The Making of ‘Royal Milk Tea’ – Sakizou Artwork

Part 1 : Conquering the Bustle

So I have a new project, a huge project really, that is finally deep enough in progress share with you guys! But first I want to mention that the next convention I’m attending is Katsucon, which takes place in February. Since I am an ambitious bugger, I have really huge plans for this convention and have a half dozen things to make before the con, including a ball gown (I get excited just typing that omg).

I should be pretty active in the blogosphere (allegedly) since lots of sewing will be going on. I’ll do my best to keep you guys updated!

For this project since it’s so…elaborate, I’m going to make the first few posts limited to one part of the costume. I will have a post devoted to the sleeves, a separate one for the corset, one for the tights, one for the wig and headpiece, and of course a part relating to the bustle (this one!).  In total this costume should be posted in seven…or maybe eight parts, depending on how things go.Hopefully this format will allow (and force) me to update more frequently.

The character is “Royal Milk Tea” from the Tea Time artbook, and is designed by the amazing artist Sakizo, who is infamous for her ruffly food inspired designs.

Now…this is a dream costume of mine. It’s also something horribly out of my skill range. I know it’s stupid to take on something so elaborate when I’ve only been sewing for a few months…but i’m a little bit insane, so it makes sense.

The design:

God it’s so pretty. 

If you are reading this with the intention of making this ridiculous beast of a bustle, I want to tell you it requires over 220 yards (yes YARDS) of hemming. And if you are sitting there thinking, “Oh, she’s just exaggerating”  I am not. It takes a ridiculous amount of time, effort, thread, and patience. I can’t really recommend that you attempt this, but if you do – I wish you great luck.

This project takes six and a half yards of taffeta, seven yards of tulle, and a couple yards of muslin, along with regular sewing tools (machine, thread, needles, scissors, etc.) Good luck!

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I started out with the cheapest crappiest muslin I own,  made a pillow case shaped thing, and stuffed it with polyester filling. I safety pinned my home made rectangular pillow to the pair of shorts I was wearing and drew on the rough shape I wanted  on with a sharpie.

Then I added more filling and refined/evened out the sharpie line, tried it on again, and repeated until I like how it looked. I pinned around my line and sewed across it, and then cut off the excess material.

At this point it wasn’t very pretty, but I liked the shape it gave.

When I decided I was pleased, I took a 40” long strip of plastic boning (the length of my hip measurement) and covered it with a scalloped lace trim to make it look a bit nicer (this becomes the band holding it up). I also cut a piece of white muslin and sewed a cover for the pillow portion, which I hand sewed into place.

Now it looks much better!

And when worn:

Once the pillow portion was finished I started trying to figure out how I wanted the top skirt to look. After a few attempts I realized the bustle I had made – although a good base was never going to give me the shape and poof I really wanted. This is how it looked with a skirt base over it, can you say awkward?

I wanted lots of slightly visible ruffles and a ridiculous explosion of delicious poof – not a shelf coming out of my ass.

Though at this point I didn’t really have a clue what to do,  I went ahead and decided the only way to have a ruffly explosion was to create ruffles. Aren’t I smart? 

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So now we can move onto the serious stuff – the art and science behind making ruffles. My “method” (which isn’t really mine, i’m sure thousands of people do it this way, but I did discover it myself) requires a silly amount of machine sewing and is very time consuming, so it’s probably not the best method…but it makes super fluffy ruffles and you have a lot of control over the gathers (which I like). It’s also pretty easy once you get the hang of it….and I like things that are easy.

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Please note, unless specified elsewhere, this is the method I’ll be using to make ALL the ruffles on this costume. So it’s something I will probably refer back to in later posts.

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Sadly, when it comes to ruffle making, you have to start with math. (The horror) To keep it simple, a finished ruffle will be 1/3 the length of the material you started with. Twelve inches of fabric = a four inch ruffle, 36 inches of fabric = 12 inch ruffle. Decide on the ruffle length you want, multiply it by three, and that’s the strip length you will need to start with.

I wanted to make each of my ruffles 120 inches long, which means each length I was working with was 360 inches long (I’m going to refer to it as 10 yards from now on). Since my fabric is 60 inches wide I needed six strips sewn together to get the required 10 yard length.

Once that is figured out, decide the width you want, then add on one inch for the hem and half an inch for a seam allowance. I wanted two inch ruffles, which means I cut the strips 3 1/2 inches wide.

At this point I didn’t know it yet, but I ended up wanted 11 tiers of ruffles, which means I cut out 66, 3 ½ inch wide and 60 inch long strips. In total it took six-something yards of material to cut out all the strips I wanted.

Okay, icky math stuff is over.

To save myself -some- sanity on this project, I only worked with four 10 yard lengths at a time, so that’s all you’ll see here.

So here is the first batch of strips. Aquatint yourselves well, you will be seeing a lot of each other. 

 I sorted them out into piles of six.

And got them all sewed together. Having four 10 yard lengths is much easier to manage than 24 strips.

Now it’s time for hemming. Hemming isn’t something I hate…but it isn’t something I enjoy, especially when there is so much of it. I like to get my headphones on, turn a CD on reply, prepare four bobbins and speed through the whole process as quickly as possible. It makes it -slightly- less tedious.

I think hemming is something every seamstress has done before, so I won’t give anything more then the very basic explanation which is: Flip over half an inch of the material and sew it with a running stitch. I would highly, highly, suggest you guesstimate the half inch as you go. If you can, save yourself the hours and hours that pinning and marking require.

Also, if your ruffles aren’t going to be touching the ground, set the stitch length to something a bit longer (like a three) and lower your tension. This will make the process go slightly faster.

Once that is done, flip the hem over another half inch and sew it again. This will give you a rolled (or ‘double’) hem, which traps the unfinished edge inside, preventing it from fraying.

Once that is done congratulate yourself and prepare for the next, far more grueling step. (Mostly joking, it isn’t quite that bad)

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Okay, time for gathering, the whole bit that actually turns a strip of material into ruffle.

I’m using what I guess could be called the “zig zag” method. For this you are sewing a zig zag stitch over a piece of thread*, (creating a tunnel for the thread*) and then pulling it, thus creating gathers. Now the problem with using thread is that it breaks if it catches on something, then you have to start over again. It can get frustrating really quickly when you keep having to restart.

So I would not recommend using thread*.

*For alternatives you could use embroidery floss, string,  (thin) yarn, or even fishing line.

I’m not sure what I use would be called (if you have the ‘proper’ name please comment with it), I originally purchased it to use as piping, but it’s actually what fine fringe trimming is made of, and you can buy 500yd spools for $20 in NYC. It’s slippery, doesn’t break easily, comes in lots of colors, and is a really nice width for the task.

Cut the piece of thread/string/twine/floss to the length you want your ruffle to be + a few extra inches for wiggle room.

Set your sewing machines stitch length to something very small, then secure the twine, string, thread, or whatever you have decided to use to one end of your fabric strip.

For the actual zig-zag part you’ll probably want to significantly up your stitch width, I usually sew with a four. Which I find works really well, anything larger then that becomes a bit too wide for such a tiny ruffle (at least in my opinion). But play around a bit and figure out what works for you!

Once your settings are done, go ahead and begin zig-zagging over the piece of filament, make sure to pull steadily on the filament well you sew, well guiding the material along with your left hand.

You can rearrange these ruffles later, make them tighter, looser, whatever. Don’t worry about keeping them even while your sewing. The reason you need to pull on the filament is to keep it moving and out of the way so you don’t sew over it.

Hopefully all that made sense, the tricky stuff is over now!

Congratulations, you now have made ruffles!

Once that was finished I sewed five of the ruffles onto a piece of tulle that was 4 1/2 inches wide and 120 inches long. I used a zig-zag stitch to avoid fraying. The other 6 ruffles were sewn onto 6 1/2″ wide tulle that is the same length.

 Then I folded each 4 1/2″ strip in half, giving me a 60 inch long double layer of tulle, with the two layers of ruffles pressed against each other (right sides facing out).

I stitched across the tops of the ruffles, holding the ruffles and tulle together.

Volia, the pile has changed (slightly)!

Once you have made the amount of ruffles you need [In this case I made 40 yards] and attached them to tulle,  you can start sewing things together.

So, the ruffles attached to 4 1/2″ tulle are the ones you’ll actually see- since they are at the back of the garment. They are stacked on top of each other, offset by two inches.

[how it looked when three of them were pinned together]

Now, the problem with this (once it’s sewn on) is that the ruffles actually cave the bottom inward instead of outward.

Front:

It’s more obvious in the back – I should have taken a side shot.

So now we have delicious ruffles, but lack the poofy part.

To combat this, I took the six ruffles that had been attached to 6 1/2″ tulle and sewed all of them together in one long strip which was then folded it in half. I sewed across the ruffle tops, and then gathered the top of the tulle with the method I showed earlier,  resulting in a ruffled 70 inch strip.

Needless to say, it was super dense and poofy. Just perfect for what I wanted.

In these pictures it’s the strip is just pinned, but I think the difference is pretty incredible.

And how it looks when worn!

And that is IT! I still have some hand sewing and tacking down to do, but for the most part this piece of my costume is complete. I am so ridiculously happy with the results..I can’t even get it out into words. There were a few points where I wasn’t sure this would work out…so, yeah, I’m thrilled.

Part 2 : Starting on Sleeves & Skirt

Apparently the postal service hates me. The trims, beads, cameos, rhinestones, and pearls I ordered haven’t arrived yet (which is actually slightly worry some since I ordered them over two weeks ago) this means I can’t finish my sleeves, or the skirt. And also messes up my whole post-about-a-single-topic-a-week plan.

Instead of posting about making the sleeves from start to finish I’m going to make this a combined post showing the first half of the sleeves + the first half of the skirt.

AKA everything seen here (aside from the collar)

I’ll start with the sleeves.

Quilting is something I’ve grown up around….though it’s not something I’ve ever attempted before, so I knew it would be a bit of an adventure. But even knowing this it was the least of my sleeve related worries. I was more concerned about the poofy part of the sleeves.

I have a little fear of sleeves…they confuse me, to say the least. I find them tricky to alter, fit, and understand in general. After a solid six months or so I finally, finally(!) understand a little bit more about them and can draft/sew them to a point where they fit well(enough).

Excluding poofy sleeves, of course.

I understand the logic behind them…but still they scare me. My past attempts at poofy sleeves resulted in tight-on-the-top-not-so-poofy-sleeves, or the alternate bigger-then-my-head-clown-sleeves. Neither of which were the look I wanted at all. And in this case I didn’t have a whole lot of spare fabric, so I kind of really needed it to come out okay the first time.

I came across this pattern and decided to give it a go:

I drafted out the fig.2 pattern and made a rectangle big enough for the pattern piece to fit inside. I can’t remember the exact size, but I cut a rectangle with matching dimensions out of taffeta, muslin, and batting.

I marked out the quilting design on the rectangle of starched muslin.

I pinned in such a way it created a sandwich with batting in the middle, and taffeta/muslin on the outside.

I turned  the stitch length up a bit, and turned my tension down (because it’s kind of like topstitching, right?)

 And after maybe half an hour of fumbling around I had one panel quilted!

I marked my pattern out with sharpie and sewed around the edge.   

And cut it out.

For some reason I didn’t take photos of me adding the rhinestones. Actually, I’m pretty certain I DID take photos of that step…where those photos ended up? Not a clue. I can tell you that the process was pretty simple; I just glued 3mm white rhinestones onto the points of each diamond.

Then I marked out the gathering points and used the previously mentioned ‘zig-zag’ ruffling method to create the gathers. This is what that looked like:

At the time I was pretty okay with how this turned out, but after a week of looking at it I was no longer pleased by it. The shape seemed…wrong, not nearly rounded enough. So I ripped out the gathering, cut an inch off the bottom, and re-gathered it. I liked the size a lot more, but the shape wasn’t quite right. It kept collapsing down on itself (probably due to the material thickness)

So I stuffed them with squares of quilt batting.

Then I was much more pleased with it.

This shows it without the additional batting, but you can get an idea of the new shape.

Once that was done I made the cuff, which also got little diamonds quilted onto it.

The last thing I needed to figure out was the full length sleeve. I measured my upper arm, elbow, wrist, and a few points in between, also taking care to mark the length between each arm width measurement. This easily translated into a pattern. I cut the pattern out of white knit four way stretch fabric. The fabric was slightly see-through so I used two layers.

And voila, the three pieces needed for my finished sleeve!

Once sewn together they look like so!

I’m in love with how these fit, and the shape they have, but they are missing details. Trim around the cuff, centered cameo in the middle of the cuff, rhinestone borders, pearls around the wrists etc. Really easy things to add which will help dress this up…but they are things that haven’t arrived just yet.

Onto the skirt!

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Please keep in mind this doesn’t have any embellishments just yet. It will get a look more dramatic, fancier, prettier, and more organized once I add on to it.

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Since I already had my bustle/petticoat made, there wasn’t a lot of actual work to do on the skirt. I ordered this wonderful gold leafing trim from etsy and sewed it onto a 10 1/2″ wide strip of (300″ long) ivory fabric.

I double hemmed it before adding the trim, in case that wasn’t obvious. I used the zig-zag method of ruffling (see previous post for tutorial) to make it into a ruffle.

Then I drafted a “bustle cover” pattern which looks like so:

I cut that out of the ivory taffeta, sewed it onto the ruffle, and ended up with this:

The blue ruffle is made of 5 1/2″ wide strips with a double hem and 1/4″ gold/ivory braid cording sewn 1/2 from the hem. Silk taffeta is kind of a bitch to sew, so it took slightly longer than I had anticipated (so much ironing, and puckering, wow.)

I used the same bustle pattern that was used for the ivory layer, but added four inches onto each dimension before cutting it from the blue material. When that was cut I gathered down each edge and sewed it onto the proper sized muslin pattern piece. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but it looked like this:

And once the ruffle was sewn on and it was pinned to the ivory layer it looked like this

And how it looks worn

That’s all my progress for now!

 Part 3 : Socks & Stockings

So today I would like to present a blog post all about socks.

It’s a sad day for a blogger when you have to write a post about socks. But for me, that day has come.

I bet you are sitting there thinking this will be a boring post, because socks are obviously very easy to make.

This is a common mistake.

It is also a mistake I made, and then proceeded to spend 16 hours making a pair of socks, ranting and cursing all the way along.

The file folder with all the information relating to these socks is named ‘satans stockings’ which is pretty accurate.

In case you hadn’t picked up on it, these were very frustrating and difficult to make.  I’ll try to keep my anger at bay throughout writing this post- but be warned, it may slip at times.

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Despite what I said earlier, making a basic stocking/sock isn’t that difficult. I’ve done/demoed it before, but I’ll show you again so it’s all into one post. These first three pictures are from back when I was making my Mizore cosplay, check that post out here.

If you haven’t done this before you will need to make a pattern, I’m sure there are far better ways of doing this…but this was my “creative method”

I cut out a block that would fit over my leg

I draped it over my leg and pinned all the way up the back until it fit snugly.

I cut around the edges and removed the pins – leaving me with this.

Once I added seam allowances this became a perfect stocking pattern. I drafted it onto newsprint and cut out four pieces, two for each leg since the white knit i’m using is slightly opaque.

‘Now, I could sew this up in two minutes and have myself a perfectly nice white sock. It would be really easy, but sadly Royal Milk Tea’s stockings are 10x more complicated.

I measured out the circumference of my thigh (20 1/2″), cut a length of lace to that size and sewed it into place. This is made slightly tricky since the lace isn’t stretchy and the knit material is (but that’s kind of the point, so)

There we go – the top is now stretched to the right size.

Let’s move away from that and talk about the little blue windows (I later nicknamed these gravestones since I swore they would be the death of me) that decorate her stockings.

I  found a size/shape I liked and cut out a bunch of them

But after a lot of playing around and experimenting I discovered that I really didn’t like how they looked at all. They were very flat and lifeless; Not to mention that the braided trim I was using looked really crappy.

On a whim (since i’m ‘Miss.let’s-make-everything-more-difficult-than-it-needs-to-be) I decided to try adding quilt batting to give them more “life” which I thought looked way, way better. (It’s on the left).

As per usual, the best way is also the most difficult, and the windows ended up taking a while to make.

  Now back to the sock!

I cut a strip of ruffles to the same 20 1/2″ length and sewed them 1 1/2″ down from the top.

Then I started marking out the holes that the gold ribbon threads through. This is easily the most frustrating part of everything, and very time consuming.

Once the holes were cut they got painted with three layers of fray-check

I then sewed a strip of gold trim on to cover the seam of ruffles. This trim is actually home made of plastic foam flooring which had gold spandex stretched and glued over it. It was originally made for a different costume (one that requires thirty some-odd yards of it) but I thought it would work well for this.

The process of making it is stupidly complicated and not something I want to go into right now.

Anyway – it was hand sewed onto the stocking, a very painstaking process since foam flooring, spandex, and hot glue are not nice things to stitch through, especially when doing so with metallic thread.

. There is a little jump here – as you can see above the “windows” got zig-zag stitched into place, I actually liked how this looked but it was a bit messy, so I decided to cover it later on.

I also started hand sewing the gold arches into place. A task that was quite easy but, once again, time consuming.

And lastly I glued on little flower cameos which I had painted gold.

Once the backseam was sewn up, they looked like so

I can’t even put into words how proud I was of this. It was stupidly time consuming and frustrating but god damn it I have never been so glad to have something done.

and then the realization that I had to make a second one settled in

I wasn’t very happy about that. But luckily, the second one was much easier to make than the first.

Also, I mentioned covered the windows with something, since my braided gold trim idea looked dumb I settled on rhinestone trim.

This stuff is officially tHE BIGGEST PAIN TO SEW ON EVER. But  I love how it looks – when in doubt add glitter, right?

The left one is still missing the rhinestone trim, neither of the socks have bows or large cameo pendants (post office still hates me), and the ruffles need to be tacked down. BUT OTHER THEN THAT these are done.

What a stupid amount of work for socks, good god.

Part 4 : The Corset

First of all, I would like to apologize for how long it has taken me to post this – over Thanksgiving my entire family ended up getting the flu (or as I nicknamed it, ‘The thanksgiving plague’), and then for the weeks following I avoided working on RMT. I was kind of frustrated with the costume and needed a break.

Soo I started work on my other costumes that i’m also wearing to Katsucon, two of which are almost complete. I’ll be posting about one of them very soon, and I’m considering writing a post about this silly little thing. The idea stemmed from a project runaway challenge and a friend saying ‘you would be the most kawaii mountie’ and now I don’t even know.

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Anyway, Katsucon is quickly approaching and i’m debuting four (maybe five) costumes. I’ll be jumping between a lot of projects and can’t put as much focus into Royal Milk Tea, so updates might be slower.

Onto what this post is actually about! Corsets!

If you are new to reading my blog I would suggest reading the previous posts relating to this costume first.

The Making of ‘Royal Milk Tea’ – Part 1 Conquering the Bustle

The making of ‘Royal Milk tea’ – Part 2  Starting the Sleeves & Skirt

The Making of ‘Royal Milk Tea’ –  Part 3  Socks & Stockings

I didn’t want to buy a corset pattern, because that would obviously be to easy….well honestly, that isn’t even the reason. Corsets need to be fitted so well, and I’ve never come across a store bought pattern that fits me properly, so I decided drafting my own was the better option.

Hahaha. Oh man I should have just bought a pattern, I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess corsets aren’t that hard but I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing. I think if I make one again I will be able to do it without any real problems…but this time around it was not fun.

This is how I drafted the pattern, but of course I made it way to big so I had to take it in a good four inches.

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I made a mock up and it ended up looking ok, I was pretty proud considering I had expected a far worse outcome.

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I had to do a lot of altering, because as I said, I made it several inches to large. I took 1/2 out of almost every seam.

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I tried it on and cut the hem to the angle I wanted, I also marked where the bra cups should go and stuff like that. Then I tore it apart to get my new and improved pattern.

DSC_8291Now, corset attempt #1 didn’t go so well. Things didn’t line up properly, I made it to long…the boning poked through the bra cups, the blue lining showed through, and I didn’t sew the busk in properly so the front seriously fell apart. It was an absolute mess and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t save it.

I didn’t take any photos of it because I ripped it apart as soon as I got the chance, but here is the awful grainy photo I have of it. It’s not laced up here at all which is why it looks boxy. But you can see the bra cups don’t line up and the front was falling apart. It doesn’t look that bad here, but you could actually see the light blue lining underneath the top layer so everything looked green.

IMGP0118Take two, luckily, went much better. I made it shorter and gave the hem a more dramatic slope. I also allowed space for the bustle by leaving it looser in the front!

IMGP0164My new pattern consisted of two layers of interfaced ivory taffeta, with the corset lined in flat backed dark green velvet. It’s an odd choice but so comfy, I love it.

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I cut apart a $3 bra that I snagged on ebay to get cups that fit me – it’s very difficult to find padded bra cups with boning in NYC. You have to buy the boning bit separate from the cups and in the end it costs $12 which is way to much in my opinion.

Royal Milk Tea has cleavage going on in the artwork, and i’m not sure if i’ll be able to duplicate that since i’m quite flat chested, but i’ll do my best.

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And this is what it looks like now, once again it’s loosely laced so it’s kind of boxy. I’m kind of incapable of lacing corsets myself. It should lace in another four inches at the waist when done up properly, which will make it look far better. The fit is okay and it doesn’t fall apart, so I consider it a success.

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For decorations I made 1/2 pleated portions for the front which are attached to little ruffles. They are hand sewn and tacked into place.

I cut up the gold leaf trim (which was also used on the skirt) and glued some of them on with my trusty hot glue gun.

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I also used some tiny gold and ivory braided trim to cover the seam between the pleats and the ruffle.

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It’s not done yet, but it’s getting there!!

Part 5 : Chokers, Cameos & Corsets

I actually didn’t do much to it, I just sewed a ruffle on. It’s double hemmed and starched so it holds it’s shape better than silk taffeta usually does.  The lacing is very loose in these shots, it could easily tighten another 4″ when done up properly. That’s why the shape still looks a bit boxy. I can’t pull it in at the waist when it’s loosely laced so the boning stays straight.

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….

So moving on!

I ordered the rhinestones from here. I purchased 1, 2, and 3 mm ones in the colors champagne, light brown, and light yellow. They are all very clear and pretty so i’m quite pleased with that order. Shipping took somewhere around two weeks.

The pearls were purchased here and they are 8mm in the color teal. These shipped really quickly and came with a sweet note.

I bought the cameo frames here and the cameos here and let me just say NEVER AGAIN. I needed 30+ cameos with frames in the same size so I scouted out places with the best prices. These shops sold things in lot’s of six and had everything pre-made so I figured they would be good choices.

I was really wrong. They claimed two week shipping and it took over 45 days for them to get to me. Shipping should never take that long, ever. The product is good but the service was awful and i’m really disappointed by that. They kept blaming shipping delays on Hurricane sandy but at that point the product was still in China, so it didn’t even make sense.

Ugh.

Anyway, this was my haul of cameos and pearls.

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The frames ended up being a a very dark brownish bronze color that didn’t suit my purpose at all, so I spray painted them a gold color.

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I thought that would be good enough, but they looked so dull I couldn’t stand it. I decided to add rhinestones to a few of them, the ones with more notable placement (the ones on the wig, the ones used for bracelets etc). Since gluing on rhinestones is so time consuming it was something I wanted to avoid  as much as possible.

Sadly, my perfectionist came out and after I saw the difference between the ones with rhinestones an the ones without, I knew it was a treatment that all of them needed.

Cue many, many, hours bent over a desk inhaling awful fumes well trying to place tiny little stones.  On the bright side, I’m really happy with how they look now. I just have to suck it up and finish another dozen of these..

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If you were wondering, the cameos are incorporated in RMT’s jewelry, headdress, shoes, stockings, sleeves and they also hang off the skirt hem. That’s why I needed so many.

I decided it was then time to make the choker. It’s made from a strip of beaded trim, a ruffle, and a piece of lace. It closes with two snaps around the back and was entirely hand sewn together.

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I think it’s pretty. I still have two more necklaces to make for this costume, hopefully they’ll be as easy as this one was.

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Onto the shoes! I can’t find the listing, but I got these on ebay for $22. They were a very bright shade of fuscia suede – and most people would probably take one look and pass them by. BUT NOT I. I saw them and knew right away they were perfect for this costume.

I really liked the covered platform and the fact it doesn’t have a typical rounded toe. It’s gives the shoe a really regal sort of uncommon shape. I felt like a regular patent leather pump would look really cheap by comparison.

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Now obviously there is a little issue with the color – but that was solvable!

It took eight coats of white primer to get them you know, white. By that point they didn’t feel fuzzy anymore, either. I mixed the color I wanted out of a green, royal blue, and white. It took three coats to get that looking smooth – I apologize for the weird angle on this.

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Then I got to start gluing crap onto them. Mostly some pretty ribbons that I picked up in NYC.

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I’m still in the process of rhinestoning these – but so far it’s been going well.

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 So there we go, not the most exciting post i’ve ever written, but it had to be done. Only two or three posts left before this costume is COMPLETE i’m so excited.

As always, thanks for reading.

Part 6 : Finishing Touches

Here is the very last the-making-of post about Royal Milk Tea. I’m ridiculously happy to call this costume complete, but i’m also a bit sad that I can’t fuss over it any longer. This was such a big detailed project for me and in the past three months I’ve become used to it being there, something to turn to when I get angry at other costumes. It’ll be hard to start something new, though I do have a few ideas!

If you are curious about the previous posts relating to this costume, they can be read below.

My first order of business was creating a giant, striped, bow. The back of this costume isn’t super visible, but there is definitely some striped bow like stuff going on back there. Stripes are not the most fun thing to make, especially with silk taffeta (so many puckers), but I managed.

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I ironed my seams open and eventually got this to a point where I was pleased with it.

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Then I sewed my newly-made-striped-material onto quilt batting, so the bow would be super puffy.

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I folded this  in half, sewed a seam up the back, and ironed it flat. Then I sewed some ribbon scraps and stuff together to create a middle piece for the bow.

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 I also sewed a cameo on, because they are everywhere.

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Speaking of cameos! Last time I posted about this I was busy killing brain cells by gluing rhinestones onto them. This process continued for a while until I had several dozen complete. Here was one group of them.

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The majority of the cameos ended up getting sewn onto my bustle/skirt. I also purchased a gold rhinestone chain which was cut into 9″ lengths and sewn between the cameos.

The bustle closes with a buckle – something I struggled with when I attempted to wear it this past weekend. I underestimated how heavy it was, I thought it would lay over my hips and stay up just fine – it didn’t. At all. It literally fell off of me and was a big mess.

But that’s a story for another day.

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Little bows are glued onto each cameo, these were purchased in NYC for ten cents a piece.

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And with that my bustle was pretty much done, though I did go through and hand sew on a few more strips of trim and two five inch bows.

I moved onto the sleeves! All the sleeves really needed were ruffles.

So I sewed on a layer of ruffles.

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But the layer looked lonely so I sewed on another.

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I liked how the two layers looked, so the sleeves got sewed (by hand) onto the corset.

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When I put that on with my bustle…

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I changed a few things after these were taken, like adding a modesty panel to the corset and re-stuffing the right sleeve. But for the most part, I was really happy with how it looked.

Moving onto the headpiece/teapot! This was the one part of this costume that I didn’t make. My dad actually sculpted it out of florists green foam and covered it in wallpaper paste, which is pretty incredible. The wallpaper paste was sanded, primed, and spray painted ivory.

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I decorated it with puff paint, fabric scraps, pearls and rhinestones.

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The headpiece (or lack there of) is actually unfinished, so is the wig. They were made last minute and I would like to fix them for the future.

The wig was purchased from cosplaywig, then cut apart, stubbed, and styled by me.

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WIG STUFF

….

And with that complete, Royal Milk Tea was ready for Otakon!

Still waiting to see photoshoot pictures, but here is a very nice hall shot by Eminence Rain.

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Thank you all for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading about this project as much as I enjoyed making it. If you have any questions, i’m sure I would be happy to answer them.

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9 thoughts on “The Making of ‘Royal Milk Tea’ – Sakizou Artwork

  1. Tina S. says:

    ._______. You are amazing! By chance could you do a video tutorial on some of the techniques you use? Or even know of some that could be helpful. I would like to eventually start an outfit – won’t probably be for another year though. Doesn’t mean I can’t learn though right? 🙂

    Any help would be SUPER awesome.

    Thank you!
    Tina S.

  2. ElineV says:

    You’re so talented.. I just recently learned to operate a basic stitch on the sewing machine, and I was a bit proud. But then I see your work… Damn :p how long have you been sewing?

  3. NodokaChan1 says:

    Hello! I stumbled on your page (I have noticed you are quite popular) and I saw you were a fellow katsucon attendee! I am also a fan of Sakizou’s work and plan on doing her Frau for 2015. If you are doing anything Sakizou I would be honored to grab a pic with you (maybe chat?). I am not as skilled as you are, but I hope to be putting up progress pics soon.
    https://www.facebook.com/NoJuCosplay?fref=ts
    Sorry to have bothered you and for being so bold. Take care!

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