I have avoided writing this for a very long time, because holy shit this post is going to go on forever and be filled with dozens of photos. I apologize if I get boring and drag on at times throughout this. I would really like to document this as best I can since I worked so hard on it, which is why it will be very long.
CONSIDER YOURSELVES WARNED.
If you are new to this blog, unfamiliar with the character, or happened to miss my recent updates, I would suggest reading my previous posts about this costume before diving into this one!
Please note that this [part 3] will be the last installment in this [Napoleon] the making of series :3
First off was making the collar for my shirt- this was something I originally thought would be very easy. But having never drafted a collar before, it proved to be much tricker than I had been expecting. It ended up taking several mock ups and mess ups before I managed to get a shape I was happy with. But in the end I AM happy with it, so I suppose the effort was worth it.
How it looked cut out.
Later on I sewed on 15 snaps which served as the closure on this piece. Yes, that is right none of those pretty, fancy, pain in the ass buttons are actually functional.
The hat, oh god this hat… the hat was the complete opposite from the collar. It was one of those things I knew would be really difficult so I kept avoiding it and finding something else to work on, which is a really poor attitude to have towards challenging things.
That being said, the hat was made in three days from start to finish and was worked on up until several hours before it was packed away.
Step one was drafting a 4 piece pattern for the cap or the actual part that keeps it on my head, i’m not sure what the “proper” name for this would be. I made four or five felt mock ups of this until I was happy with the shape/fit, once I was pleased with it I ripped it apart and used the felt as lining for the “official one”
I ended up going with the one pictured to the right.
Then I took out some heavyweight velum and started drafting what I thought the shape should look like. It turned out that I had no frigging clue what the shape should be so this took a lot of trying on, pinning, and redrafting.
After a good long while I got a shape that I felt was accurate and looked pretty damn good. It ended up being a lot thinner and longer then I had expected, which is probably why I struggled so much with drafting it.
I traced my newly made paper hat brim onto a very heavyweight velty fusible interfacing, which was HELLISH to work with but worked really well.
The front and back cut out.
And pinned together on my wig head~
I drew out where I thought the gold/blue should split, removed all the pins and made yet another pattern that showed me what to cut out of each color.
I cut the pattern out accordingly and sewed the gold and blue together. Then I fused the pieces onto my interfacing and sewed up the side seams.
I went through and hot glued the edges onto the inside of the hat, then and sewed on left over fabric from my blue jacket as lining- this was you couldn’t see the ugliness that was the backside. I also hand sewed the brim onto the cap…which left me with a functional hat!
I’m sure that all sounds terribly confusing, I really wish I had taken more photos, but I was more focused on getting it done than documenting HOW I got it done.
Then it came time for making the hat clip or pin, or whatever it’s called. They are quite traditional and frequently pictured on bi-corne hats, but I couldn’t find any information about what they actually are, nor how to make an accurate one. So I decided to wing it, much like I had with the hat.
I used Crayola clay to create a small flattened circle in a pleasing size, then I made a small hole in the center. I cut a circle of blue material out and snipped a small “X” in the middle so the hole in the middle was visable and there was maybe an inch hanging off of each edge.
The edges were trimmed and glued to the underside of my clay circle, leaving the top side completely (smoothly) covered with the material. Then I took a large button and hot glued it in the middle, the backing of this button slipped right into the little hole, allowing it to lay flat against the clay. Then I had my mother cut 1” x 18” strips of jersey, which were hand ruffled down until they each reached 4” or so. I sewed these onto the underside so only ½ stuck out.
The end result was kind of odd, but I liked it so I sewed it onto my hat in the proper placement.
I decided if the hat was done I should tackle the wig that lays beneath it. I purchased another one of the wigs I talk about (and hated) here. I sewed them together, which made the wig much thicker. Then I recurled it into larger ringlets and pulled it up into a half updo sort of thing. I tied the back with a large bow which rests just beneath the hat when it’s worn.
Wig & Hat when they were both 80% finished.
Napoleon appears to be wearing tights in her official stance and battle scenes, but in ecchi and bonus scenes they are very obviously thigh highs/stockings/whateveryoucallthem. It felt that I could go either way and have it be accurate, but I ended up opting for thigh highs since they tend to fit me better, and are much cooler for middle of summer conventions like AnimeNEXT and Otakon.
That being said…THE SOCKS. Oh my god these were one of the most difficult and painful parts to make; Adding buttons to very stretchy stockings is not a fun task!
I bought two pairs of mustard yellow thigh highs from an ebay seller in the UK, the shipping took almost three weeks, which was annoying..but they ended up the perfect color! So i’m glad they were the ones I purchased.
I cut off the tops of one pair and sewed them onto the other, making them 6+” taller than they were originally. “Thigh highs” are actually more like OTK’s on me, since I’m tall, so the extra 6″ are a must.
I cut 1 ½” wide strips of fusible interfacing and pinned them like crazy to the inside of the socks while I was wearing them. ( I neglected to realize that pulling off socks with several dozen pins in them would be really fucking painful, so my legs got kind scratched up.)
Then I stuffed the socks with paper towel rolls and sheets to the point where they were the same size as my legs and proceeded to iron the cylindrical leg sized object as best as I could to get the interfacing to stick.
Then I sewed the buttons on and hoped to god that they wouldn’t create runs. I guess I got lucky on this one since I didn’t have a single one fall off, create a tear, or give me any sort of trouble!
Then came the epaulettes, which were also finished the day before we left for the con. I thought these would be easy, which is why I left them for the final day…but they were more difficult than I had expected.
(I really don’t know why I thought they would be easy…)
I pinned muslin to the jacket, put it on, and drew roughly out the shape I wanted while wearing it. Then I repeated this a few times with paper until I got a shape and pattern I was happy with.
Then I cut out two pieces of craft foam and two pieces of cardboard for each side, since I wanted these to be pretty thick and sturdy looking.I covered the bottom layer of craft foam with my gold material, with the help of hot glue. I also sewed two large snaps on the underside which later served the purpose of securing them to the jacket.
The four layers were then glued together, with craft foam on the outermost layers and cardboard inside.
Gold fabric was used to cover everything, secured on the underside with hot glue. The bottoms were pretty ugly, but the tops looked good so I didn’t mind too much.
I glued my fringe on, as well as several other braided trims. Unfortunately I neglected to add the buttons on these, so I’ll do that next time! I was actually pretty happy with how these looked in the end, but my method of securing them really sucked. They kept sliding back and look terrible in 80% of the photos I have. At least it will be an easy fix, and I’ll know for next time~
The vest was the last thing I made, and also my least favorite part of this costume. I’m really looking forward to remaking this, and getting it to look proper and accurate. I failed at making the “VV” part in the front prominent enough. I made them far too wide, and not close enough to the front (where the buttons are) so the “VV” didn’t show at all when I had the jacket on. What a shame.
Buttt I have enough buttons, and material to remake it with little trouble.
Drafting it was pretty simple.
Folding things over and adding interfacing.
Both panels before I sewed them together and added buttons~
Then came actually, you know, FITTING THE JACKET. I had a very particular way I wanted this jacket to look and fit…a way that was not easily achieved. It ended up being a lot of tugging, pinning, and trying on until I was happy with how it looked.
I think this really shows how much the fit changed.
(legs kind of got squished in the middle picture, noodle legs lol)
End of may:
A few days before the con I decided it was a good time for a makeup and time test (figuring out how long it takes me to get ready, thus deciding my wakeup time at the con). These were the results!
As you can see, there were still lots of things to do, even though the con was only a few days away! D:
The sword was out of my skill range so I asked (begged) my father to make it for me. (Happy father’s day, by the way! ^^) He made the blade out of a yard stick which was sanded down, and the handle out of a block of wood.
I drew out a braid pattern on both parts of the handle which were carved out by hand with wood tools, then sanded.This wasn’t very visible in the end but I still love, love, love, that it’s there, since it’s such a prominent feature on Napoleon’s in game sword.
[best picture I have of the braid]
The sheath was made of two pieces of wood, hollowed out in the center, and glued together with felt in the middle (so the sword doesn’t get scratched coming in and out). The fleur de lis was purchased from michael’s, sanded, painted, and glued on. The top part of Napoleons sheath is never shown, so I took some artistic liberties and prettied It up a bit.
The sword handle and blade were painted by hand; I worked really hard to get the gold paint to match the gold on my costume! The sheath was spray painted.
My dad did such a crazy awesome job with both of these pieces, I’m really happy with how they came out and proud of having such a great dad haha.
Sooo I think that’s it! Here are some lower quality pictures of it, “finished” though I shall be making a post with my nicer more official photos very soon. If you can’t bring yourself to wait a week to see all the phenomenal photos, they are being posted to my tumblr immediately after I get them ^^
Thanks for reading!