Monday, January 21, 2013

Washi from Haibane Renmei

Taking a brief detour from steampunk costuming to post an anime costume I did for a friend for the 2012 New York Comic Con.  He wanted to go dressed as Washi, from the anime Haibane Renmei - which presented a bit of a challenge for me, since I don't really follow anime or know much about it.  But I can work from a picture!

The original character can be seen here:

When constructing the outfit, we tracked down multiple pictures of the costume, from all angles, to try and construct the parts.  The hardest part turned out to be the wings - we wanted something that would look really good, but also have a degree of stiffness to protrude from his back.  Ultimately, I decided that a good 9/10 oz leather would work best, dyed in a dark brown (I used bison brown from Tandy Leather).  We also used leather for the mask, painted white and with small holes cut out for the eyes and mouth.  You can see below, where we created a template of the mask in paper, traced onto the leather, and then cut out along the lines.

The body costume was sewn from dark grey linen, using a variation of a classic t-tunic, and the headdress was also made from a neutral linen with embroidered symbols.  To make the symbols, we used a fabric pen to trade them onto the fabric, and then wool embroidery floss in a stem stitch to make the symbols themselves.  The dots are French knots.  The ribbon was basic black grosgrain ribbon, 1" width, attached with fusible.

For the center piece, we used black trigger cloth and then sewed grey trigger panels to it in 7" rectangles, cutting a square hole for the neck.  Since this was likely the part of the costume that would take the most abuse, we wanted to use something cheaper than linen and fairly durable.  I used my sewing machine to satin stitch the blocks to the black fabric.

The attachments to the hood were made with natural flax thread, attached to wooden beads and bits of shell beads (we had a hard time finding bone beads).  The tassels were made in a coordinating grey using DMC floss, and just cut into basic small tassels.  And finally - the finished product!

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