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Cosplay Mami Tomoe
Cosplaying is becoming more and more popular, it is like Halloween but you dress up as your favourite anime or manga character.Almost every major city in the world holds a convention once a year, sometimes more and sometimes even in smaller areas.This year was the first time going to an anime convention, I was extremely excited.The convention I went to is called Cos&Effect located in Vancouver BC held at UBC campus.After watching many animes, asking around, and research, Mami Tomoe from Magica Madoka was who I decided on for my first cosplay.One month to the convention I had to rush to either find a cosplay or make one, I looked everywhere online to find a nice cosplay and there was only two outfits I found for my character and both I did not like resulting in my decision to make my own cosplay. Most people take about 6 months or more making their cosplays depending on how complex it was, I had less than a month to make my cosplay so my cosplay of Mami Tomoe was actually not as good as it would have been if I had taken my time working on it.I have made costumes before but it was my first time making a cosplay.A cosplay is a bit different from making a costume because for a costume you can modified and tweak it to how you like it and what you imagine the costume should look like while a cosplay you want to make it as accurate as possible to the character.
The very first step for anyone should do when making a cosplay costume is to plan out the cosplay.I first searched through the internet for all the pictures for Mami Tomoe to see what her outfit and weapon looked like in details from all angles.Her outfit consists of the following major items; a hat, blonde wig, shirt, corset, skirt, stalking, sleeves, gloves, boots and gun.On top of these major items I then created a sub-list of items for what I needed to detail the outfit which includes; gem on the hat, feathers, flower piece for the hat, 2 flower pieces for the hair, the detailing for her shirt, corset and skit, and design for the boots.
The wig should be one of the top things to get because you have to style it, but you can buy one that is pre-styled already but it can be a bit pricey.There are many websites specially geared towards cosplay and sells items for specific cosplays which I list the websites I used under this blog.The wig that was used in my cosplay I bought off of ebay and tried to style it myself.I did not do a very good job at styling it because I was time limited so I just tried to do quick curls with the wig and it all fell apart after one day and the curls were not very nice. If you want to style the wig yourself you can google how to style wigs or how to style wigs for a specific cosplay hairstyle.Most of the website said I should use three piece for my wig which was the top part of the wig and have it short and styled for the bangs then two pig tails which was styled into curls and attached to the wig, but because of the time crunch and I wanted to try to use one piece wig but I think it would have been easier to use three pieces.For my next cosplay I will definitely take way more time styling the wig make sure that it all stays together.
After the wig, I needed to find the major pieces of clothing so that I can modified it, which is kind of a cheat since most cosplayers that make their own cosplay make everything from scratch except for a few things that can’t be made or too hard to make.The stalking and corset was the only two things I ebayed because it was cheaper to buy online.I was did not ebay most of the items because I was worry it wouldn’t fit or would not come in time.The skirt, sleeves and hat I made from scratch and the boots, gloves and shirt I bought from local stores.All the detailing items like ribbons and clothe was bought from the fabric store; I also had to buy copper wire, feathers, elastic, and a yellow gem from local stores.
The first item I made was the sleeves because it was the easiest to make. I measure out the length of my arm for which I wanted the sleeves to go up to, added a bit of extra room since her sleeves were a bit puffy and added elastics to the top of the sleeve and the bottom of the sleeve which were both just folded down and sewn in.For the sleeves, I also sewed a hole into the bottom for my thumb so I can put my thumb through to hold the sleeve around my hand area otherwise it will keep rising upwards.You don’t have to do this, but then you might find that the sleeve staying around the wrist area instead of the covering half the hand like Mami’s outfit.
After making the sleeve I made the next easiest thing, the hat, I actually found a hat base from the fabric store that I shopped at called Dressew in Vancouver BC.Using black clothe I sewed the shape of the hat using two pieces of clothe, one round piece for the top and long rectangular piece of the bottom, I sewed the edges in for both pieces of clothe then sewed them together and glue gunned it to the hat (you can just sew in the edges and glue gun The pieces to the hat separate and not have to sew it together but I wanted it to look cleaner, and you can also sew it to the hat instead of glue gunning it to the hat but because I couldn’t figure out how to do it in that weird shape I just used glue.) While letting the hat dry I started on the flower for the hat which I made out of the copper wire, you can find copper wire from home building stores and arts and crafts stores, I got mine from the arts and crafts store but it would be cheaper if you got it at the home building store like Home Depot.Each petal of the flower was bent it into shape and make sure there was five petals! You can do all five at the same time and make one whole flower or five individual petals. I found it easier to make five individual petals and gluing them all together with a glue gun, make sure that the glue doesnt show when you stick the flower to the hat by gluing closer to the base and covering it with feathers.The feathers will be on top of the flower regardless and you need to stick the flower to the hat so there will be some glue on it, it is just a matter of how you glue the items together so that you don’t see the glue.Which brings us to the next step of gluing the flower to the hat, this step is pretty self explanatory and after the flower you glue the feathers to the hat.Make sure the feathers are glued in one direction, as you can see in the picture of Mami Tomoe, the feathers are all facing the back and sort of dropping so buy feathers that are very fluffy and soft, glue the long feathers in the back and some shorter ones to the front, it’s okay if there is some glue showing since you will be gluing a gem on top of all this.
The gem was surprisingly hard to find, I wanted a really large gem that was round and flat.I was in a rush so I couldn’t go to all the arts and crafts stores but if you take your time looking through a few stores I’m sure it is not as hard as I found it to find the gem or you can even ebay this.I ended up buying a gem what was in a diamond shape and tried to grind the base down, it took too long to grind the base down and I didn’t succeed so I bought a clear gem and painted it from the back and with a light yellow shiny paint. This turned out pretty nice because it was not as see through as my other gem therefore not allowing the glue to be seen on the other side.And gluing the gem to the middle of the flower and feathers wraps up the making of the hat.
Next I made the skirt, I have never made a skirt before so it was the hardest for me.I looked up patterns for skirts online, you can buy a pattern from the fabric store but I didn’t think about this while I was at the fabric store and I didn’t want to go back.I found a youtube video and sewed my skirt according to that Youtube video by Elpheal, I tried to make the yellow ribbons on the cosplay, the wig and the skirt all to match for the shade of yellow, of course it was not an exact match, the wig turned out to be a blonder color but the ribbons and the skirt were a close match.After sewing the skirt together I sewed a black ribbon to the skirt at the bottom, the ribbon I chose is a matte ribbon, I did not want everything on me to be so shiny (my yellow ribbons were really shiny).The thickness of the ribbon depends on your skirt, I wanted a thicker ribbon to balance out the skirt more to make it feel heavier and shorter than the skirt really is.Remember to try on your skirt after you make it!I had to make multiple skirts because my first one was just ugly and my second one was way too short.
The shirt I used was bought from Jacob, I found a regular dress shirt with puffy short sleeves that buttons up all the way to the neck.The shirt I bought had frills going down the middle of the shirt so I cut off the part of the collar that was folded downwards and the frills off from the middle of the skirt.Making sure I cut close to the seam so that you don’t see the cuts, but you have ribbons on all the parts that was cut so you can just cover it up with the ribbons if you mess up.You can choose to sew the ribbons on or you can glue the ribbons on, I chose to glue the ribbons on since I’m not good at sewing, I didn’t have much time to sew, and didn’t did not have that many shirts to mess up.I glued ribbons to the top and bottom part of the collar, down the middle of the shirt and black ribbons around the shoulder of the sleeve.Make sure you leave enough ribbon to tie at the bottom of the collar for the bow and another pointer is to make sure you glue the ribbon around the edges so it looks clean. As you can see the shirt as not that hard to do, if you buy the shirt first and modify it!If you choose to make your own shirt then you can buy a pattern and make your own shirt.
So now the skirt, hat, sleeve and shirt are done we move onto the corset.You can make your own corset but one again I cheated and bought a corset.Make sure you choose a corset is only for the midsection and not up to the breast.On the corset there is yellow ribbon, white lacy ribbon, and buckles on the front of the corset.On Mami Tomoe the corset actually goes all the way around but I got a corset that was tied with strings at the back and hooked in the front because I ordered off of ebay I wanted to make sure it fit snugly (it actually didn’t fit because it was a bit too big and you can see that in my pictures).I also made a few mistakes on the corset because I was rushing (one day to the cosplay, ebay orders can’t be depended on for time!)The back and two side ribbons (not the ribbons down the middle) are glued onto first, then the lacy ribbon along the top and bottom of the corset. The bottom lacy ribbon you need to leave extra ribbon at the back to tie a bow, then the yellow ribbons that go down the middle of the corset is glued on.You can sew the ribbons on as well but I think it is easier to glue this because of the bones on the corset so if you sew the ribbons on you have to work around the bones.Another thing to watch out for if you order off of ebay is the color, because colors in pictures can be off from what it looks like in real life.The buckles on the front of the corset I used brown watch buckles for them.
Stalking and gloves were bought and both were black, you can find these at most accessories stores.The boots are bought, and the style is cowboy boots that is yellow, black, and white.I bought brown boots and was going to paint them the appropriate color but in the end I liked the boots too much to do that and ended up just wearing black boots.You don’t have to paint the boots, you can just clothe or ribbons to make the boots the right color and also you should buy black instead of brown so that they are the right base color to begin with.
If you want a weapon then you can either make it out to different materials as well or you can just buy a toy gun (which is what I did) and put the designs on there.If you Google “Mami Tomoe Rifle” you should be able to find websites that shows you how to make it, I have included the website I used when I first tried to make the gun but did not have enough time so I didn’t make it.That is basically all the steps there are for how I made the costume for Mami Tomoe, it’s not as hard as it looks, but it isn’t super easy as well.Take your time to make it look nice and remember that accuracy is the key. And little modifications is always okay, its ultimately your cosplay so it is what you like and what makes you feel good!