Friday, August 21, 2015

Lovelive! Umi, START DASH!!

Tracon is getting closer and closer and I've been working like crazy to finish Umi. When I started working on Umi,  I didn't even realize how much work the costume needed, I thought it was just a nice quick costume to make... But now it's luckily almost done O(≧∇≦)O

For the costume I bought 4 meters of lilac cotton fabric and 1,5 meters of dark blue crêpe polyester fabric. I had some lace hanging in the closet which I thought was appropriate for this costume, even though it differs from the reference picture. I used around 10 meters of that. I also used 10 meters of the tinier lace in the hem and armhole. For the headpiece I bought two flowers and sacrificed my old necklace that I don't use anymore. To paint all the flowers and stripes I bought 100 m of masking tape and 4 different colors of fabric paint. The blue thing on the left corner is for stencils. I also needed light blue satin ribbon and interfacing which are not in the picture. 

I started the costume by cutting all the pieces and sewing the top together (except I didn't sew the collar yet). 
Pieces for the top. I ended up altering it a little after sewing, so the dashed line is how it looked after the alterations. 

top sewn together
After sewing the top I spent a whole day applying tape in order to paint all the stripes.... I ended up using all the tape I had bought and I even needed more tape, so I had to reuse some of the tapes Σ(゜ロ゜;) To make the paint, I mixed water and fabric paint until I got the color I wanted and then spend the next day just painting stripes.  It was actually a lot faster to paint than it was to tape. While doing all of those things I watched both seasons of  love live (in which you can also make a conclusion that it really was a time consuming thing to do). 

The tape was 25 mm and I cut 1 cm piece from paper and used it so that I could make the stripes even

painting the first sleeve... (the color will dry much lighter)

and in case you are wondering how 100 meters of masking tape would look like if it was made into a ball.. then here you go (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑ 
When I had finished  with the stripes I ironed all the fabrics since they became so wrinkly and I thought it was easier to paint the flowers on, if the fabrics were flat. I attached front side of the collar to the top and I had ironed interfacing to the collar before sewing it. At this point I also cut 4 cm off the top before applying the collar to make it fit better.

Then I drew 5 different sizes of flowers and 3 different sizes of leaves, traced them on the blue stencil paper and cut the shapes with box cutter. I also made fish looking things from foam to paint the fabric with and I used them and brushes.  

stencils and fish looking foam things

painting the top

how I made the big flowers 
When all the flowers and leaves were painted I once again ironed all the things, this time to make the paint stay

After that I started working on all the little details, like adding the lace and finishing raw edges. 

sewing ruffles on the bottom. At this point It looked a little like all the Hawaiian shirts men wear in the summer (◡‿◡✿) 

sewing lace on the armhole
How I finished the armholes

Sewing lace to the sleeves

Finished! there is a place for a elastic band

Elastic band on its place :3

More lace added to the top (and sleeves, which is not in the picture) 
The top part and the sleeves were finally finished and I moved on to make the headpiece. It was easy to make but unfortunately, I don't have ant wip pictures of it へ[ •́ ‸ •̀ ]ʋ Anyways, I first made the orange flower out of the sunflower and after that I applied the most yellow petals from the other flower, leaves from the sunflower and pearls from the necklace. 

How it came out
For the back bow I sew 3 stripes of light blue satin ribbon (for the obi I sew 2 and the third stripe in the middle is going to be brown.) After the picture below was taken I decided to add two stripes to the middle part , since it looks a little empty. I'm not quite sure if there really is a bow behind the dress because I'm using only one photo as a reference and you can't see the back of the dress in that picture. But bow is part of the aesthetic of the kimono and I really love bows, so I wanted to add one (。♥‿♥。) +all the stores that sell this costume had included the bow

back bow in progress
I needed to dye some lace for the obi because I wanted to use the same lace I used for the top and the sleeves. But instead of expensive fabric dyes, I used tea instead. Yes, you read right, I used some black earl grey tea, cheapest I could find. I'm not sure if the color will be able to handle a washing machine, but if it doesn't, I'll just color it again (with real fabric dye this time). 

Testing whether it actually dyes the fabric...
And it did! (It looks brown for some reason in this picture)
I added a little salt in the tea hoping it will make the color stick better to the fabric. The result looks good, but I might soak those colored laces in the yellow paint to give it a little tint of yellow that it's missing.

I have little to say about the skirt, except it has been very troublesome. There are 3 layers of fabric of which 2 is ruffled and on top of that the cotton is a little stretchy, so to sew the waistband so that it looks neat is impossible. Luckily there is going to be elastic band, so all the mistakes I made, can't be seen. 

One hem finished, other waiting to be finished!

This is how I decided to finish the hem.
Most of the costume is now done! Still need to finish the obi and bow though. But I'm sure I get it done in time. A bigger problem is that I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna wear this costume with (I mean the socks and shoes) since they are not visible in the reference picture. I'm thinking of  wearing black over the knee socks, because Umi doesn't really like showing her knees. But I'm not quite sure yet.

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