Fabric and Technique for a Chinese top

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#1 Scunosi on 1 year ago

I'm noodling out how I'd do [URL="https://sticklove.deviantart.com/art/Mei-Jiangshi-711846712"]Jiangshi Mei [/URL]as a possible upcoming cosplay, and I'm trying to figure out her top. It doesn't appear to have any visible openings but I feel a hidden one could easily be put down the middle (with the crane illustration being a flap that closes over it somehow). Conversely I think it could work as a pullover if need be.

What I'm trying to figure out now though is fabric type. It seems like the obvious choice would be some kind of silk-like fabric, but after seeing a friend make a [URL="http://nintendoeverything.com/wp-content/uploads/arms-min-min.jpg"]Min-Min[/URL] top that quickly got water stained and living in the PNW (not to mention the likely cost of the fabric) I'm not sure I want to use actual silk. Also if I end up trying to make the top as a pullover instead of a jacket with an opening I'll need something with stretch.

So what I'm asking right now is which method (and accompanying fabric) you all think would work best, a top with a hidden opening or a stretchy pullover. Right now I'm thinking an opening would work better as I don't think a stretch would provide the stiffness I'd need for the sleeves and flare at the bottom.

#2 StarsOfCassiopeia on 1 year ago

A lot of traditional Chinese clothing (eg the hanfu, which might be worth researching for this project!) relies on the belted pieces at the waist to hold it shut. That said, there's more of an offset on hanfu collars in that the panels tend to overlap (like kimonos or yukatas do) and in this case you've got the parts centered, more like a traditional Chinese suit.

IMO that light blue tabard-looking part appears to be below the purple layer, so you could maybe just use velcro or snaps or something else easy to use/hide to hold the purple layer in place on top of the blue one, and have other closures for a little extra security (and also to match the design).

Those gold & purple pieces lower down remind me of toggle closures, at least in appearance-- traditional Chinese clothing tends to use frog closures, which are sorta similar, but won't really work the same way if you want that purple robe braid to be accurate. Toggles usually use a bead or some kind of larger "button" of sorts, but you could probably just use snaps on one side to attach the purple cord to the gold, as it looks like there's some kind of rivet there anyways.

Hiding closures under the crane panel also sounds like a good option.

#3 lunaflora on 1 year ago

I would look into brocades, satins, cotton sateens and using embroidery for the crane panel and the belt and decoration if you want to really go all out on this. There's always interfacing if you want to give the fabric more body.
If you prewash the silk before using, it will prevent water stains from happening. water stains come from the water dissolving the sizing applied to the fabric, but if the sizing is all removed it won't have water stains anymore. Maybe test that out for the future.

You can add stretchy side panels so that you can pull it over more easily while still be form fitting. However this may not work depending on how much you need it to stretch.

It does look like a light blue shirt underneath the robe, jacket thing. It actually reminds me of chinese armor. Maybe you can do the top in 3 layers, a light blue shirt with collar, a jacket that closes in the center with the sleeves and the side panels, and then a vest with the center front panel that closes at the side(s). Though you could make it not like a vest, and have the shoulder straps go around the neck, and you just have straps to tie in the back at the waist. The best example I can think of is like an apron.

#4 Penlowe on 1 year ago

It's based on Mongolian traditional clothing. Looking at the source inspiration often solves a lot of questions.

#5 Scunosi on 1 year ago

Ah, see the only Chinese clothing name I know is cheongsam which is why it was so hard for me to look anything up for this. And I wouldn't have even though about Mongolia, which I'll be honest I thought was still a part of China.

Stars talking about belts coupled with those Mongolian outfits got me thinking, I may be mentally missing some layers here. The blue shirt underneath is obvious, and I was actually thinking of faking it to avoid overheating (just sewing on the collar/sleeves instead of wearing a whole extra shirt). But if the belt holds it all together, I wonder if the top layer with the crane is actually a tabard with open sides that are just held together by the belt, and then there's another layer with the long sleeves underneath that probably works more like a regular jacket with an opening down the middle. That would make it much easier to put on as the "tabard" would just be a pullover. And of course the little shoulder armor thing is separate, too.

The model makes it look like it's all one piece but I wonder what it'd look like if I played around with her in-game since I do have the skin. And of course the model might just be simplified for video game's sake.

As far at the braided rope closure on the belt I'm assuming I won't be able to find purple rope that wide so I was planning on making my own wide tubes of fabric and then braiding those. And yeah I imagine I'll be faking the clasps and just using snaps or something underneath. I was really happy with the skirt closures I used for my Wicke cape, since I still have a bunch of those I could even use them up if I end up building this.

I think satin would probably be my pick for the primary top fabric, since I'm assuming that much silk could be cost prohibitive. And I don't have an embroidery machine but I have found some cool tutorials for faking it with paint.

#6 Penlowe on 1 year ago

This took freaking forever to find. I've seen these closures done like in that image, designed to look like braided cord, but actually metal. They are in reality very simple mechanisms, just a hook and loop, but done in such an ornate manner they look like magic. Anyway, that's what I would design around, making or finding closures that work like this.

#7 Ichigogami on 1 year ago

For Super Thick Rope I've actually had luck with Horse lead, it also comes in bright colors and tends to be on the cheaper side if you buy the cotton fiber ones. I would recommend a matte satin like Duchess, Amor, or Peau de Soie<--different names for different brands but essentially same quality.

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