A good 4 years ago I read this manga, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. Before then, I had already seen a few episodes on German tv of the anime, and I liked the characters a lot. Since then, I’ve always wanted to make a cosplay of this. Originally, I planned to partner up with my friend with her as Fin Fish and me as Jeanne, but since she’s moved to Germany, it’s made it harder to do any cosplay together. Still, four years later, and I still want this costume, so that must mean I should make it, and now that I finally have the tools to do it, I’ve started.
I made the skirt quite quickly, and unfortunately didn’t really take any progress pictures. I’ll explain my process with this costume, anyways, in case anyone cares.
For the skirt, I wanted knife pleats, since I thought that’s what it looks like in the reference pictures, and it makes sense, since it’s a style often used in school uniform skirts and that’s sort of what the skirt looks like. I know in past times, it was possible to buy fabric pre-pleated, but it’s not popular anymore. At least, I’ve only found pleated fabric in some obscure, Dutch shop, and they only had black. So instead, I set out to make my own pleated fabric. This is a bit of a work to do, as it requires a LOT of measuring and ironing (yuk, ironing!). Now, for fabric I used twill. It doesn’t have to be, I just liked this fabric. One thing is important – it needs to be really good at keeping it’s shape after it’s ironing, and since it’s 100% cotton, it worked pretty good.
I took 3 meters of fabric and made 5 cm pleats – that gave me a final piece of fabric of 1 meter. To make the pleats, I measured out 5 cms of fabric at the top and bottom, connected the two to make a straight line, measured another 5 cms from that line, made a new line etc. until I had 5 cm interval lines all the way down my fabric. Then I folded it all to make pleats, adding needles at top and bottom, ironed it, stitched the top line and ironed more. And then some more. Also, it’s important to fold the bottom of the fabric up before making pleats, otherwise you’ll have a bad time. And then iron some more!
I then measured how much I needed around my waist (placing it in a way that I wouldn’t get a half pleat) and added a zipper. Then I made a waistband, which is basically just a square of fabric twice the height I wanted the waistband and the length of where I want the skirt to sit (which is a bit below my waist, so slightly longer than waist). I made it about 6 cms longer, so I’d have some extra fabric for stitching and for a hook to close it together. And voila:
A skirt! Which ofc needs to be ironed a LOT again before being worn. Pleats are very hard to maintain, and these are only ironed, so they might disappear if I wash it. But since it is a costume, I’m taking the chance – there are companies who offer to professionally pleat your fabric (treating it with a chemical, so the pleats stay in the fabric), but I thought this service is a bit overkill with my costume.
Next part I made was the kimono. I used a pattern I found on DeviantART as a reference – link here. I think I might make it smaller, though, because at the moment, it is a bit wide – like a traditional kimono – but I think in the reference picture, it looks like the kimono is a bit more tight-fitted. But as I haven’t added the collar yet, I can still easily modify it. I think I will get the right sash (or “obi”, although it’s not going to be a real, traditional one) before I finish the kimono, since it’s hard to tailor the kimono right without one. At the moment, I’ve just been using a scrap of fabric I had leftover from the skirt.