Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Easy Anime Costuming

In honor of the upcoming All-Con and Tokyo Pop events this spring, we give you a guest post by Coleen Swafford on easy anime costuming:

My daughter loves anime and anime costumes.  I have made 3 so far and thought I would share what I have learned.  Since I don’t watch as much anime as she does, I rely on pictures she supplies and any additional details that she feels are relevant. Obviously, the important thing is to come up with something that is easily identifiable as the character. Materials and methods are of less importance.

All three of the characters she requested are from Naruto. The first costume was to be Sasuke. She gave me these pictures. Well, this outfit was pretty easy. I made knee length baggy white shorts. For the top, I went through my patterns until I found a blouse with a stand up type collar, then over exaggerated it. I made the top large and pull on. Then I cut out the fan shape and appliquéd it on the back. The arm bands were white cotton with elastic in the blue end pieces. We polished it off with a cheap wig found on ebay and a headband we found there as well. Footwear was our biggest problem. They don’t sell toeless ninja boots at Target. But we did find knee hi toeless socks there and paired them with a pair of black slippers.

The second character was Sakura. For this outfit, I decided to see if I could find part of this at thrift shops. A trip to Goodwill netted me a short pink skirt and a red sleeveless tank. I opened the side seams on the skirt and made small straps with fake buckles on each side. A pair of bike shorts worked well under the skirt. Since it wasn’t necessary to have the top unzip, I bought a long white zipper and sewed it on the outside. I could have bought soccer pads for her elbows but instead made them from old sock tops. Some black gloves, the Saskue footwear, and another cheap Ebay wig and I was done.

The third character was TenTen. I decided to make this one from scratch. I found a pants pattern that had cut down pockets. I made the pants out of burgundy cotton. I used white cotton for the inside of the pockets and made the lines with rows of stitching. Then attached a grey strip of fabric over them. I finished the legs of the pants by blousing them mid calf.  I’ll admit the jacket didn’t come out exactly as I wanted. I probably could have found a store pattern for this but instead used a Chinese jacket I found at Goodwill. The jacket was too small and the wrong color, so I took it apart and used it to make larger pattern pieces. I didn’t get the neckline totally right but it was enough that anime enthusiast recognized exactly who she was at Anime Fest.

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