Making a difficult cosplay pattern

October 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

For Anime Expo I decided to go outside my comfort zone a little and have a cosplay that’s a little more revealing. So I made Diao Chan from Dynasty Warriors 7! Since I have already done Xiao Qiao, I thought I would branch out to another character~

During this more challenging cosplay I had to make an open back for the dress. At first I tried using a pattern I thought would work in my head, it was quite straightforward. But without some major alterations it wasn’t worth keeping, so I used this method to find a better pattern for a better fit! (and let’s face it… where am I going to find this in a commercial pattern?)
Quick Pattern Making Guide

I decided to put this little example of how I made part of my Diao Chan dress together~ It’s just a guide/example/tutorial that I hope can help someone out if they are looking to make something you can’t easily modify from a pattern.

–Kimikotan

Blue Winged Beach Photoshoot – Dragon Nest

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ve been a long time fan of Dragon Nest for awhile~ Especially for the custom outfits that change SO rapidly. The designs are always so interesting and I have so many favorites! One of my favorites is a design made by ZiyoLing! First seeing this design I really had the urge to make it! I started sometime last year and the skill level for me to do it justice just wasn’t there at the time. Finally… months later I am able to re-do parts and have a shoot again!

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Back shot! Photo by Hermsi

I actually did this shoot in about 10 minutes since the sun was setting rapidly. But it did make for a pretty sky :D I also was in the water for about 2 hours? So I went back, showered, threw on some makeup again (although I forgot to bring mascara) and went back out! I am planning on another photoshoot with the boots and wig/contacts etc etc~ Probably in a forest scenery?

Full Front. Photo by Hermsi

Full Front. Photo by Hermsi

I also had to modify some parts since they weren’t re-done… So please excuse the lack of accuracy XD I do like the picture above since it shows off the whole bow for once! This is the bow I did the cardboard tutorial with~ Honestly it has held up until I put some clay on the handle to make it round. That created the handle to crack. Maybe I’ll re-do this bow in wood? At least it’ll make a cool wall decoration xD

Dragon Nest Archer Blue 3

Photo by Hermsi

I’m trying to work on more modeling. I know how to do cutsy and fun poses/expressions but I was always afraid to do more serious/stoic expressions. I’m working on it! For the longest time people have told me I can’t do it, then I realize I let them get in my head. Why can’t I do it? I can totally do it~ So here I am, trying at least xD

Dragon Nest Archer Blue 4

Photo by Hermsi

Overall I’m happy with a 10 minute photo shoot! I learned a lot in a short amount of time~ Some tips for other cosplayers…
-Don’t be afraid of stares, take it as a sign to show them who is boss and fearless enough to be out in public in a weird cosplay.
-Even if a cosplay isn’t complete, that shouldn’t stop you from rocking it.
-Always have fun and find ways to improve!

I’ll DEFINITELY be having another full-on photo shoot with this cosplay. It’s my #1 toughest cosplay to finish apparently xD So I’m determined~

All photos by Hermsi
Cosplay and modeling by Yours truely~

–Kimikotan

Sailor Mars – Original Sailor Scout Cosplay

September 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

MARS… POWER!!

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Taken at LA Cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

My FAVORITE sailor scout is by far Mars~ So it was only about time I made a cosplay of her! I opted to use my own hair just because her hair does look black. And I admit… I try to use my real hair just because it’s easier and a lot more comfortable!

The cosplay was made in the course of about a week. Since I didn’t have a lot of time to plan I knew a lot of tutorials were already online for me to reference to! CupcakeCosplay has a nice overview of how to make it but I didn’t have a pattern for the leotard and I didn’t like the skirt flow. So I really just used it as a guide for how to finish off the leotard xD Then there is PersonasofCosplay which I actually really liked how they depicted the V of the leotard. So I ended up attaching the white V part similar to that and I really liked how it turned out :D And lastly since I didn’t have the normal leotard pattern that many of the site suggest… I made my own with the guidance of KellaxProductions! I used their shapes as a guide for how I wanted mine to look~

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Taken at LA Cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

So I ended up doing pleats for the skirt that starts from the middle in a box and goes off in the two other directions. I used white jersey knit fabric which was actually only 2-way stretch (I was on a budget and 4-way was a lot more expensive) but it ended up working out because I made the stretch side go horizontally so it would conform to me and the non-stretch going vertical so it would fit snugly on my body. It ends up working out I just worry when it goes into the wash, so I’m trying to be careful and hand wash everything.

 

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Taken at Anime Expo 2014 by Hermsi

From there I actually bought the gloves in these pictures but I want to re-make them so they are more consistent with the white I have as well as more form fitting. They are actually cotton driving gloves which is why they fit like that. Oh and those shoes? Originally a pleather dark blue which was gesso for a few layers then painted red with a sealer so it wouldn’t crack when I walked for awhile. With all those layers and a normal sealer… even scuffs didn’t show any blue underneath :D

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Taken at LA Cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

This is definitely my new go-to cosplay when I want to dress up at an event but I don’t want to bring a cosplay that require more work to walk around in. Although the skirt is REALLY short so stockings underneath is a must (although don’t be like me and not try it on before to check the color.. it made the LA cosplay Con photos really awkward).

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Taken at LA Cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

Ah the talisman though! That was made day of con :D We had previously bought a black marker with a brush tip for this and I was busy finishing some snaps on the outfit so I had given the writing to Hermsi~ He did a pretty good job for never writing any kind of Asian characters like that~ The talisman is made out of regular cotton fabric with some heavy interfacing on the inside. I made it out of fabric just so I could abuse it a little more than what I would be able to with paper.

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Taken at LA cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

The tiara is made out of styrene and some fun foam. The styrene was the base and the foam made the little details. Oh and a clay gem in the middle because I couldn’t find a nice gem in time as well as couldn’t work with resin… There is black elastic that goes under half my hair (like having your hair half up/half down) so it fit really snugly. But beware, don’t wear it too long if its hot and you’re sweating, I got a headache from it and having a headache at a con doesn’t make you a very happy camper >.>;; (AX14 lines… that was sad).

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Taken at LA cosplay Con 14 by Hermsi

I think that’s it… I shouldn’t have forgotten anything. but if you want to know something specific feel free to ask! I love being able to help fellow cosplayers :D 

Cosplayer: Kimikotan Cosplay, follow me on facebook
Photographer: Hermsi (he also did slight effect edits~)

–Kimikotan

Bellum Pars I Fashion Collection

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Welcome to the Battle :D

BP1

One day Hermsi came to me and told me that he contacted a convention about me doing a fashion show. Some background one me: I have always wanted to make my own collection come to life but without a spot to showcase it I never made it. I’ve drawn countless designs and collections but it was all too generic for me. So Hermsi calls me up and tells me Anime California has agreed to let me have a fashion show at the convention as a main event! See, right there I nearly fainted from shock, excitement, and nervousness. He just gave me about 6 weeks to do everything.. and I mean everything.

So I set out to start drawing a new collection from scratch. Why? Well the collections I had planned were a bit too detail intensive and had a lot more designs in one. Originally I wanted 12 designs but forced to cut back mainly because of time. I decided that since it was an anime convention with a huge game influence I decided to tap into my past where mmorpgs were my life. I always loved how classes were instantly recognizable even though designs varied so much. That is where Bellum Pars (latin for Battle Party) came to life!

And 6 weeks later after long talks about models, lighting, speeches, classes, designs, props, time, transportation, and cost… (just to name a few~)
I finally debuted 9 classes: Wizard, Adventurer, Mystic, Psychic, Ninja, Dancer, Bard, Musketeer, and elementalist!

This is just a snippet of pictures, for the full effect of the show please visit my facebook at: fb.me/kimikotancosplay

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Team 1 Classes : Mystic – Bard – Psychic

Group2

Team 2 Classes: Ninja, Adventurer, Musketeer

Group3

Team 3 Classes: Elementalist, Wizard, Dancer

Yes I decided to be a model as well because… well I can. It’s kind of the same reason why song writers also perform their own songs. Maybe they have the voice, may be not. But normally it stands true that if you work at it, you’ll be fine :D I also offered up model positions to mainly cosplayers as they would be the most familiar with the props and convention scene. And yes, I also have a slight bias as the cosplay community is pretty awesome~

What I found is collections are easier to make if I know what I’m making it for, event-wise. I can’t wait for the next show, with more time I can do some pretty crazy stuff :D Anyways, Thank you to Anime California for having me! Thanks to the models who stuck through all the fittings and craziness, and my team for the props and backstage work! Seriously was a group effort and couldn’t have done it without everyone!

I’m hoping to continue to do fashion shows for events. If you like what you see and would like to see me at a con/event near you, contact them! And have them email me at: kimikotancosplay@gmail.com

–Kimikotan
www.facebook.com/kimikotancosplay

Sailor Scout Bow Brooch

July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

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For awhile I’ve debated on how to make the brooch of the sailor scouts… because they don’t seem like they shine and they also don’t seem like full half circles (or else I’d just cut half a Styrofoam ball and call it a day). So I decided to look for a big button .. if I couldn’t find that I was just going to plan B which was the Styrofoam anyways xD |

So I actually found a button! It’s a huge one that’s about 3 inches in diameter. Around that at least.
I took the same red stretchy fabric I used for the puff sleeves and stretched it around the button!
(not shown – I cut out a 3mm foam and put that on the bottom so there would be a straight flat surface and give the button more elevation)
Then just carefully and strategically hand-sew the ends together. which you can see in the middle picture!

The key is that the stretchy fabric will keep it looking clean and not wrinkly on the ends. Something about trying to make a non-stretchy fabric conform over something round isn’t very pretty.

And that’s how I made the brooch! Same concept can be applied to pretty much anything round with a flat bottom~

–Kimikotan

Anime Expo 2014 Overview

July 11, 2014 § 1 Comment

Well hello there everyone :D

Let me start this off by … I did not follow my cosplay line-up but I don’t think I ever do xD But I finally got some pictures from the convention and here’s the bulk of Kimikotan Cosplay in one picture!

AX2014 Cos Line
Yep! Everything you see there I basically.. made o.o Mars, Lu Xun was a commission for my partner, Ragnarok, Diao Chan, and Pichu! Yes Ragnarok and Pichu are old but… eh. I still think they are in good condition to see the light of day every now and then xD Diao Chan is incomplete but I wore it anyways (will have it done later). And mars is just an overall comfy costume!

Alright so how was Anime Expo for me this year?

I give it a… 6/10. The downside was mainly linecon. Too many lines and waiting… Registration for me took about 2.5 hours in the blistering sun T.T and in cosplay! while I didn’t get to go to any of the panels I wanted to because the rooms capped out. I also later heard that the con got capped out o.o Then online I read on how some people forged badges which really means there were still way too many people there T.T

Anyhow. I got a few new things including a new Alpaca, Pop!, and a print!

Now as for pictures… Hermsi has put pretty much the majority of them up on his facebook. He’s the photographer so I don’t even bring a camera around now a days xD But I managed to get a few not shown on the facebook album and I’ll post them below! They’re all basically pictures of me with a cosplayer XD I like taking pictures with other cosplayers =3 If you remember taking a picture with me but it’s not posted, it’s because there was a lot of pictures and I only selected here and there xD Or it can be at the facebook album!

So.. let’s start the pictures!!

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Starting this off with… how AWESOME Harvest moon continutes to make BIG PLUSHIES :D ITS SO ADORABLE!!!

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Now this picture was entertaining to do :D She kept bringing her axe closer and clsoer to my neck o.o I don’t think my talisman worked either >.>

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Hehe this guy was cool~ He was really tall o.o So he crouched down to get to me height xDD His cosplay up close was really cool too!! (This is me trying to imitate him btw xD)

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Ahh! Dude they’re on like stilts or big shoes or Textbooks!! They also had the voice mod going so it was really fun to hear them talk =3 Really nice people too! =3

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These girls were really nice to me for me being so dang awkward T.T I really liked the Scheherazade’s staff and dress =3 it was SO pretty~

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Omg. We found MORE DYNASTY WARRIOR COSPLAYS :D apparently we missed a gathering? >.>;; But it’s so cool still =3

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And lastly…  me and my friends switching weapons! And uh. Yea. Bunny girl there trying to be cute xD

And that ends it! I played the cosplayer this year. No promotions or a booth but NEXT year.. I plan to be super busy with everything o.o Kind of looking forward to it actually! Once again… visit my Facebook page @ kimikotancosplay for continuous updates from me and to see more pictures from the con!

Ririchiyo Photoshoot

May 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hello once again! :D

Today I bring to you a long awaited photoshoot of my Ririchiyo School Uniform from Inu x Boku SS!

This cosplay was actually made primarily out of scrap fabrics xD So the main black piece is acually a little heavier than I would have liked but it initally belonged to Kirito’s Coat xP The lab coat and the inside shirt was already sitting in my closet (don’t ask why I have a lab coat… I’m not even a bio major xD) And so the main things I bought was the gold buttons and thigh high socks! A few flaws here and there but I was mainly testing out some new techniques. I’m glad I just finished it though xD OH and don’t look at my bangs >.>;; I know they are suppose to be straight bangs but I couldn’t bring myself to cut my own bangs and the wig didn’t look so nice :/

But nonetheless… enjoy the photos!
Photographer: Hermsi 

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Looks close enough to a campus or a lab in the back right? right…
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For some reason Hermsi loves to do reflection pictures ..

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One of my favorites since it’s just a cool picture in general~

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One of Hermsi’s favorite~ I think he just likes the fluffy hair and lab coat xDD
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And the nerdy shot XD

This uniform is actually REALLY short o.o We shot these at a place called crystal cathedral because we wanted a place with glass/mirrors. It was really awkward walking around in such a short dress so I tried keeping the lab coat on which was a few inches longer xD But it was so bad that if I leaned over a railing a little it would be such a panty shot T.T Did I realize I did that to the dress? Sorta… I admit. With thigh high outfits… it usually looks better on me when the skirt/dress part is mid thigh. So I don’t know if I’ll be wearing this to cons unless I but those fake thigh high stockings xD I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures, there are more floating around somewhere on my dA and facebook as well!

So yes! Hoping to get a photoshoot of my re-done Dragon Nest Archer sometime soon =3 And I have a giveaway and tutorial up soon too! =3

Keep updated with me on facebook and twitter!!

–Kimikotan

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