LITCHI FAYE LING
Why I chose to make this costume:
My last cosplay of 2011! Litchi has been on my to do list since the first arcade game was imported to the USA at Planet Zero in Houston a few years ago!!! I was lucky enough to be in the area and was one of the first people to try my hands at it. Litchi's design and fighting style with the staff was instantly my favorite. I also really approve of girls in glasses. AND I love pandas, and she has one hanging on her head. It was love at first button push lol.
How I made this costume:
In order to translate the design of this 2D video game character into a real life costume, I knew that I needed a lot of silk. I found this gorgeous, deep red silk in the LA Fabric district for the jacket and skirt/tail and paired it with a golden yellow silk brocade for the trim. I made my own bias tape with the gold brocade and used a red Asian brocade for the lining of the jacket/skirt. For those new to making bias tape, it's really simple and can add an interesting detail to your costume if you use fun fabrics. Just by doing a quick Google search you can find tons of tutorials on this technique, with photos or video.
As usual, I created my own patterns for the garment by drafting them on paper, measuring and chalk drawing on fabric, draping on my mannequin, and altering base patterns heavily. I serged/sewed everything on this costume, making sure it was tailored to me and fit properly. All the garment pieces are lined and finished with a handmade binding. I altered the jacket design a tad because on the character design it's loose and cut very low. Since I was already going to show a bra, I didn't want the closure to be way low on my torso, so the jacket swoops in underneath the bra and closes via hook/eyes. That's also why I have an extra set of buttons in the front, it would have looked weird just with one row.
After making the jacket and skirt, I tackled the boot covers, which are built over a pair of wedge boots that I completely butchered. I made a pattern by tracing around the boots and created the boot covers with matching silk fabrics. I even lined the boot covers because loose seams drive me nuts. I chose a decorated bra from VS instead of a plain one because my costume has some texture to it and is made with pretty luxurious fabrics. I thought it would fit the overall look better.
I also styled the wig, with consisted of a lot of razoring and shearing of the bangs into the asymmetrical style, and butchering two long hair falls to make the floor-sweeping ponytail. I made the yin yang hair piece with a variety of lightweight materials that were laying around my house and hand painted it carefully. The panda was so much fun to make, and super easy. I even had all the fleece and stuffings laying around already. The leaves are made from left over taffeta from my Peacock costume, and I embroidered them.
The glasses were very carefully taken apart, and, after dremeling off the top bridges, put back together. Last piece to make was the fighting staff which I didn't want to be too tall, since it's already a pain to carry around. So it's just a few inches taller than me when I'm wearing the boots. It breaks down into three pieces for easy transport and is made from a pvc pipe.
Thoughts on this costume:
Aside from the hair dragging the ground and getting tangled easily, this is a very comfortable and fun costume to wear. It should be good for a summer con as well. You can see a video collage from Ikkicon with Riddle and me where Litchi is featured here.