Star Guardian Lux

Star_Guardian_Lux

Star Guardian Lux from League of Legends

I’ve always wanted to be a magical girl, and now in the name of Demacia, I will punish you!

Well, maybe I can’t say always. However, with the advent of Hulu offering the original Sailor Moon series, and then the Sailor Moon Crystal reboot, I finally got to live out a delayed magical girl childhood in my early adulthood. So naturally, when Star Guardian Lux was announced, I knew I had my next cosplay project.

Star Guardian Lux, debuted at PAX Prime 2015.

This cosplay was a milestone of many sorts. For starters, it was my first cosplay project using my new sewing machine (computerized and fancy, yet I still only used 2 different stitches :P). It was also my first time using a serger (and now I understand all of the hype in the cosplay community), working with Worbla (many fingers and carpet were burned), and going a few steps further with my cosplay makeup.

 

Skirt

I took some creative liberty in making the skirt as I figured, why be a magical girl if my skirt can’t be huge and flouncy? At least, pre-planning me figured a big skirt would be a good idea.

Star_Guardian_Lux_Prep_2
Drafting the pattern and cutting out the skirt. It was a heavy amount of fabric…

The skirt is 2x full circle skirts sewn together totaling 3x my normal waist size. That is to say, I cut out 2x circle skirts, each with a waist circumference of [(3x my normal waist size) / 2]. The skirts were french seamed together on one end, and an invisible zipper sewn in the other. Box pleats were folded in by trial and error until something looked reasonable.

The serger was pretty awesome as I quickly learned that satiny fabric was not only annoyingly slippery, but it was also a fray monster :C. My serger made quick work of all of the loose hems and (since I was lazy and just used the thread the machine came threaded with) my first few serged seams were rainbow colored (perfect for Lux)!

Star_Guardian_Lux_Prep_3
Pleating the skirt, straight stitching across to hold the pleats, then serging (with rainbow thread!) to finish off the edge.

And then the magic of the magical girl skirt: horsehair braid. I had not heard of this material until during my pre-planning cosplay research, but I can’t really argue the results (I used this helpful tutorial by rufflebuttcosplay to sew in the horsehair braid). The final hem ended up being just under 7 yds – 7 yds of pure ruffly flouncy goodness.

The waistband was a bit difficult as my skirt ended up a bit too wide for me (I am the best at measuring) so I had to unobtrusively gather up the extra skirt into the waistband. No official procedure here, as it was mostly just lucky positioning, pinning, and hoping that the final product would come out alright once I was done sewing it all together.

Thinking with tubes to make the waistband, and a little bit of interfacing.
Thinking with tubes to make the waistband, and adding a little bit of interfacing.

Cleaning up a few loose threads, and the skirt was (adequately) finished!

The finished skirt!
The finished skirt!

 

White Undershirt

The undershirt took a bit of time to draft (mostly to figure out how to do the “petals”) but I ended up tracing a slim fitting tank top I owned and sewing in the “petals” separately. I specifically chose knit fabric to work with because: (1) it doesn’t fray as easily which makes seams easier, and (2) the stretchiness helps me pretend that I know how to make form fitting clothes :|

Preliminary assembly of the undershirt. Would not recommend shaping the top as I did...
Preliminary assembly of the undershirt. Would not recommend shaping the top as I did…

The fabric was double layered to counteract the slight sheerness of white fabric, and a topstitch was added intentionally to mimic the lines on Star Guardian Lux’s outfit (that you can kind of see in the official splash art).

The “petals” were made separate from the main body of the undershirt so that I could get an easier layering effect. They were all hand-sewn in as by that point the undershirt was at thickest 8 layers of knit fabric and I didn’t want to risk running that through my machine.

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Sewing the “petals”. Safety pins were used to position them so I could test-wear the undershirt to see how they fell.

I didn’t want to deal with making straps, so the undershirt is held up by invisible adjustable straps I bought online.

The finished undershirt!
The finished undershirt!

 

Pink Vest and Collar

The vest was based loosely on the pattern for the undershirt, except made more vest-y and less shirt-y.

Patterning and pinning the vest.
Patterning and pinning the vest.

The collar took some trial and error with my paper drafting (and wearing lots of failed paper prototypes) before I settled on my final design. I used a sailor collar tutorial by NyuNyu Cosplay as my basis for construction. I did however, think that I was better than interfacing and ended up not interfacing my collar… which is almost entirely why it ended up as unintentionally ruffly as it did. I used pink bias tape for the stripes and, instead of pinning, I used fabric glue to hold it in place for sewing.

Next time, use some sort of interfacing to avoid stretching stretchy fabrics.
Assembling the collar. Next time, use some sort of interfacing to avoid stretching stretchy fabrics.

I was not too happy with how the collar turned out (weirdly ruffly and too small…) but time restrictions prevented me from redo-ing it in time. The collar was sewed on to the pink vest to help it lay flatter (and to remove some safety pins from the final cosplay-put-on process.

The finished vest and collar!
The finished vest and collar!

 

Bows and Star Brooches

The bows were made using a “rectangular tube” method, similar to this tutorial by The Cosplay Scion. Heavy interfacing was used to keep the bows somewhat perky (no pictures because I suck).

The star brooches (I guess we can call them that) were my first official foray into Worbla! They were made by creating a craft foam base and then massaging Worbla on top.

The slow process of star crafting.
The slow process of star crafting.

The stars were then primed, sanded, primed, sanded, primed… and then finally spray painted. The stars attach to the bows by bar pins, and the bows attach to the rest of the outfit by regular safety pins.

The fiunishe
The finished bows and star brooches!

 

Gloves, Arm Band, and Choker

The gloves were pre-purchased (purchased item #1). I made a single attempt at making a glove, with an incomplete pattern, and ended up with a stubby-fingered sleeve. Gold trim was sewn on by hand (that I had leftover from a never-started Final Fantasy Type-0 cosplay…) The arm band was made from the same gold trim material.

The choker was a rectangular piece of fabric, interfaced liberally, and then connected with Velcro.

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The finished gloves and choker (arm band not shown).

 

Boots and Ankle Cuffs

The boots were pre-purchased (purchased item #2). Due to time constraints, I ended up not cutting the boots down to size and just added a gold trim.

The ankle cuffs were made by first drafting the general shape onto thin cardboard and lining it up against my boots.

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Getting the general pattern down for the ankle cuffs.

Once I finalized the design, it was transferred to craft foam, covered in Worbla, and then slowly massaged into shape. Heavy duty snaps were installed to allow the ankle cuffs to snap closed. The snap installation was doable, but not terribly easy with a 1x Worbla + 1x craft foam thickness.

Massaging the ankle cuffs into shape!
Massaging the ankle cuffs into shape!

The ankle cuffs were then primed, sanded, and spray painted. (As a post-debut note, having the top edge of the star poking out above the ankle cuff was actually pretty painful near the end of the day as they restricted a bit of ankle movement. Would not recommend.)

The finished ankle cuffs (boots not shown).
The finished ankle cuffs (boots not shown).

 

Tiara

The tiara was made using the familiar craft foam, Worbla, massage, paint process.

Assembling the tiara.
Assembling the tiara.

The tiara was held up by fashion tape (didn’t expect that to work as well as it did) and ribbons that attached to the wig pigtails (holes to thread the ribbon through were hidden on the tiara behind the wings).

The finished tiara!
The finished tiara!

 

Staff

This staff was my first attempt at (non-plush) prop making. Naturally, I had no idea what I was doing.

The staff design took a lot of trial and error until I got something that looked passable. Similar to how I made my Transistor plush, the proportions of the staff were determined through pixel-to-inch ratios from reference images. I committed to buying PVC pipe earlier to use for the staff, so the diameter of the pipe served as my base measurement to build the remainder of the staff around.

All about that foam life.
The staff slowly taking shape.

The star ends of the staff were made out of EVA foam with a heavy gauge wire sandwiched between to try to give it some stability. Extra craft foam detailing was added on top of the EVA foam to achieve a sort of layered look for the wings. Worbla was pretty unprofessionally massaged on, and eventually they ended up looking… close enough.

Having a little fun with staff construction... between burning my fingers with Worbla massaging :C
Having a little fun with staff construction… between burning my fingers with Worbla massaging :C

The staff was assembled through mechanical persuasion to allow for “easy” disassembling when necessary.

The finished staff (along with everything else)!
The finished staff (along with everything else)!

 

Wig and Makeup

Starlight power… maaake up!

I ended up using a Chibi from Arda Wigs in Rose Pink (Hot Pink seemed to be the closest? But it was out of stock at the time).

Wig swatches of the samples I got beforehand when deciding on a wig color.
Wig swatches I got beforehand when deciding on a wig color.

For makeup I used Destiny’s Princess from Shiro Cosmetics (shout out to that indie makeup life) to make an attempt at getting my eyebrows to match :|

RETROSPECTIVE

I was pretty happy with how this cosplay turned out (personal best in number of times I was stopped for a picture :’D).

Though this was technically my third cosplay, it felt more like my first true all-out attempt (my Blake Belladonna for PAX Prime 2013 was a bit meh, and my Red for PAX Prime 2014 was mostly just to show off my plush Transistor).

Maybe eventually, I’ll fix up some of the iffy parts and bring Star Guardian Lux back to a future convention. In the meantime, I’ll need to start thinking of what my next project will be :D

Transistor and staff can now be best friends.
Transistor and staff can now be best friends.

Cosplay patterns and props created by me!
Cosplay photography by Michael Len!
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