I’m making a Recette cosplay from Recettear ~An Item Shop’s Tale~ for PAX Prime 2011 and Kumoricon 2011. I am kind of on the hook to churn this out. I’ll try to update this post daily.
If you have any questions about the costume and cosplay, feel free to ask.
– I printed out a reference picture of Recette which turned out to be a shade darker than the in-game artwork, so I took note of that fact and kept in mind to purchase raw materials a shade lighter than on the reference sheet.
– (Reference picture is of the big Recette in the background of the below picture)
– After a quick overview of her outfit, I decided to make the costume layer by layer instead of buying all of the raw materials in one go.
– I ordered a 40cm-long wig in tea brown from Fantasy Sheep on Taobao. This would take the longest time to arrive out of all costume parts.
– The blouse is first. I went to Goodwill and found a blouse with the right cut and sleeves but in the wrong color (it was melon orange).
– To lighten the blouse, I picked up RIT Color Remover from Jo-Ann. I also bought and a spool of dark brown thread for the detailing.
– I followed directions written on the RIT Color Remover packaging to turn the blouse from melon orange to light mellow yellow.
– I dried off the blouse and added the line detailing to the sleeve cuffs and collar with dark brown top thread. The blouse is done (save for a quick pressing to set the collar and the wrinkles out).
– The skirt is next. I wanted it to sit on my hips, so I made the waistband 26″ around. Recette’s skirt has eight box pleats, so each pleat would be 3.25″ wide on my skirt. The skirt ended up being 17″ long, with a 2″ tall waistband and 15″ long skirt body.
– I already had a bolt of dark brown poplin, interfacing, and black hook-and-eyes in my house from previous purchases (and the dark brown thread bought from Day 1), so I only needed to get a 9″ dark brown invisible zipper from Jo-Ann for this project.
– It took less than a yard of fabric to make the skirt. I drew the cutting lines for the skirt body directly on the doubled-over fabric, with small marks for where the pleats will go, cut that out, and ironed the pleats into the fabric.
– The right side of the skirt body was sewn together with a French hem. Then I basted across the top to hold the pleats together and added the invisible zipper to the left side. The skirt body is basically done at this point, save for the bottom hem.
– I also remeasured the top of the skirt body to ascertain that it was indeed 26″ around.
– Unrelated to the skirt: I ordered the biggest (and cheapest) buckle I could find on eBay for Recette’s waist buckle.
– I drew a pattern for the waistband on newspaper, which is a slightly curved rectangle. I also cut a piece on mediumweight interfacing to apply to one of the fabric pieces. Then I sewed the waistband pieces together.
– This is roughly where my camera of nearly three years decided to malfunction and add lines to the photos. Needless to say, I will be replacing it in the coming months. I apologize for the line-filled photos below.
– I sewed waistband to the skirt body, folded it over, and finished it with stitching to the bottom and top.
– Then I added two pairs of hook-and-eyes to the waistband closure. This skirt’s opening is on the left side. I hemmed the bottom of the skirt and gave the pleats a final ironing to get the crisp folds back. The skirt is finished.
– I tested the skirt’s fit with the blouse.
– Since my regular camera is malfunctioning, I switched to using my cellphone camera, which is only at a measly 2MP.
– Next up is the apron. I purchased olive green rodeo poplin (so that the fabric would be thick and strong enough to not require lining) and matching thread from Jo-Ann.
– I drew up a simple pattern for the apron on newspaper. I designed the apron to be open from the waist down so that the skirt can move freely. On the fabric, I made a zigzag stitch down the sides to prevent fraying and sewed the pieces together at the sides.
– Then I reinforced the fabric at the sides and hemmed the arm holes and across the top. I hemmed the bottom with dark brown top thread to make the hem stand out.
– The apron straps came from simple rectangles.
– I sewed the straps to the apron body and the apron is finished
– Here’s a test fitting for the apron.
– Next up is the coveralls, for the lack of a better term. (Jumperskirt? Vestment?). I wanted its texture to distinct from the rest of the costume, so I chose to use linen for the main body. I purchased red linen, salmon pink cotton fabric (for the trim), and pink thread from Jo-Ann. The linen turned out to be fairly soft, so I decided to line it. I already had dark orange lining and red thread sitting in the house.
– First things first, I prewashed the linen and it turned the sink blood red. My mother was not happy about it and I spent some time scrubbing the sink off afterwards.
– Using the apron pattern as a guide, I drew up a similar pattern for the coveralls that was slightly longer and had a greater arc. Grommets would eventually go on the back of the coveralls, so the inner pieces are split into lining and strips of linen with interfacing.
– I sewed the outer and inner pieces together in their separate layers.
– The pink fabric was made into bias tape. I lined up the inner and outer pieces of the coverall body, pinned the bias tape on, and sewed them together.
– I also added the line detail down the middle of the bias tape trim with dark brown top thread. It’s kind of hard to see in the photo below.
– For the brown trim on the shoulder straps and bottom of the coveralls, I used moleskin fabric. I bought some from Jo-Ann and it turned out to be quite a chore to work with; it frayed like the dickens and took pressing poorly. The bottom trim was made in bias tape format.
– The shoulder straps was made from brown moleskin and pink cotton fabric. I applied interfacing to the moleskin for strength and sewed the pieces together. Then I sewed the straps to the coveralls.
– (The aforementioned line down the middle of the pink bias tape trim is visible in the below photo).
– The pockets jut out from the coveralls in the reference pictures, so just simple, flat ones wouldn’t do. I pictured them to be box-like and drew a pattern accordingly. I also decided to add craft interfacing to them for maintaining the shape (there’s no way two pens can keep a pocket open like that) and lining to conceal the interfacing.
– I interpreted the pink bordering around the pockets to be piping, so I made some from cording and the pink cotton fabric (purchased cording from Jo-Ann). Then I sewed piping and pocket layers together on the sides and bottom, turned the pockets right side-out, and finished them across the top.
– Figuring out how to pin the rectangular pockets to curved coverall pieces while maintaining a horizontal look when worn took a while. In the end, the top of the pockets became 5 inches wide while the bottom remained 6 inches wide and curved. The stitches went into the tiny gap between the piping and the pocket body, which the sewing machine couldn’t do, so I had to hand-sew the pockets on. It ended up taking around 3 hours and very sore fingers.
– Here is the costume assembled thus far.
– Putting the unfinished coveralls aside, I moved onto the boots. I used the same brown moleskin as the trim on the coveralls for them. I decided to line the boots with dark brown poplin.
– For the base of the boots, I found and bought the biggest sandals I could find at Goodwill (men’s size 13). They were oversized on my feet (children’s size 3.5, normally), but still not comically huge like Recette’s. I didn’t have the time or resources to buy/make clown shoes, so I went with the Goodwill sandals.
– The boots struck me as rectangular in shape overall, so that’s how I drew the pattern pieces for them. I cut pieces on moleskin and poplin and applied craft interfacing to the moleskin so that the boot covers would literally stand on their own.
– I assembled the inner poplin pieces first to ensure that the pattern worked.
– The boots also had piping, which I made from tan suedecloth and cording. The piping was sewn to the top piece of the boot covers. I assembled the left and right sides of the boot pieces together with the toe piece first, then the top piece with the piping to them. (The poplin layer omitted the cording/piping).
– Boots in mid-assembly. Pinning through thick craft interfacing made my right thumb quite sore and sewing 90° angles was somewhat difficult on the flat sewing machine surface.
– For the top of the boots, I thought making them in two separate parts would be easier. First, I made strips out of tan suedecloth that would create a dip in the middle of the front of the boots as the inner pieces.
– Then I made slightly curved rectangles for the outer pieces of the boot tops. I added the lines to them with dark brown top thread.
– I hand-sewed the outer pieces onto the inner pieces with an invisible stitch. The loose flap of fabric was folded back on itself and glued in place with E-6000. The large, golden buttons are made of craft foam and gold paint, and also glued onto to the boot tops with E-6000.
– The bottom photo also shows the sandals I used as the base of the boots. The bottoms were painted to match the tan suedecloth.
– The boot covers were glued on with E-6000.
– Meanwhile, I’ve been letting the coverall pieces bask in strong sunlight daily in hopes of giving the linen a bit of a sun-bleached look.
– Moving back to the coveralls. I purchased extra-large eyelets from Jo-Ann and hammered them into the back of the coveralls. I also glued on all 14 of the buckles (?). The buckles are made of craft foam with gold spray paint, finished with glossy sealer.
– The sash for the back of the coveralls came out to be 105 inches in total length. I made it from the salmon pink cotton fabric.
– I glued the little gold tabs (also craft foam + gold spray paint) onto the ends of the sash and threaded the sash into the coveralls. The coveralls are finished.
– The wig started off as 40cm long and I chopped off around 8cm to make it work for Recette. Even then, it’s still a titch too long but I’d like to reuse the wig for other cosplays. I tried to use a hairdryer to get the wig a little less smooth and straight, but the fibers were fairly resilient.
– The red hair bobbles were made from…wait for it…Styrofoam Halloween eyeballs, painted over with acrylic paint and finished with glossy sealer. Two small staples are anchored into the bottom side and I threaded transparent elastic string into them to tie them onto the pigtail.
– The belt is made of one long strip of brown moleskin with craft interfacing backing to keep its shape. The buckle I bought came and it was spray painted gold, finished with glossy sealer. Turning the belt right-side out took quite a while since it was very stiff from the interfacing.
– I used a soldering iron to make the belt holes. The original belt buckle had only one centered prong, so I took that off. I searched around the house for something to be the two prongs needed, but I couldn’t find anything suitable. In the end, I chopped up the 15th buckle leftover from the coveralls, cut them into the shape of prong tips, and glued them on with E-6000.
– I used a similar method to make the bracelets, but the prongs on those go through the belt. None of the buckles are functional; the buckles were glued permanently in place and the belts will be held closed by snaps.
– The jabot was an relatively easy task. I made it from two rectangular cuts of cotton fabric, held together by fabric glue and super glue. It is safety pinned onto the blouse.
– I threw on all finished parts of the costume for a quick test fit to see what needed further work– Judging from the photo, the boots needed to be stuffed full and the top of the coveralls needed something to keep them from doing a split. (The bracelets weren’t worn for the photo since the glue on them were still curing).
– So I added snaps to the top of the coveralls to anchor them to the apron.
– The bracelets close by hook and eyes and the straps were glued on with E-6000.
– This was the final part of the costume to be made: a fake blue book for one of the pockets. I chose to make a book rather than using an actual book because the latter would be heavier and weigh down on the coveralls. I made the book out of craft foam and super glue, with a pencil to draw in fake pages and give the book a slightly weathered look. This was completely done in the car ride up to PAX Prime 2011.
– The costume is now finished.
At PAX Prime 2011
At KumoriCon 2011