Madoka Kaname: Skirts and Petticoat

GeekySeamstress here again! Almost as soon as Cosmic Coterie officially decided to tackle Madoka Magica for our big build this year, Koholint and I started brainstorming Madoka. We split the labor so that Koho took the upper half of Madoka and I took the lower half. I’ve followed several Madoka cosplayers over the years, and I was absurdly excited about making that ridiculous donut skirt.

The Petticoat

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My first step in tackling my portion of Madoka was the petticoat. That giant donut skirt needed a support structure for the floof, so I turned to Jessie Pridemore‘s Madoka petticoat tutorial as a starting point. There are 10+ fabric layers total in the petticoat: 5 layers of chiffon circle skirts with serger-gathered satin ribbon ruffles, a layer of cotton crinoline, and 5 layers of gathered double-circle skirts made from tulle. There are also 120 yards of satin ribbon attached to the hem which also add to the overall fluffiness.

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As Dani and I started leveling the hems, I realized I wasn’t getting the volume I wanted out of the petticoat, and I was worried the donut skirt would ultimately weigh the petticoat down. Koholint pointed me in the direction of some tutu research she’d done. Tutus layer shorter layers on top of longer layers to create a fuller silhouette, which was perfect for our needs. Plus, it was kind of a cool nod to the ballet inspiration behind Madoka!

Bulk at the waist was a major concern, especially since Dani has a fairly short torso and we needed the bodice to be snug, so I attached all the skirt layers to a short yoke with an elastic waistband (and some pink satin ribbon I had on hand just because).

The Donut Skirt

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Fun fact: the original had so much bulk that I had to use pliers to pull my needle through.

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Round 1

The donut skirt was way more of a challenge than I initially anticipated. I went back and forth on a couple of approaches, but ultimately wound up using The Dangerous Ladies guide to Madoka’s skirt as a starting point. I originally set out constructing it as a super long gathered rectangle on both the top and lining layers. I quickly realized this would create far too much bulk under the bodice. To counter this issue, I opted to just gather the fashion layer (underlined with tulle) and create a circle skirt lining. Both layers were attached via a waistband which went under the bodice. The gathered portions sat just beneath the bottom of the bodice. The skirt closes with a lapped zipper.

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Getting there…

Figuring out an appropriate length for the fashion layer took some trial and error. Ultimately the fashion layer was about 3-4″ longer than the lining, which gave me room to stuff the skirt with extra tulle for that ridiculous puff.

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Still trying to get that shape!

The ruffles on the skirt are made from 5″ bias cut peachskin. Since the magical girls in Madoka Magica don’t really have a uniform design, we decided to make sure we all had peachskin ruffles with rolled hems in our accent colors to bring a little uniformity to the designs. Koholint took care of the rolled hems, and I gathered them on my serger. The ruffles are sandwiched between the lining and fashion layers.

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You can see me stuffing the crap out of that donut skirt in the top left! Bows and bodice by the crazy talented Koholint.

The Top Skirt

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The pink top skirt was mostly handled by Victoria Bane. I drafted out the pink skirt based on the circle skirt we used for the petticoat and lining of the donut skirt. We had to remove a petal to get it to lay right on the donut skirt, so in hindsight, I would have drafted it as a 3/4 circle skirt instead.

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Vickie airbrushed the white gradient onto the petals using Creatix paint and sewed up the skirt (side note: I’m still dying over how smooth that gradient is. Vickie rocks). The gems were scrapbooking stickers we found at Jo-Ann’s and glued on.

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Other Pieces

Since the skirts are so ridiculously short, I made a quick set of bloomers using Colette’s free Madeline pattern. I kind of wish I’d added a higher waistband for these since they ride pretty low, but they do the job.

Dani’s stockings were generously donated by We Love Colors. To create the ruffles at the top of the stockings, I stitched some reject peachskin ruffles from Dani’s skirt onto elastic bands. We tried using 2″ ruffles for the skirt initially, but they were waaaaayyyy too short to show up properly. We added a little extra flair to the stocking ruffles by adding some leftover trim from Koholint’s fabric stash.

Final Thoughts

Despite the crazy amount of work that went into these skirts, I’m quite pleased with the final result. There are a few things that I’d go back and fix if I were doing it again (side eyes spots with uneven gathers), but the silhouette is pretty damn nice. On to the next build!

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Photos by Ash Snap Em Photography

Who’s your favorite character from Madoka? 

Costume Notes: Mami (Madoka Magica)

Hey folks! The Geeky Seamstress here. I recently completed my notes on Mami. You can check out part of them here or head over to my blog for the full write-up!

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Photographer Credits: 

The Geeky Seamstress

Photographer Credits: 

Completed: May 2017

Hours Spent: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I kept track up until April, when A-Kon told us our group was too big to compete. After that I stopped caring.

Debuted: A-Kon 2017

Why This Costume: When the Cosmic Coterie crew decided to make Madoka as our major group build this year, I jumped at the chance to cosplay Mami. She’s by and far my favorite character and design, and had a couple of crazy design elements I wanted to jump at to improve my prop making and wig making skills.

Purchased Pieces: 

  • Contacts: Etia Coeur in Caramel Gold
  • Base gloves: We Love Colors solid wrist gloves in white (dyed and altered)
  • Soul gem base kit: The Dangerous Ladies
  • Wig: Arda Chibi and long clip in extensions in Fairy Blonde

Patterns Used: 

Super Helpful Tutorials: 

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Homura Akemi Costume Notes

Hey everyone! Space Cadet here!
I’m pretty pumped to share with all of you what I did to make my Homura costume! Hopefully it inspires others to make this costume as well!

Materials I used:
Kaufman Stretch Vera Sateen Wide in Lilac, Black, and White
JoAnn Peachskin Solid in white
Polyester Spandex in black and purple
Polyester Satin (matte) in purple
1/2″ double fold bias tape in black and white
1/4″ double fold bias tape in black
SF101 Shape-Flex interfacing by Pellon
Invisible zippers in black, white, and lilac
Black iron on vinyl
Wonder Tape
Wonder-Under Pellon 805R
Stabilizer
1″ elastic
Fray Check
Matching thread

Accessories:
Soul gem by UniqueCosplayProps
Wig is a Venus Silky in Thistle by Arda Wigs and dyed gray using iDye Poly (dyed and cut by Victoria Bane)
Time Shield 3D print file by Subzerofusion, printed by Shapeways

Skirt:
The skirt is a basic box pleated skirt with 2″ pleats. I didn’t use a pattern or a tutorial for the skirt but there are a bunch out there on the internet to reference if needed.
Skirt Ruffles:
I used the peachskin here and did a rolled hem with a lilac thread to tie in with the other characters in our group. All of us used the same white peachskin fabric and a rolled hem in our respective character colors to have something to bring the costumes together in a simple way. I created the ruffles by first making continuous bias tape using this method. I then serged one end with the rolled hem with lilac thread. After that I made my life difficult and pleated the ruffles with 1″ box pleats. In retrospect the pleated ruffles added a bunch of bulk in the skirt hem so I should have done regular gathering with the serger like the other girls did. LESSON LEARNED!

homura_skirt.JPG(unpressed skirt with ruffles)

Black Shirt:
For this shirt I used McCall’s 6124 and made alterations such as making a swayback alteration, nixing the buttons for an invisible zipper, drafting a different collar stand to attach the black collar to, and altering the sleeves. The black collar that I attached was a pattern I traced from Kiya’s old Homura costume collar (THANK YOU!!!). The mitered corners on the bias binding and the diamond on the back of the collar was the learning curve for me and I used this tutorial for the inset mitered corners on the white shirt sleeves and reversed the technique for the regular mitered corners. I interfaced the top of the black collar and then added the diamond

homura_blackshirt.JPG(black shirt with practice collar and unpressed skirt)
homura_blackcollar.JPG(black collar)

 

White Shirt:
This shirt was created by using and altering the Simplicity 1779 pattern. I added a swayback alteration, altered the neckline, altered the sleeves, and removed the button closing in the front. I was going to add an invisible zipper in the front of this shirt but it was giving me a hard time with puckering and I was running out of time. I ended up stitching the front closed. I highly recommend using a zipper though since it is much easier to get on and off with one. The bias binding on this shirt was the most difficult part with all of the mitered corners. The link to the tutorial I used for mitered corners is linked above in the black shirt section. On each sleeve I added the diamond above the sleeve V by folding the edges of the diamond under, securing to the sleeve with Wonder Tape, and topstitched them down.

homura_whiteshirtsleevebinding.JPG(white shirt sleeve bias binding detail)

Lilac Collar:
For the lilac collar I drafted a pattern and cut two pieces from the lilac fabric. I interfaced one of the pieces and stitched the stripes to the right side of that piece. I used Wonder Tape to hold down the bias tape stripes while I stitched. I then sewed the right sides together of the two lilac collar pieces leaving a large opening in the neck, graded the corners, and turned it right-side out. Then it was attached to the collar of the white shirt. The approach was very similar to the black collar minus the bias binding and no collar stand.

homura_lilaccollar(top piece of lilac collar)

Leggings (aka “poots”/pant boots):
For the leggings I used Kwik Sew’s K3636 pattern with the single seam on the inside of the legs. I extended the pattern down to my ankles and drafted a shoe cover pattern by wrapping the spandex around my base heel and getting it to where I had a single seam on the inside of the ankle and on the bottom of the shoe. I connected the shoe and legging patterns at the ankle and traced the mockup for a final pattern. I also marked the mockup where I wanted the diamonds to lay on the outside of the legs and transferred this in chalk to the leggings. Once each leg was cut out, I cut out diamonds in the same fabric as the leggings but in purple to place on the outside of each leg. I made sure to Fray Check the edges of each diamond. I used Wonder-Under to hold the diamonds down as I stitched using a stretch stitch and used stabilizer so my machine wouldn’t birds nest from the stretch fabric. Once the diamonds were stitched down, I removed the stabilizer from the back, sewed the two legs together, and The Geeky Seamstress added the elastic waistband for me (THANK YOU!!!) while I worked on the bows.

homura_pootsmockup.JPG(poots mockup with scrap spandex)
homura_pootsdiamonds.JPG(stitching down the diamonds)
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(stabilizer underneath the diamonds)
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(poots leggie)

Bows:
The last piece was the neck bow and back bow. I made the neck bow by making a 1″ tube and interfacing it with a 1″ strip in the bow loops. The tails were not interfaced so that they would move more freely. The neck bow tails were made by making a 1″ tube, sewing one end shut, and turning it right-side out. The back bow used 2″ bow loops that were also interfaced. The back bow tails were 2″ wide with a point at the end. I did not create a tube for the back bow tails but instead cut out 4 tail pieces, sewed right sides together, trimmed seam allowance, graded corners, and turned them inside out. The black designs on the back bow tails were added using iron-on vinyl once the tails were turned right-side out. I attached the tails to the bow loops by hand-stitching them to the back of the loops. The bows were attached to the costume using a pin backing.

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Nightmares and Drill Curls

Welcome, readers! In an effort to share information about our Madoka build over the next few months as we continue working, we’re posting information and reviews on our process during construction. Today we’re starting with The Geeky Seamstress’s notes on Mami’s wig!

The Geeky Seamstress

I recently knocked out the first major portion of my Mami cosplay: the CRAZY ASS WIG!

This wig was such a steep learning curve. Part of the reason I specifically chose Mami for our Coterie build (aside from her adorable design and the fact she’s my favorite Madoka character) was because I wanted to flex my arguably tiny wig muscles and learn more about crazy styling techniques. Well… I definitely learned a lot!

img_0552 Recurring statement: EVERYTHING IS TERRIFYING AND I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING

My main resource with this tutorial was SparklePipsi’sdrill curl tutorial. There are a lot of tutorials on the packing tape method of drill curls, but hers is my favorite. Overall it’s a great comprehensive guide and has a lot of useful tips and techniques (pro-tip: make sure you get CLEAR caulk. I had to get mine off of Amazon because my local hardware…

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