ZHEN JI Copy
Dynasty Warriors 8
Hair & Makeup
Why I chose to make this costume:
Dynasty Warriors is a long-standing video game series based in Ancient China, so of course I have been aware of it for a long time. As a Chinese girl, I'm always happy to see my culture represented in fandoms, and the costume designs for the characters have only become more and more intricate with each game.
Zhen Ji came about because I was approached by BERNINA Sewing Machines for an Expert promotional campaign, and I wanted to make a beautiful costume utilizing as many of the fabulous features of their machines as possible. Zhen Ji's fully-embroidered dress felt like the perfect design to tackle, and gave me the chance to finally check off Dynasty Warriors from my cosplay to-do list!
How I made this costume:
I made this costume over the course of a month on my trusty BERNINA machine, fully utilizing its many stitch functions, as well as the embroidery module. The dress is made from a dupioni silk, fully lined and boned. I modified my Peacock pattern, M7218 from McCall Pattern Company, to make the bolero. I gradient dyed chiffon for the sleeves, and everything is finished with a beautiful clean rolled hem.
All the embroidery was designed and sketched out by me, and digitized on OESD embroidery software. The gold fabric and the two-tone fantasy taffeta (ruffles) are from my Jo-Ann Fabric line! They worked perfectly for adding extra glam and luxury.
I'm very happy with the phoenix, which was embroidered on wash-away stabilizer and became appliqué. There are 18 separate pieces that make up the phoenix, and I placed and stitched them onto the silk dress by hand before installing the lining.
The headpiece is made up of many fabric roses, which I hand painted, and several different types of feathers.
Thoughts on this costume:
This is probably the prettiest costume I have ever made, and it's super comfy and fits like a glove. I felt so confident using quality tools and materials, and even when I was doing something nerve-wracking and new, I could rely on the embroidery software, Bernina machine, and accompanying instructions to guide me through.
Thank you to Brian Boling for the lovely photos and Shea Standefer for assisting us during the shoot!!!