Saturday, 1 February 2014

Horo Cosplay - Construction

Horo from Spice and Wolf

When: August 2011
Where: Home, UK
For: AyaCon 2011

Horo (which some people pronounce Holo) is one of my favourite characters from the novel turned anime/manga Spice and Wolf (狼と香辛料). She's a boisterous old wolf goddess who hires the help of a merchant to get back to her homelands. I love her because she's such a strong female character with her soft spot and she talks like an old Japanese lady, hahaha!

I put my foot in it for this costume though because I put it up for the masquerade and cosplay competition! It was the first time I'd ever entered a costume into a competition and although I didn't win anything the judges said it was a well done and accurate costume.

When I was out buying the fabric I spent a good hour hunting down the right shade of pink for her dress. I am a big stickler for finding the right fabric for a costume, otherwise the costume just doesn't look as good.

So the first thing I ended up making was one of the smallest pieces of the costume: Horo's wheat purse. I started with this because while I was searching for reference pics online I found some cosplay pics of how NOT to do it. So I got the idea of making the purse like a patchwork quilt. Dug out various shades of appropriate fabric from my box of fabric and just stitched it together. It was really a random idea which I didn't expect to work as well as it did, but it did! Took 4 hours to make the main part of the purse. Worth it though.

One thing one of the judges asked was if the pouch opened and did it have any wheat in it. Sadly no, but I realised that small details like that can make a costume go a long way and make an impact in a costume competition.

I realised, looking at other Horo cosplays, that her red scarf around her waist often turns out looking not that great. People don't seem to realise it has 3 plates and a slightly different shaded end. The original fabric I was going to use for this wasn't the right shade of red (it's the one I used for Ookami's scarf), but luckily I had the perfect shade in my toy box (I keep fabric in there, not toys...they stay under my bed). The funny thing was, was that the fabric was part of a failed Minorin (Toraora) jacket and I was originally going to us it just as an experiment for the scarf, but it worked so well I kept it!

It's made up of one large and two smaller pieces to make the's hard to see with the red carpet.

I found an old broach among my pile of stuff I don't throw out (which is basically all the crap in my room) which gave me the idea for Horo's broach. I used salt dough to make it, spray painted it gold with acrylic blue centre.

These, would you believe it, are beads. I wanted to make Horo's pouch complete with the bead but couldn't right the right ones anywhere, so I make them out of salt dough and spray painted them blue.
It's so pretty!!!! My proudest part of the costume. Took a total of 5 hours to make (including patchwork and beads).

The top I make with a generic long top pattern that I've used for previous cosplays like Nausicaa and Simca. Dead easy to use now that I'm used to using it. And even easier to modify.

Shorts...shorts...I've never made shorts before and was going to alter a bought pair but because the costume's for a competition I couldn't do that. In the end I made them 2 sizes too big and had to do some serious alterations! Well it's always better to make these things bigger then small I guess.

So here's the costume beginning to come together(ish).
I then attached the purple edgings on which took ages because I didn't want to muck it up. I still have some more to make and need to get the right colour cotton to machine sew it tomorrow.

So now onto the tail. I got the fur off ebay, costing a grand total of £15 for 1m of chestnut brown and 1/2m of long white. I honestly thought the quality would be really poor but was pleasantly surprised! Yes, it's probably not as good as some furs that people like to get for costumes but it's not bad and it's so fluffy! ^o^ TBH this is the first time I've worked with fur. It was very daunting. I ended up making the WHOLE tail in a DAY. Today to be floor needs SERIOUS hoovering!

After looking at other cosplays (again to see how not to do it) I found that they just had straight lines from the white to the brown fur, but if you look at her original drawings that's no the case. I decided to make it so that the ginger parts were jagged and bleed more into the white. I was also VERY careful about making sure the fur went DOWN the tail rather than at weird angles.

I have to say though getting the length and width just right took aaaaages and was really daunting because I was terrified I would muck it up! I ended up mucking it up in the end :( I'm so worried it's going to be too big and bulky and not like Horo's beautiful tail at all! Another problem was that the brown is a different colour to the wig, which isn't goo because Horo's hair and fur are all the same colour. OH and I didn't have any I just used bubble-wrap (hahaha). It actually worked a treat and is REALLY light!

The finished tail almost touches the ground and has a huge ridge going down the middle because I mucked up the sewing and be bothered to spend another 4 hours fixing it DX
The ears were difficult. People make them in so many different ways! I found that I had to do careful experimenting and ended up making two pairs.

I didn't have much time once I'd finished the ear so I had to attach them to a cat ears head band.

I did this costume again a year later and bought a new wig and carefully safety pinned the ears to the wig which looked MUCH better. But sadly I forgot the pouch! So it didn't look quite the same in the end...

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