Sakura – Red Dress | Cardcaptors
Made for : Armageddon Expo 2008
Background : Inspired by my most favourite cosplayer ever, Kelldar, I’ve decided to do a series of blog posts about all the costumes that I’ve made. EVER. Especially considering that I want to get back into doing commission work again.
So what better place to start, than with costume number one.
Well technically, this wasn’t my “first” costume, I had been dressing in costumes my whole life, but this was the first one I did after I learnt what cosplay was and the first one I wore to a convention.
The year was 2008 and I was in my total weeb phase. Which consisted entirely of Pokémon, Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura.
I had decided to attend New Zealand’s only pop culture event – Armageddon Expo – that year after seeing it in an episode of Insert Video Here which had broadcast of C4 the year before.
I had a Kero plush and that’s all I needed to sway me in to cosplaying a version of Sakura. I picked the red dress version as it had the most reference images online at the time.
Things used :
- Simplicity 4015
- red poly cotton
- white poly cotton
- yellow satin ribbon
- red satin ribbon
- white eyelet lace
I chose poly cotton for everything because it was cheap and readily available. And a yellow satin ribbon for the trim on skirt.
I think now is a good time to mention that I had no idea how to sew. Luckily though, my mum and god mother did and they helped me bring this costume to life.
Now is also a good time to mention that costume patterns didn’t have as much variety back then as they do today. You had your basic Halloween robes, Jesus and friends robes, Santa robes, assorted animal onesies, cultural appropriation sets, and sexy versions of mundane things.
For Sakura, mum and I chose to tackle converting one of the sexy patterns into a Sakura dress appropriate for a 16 year old. We ended up going with Simplicity 4015 because view “B” kinda looked like the dress.
Mum and my god mother had the difficult task of trying to make the simplicity pattern resemble Sakura’s dress (remember, I didn’t know how to sew at this point), while I hand-sewed some cotton eyelet lace to a pair of my school socks and some gloves.
After the pattern had been transformed, the next step was trying to figure out how to make the hat. Mum ended up making it like a shower cap, a large circle with a bit of elastic, and with that, the costume was complete!
I wore it with a pair of red ballet flats, my godmothers super itchy tulle petticoat and my Kero plush on a chain around my neck. What about makeup and or a wig I hear you ask? I didn’t know about such things back then either so I wore my naked face with my ironed flat semi-scene queen hair.
I got to debut it officially at my very first Armageddon Expo in 2008. Back when they used to hold it at the Aotea centre in the middle of Aucklands Queen Street. My favourite venue location as it was so central to everything and very easy to get to.
I remember taking the hat off about five minutes in to the convention as the elastic was way too tight and started giving me a headache.
Some dude-bro asked me why I didn’t have the clow wand and I told him it’s because I had left it at home. Little did he know that I had purposefully left it at home because even back then I was self-aware enough to know that the one I had attempted to make looked like trash.
It was made from one of those moan-tubes, a styrofoam ball, two pairs of gloves and a horn from a devil horn headband. I just wish this self-awareness of a crappy costume had continued in to 2009. You’ll see.
This costume will forever hold a special place in my heart because it was the first one that I had “helped” with and it was the first one I wore to my first ever convention.
Obviously if I were to make it again today, there would be so many things I would do differently. In fact, I did start on a remake of it in 2018 (it was meant to be the 10 year anniversary of this one) and perhaps one day I’ll finally finish that version too.