time completed: Mid March 2008
hours spent: 20
worn at: Anime Matsuri 2008, Sakuracon 2008
Why I chose to make this costume:
Clamp has been one of my first manga creator favorites, and since they came out with XXXholics, I have been eyeing the beautiful outfits designed for Yuuko. For Anime Matsuri my friend Limebarb and I decided to make Clamp costumes, she did Sakura's ginormous white and gold gown, and I chose this rather obscure version of Yuuko from XXXholic because I loved the color scheme and the hair. And because it was doable in the limited time I had - which was only two days. I wasn't very happy with how rushed it looked, so for Sakuracon the weekend afterward, I tweeked some things such as the hair pieces and the cincher and now the overall look is much more satisfactory.
How I made this costume:
I got a heavy black poly/wool blend for the kimono, and a beautiful burgundy silk for the lining and ruffles. After sewing the outer layer but before putting in the lining, I appliquéd about 14 or 15 butterfly shapes onto it. The pattern for the butterflies was just free drafted - I cut them out of a yellow fabric and after spending a few hours stitching down the edges neatly, I got to paint the details onto the appliqués for the next night and part of the morning lol. I remember watching a whole season of CSI while painting the butterflies, and it became quite the surreal experience. O_O
As the mariposas dried, I made many yards of ruffles and also did my own gold trim for the costume. Stitched it all together with the lining and a big part of the costume was done. I love the fabrics I scored because they are almost wrinkle free, no matter how much I shove the costume into a suitcase.
The waist cincher is made of a burgundy pleather and I plan on remaking it soon. The material was bought in a rush and is not very sturdy. The cincher has a fake lace up front.
Lastly I worked on the wig, which took some engineering. The main problem was balancing the weight of the extension loops on my head, but in the end it worked out great and I can bend over and sway my head without things shifting. The bat crown and hairpieces are made of styrene plastic that's been heat formed.
Thoughts on this costume:
Yuuko is such a fun character to pose as! During the photoshoot with Paul and Peter I got to look for couches to lounge on all over the hotel. I actually had a pipe but forgot to pack it, but this way it forced me to get in character with my bare hands and not make every photo a pipe photo. Next time though! I also loved what a comfortable costume this was, and how once again big Kimono sleeves can hold all of my belongings. Definitely more Yuuko in the future, and maybe I can nab me some servant girls or a Watanuki!
Photos by Sky Pirate and Paul Tien