Hello and welcome back to my guide to the creation of my leafeon cosplay! Part 1 can be found here. Without further ado, here’s part 2! This is a direct excerpt from the make book of my leafeon cosplay, and also the paper I handed in for my semester project for Costume History class in university.
Part 2: Materials Preparation & Patterns
Preparing the fabric:
I began my adventure by washing all of my fabric and trim separately in hot water, and then ironing it all. This helped smooth the fabric for accurate cutting, preshrunk it so the finished garment does not shrink in the wash, and helped get any remaining dye out of the fabric to prevent bleeding.
Making the Patterns for the Bodice and Overskirt:
To begin with, all I had was a small book with a page full of shapes on it. I had to take these shapes, scale them up to full size, and then grade the patterns to fit my body. This was a long process and took a lot of time to do. The first step was using a square rule to put down key points on the pattern. I then used a combination of curve rules and straight rules to fill in the lines between them. As soon as all of the patterns were drawn and cut out, I used the “slash and spread”  method to grade the patterns.
The Other Patterns
For the rest of the dress, I purchased premade patterns for a skirt and a bustle. I wanted to make sure that the skirt I made would fit over the bustle, so I didn’t use the skirt pattern included in Patterns of Fashion 2. Instead, I used the “Grand Bustle” and “Parlor Skirt” patterns from Truly Victorian, a California-based pattern company. I traced my desired size onto tracing paper, and used my traced patterns to cut out the fabric.
Preparing the Embroidery:
As soon as my fabric was washed and patterns were cut, I began the long task of hand embroidery. I chose to embroider both the collar, and all of the buttons on the whole dress. As a result, I made one large embroidery for the collar, and 48 small embroideries for buttons. Only 30 of these embroidered buttons made it to the final dress. Later on in the project I also chose to embroider leaf decorations, a brooch, the forehead leaf piece, and the hand fan.
The original dress had silk-covered buttons . I decided to wrap my own fabric buttons as well, as they did not have plastic buttons back then. Additionally, I chose to embroider my fabric before covering my buttons for some more detail.
That’s all for now, folks! Parts 3 & 4 will be posted next week, on July 27th, 2016.
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For this doll, let’s transform a bunch of parts and scrap materials into a custom doll based on Leafeon from Pokemon!