Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Presea - Dress - Tales of Symphonia

(Edit: photos finally added many years later!)

This is the first part of my in-depth look at how I made my Presea costume from Tales of Symphonia. (Attn: I currently have no pictures of the finished costume, as I need to make some major repairs to my axe before doing a photoshoot. I will post photos of the finished costume sometime soon!)

This costume had been in the works on and off for over a year. Originally meant to debut at Otakon in 2012, I encountered a lot of set-backs in the initial build that made it impossible to get it done for that con. Instead, I set it aside, to be finished for the following year. It was received quite well at Otakon 2013! Though I am a little sad I missed the Tales photoshoot.

Presea Combattir is a character from the Gamecube game Tales of Symphonia, released in 2004. This game, although being primarily single player, had the option of setting one of the computer controlled party members to player controlled during combat. So, I spent a great deal of time playing this game with my older sister. Originally, the party is quite small, and there are not too many characters to choose from, but later on there are about 9 characters and Presea was always one of my favourites. She was a silent badass, wielding a mighty axe, hefting trees, fighting off the bad guys. Also a very cute character. (Much preferable to Colette, as far as the main cast goes.)

It's interesting for me to compare how I made things 1 year ago to now. There is a lot I have learned over the past year, and there are many things I would have done differently on this costume had I made it now instead of then. The dress was the piece I finished first when I first began making the costume, so when I returned to the costume a year later I decided to leave it as it was, rather than improving it.

Like Suppi, this is another costume where colour is debatable because every reference picture is different. This dress ranges from blue to grey to purple. I decided to go with purple, because a) I like purple, b) I found purple fabric, c) I like purple on this character, and d) that is the colour the dress is in actual gameplay. Haha

 Finding the correct colour of purple fabric was not so easy however. The only purple I found was in the drapery section, so yes, my dress is made out of drapery fabric.
I started by tracing a shirt to get the width and armholes I wanted. I made the dress a wide a-line with no darts. All the cinching at the waist would be done with the belt. From there I made a broadcloth mockup. I drew my desired diamond neckline onto the mockup, then transfered it onto the paper pattern.
I then cut out my pieces from my purple fabric. I cut out double, making the dress double thickness to make it stiffer.

I sewed the side seams, and shoulder seams, then finished the inside edges.
Then I made the collar, which was 2 pieces of my purple fabric, with 1 layer of interfacing to keep it stiff. The collar is slightly shorter in the back than in the front. These pieces were basted together, then attached to the neckline.

I then added a black modesty panel, and a long row of hook and eye tape down the front.
Next step was to finish the bottom edge with black bias tape.

Then I added a dart coming in from the armhole. This stopped it from gaping weirdly at the front. The armholes were also finished with bias tape.
The last step was to finish the collar with black bias-tape. This was the first time I had done sharp corners with bias tape. I put the corners into the bias tape before sewing it on.

1 comment:

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