Otakon 2014 and the Making of Princess Serenity!

Hello everyone!

It has been a while, I know, and I deeply apologize for that. If you follow my facebook page at all, you will know that I have recently been working my butt off on my most recent cosplay: Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon. After many sewing all night sessions, I did manage to complete the dress in time for a day full of photoshoots and Sailor Moon fun at Otakon, but it was a lot of work.

I made nearly this entire costume myself. The only things I did not make were my shoes, earrings (those were from Claire’s), the wig, and of course my contact lenses. I was really determined to pull it off, and I think I did pretty well. 🙂 For those of you who are not familiar, here is the dress:

I wanted to do a combination of the design from the anime and the design from the manga, which is kind of what we have seen so far in Sailor Moon Crystal, the revamp of the Sailor Moon series I recently blogged about (BTW, the art in that series is looking GREAT!)

The first steps included getting materials and a pattern. I went with light flowy fabrics for the dress because Princess Serenity’s dress has always been spectacularly flowy. The pattern I ended choosing was this one by Simplicity’s Jessica McClintock Collection. I basically planned to do dress D without the halter strap.

The dress was a combination of 3 fabrics: a basic white lining fabric, a light and flowy white fabric with a silk feel, and a third layer to be used for just the skirt: a white chiffon. A fourth fabric, an iridescent fabric, came into play for the bow on the back of Serenity’s dress, and other accents. I chose iridescent because, hey….she’s the princess of the moon! It seemed appropriate to me, especially with the iridescent things the moon is associated with like moonstone.

I haven’t sewn many big projects like this, so I knew this would be huge for me. The pattern itself seemed to be an elaborate mystery. The number of individual pieces that made up the garment was mind boggling. I can say it was the most individual pieces I have ever had to cut out for a pattern. I felt like I spent several hours just cutting fabric…..and trying to convince my cat that when I lay down fabric on the floor for a flat cutting surface it is NOT an invitation to lay on said fabric and pattern pieces…….

Most of the work was actually piecing the entire dress together. Some how, I managed to do it, and moved on to the next portion….embellishments. I decided early on to use pearls and lace. I got an off white colored lace instead of a pure white so the lace wouldn’t blend in with the rest of the dress and would instead “pop” more. I got white pearls and a selection of golden yellow colored pearls. I didn’t get to apply the golden pearls because I ran out of time, but it is something I will certainly do in the future modifications. The circle disks that line the top of the bodice are metal circles which I wrapped with gold ribbon. For the moon on her forehead, I cut the shape out of craft foam, and spray painted it gold, since no moon shaped stones I had seemed to pass my scrutiny. I also made the barrettes, it was an easy hot glue craft. Oh, how I love my glue gun.

The big challenge for me was the sleeves. For a long time I just stared at photos, trying to figure out a good method to put something together that looked even a little bit like the puff sleeves from the artwork. I eventually turned to looking at other costumes. The best idea I saw used craft foam, so I ran with that. The sleeves were basically made from a collection of numerous sizes of circles cut from white glitter craft foam glued together. The flared bits at the sides were a combination of the iridescent material and the white liner fabric from the dress. Elastic was added for easy application and removal.

Here’s some progress shots I managed to take along the way:

The shoes I have had for years, clear with glitter accent, they looked very suitable for the look. One of my inserts fell out of my shoe, which was a bit cumbersome. I was at a loss, but luckily, a very helpful person known as Cosplay Rescue helped me out. I totally want to know who this girl is, she is awesome.

I worked on this dress until 3am Saturday morning, and easily could have continued if I were not running out of time. The dress was not finished to my original vision (I didn’t get to add the golden pearls and the bottom of the dress wasn’t even hemmed) but even so, I was certainly recognizable and I was overall pleased with my work. I learned a lot in the construction of this costume and I feel like this will only help me get better with future sewing projects. 🙂

Oh…..one more thing….

Out of my insane collection of Sailor Moon memorabilia, I pulled out the 1995 Bandai American toy crescent moon wand. Surprisingly, it still works after replacing the batteries! Woot!!!!!

Of course….Photos…..More surfacing everyday.

One cool thing, while I was waiting to have my cosplay from this year photographed at the Otakon Photo Suite, I saw my cosplay from last year on the screensaver slideshow feed in the photo suite. It made me feel so awesome. ^_^ Aside from cosplaying Princess Serenity, I did the usual. Made my rounds, hung out with friends, bought a few things….Such as these sweet steampunk leggings by Zelasart and this necklace by Victoria’s Steampunk Emporium. I see steampunk shoots in my future. 😉

leggings and necklace

On Sunday I had the opportunity to work for Timeless Trends corsets again, which is always pretty cool.  This year I also entered a few pieces of my own artwork in the Otakon Art Show/Auction! I sold 2 pieces, which was a good feeling. 🙂 I also took my fair share of photos when I could, and am happy to report that Serenity got her photo with the Doctor! (It was a personal goal of mine, though it wasn’t a grand professional shoot, I got one.) Until next time….. 🙂

Serenity and the Doctor

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One response to “Otakon 2014 and the Making of Princess Serenity!

  1. Pingback: 2014 In Review | Sugar, Spice, and Shadow·

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