September 2019 Costume Writeup: Velvet Crowe - Maid

What they're from Tales of Berseria (Video Game)
Variation Maid DLC
Created August 2017-March 2019
Debuted Aselia Con 2019
Also worn Matsuricon 2019, Western PA Photoshoot 2019
Groups Tomoyo Ichijouji as Butler Laphicet, Fractali as Chef Rokurou.
Wig Arda Wig Leia in Black (CL-078)
Special Makeup N/A.
Patterns I couldn't remember if I tried. Didn't write it down in 2017, but I know Niho had a hand in adjusting the draft on me at some point. Let's just say it was all Niho!

What went wrong:
Friends, this outfit took a suuuuper long time to complete from start to finish. It wasn't because it was complicated. It was because of burnout, illness, and procrastination. When I had migrated away from the project in 2017, I had left it at the stage where fabric had been cut out and only sewn together on half of the collar.

I realized I needed more boning than I had put into the structure initially, but only after I had sewn in other elements that I didn't have time to seamrip. There are hand-sewing marks on the inside of the corset for those two lines of boning. It works, but I don't love them.

Initially, I had also cut out the wrong color of apron on top—I'd made them both black, and what's worse, they weren't sized correctly at all by the time I got to the project. Whoops!

The top of the dress. Hooo lord. It's a dress with a slit, plus an unusual neckline, plus stripes on the top. I mean, I suppose it could have been a two-piece, but there were already so many elements to assemble that I didn't want to make it separate. You probably already can guess that the stripes don't always line up. Also, due to body changes between the draft and the actual sewing, the darts in the front don't match. It's fairly noticeable and I haaate it.

The headband wasn't initially shaped to fit on the wig, so I had to redo it in 2019 and bend it with a heat gun. It still doesn't quite fit and I wish I'd made it from a different material.

I also just. Don't like the way the wig looks with my face. I wish I'd taken liberties to fix that.

What went right:
Despite the above wrong elements, there are a couple moments that I'm VERY proud of in this cosplay. First of all, the way the corset zips from the side and therefore does not need to be laced each time. There's a separating zipper hidden behind the frills on my left side. That thing is so clean you could eat off it, and it's really easy to get in and out of the corset when I need to breathe a little extra. It also has snaps on the underside for the apron to attach to for "easy" "cleaning."

The bow on the back of the corset/apron combo is also a favorite piece of mine. I can confidently say I make bows expertly.

Randomly, I also love the ribbon on the collar. I think I sewed it on pretty evenly. Maybe I'll open commissions and call my store Just Bows, and definitely never be vandalized, ever.

The garter is something else I take some pride in having figured out. I had to find a way to make it elastic enough to stretch around my thigh but not too loose that it would fall down, and not too tight in case it created undesirable lines or bunching. (Which is, unfortunately, something I want to recognize I wouldn't have to do if I had legs that could handle straight size tights/etc. Any time I get thigh-highs or garters, they HAVE to be plus size, despite the fact that the rest of me isn't. It makes me pretty self-conscious, especially when I borrow things from friends whose legs aren't as... whatever... as mine are. So there was no way I could use only the natural stretch of a stretch fabric.) It also had to have the illusion of being sheer. I didn't want to use paint in case it cracked, so I went with vinyl, and it turned out to be pretty okay. I had no idea how to do scalloped edges on something stretch that wouldn't end up fairly warped. I learned how to use the scallop stitch with the walking foot and practiced the sizing several times so it wouldn't be too thin or wide. I mean, y'all, this is the most testing I've done for anything cosplay related before I just committed it to practice. I Tried. So, the end product consists of four layers: sheer netting, white 1" elastic, sheer netting, and the black scallop/gold vinyl combination. I sewed the sheers together using the scalloped black top, and cut all three layers at the same time. Most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done. And the vinyl was ironed in small sections so as not to melt entirely. Second most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done.

What I'd do differently:
I'm really not happy with the dress. I wish I had taken more time with it and also separated it into two garments that connected in some other way so ruining one wouldn't ruin the other.

I'd make the collar smaller and possibly less stiff. I don't think we nailed the pattern.

I'd remake the braids on the wig to be caulked stiff instead of dragging on my shoulders. (I still might do this.)

I guess the arm sleeve things could have had different interfacing, and I'd make the elastic attachment better, even though it's a pretty neat construction.

I'd also not wait more than a year to do it. When you've already cut out fabric and your body makes changes in between then and when you restart, you might as well be drafting all over again except this time with your good fabric.

Would I wear it again?

Yeahhh we're still waiting to get the full group together, but even if that doesn't happen, I don't really like the way I look in it so I'll probably just keep hoping for more photos on the off chance that helps?

Why I chose this character

Y'all already know.

Any other anecdotes?:

I "lost" one of the white gloves twice among the cosplay piles and couch cushions, although that's not exciting or particularly funny. You'd just think maybe after the first time that I'd put it away properly. Nnnnope!

Photos by me.

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