Saturday, October 13, 2012

Orchard Corset: Shoot Previews

Going to give you all a few previews from my Orchard Corset "I'm Huge in Japan" shoot, with photographer Jason Williams. The rest of the shoot will be released after Orchard Corset shares them. :) It's been a crazy fun ride!

Design, costume, and illustration by ~MayugeSeishou
Photo by Jason Williams

Friday, October 12, 2012

Orchard Corset: The Finishing Touches

Alrighty. So, we have a skirt, corset, and a good chunk of a hat. We've come a long way, but we're far from rampage-ready! The next thing to tackle are the spines. We'll be using the rest of the grey felt that we cut our buildings from. Using foam brushes, paint a good long section with "Stiffy". Stuffy is a water-based fabric stiffener. It's awesome.

Let your fabric dry, and get out acrylic paint. I wanted a flame-like look, but also wanted my spikes to look spike-y.  I started with orange, then went to black.  Once that is dry, cut all of your spikes out. I decided to do sections of spines, verses one huge line, because it will move better with my body. The more you can move in your costume, the better!

Once cut, I paired sections and laid them back to back. 

You're going to be making a bunch of fabric sandwiches  Lay your first piece, right (nice) side up, add two spine sections, then add your second piece right side down. Then sew. This secures your spines right in the seam! You'll need to sew this very carefully, though, because you're going through some thick stuff. If you have a leather needle for your machine, it helps a lot. I also top stitched  it when I was done to help the spines stand up. Also, I enjoy the look of top stitching.

I put spine in three locations: the top of the hat, along a back piece, and in my tail. The picture above is for the hat. I took two curved pieces that matched the curve of the back of the hat.
Finishing the hat is easy. With that curved spike piece you should have the baseball hat covered. All I did after this was add a cowl/neck sleeve. This step is optional and depends on what you're going to wear under the hat. I knew that I was going to be wearing a wig, so I made a loose hood piece that snaps under my chin.

The pictures below are of the back piece. I put on the hat, then measured down my spine to where my tail was going to sit. I then cut two pieces that length, and sandwiched my tail spines between them. Then sew, sew, sew! I then took a piece of an old belt and used fabric glue to attach the spine piece. This then got sewn onto the hat to match up to the rest of the spines. When you wear this, you'll take couple safety pins and from the back grab onto the corset lacing. This will hold it down nicely, but allow you to move around! 

Now, marvel at your spiny goodness!

Moving on to the tail... I had to work this one out in paper first. I needed a tail that was long enough to get the whole "monster" effect, but I wanted it to hold itself up. Floppy tails aren't what we're looking for! What I eventually figured out, was to create a reeeeaaaaaaally long three-sided pyramid. This way, it has a nice base  to support itself. Cut out three of the long triangular pieces and then a equatorial triangle for the base. Start with the top edge, making the fabric-spine-spine-fabric sandwich. Sew. 

Once the two sides with the spines are all attached, sew the third piece to the sides. Remember to put your good fabric sides together. This will get complicated with the end spines, so sew slowly to avoid catching them in the seam. Now, turn your tail right side out and stuff! Look how nifty!

(Not pictured) Attach the triangular base piece. I just folded over the edges and sewed it from the top. Now, to attach it to your body, I just zig-zag stitched a length of elastic (long enough to tie around your waist) to two points at the upper part of the triangle. Your tail is complete! I recommend you put it on and go for a mini rampage! 

Back? No? Still rampaging? I'll wait. 

Okay! There we are. Moving on, we need to make some three fingered gloves to give our hands that delightful monster feel. To do this, I simply laid my hand down Spock-style and traced it. Then I used that as a pattern and cut out my fabric. If you can't do that comfortably you can arrange your fingers how they feel best. Again, we're putting the good sides together, then sewing. I used a stretch fabric, so I could make the wrists tight. If you did not, you will HAVE to add extra space there, or you will never get them on and off. 

With the extra pieces of green fabric, I cut out scalloped strips and used fabric glue to attach them in stripes to a black turtleneck. You will need a patient friend for this step! When you're nice and dry, take off the shirt; you may notice that the strips didn't stay down/didn't match up. I used some more glue and touched everything up so it looked nice. Let dry. 

Your last steps are details, like the eyes. I took three layers of felt, yellow, white, and black, and topped it with a red button. 

We've come a long way, but look! You have so much done! My next step is a photoshoot! Thank you for coming along on this journey with me! It's been a blast!

If you have any questions about this costume (or anything), drop me a line at


- Katherine "MayugeSeishou" Stocking

Monday, October 1, 2012

Orchard Corset: Get Your Head in the Game

When we last met, we were finishing up the skirt. It's a basic elastic waist skirt, so sew up your side seams, sew a channel in the top, throw in your elastic and you're done! Woo. 

Put that thing on and do some celebratory twirling, because we've made a skirt! With that done, it's time to tackle the monster of this costume, starting with the head. After much brainstorming about how to construct the hat, I finally decided to use an old baseball cap as a base. It will provide a nice platform for that big 'ol monster snout. 

Here's a picture of me in an awesome cat hat. Thank you, cat hat, you're about to be sacrificed for the sake of cosplay and costuming. After trying on my hat, I realized that the bill stuck out too much than my vision for my monster snout. So, I took a nice pair of super scissors and trimmed it down. 

There, much better. Now, to give our monster a big, poofy snout, we're going to need to build up something on the bill. I made a fabric sausage for this. Simply roll up some fiberfill into a piece of scrap fabric. 

I folded the ends in nicely, then pinned the whole thing. Carefully arrange it to your liking, then sew it to the hat. 

Flip it over and get out a piece of red felt. We'll be using the felt to cover the underside of the bill. To do this, I used fabric glue, covered the underside of the bill, and pressed the felt into it. When it was mostly dry, I cut away the excess. 

While you let that dry, grab some white felt and cut out some sharp little teeth! I used that semi-stiff white felt with the super fine glitter specks in it. Just because you're a monster, doesn't mean you can't have shiny teeth! Oral hygiene is for us all, haha. 

I used the same fabric glue to attach the teeth. We'll be sewing them down later, but I like the stability. Remember all that green fabric we painted? We're going to need that now. Cut off a chunk of fabric long enough to cover the brim. I folded over the edge and lined it up with my teeth at the edge of the snout, then pinned it in place.

Once I had the bottom pinned, I set about getting the top arranged. Then I got needle and thread and sewed along the edge with the teeth, careful not to let much of the thread show. The trick is tiny stitches. To finish off the edge  and to give our monster some gums for those teeth to come out of, I glued a strip of felt to the outside.

Come back tomorrow for more! <3

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Almost Nerdy: Cosplayer of the Week

This week, I am the Cosplayer of the Week over at Almost Each week they feature and interview a cosplayer, and I am honored to join the ranks. Michelle Simpson, who conducts the interviews is funny, fresh, and genuine. It was a great experience. Thank you, Almost Nerdy! I certainly "release my inner nerd!"

You can read the full interview here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orchard Corset: Set the World on Fire!

Welcome back. As I said yesterday, we're going to take all that work we did yesterday and set it on fire!
First, take your painted skirt fabric and hem the bottom edge. Now, to achieve our awesome flame effect, we're going to use those rolls of organza. We're going to start with the red. Take a hand sewing needle and a long length of thread (as long as the width of your skirt). Then run your needle in and out of the red fabric making big stitches all the way down the whole roll. Pull the tread and you'll notice the red gathers! Magic. Now, arrange your gathers nicely and pin to the bottom of the skirt. Once its nicely arranged, run that through your sewing machine and stitch it down. 

Now you look like a smoky Christmas tree. But, worry not. It gets better. I had originally planned to have a layer of red, orange, and yellow, but it got fluffier than I wanted. So, I skipped the orange layer. Now, repeat the process of gathering with the yellow. 

Ruffle, pin, sew. Okay. Luckily, my yellow turned out to be REALLY thin, so I got the orange effect after all! Now, you have two layers of "fire." Our next step is to attack it with a scissor. Flame is wild, random and crazy, not neatly ruffled. Snip away at your layers until it resembles flame. 

See the difference? Good. You'll make a huge mess, but at the end you'll have a really cool flame border at the bottom of your skirt. 

Now, take a breather, clean up your scraps, and come back with all your cute little buildings. Now comes the part I was waiting for. Lay out your skirt fabric and place all your little buildings! 

Once you're satisfied with the placement, pin them down securely. 

Then sew! Go around at least the two sides and top of each building. You want to make sure you don't sew down any of your flames. 

Tomorrow we'll finish the skirt! <3