Claudia's Final Fantasy XII Fran Cosplay: Bodysuit

Total Time: 24 days | Total Price: $176.82 | Status: In Progress

How I made this costume:

Bodysuit:
This has been one big learning experience for me because I've had to redo pieces from the bodysuit a lot. It was important to me that everything was translated accurately, so I've been taking my time on it. 

I purchased supplies early on, and I knew that I wanted to work off of an undergarment so that it would help sculpt my body. I ended up finding a black bustier that was perfect. It had an opening in the front, underwire to keep my breasts up super high, boning to clench my waist a tad, and it had two rows of hooks that fastened in the back. All of this was critical, because I knew that I was going to build upon this as a base. The only thing that I did end up adjusting on this bustier was the tightness of the hooks along the backside. With a pair of needle-nose pliers I slightly pressed each one of them a bit tighter, so that they wouldn't slip and come undone when I was wearing it.

Also, at this time I decided to make a tape dress form dummy. That way I had something that was the perfect size to work off of. It's way easier to put the bodysuit on the dress form, instead of myself, so that I can pin, plan, and see how everything was shaping up without having to put it on. It was really easy to make too, and I created a full tutorial here.

Next came more patterns and testing. I started with the shirt because I knew that I could easily sew this on the sides and back of the bustier. Doing it this way would mean that I definitely needed someone's help getting into costume every time. I have to hold my arms up, and the bodysuit has to be positioned over my head/arms and hooked up all the way down the back.

That being said, it was time to draft patterns and make mockups with scrap material because I didn't want to waste my black spandex. It took me four attempts at this shirt before I got it right. So just like any pattern, I measured myself first with a tape measure, and used multiple game references in Photoshop to achieve the precise proportions. After the pattern was completed, I printed it, Scotch taped it together, and cut it out using craft scissors. Then with a sharp white charcoal pencil I traced the lines onto the backside of the paper pattern using a light box. The charcoal pencil gave me thin precise lines and acted like carbon paper when pressed carefully onto the dark fabric. Also, with spandex it's important to pay attention to the stretch of it. My chosen spandex is a 4-way stretch, which means that I didn't have to be too cautious about which way I ran it. So after the lines were transferred, I cut away the excess fabric with super sharp sewing shears to get it ready to go for the sewing machine. That meant that all of the seams had to be cut open for the tight curves where needed, and the points on the sleeves had to be trimmed off at the corners as well being very careful not to clip into the actual shirt. That way they can be turned in nicely when hemmed.

It's important to leave at least a forth of an inch seam allowance for sewing, and then pin the hems down into place to be sewn with the machine. This shirt was challenging because of all of the intricate tight curves. The trick to this is to go very slowly, and just turn the fabric along the curves. I also used a technique to hide the seam on the neckline so that there weren't any stitch lines. This was done with two layers of fabric that are stitched along an edge so that the seam is hidden. This also creates a nice thickness to the shirt, because that's how it appears on the high-resolution CG model. It worked out nicely for the back of the shirt as well. I made sure to include the top part of the back in the neckline seam because it created a pocket that I later filled with a piece of Wonderflex to help keep its shape. I also created a second pocket, with the same technique, for the lower portion of the back. The Wonderflex was cut from the pattern, and then cut into two pieces at the smallest part so that they could be inserted into the back of the shirt. The large top piece first, followed by the bottom part. Then as soon as they were in place, it was sewn shut at the bottom so that it could be attached to the bustier later. Lastly, the pointed ends on the sleeves were hemmed as usual, followed by some fray check around all of the corners so that they're super secure.

After that, I began to prep for the red ribbon on the bottom of the sleeves. For this ribbon I knew that it would be near impossible to find something exactly like it, so I had to custom make it. I decided to go with red holiday ribbon because it was the right color, thickness, and it was reinforced nicely so that it would hold up to a bit of stretching. Just like everything else, I used game references in Photoshop to make the pattern, traced the pattern with the light box out on the back of the ribbon using a black ballpoint pen, and then intricately painted the details on using a combination of acrylic paints, a gel pen, and a ballpoint pen to create the same effect perfectly from the high-resolution CG model. Then I finished it up by cutting it out using brow scissors. No detail was overlooked, and it's translated exactly.

When I was done creating the ribbon, I positioned it properly and glued it on with tacky glue, using a small flat paintbrush to apply it. It was important to keep the glue underneath the ribbon because it's noticeable if not concealed. I did multiple tests on scraps first to practice before applying the real ribbon. Also, a brilliant side effect of the glue is that it makes the fabric a bit stiff so this helps to keep the points of the shirt flush on the arm. I couldn't have been more happy with it.

After the shirt was done, I got started on the white sheer cloth in the front. As usual, I created a pattern using multiple high-resolution references in Photoshop to achieve the precise design. This time around, I did have to make the pattern a forth of an inch larger on each side, because the cloth does shrink up a little bit during the embroidering process. After the pattern's completed, I printed it, taped it together, pinned it on stabilizer, and traced the pattern out using grey washable marker. It was way easier to draw the pattern on the stabilizer than drawing straight on the transparent sheer. I made three copies: Two test-run samples and one final version, and made sure to leave a few inches on the sides of the stabilizer so that it was easy to pull around underneath the sewing machine. I also added some helpful colored guidelines in washable marker, so that it was easier to line up and understand the pattern while embroidering. The horizontal marks were in peach, and the vertical marks were in light green. I choose these colors because they were the lightest, and came off easily later on.

Then the stabilizer was glued to the sheer with a temporary fabric adhesive to stop it from sliding around. Also, it was essential that I mapped out the embroidery path on a piece of paper first before starting any sewing. It took quite some time to figure out a path that didn't backtrack often, because the embroidery had to be uniform throughout. Eventually, I got it, then it was on to sewing!

This is where my beautiful, and talented, mother took over. She completed the two test sample first to practice, and then finished the final version. It was done using a size 10 ballpoint needle and an altered clear embroidery foot that she had cut out the center of so that she could see the pattern better. She also used a forth of an inch satin stitch, and worked very slowly to achieve the proper thickness. The elaborate bottom design was sewn first, then followed by the straight line around the sides and top. The pattern on the stabilizer was also kept facing upward to keep it from smudging off.

Then the sheer was trimmed, along with all of the excess stabilizer, and soaked in boiling water. I used a large glass Pyrex pan to do this, and it took a few good hours to wash out all of the glue and marker. The washable markers lifted easily when left to soak for two 30 minute intervals, and I would change the hot water out when it became colored. The glue was more challenging however, and with a wooden toothpick and an old soft-bristle toothbrush I gently picked all of the glue off. After it was completely wash out, I placed the finished sheer on a large clean towel to air dry overnight.

MORE COMING SOON!

Useful Websites:
Sewing and Clipping Curves
How to Create Breastplates with Worbla
Sculpting with Worbla

Materials:
Black Bustier - Coquette Nylon and Spandex Bustier, Size Small
Purchased from Summit Fashions
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Needle-Nose Pliers
Pre-owned
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Plastic Wrap - Kirkland Signature Crystal Clear Plastic Food Wrap, 750 ft x 12 in
Pre-owned
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Clear Packing Tape - Duck Standard Packaging Tape, 54.6 yd x 1.88 in
Pre-owned
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Black Sanford Sharpie Markers
Pre-owned
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Tape Measure - Superior Tailoring Rule, 150 cm/60 in
Pre-owned
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Adobe Photoshop
Pre-owned
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Wacom Intuos3
Pre-owed
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Inkjet Printer - HP Photosmart 7200 Series
Pre-owned
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8.5"x11" White Print Paper - Hammermill Premium Multipurpose Paper 24 lb
Pre-owned
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Scotch Tape - Transparent Gloss Finish
Pre-owned
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Craft Scissors
Pre-owned
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Light Box - Artograph Light Tracer 10" x 12"
Pre-owed
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White Charcoal Pencil - General's Charcoal White 558
Pre-owned
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Black Fabric - Black Sensua Solid Pattern 507, 83% Nylon 17%, 4-Way-Stretch Spandex, 2 yds
Purchased from Beverly’s
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Sewing Scissors - Gold Handle 8" Knife Blade Gingher Shears
Pre-owned
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Straight Pins
Pre-owned
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Sewing Machine - 1950's New Home Metal Sewing Machine
Pre-owned
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Black Thread - Dual Duty XP All Purpose, 500 yds
Purchased from Pearl
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Fray Check - Dritz, Liquid Seam Sealant, Fine Tip, 3/4 fl oz
Purchased from Jo-Ann
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Wonderflex - Medium sheet 21" x 27"
Purchased from CosplaySupplies.com
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Red Ribbon - Core Green Goods, 051 17 0727, Holiday Velvet Ribbon, 2 1/4 in W x 75 ft L
Purchased from Target
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Gel Pen - Glaze Black
Pre-owned
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Ballpoint Pen - Zebra F-301 Ballpoint Pen
Pre-owned
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Small Flat Paintbrush - Utrecht 239-B Mixed Synthetic #4
Pre-owned
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Small Round Paintbrush - Loew - Cornell 7300 La Corneille #2
Pre-owned
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Medium Flat Paintbrush - Royal 9709 Wash 3/8
Pre-owned
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Red Paint - Utrecht Acrylics Artists’ Color Cadmium Red Medium Paint, 2 fl oz
Pre-owned
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Dark Red Paint - Utrecht Acrylics Artists’ Color Alizarin Crimson Paint, 2 fl oz
Pre-owed
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White Paint - Liquitex Acrylics Artist Color Titanium White Acrylic Paint #432, 2 fl oz
Pre-owned
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Brow Scissors
Purchased from Target
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Tacky Glue - Aleene's Premium Quality, All-Purpose Adhesive 16 fl oz
Purchased from Michaels
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Sheer Fabric - White Organza, 400066472429
Purchased from Jo-Ann
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Aqua Magic Dissolvable Stabilizer, 25 yrds x 12 in
Pre-owned
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Super Tips from Crayola - Grey, Peach, and Light Green Makers
Pre-owned
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Temporary Fabric Adhesive - 505 Spray and Fix, Sewing Appliqué Quilt Craft, 250 ml 8 1/2 fl oz
Pre-owned
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Elna Clear Embroidery Foot
Pre-owned
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Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needle, Size 10
Pre-owned
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White Cotton Embroidery Thread - Metter Stopf-u. Stickgarn, Fine Embroidery 100% Cotton, 1000 m 1094 yds
Pre-owned
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Wooden Toothpick
Pre-owned
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Old Plastic Soft-Bristle Toothbrush
Pre-owned
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Pyrex Glass Pan - 7"x11", 2 qt
Pre-owned
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Large Towel
Pre-owned
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Super Glue - The Original Super Glue, 2 Pack, 0.12 oz Each
Purchased from Dollar Tree Stores
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MORE COMING SOON!

Feel free to leave all comments and questions below.
♡ Claudia (AKA Fran)

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