe it lol), I didn't have to make all my armour parts with foam/interfacing and cover it with gold cloth, which I first intended to. (I used this method for my Leena cosplay) So I first tested the sizes of the armlet, wristlets, necklace and belt on paper until I was satisfied before cutting the gold material out. They were all fastened with velcro. I glued them on with craft glue because I didn't want the thread marks to show on the surface. I also reinforced the belt with a layer of foam because it wasn't well-shaped or stiff enough. Lastly, I punched a hole on the lower middle part of the belt and attached a chain to it.


Shoes and Wig

These were the only two things I didn't make for obvious reasons. I didn't want to be to accurate with the shoes because the original design was slightly odd, and would probably need modifications. I bought a nice strappy brown wedge sandals that I would wear on normal occasions. I felt that Marle would wear something like this too!

Love them :3

The wig on the other hand, was a strawberry-ish blonde wig, since Marle's hair has abit of a orange/red tint to it, compared to Ayla. I managed to find a similar one on Taobao by searching for Umaru-chan wigs, lol. Whatever floats the boat!

Wig test

I had problems trying to tie a high ponytail by myself though. So I only got the wig styled at the event itself by Hani. We had to snip off a good length of the wig, too. ;w; Just so we could maintain the ponytail.

Marle's Pendant

Lastly, I wanted to make the pendant that was the entire cause of Chrono Trigger's time-travelling shenanigans. I made it in a hurry, using acrylic resin from my uni's lab. I couldn't shape it 100% correct as I was rushing, so it turned out abit odd.

Clear acrylic before painting

After painting using acrylic paint and nail polish

Other Notes

I wanted to make the bag and quiver, but they weren't too important so I bumped it to the bottom of the list. The bag would've helped alot, since a cosplayer's woe is always not having a pocket/bag to keep their personal belongings.

Marle's crossbow was iconic, so I wanted to make that with the spare time I had before the event. I didn't pressure myself to making it, since it was kinda last minute and I had to juggle my uni/clinic work as well. Hani had a backup crossbow to lend to me.

I was referring to this crossbow tutorial, which thankfully was even Marle specific! However, when I started drafting out the crossbow, I realized lacked the materials to make it. So the idea was scrapped, lol.

Final Product!

It was a really simple and straightforward project, but I'm still very contented and proud since I managed to make the cosplay from scratch. It's always a good feeling creating something. Plus, it saves money from tailoring, too!

The next thing I would like to make from scratch would be Maya Fey's costume. Hopefully, to be started after my exams end next week. Also, on a side note, Ace Attorney: Soul of Justice was released recently this month and I've purchased it and am halfway through the game!

Another hopefully, is that I will actually finish blogging about Animangaki 2016, and maybe Comic Fiesta Mini 2016, haha.

See you guys around, if there's even anyone still visiting this blog. ;w;

Quote of the Day: "Machines aren't capable of evil. Humans make them that way." - Lucca, Chrono Trigger

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