I never got around to making a full tutorial, just explained how to stack layers to give it the donut look. I tried, but couldn’t figure out how to explain it in text/images without it getting truly convoluted and then I lost steam and got busy with school. Being a university student is suffering.
(It’s also bullshit that I have trouble explaining it in text because if Christine can teach me how to do this over the phone, there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to write it. Let’s give this another shot.)
The skirt is made of cotton sateen. It’s this amazingly beautiful fabric that is crisp, lovely to iron, and has this lovely shine to it without being satin-levels of obnoxious. It is what dreams are made of. I wish I had more costumes that used this. We also used it on Sayaka’s shirt, Mami’s shirt/arm warmers and Kyoko’s ruffles. If it were considered at the time, I would have insisted Christine use it for Homura’s shirt, too, but alas. (BRB, making Maya use it for her Satsuki costume.)
So anyway, you want to make this.
Once you break it down it becomes significantly less complicated than it looks.
Basically the entire skirt is rectangles. Also note that the skirt still has to be worn with a petticoat. This just gives you the necessary “donut” poof look.
A. You have a rectangle that becomes the waistband. Generally [your waist + seam allowance + room for elasticizing]” x 4”. This will be elasticized, not difficult.
B. You have a rectangle that will be the upper layer that domes over the tulle. This gets gathered down a lot, so you probably do something like [[your waist x 5]+ seam allowance] x 20” or something. It depends on how long you want the skirt to be, and keep in mind that this layer includes the bottom ruffle. You can do this in panels (as we did five panels of [waist]) or you can find one big massive long strip. Up to you and how you can most effectively use fabric; any seams will be lost in the ruffles anyway.
C. Then you have a rectangle that is the bottom layer, which can be much smaller, like [[your waist x 3]+ seam allowance] x 14”.
D. As many rectangles as you want in tulle for the stuffing inside. This is basically like a petticoat but sealed inside the skirt; any petticoat tutorial should give you an idea of how to do this.
You’ll notice that B is longer than C by about 6”. This is to include hem and ruffle. You can alter these numbers (20 and 14, in this case) to be whatever you want, as it will depend on your height and how long you want the skirt to be. Katherine’s skirt barely covers her bum (hooray, ruffles and matching bloomers!) but she is also 5’6” or something with long legs, if she were 5’0” and had short legs, that same measurement might fall to mid-thigh. You have to alter these numbers to scale to you, but you still want to keep the 6” (or whatever) difference to account for ruffle and hem.
So first you take B and you make it into the “skirt” by joining both ends and then hemming. Cool. Now you have a “skirt”.
Then you go five inches (or whatever you’ve decided to make your ruffle length) from the bottom of the skirt/hem and sew a gathering line all the way around. Gather this down to the width of C. Attach the bottom of the C-skirt to this ruffle line so you’ve essentially got one two-layered skirt, the top layer (B) having much more fabric.
Gather the top of C down to match the waistband (A). Sew (or tack, as you will still be adding D and B.)
Create your petticoat (D) layer to gather down to match waistband (A). Sew (or tack, as you still need to add B.) There are a handful of pictures of this process here but I’ve included some below too.
Attach waistband, install elastic.
Hope that helped!
does anyone know what kind of bra you’d wear in a madoka kaname cosplay?
any help would be much obliged ;o;
It depends on how the dress is cut/tailored to your body, but you’d likely want to make sure that the bra has shallow cups that don’t risk peeking out over the top of the neckline. You’ll also want to be sure that the band can be lowered/raised in the back (if necessary at all) so that it doesn’t end up being visible through the heart cut-out. Depending on how it fits you, you may need some fashion tape to keep the costume in place, or you can safety-pin the bra straps into the shoulders of the dress so that they don’t peek out.
Our Madoka did not have a problem with needing any particular bra, though :)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a dark, dark deconstruction of an anime. I love it and according to Anime North I’m not the only one. Here’s a collection of the Madoka Magica Cosplay that I photographed at AN 2013
Look at thaaaat! And so many sassy faces!
Madokapoof appreciation post! Just wanted to showcase my favourite part of this costume.
Without Christine’s drafting skills and the combined efforts of all three Dangerous Ladies (Christine, Jenn and Emmy), and Maya’s assistance on props, this costume never would’ve made it out of the fabric pile. I think there’s something very fitting about the fact that all five of us created this costume together. :) Thank you so much for your efforts bringing this to life; it was a lot of fun to wear with you all!
We loooove you, Katherine. We are still so delighted with everything!! Can’t wait to do proper photoshoots!!
I doodled up some sketches of what the construction of Madoka’s skirt/petticoat is like and why doing it that way gives you that big fluffy “cupcake” look.
As you can see from the pictures in posts here, here and here, our Madoka skirt is constructed like a big ruffled donut. It is worn overtop a petticoat which gives it the bulk of its fluff, and then the skirt shapes the top with the “cupcake bulge.” The skirt itself has a layer of tulle/crinoline inside of it so give it that shape.
I’ll get around to a proper tutorial eventually, but I wanted to post about the theory/construction behind it first just so there’s SOMETHING to tide people over. Christine drafted/designed this monster and I assembled it with instructions given to me over the phone. It is way easier than it might seem, I promise.
Commission information will be coming… eventually? Haha. I think Christine wants to do some fine-tuning on the colours (particularly Homura and Sayaka), but I thought I would post these pictures of our soul gems. They are very much the test run –– I imagine there will be pictures of the second run later.
As always, you can keep on top of soul gem information on our “Christine builds all the soul gems" tag.
Our Madoka group is at 2:17 :) this was fun to shoot.
We still need to gif this.
Kyubey plush progress.
That massive head just looks so dumb irl, and Kyubey never has consistent proportions. I’m probably going to take in his head a little bit and obviously the ears will need tweaking, but… agh, I’m tired of working on this dumb little shit right now.
Also, I used the retouch tool to take off the face I drew on him. It was terrifyingly off-model.
Right-o! That hole is called a “keyhole”.
This is just a rough idea of how it’s done for any shape — in reality, you will have to plan just when you do this based on how you’ve done the rest of your Madoka bodice. If you’ve never done this before, I recommend you practice a few times before you do your “good copy”, too. :)
But the basic gist of it is that you cut two of the piece (or one piece and then one “liner” piece big enough for the keyhole) and stack them RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Then you stitch around the shape, whether it’s a heart or a star or a dancing stickman or whatever.
After you’ve sewn it, clip the corners so the fabric doesn’t bunch awkwardly and trim any points so the point can be turned without seam allowance bunching inside.
Then turn it right-side out! You can do this by pushing the liner layer through the hole. Of course, this only works if you haven’t already sewn the back piece to the rest of the dress; unless your pattern is set up differently, you should do the keyhole piece before attaching any seams. (On Madoka, this means you should put the zipper on the side!)
Iron it flat. Topstitch if desired. If you want, you can insert a flesh-coloured piece of fabric while you topstitch, on the occasion where you want things to be covered.
But look at you, you superstar, you have a clean keyhole.
This is really difficult to answer, so I’ve been hemming and hawing over it for the past week. Costumes can be difficult for a whole variety of reasons, and what is complicated for me might not be complicated for Christine, or vice versa, etc. So without that context, I don’t want to say “x was definitely a 9” because I don’t want people to feel intimidated or nervous or that they can’t pull off that costume because we thought it was difficult.
So here we go:
Madoka: I think Madoka ended up being really stressful for all of us precisely because of the amount of time it took to take. Once it’s broken down into small enough pieces and you understand how to make it, Madoka’s costume is quite simple. I had to call Christine multiple times when I was working on Madoka’s over-skirt, but I think it was complicated mostly because I was working off of her patterns without having understood/watched her process, therefore it was like putting it together without instructions. But once I got it, the only obstacle was really how long it took, with all that gathering. It looks complicated, but broken down sufficiently, Madoka’s skirts are just dozens of rectangular panels! I think the difficulty in Madoka’s costume is mostly in that not many people know how to make that cupcake-shaped petticoat without it ending up too long, but between Christine’s text tutorial on it and my (incoming) write-up on the overskirt (which gives it the rounded look) I’m hoping we’ll be able to make it easier for everyone in the future. I think the principle thing about Madoka is not how hard it is, but rather how long it took to do anything.
Sayaka: Really, the only thing that truly stumped us or threw us off for too long was the breastplate, which we nailed (imho, anyway) on our FIFTH try. Counting them off: worbla, heat-shaped foam, paneled foam, heavy felt “bra” construction, and re-fitted heavy felt “bra” construction. We were unsatisfied with earlier versions because of their harsh seams or tendency towards the “pointed nipple” look, as it wasn’t worth the time or effort trying to get foam or worbla to do what we wanted. We’d seen tutorials for Sayaka’s breastplate that involved covering bras in clay or plaster and fucktons of sanding and whatever, but we wanted the construction to be as simple as possible (and durable.) We also wanted to be able to cover the breastplate with fabric so that it would match the panels on the skirt. So in the end, even if it took us a long time and quite a bit of trial and error, the final version (heavy felt constructed bra with a layer of thin quilt batting and upholstered in fabric) was quite simple once we’d figure out the mechanics of it. On the other hand, we found Sayaka’s skirt tricky, but we DID get it done in the first try with only minor modifications to our intended plans. Like Madoka, Sayaka was mostly just about the amount of time it took, rather than the complicatedness of the costume. As with just about any costume, once you break it down, it’s quite easy.
Mami: I did the vast majority of Mami without much consultation, though I did have Christine help me with the bodice, because it’s both incredibly hard to fit a bodice on yourself accurately and it’s just faster for two people to be doing the work of one: someone sews while the other pins/cuts/irons, etc, and by switching off we got it done really fast. While I am going to be doing a good number of modifications to the fit of the shirt (endless pickiness…) I didn’t find much about Mami terribly hard. In fact, I think the thing that frustrated me most was working with all non-stretch fabrics again after so many years of spandex! But because we’re talking about difficulties, I’m going to say that the number one difficulty I’ve seen in Mami’s costume is proportioning. Her costume is pretty unforgiving to particular body types, including on me; I get the dreaded “tube waist”. The corseted look just looks bizarre to me, as corsets read “lingerie” and way too fetish for a magical girl costume, but without SOME shaping in the bodice, you end up looking like a brick, even with balloon boobs. Womp womp womp. So when it comes to Mami, the most important thing is absolutely to look out for proportioning: put the bodice as high as possible on your ribs, snugly under your breasts, and make the skirt as high-waisted as you can so that it can show as much leg as possible. Lots of people seem to struggle with the proportions (as I did, hence re-making the bodice) and end up with either a 6” skirt with a massive bodice or a teeny bodice with a skirt that falls to their knees. The difficulty of keeping it accurate while flattering was the hardest part about Mami.
Kyoko: Kyoko was probably the most challenging for me, precisely because of the coat. Figuring out how to construct it and line it and still have so many clean edges, a keyhole AND those massive ruffles was baffling and I honestly still have no idea how to write about how to do it. There’s so much that can go wrong with Kyoko’s costume: the skirt can look too limp without boning around the bottom, the ruffles can overwhelm your legs/drown you, or the ruffles can expose too much. Figuring out how to blend the stacked ruffles into the bottom ruffle smoothly was tricky, given that the ruffle on the bottom corner of the “skirt” is an “L” shape; that resulted in a T-shaped pattern piece that folded along the vertical line of the “T” to make a sealed “L” shape. We had to do custom facings for the armholes and the keyhole to do a clean finished edge that didn’t expose the lining, too. (But granted, that also recognizes that I made it harder for myself by trying to clean-line everything. Womp womp.)
Homura: I think the only thing Christine got grief over was the “trumpet” collar; Homura’s collar stands up at her neck, but requires a strange drafted curve that runs along the shape of the shoulder/neck. Also, the keyhole at the back. Many people miss that the diamond on the back of Homura’s black scarf is a hole, not an appliqué, and doing a white trim around that diamond and sealing the edges is time-consuming and finicky, even if it isn’t necessarily difficult. (Pending experience with the stuff, of course.)