Super Robot Wars
DescriptionApparently I’m easily persuaded into groups sometimes! I know next to nothing about Super Robot Wars or Tsugumi specifically, but am always happy to make a costume design I like and have fun participating in a group. Her costume reminds me a little of Rebecca from Wild Arms (it’s the pink and lilac) which was incidentally another group I was persuaded into, and yellow being my favourite colour was probably a decisive factor in choosing the costume.
When choosing fabrics, I started on the basis that the lilac had to be stretchy for making the socks and the pink should probably also be stretchy to help with the bootcovers. Although her pink shorts seem like a looser fit, there would be no major problems using stretch fabric for the other pink and lilac parts of the costume. I initially wanted a cotton jersey for a nice matte look, but all the shades I could find were too pale and it wasn’t quite stretchy enough to be ideal for the bootcovers and bodysuit. I ended up getting lyrca in the January sales and it’s just about matte enough for my tastes. I think the pink is a little too bright, but it was worthwhile since the stretchiness simplified the bootcovers and bodysuit for me!
For the jacket, I’d have liked a decent weight fabric, but yellow is so awkward to find and after dyeing fabric for Selphie and Adora recently, I was fed up of yellow dye. I settled on pale yellow polycotton which was cheap and avoided all dye experiments. To prevent it being see-through and to add some weight, I used an interlining of white polycotton (two layers in fact; one layer began life as my mockup). 4 layers of polycotton might sound ridiculous, but it worked out fine and was still cheaper than buying half as much cotton drill in any of my local fabric shops (and on top of that I would have had to buy yellow dye for the white drill too).
I used Simplicity 2508 as my starting point since it’s the only longer coat pattern I own. I made a mock-up in spare white polycotton. I’d previously adapted the pattern to remove the raglan sleeves for my Calisto costume, so I went with that again. I included a centre front panel on my mock-up for fitting purposes, but the final coat doesn’t have this – I patterned out the waist section and collar separately. The top of the mock-up came out perfectly with some tweaks, the lower part not so much. I’d hoped that just flaring out the panels of the coat would add the volume I wanted, but it wasn’t quite working out. Instead, I used an almost-half-circle shape to form the bottom of the coat.
The final coat is fully lined (which helped with the curved hem!) I just used polycotton for all the lining since the coat would only be on top of lycra/my bare arms so there wasn’t any need for a more slippery lining fabric anywhere. The bow at the back is made from long lined, rectangular, interfaced strips of the yellow fabric and I made the orange bows on the costume the same way. The centre front lace-up waist section took a while to shape and position correctly – I made sure that the pieces overlap a little avoid a gap in the middle. It’s also all lined and interfaced and the lacing is the actual closure for the coat. I used the same lace trim as on my Rebecca costume since it’s a close enough match to the zigzag trim. I patterned out the collar with a lot of trial and error. I ended up padding it out with wadding to get the puffy sort of effect. There’s a large snap behind the bow which acts as the fastening. The cuffs are interfaced lycra, and I used tiny cover buttons to make matching yellow buttons for them.
The coat was what really took up most of my time. After that it was plain sailing, especially since lycra makes fitting and patterning things much simpler! I used my Kwik Sew 3273 bodysuit pattern, which includes a halterneck version and just cut the legs shorter. I didn’t see any point in thinking about the areas which will be covered by the coat so I left the pattern as it is with the low back and no sleeves. I just had to add a centre front seam and the cutout in the middle, a bit of interfacing to help the collar and that was it. I was very lazy with sewing the bodysuit (because it would hardly show under the coat and also due to being short on time) and didn’t apply elastic to the edges or spend all that much time on it at all - just overlocked it together and that was about it!
The socks are simple lycra tubes, with a little stirrup to go under the foot (because I thought they might get all bunched up when I pulled the boots on over them). I put elastic in the tops to help keep them up.
The bootcovers were also easy – I used a pair of cowboy boots which were about the right length and cut them a little shorter as well as cutting in a lower v-shape at the front. I pinned the pink lycra around them with a seam at the centre front and back and along the sole, and sewed it up. Since the costume was for Minami which is held in a hotel, I knew I wouldn’t be walking much outside, or even walking about much at all, so I didn’t bother doing anything to make more resilient soles for the covers – might stick on soles later. To keep them up, I hot glued and duct taped the tops in place on the inside of the boots.
I’ve had problems finding nice curly wigs before, but this time round the search was easier since Tsugumi has a fringe, so I could consider all wigs - with a fringe, or without (since I can cut one in easily). I looked at a few on ebay, but was keen to ensure I had as thick a wig as possible. I was thinking about trying New Look’s Showgirl wig knowing it would be a good bet…but what caught my eye was Cosplay.com’s new wig range. I debated it for a while and decided to give their long Holly wig a shot, partially as an excuse to find out what new wigs were like. It’s wonderful quality and absolutely beautiful! Styling it was frustrating due to the length of the fibres, but I eventually wrestled it into braids either side. I added in some extensions I already had to pad out the braids a bit. It’s clipped into a ponytail to try to keep the hair all quite spread out, rather than tightly tied back. The bow slots on to the clip. I curled the fringe under and trimmed it and the short, loose pieces at the front a little, hairsprayed everything and that was it done!
Since I already had green contacts I wore them with the costume, but it’s good to know my glasses would be suitable for the character too. My contacts are Freshlook Colorblends in gemstone green.