Introduction: Erza's Robe of Yuen (Altering Patterns for Cosplay)

Hey people It's thevoid or non-void if you know me on DeviantArt and I'm back with another awesome cosplay tutorial. This time I'll be showing you how to alter an existing sewing pattern to make Erza's Robe of Yuen. This tutorial will be similar to my Officer Jenny Cosplay tutorial but, this time the altered sewing pattern will only serve as a starting point.

Difficulty Level: Medium

Skills: Sewing,Prop Building, Pattern Altering, Measuring,and Math(unfortunately)

Materials:

  • Simplicity Pattern 1009
  • Purple Fabric (you will need at least 4 yards but, how much yardage you'll need will depend on your measurements)
  • Light Pink Fabric 2 yards
  • Vinyl or other leather like fabric 1/2 yards
  • Red Fabric 1 or more yards ( I substituted hot pink instead due to the color pallet I was working with)
  • White Fabric 1/2 yards
  • Gold Trim 9 yards
  • Red Decorative Rope (enough to wrap around my waist and tie)
  • Heavy Duty Stabilizer 4 yards
  • Velcro
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Flip Flops
  • White Bias Tape/Ribbon
  • White, Purple, Pink, Gold, and Black Thread
  • Wooden Pole
  • Thin Wood
  • Foam and Drawer Liner
  • Blue Spray Paint
  • Spray Glue
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Silver Acrylic Paint
  • Old Bed Sheets (Optional)

Equipment:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Needles
  • Sewing Machine Needles ( You may need a heavier wight needle to sew through vinyl fabric)
  • Stitch Rippers
  • Scissors
  • Band Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Circle Saw
  • Glue Gun
  • Sand Paper
  • Sanding Belt

Step 1: **Handy Hint**

It may be better to practice some alterations on a test costume made up of old bed sheets from the thrift store; that way you can save money on nice fabric by, perfecting the measurements and alterations before making your real costume. Above is a picture of my really embarrassing test costume.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Pattern Pieces

Assuming you already gathered your supplies and picked out your fabric(and washed it) it is now time to open your pattern up. In this Instructable you will be altering Dress A but, instead of using all the Dress A pattern pieces you just want to use the bodice top and the middle panel of the attached skirt. So with that in mind you will need to cut out pattern pieces 1,2,3,4,5, and 8.

Cutting out the bodice is all fairly straight forward but, when it comes to the skirt panel you need to do a bit of altering because, the pattern for the skirt panel is flared out and designed so that it will reach down to the floor. For Erza's robe however, you want the skirt panel to be straight and to reach just past your knees. So, to fix this you will need to trace out the pattern piece on some old bed sheets,and then on either side of the pattern's waist band you will have to draw a line going straight down to bottom of the pattern piece straightening the skirt panel. Next you will want to cut the skirt panel down in length until it reaches just below your knees. (You may need to do some measuring for this part.) Once the skirt panel has been altered to your liking you will need to cut 2 of this pattern piece.

Step 3: Makeing the Bodice

So, to create Erza's bodice you are going to follow steps 1 through 4 on the simplicity pattern and then flip the collar over so, that the right side of the fabric is facing out. Next you need to take some bias tape or ribbon (I used ribbon.) and line the inside of the collar. Also, you will want to tuck in the sides of the bodice so the arm holes are no longer showing. Then, you are going to line each side of the bodice with ribbon like you did with the collar earlier. Finally, you need to take each side of the bodice and sew the sides together to create your own arm hole.

Step 4: Attaching the Skirt Panel

Now, you are going to take both sides of the skirt panel and place them on top of each other so that the right sides are facing each other; then sew the two pieces together and flip them inside out. (The right sides of the fabric should be showing on the outsides.) Now follow the rest of the pattern instructions for how to attach the skirt panel. After accomplishing this set the pattern instructions aside, as you wont be needing them any more.

Step 5: Createing the First Belt Pattern

So, this costume has two belts tied together with a big red bow. Right now you are going to start working on the large pink belt. The First step to making this belt would be to measure around your waist and use this measurement to figure out how long your belt is going to need to be. Then, measure out the width of your belt based on where you want it to sit on your body. (Most likely from just under the bust to just above your hips.) Next, combine the two measurements together by tracing them out on a piece of old fabric or drawing paper. Your drawing should, have the width measurement bisecting the length measurement in the center on either side.Then, create triangle like points on either end of your belt (Do your best to make sure all the ends of the belt stay the same length). Now, measure about a 1/2 inch to an inch around your belt (Based on how big you want your seems to be later. Remember its easier to make something bigger then it is to make something smaller.) After all this is done you will have your first belt pattern.

Step 6: Putting Together the First Belt

Now, that you've completed the pattern for your first belt, you are going to take your pattern and use it to cut out 2 pieces of pink fabric and 1 piece of stabilizer. Next, you're going to lay the stabilizer down on the then put the first piece of pink fabric facing up on top of it and the second piece of pink fabric facing down on top of that. Then, stitch them all together leaving an opening which, you will use to flip the entire piece inside out with the stabilizer in the middle. All that is left now, is to hand stitch the opening closed.

Step 7: Creating the Second Belt

Take the measurement you used for your waist length and use it again but; this time with a new width which, you decide based on how wide you want your belt to be (Just make sure this belt is not as wide as the pink belt you just made.) Next, you are going to take the length along the top and round it just a bit to create the over all shape of the belt. Now, like before, you're going to need to add an half inch to an inch all around the outside of your belt pattern.

Step 8: Creating the Second Belt

Next, use the pattern you just made to cut out a piece of vinyl, leather, or any other belt like material you may have chosen to use. Then, turn the edges of your belt under so that, no raw edges are showing and stitch all the sides down. Finally, sew some velcro on either side of the belt where you expect the two ends to meet.

Step 9: The Skirt Pattern

Erza's robe, has a separate skirt pattern that goes around the outside of her belts; to meet the skirt panel in the middle.To create this, you need to use your waist measurement followed by, the width measurement for the skirt. Which, is going to start at your waist and fall roughly just below the knees. Using these measurements, you're going to draw out a rectangle like pattern on some old fabric or a piece of paper. Next, you need to flare out the bottom of your rectangle, turning it into a large trapezoid . Then, you have to divide your trapezoid into six equal spaces (or as equal as possible spaces).Next, you're going to create a point in the center of each space you divided up. Then, remove the top half of the lines you used to divide up your trapezoid. Continuing on, you need to add roughly 5 to 6 inches to the top of your skirt pattern. Now, flare out the sides of this new width towards the top. After this, all that needs to be done is to add an 1/2 inch to an 1 inch of seem allowance all around your new pattern and cut it out. (Don't worry, if this takes more than one try. This part is super tricky.)

Step 10: The Skirt

Now, that you have created the pattern for your skirt; cut two pieces of fabric out and place them right sides together and sew them down. Then, like before, turn your skirt right side out and stitch any openings you have closed. ( You may have to go back and fix several of the edges, as the points can be somewhat hard to sew.)

Step 11: Applique

Erza's costume, has several white flowers placed all over. To create these you cut out a flower pattern on white fabric and back it with double sided iron-on interfacing. Next, you need to place the flowers you just made: on the two bottom corners of the pink belt, the bottom corners of the skirt panel, on either side of the bodice front, on both sides of the bodice back, and just under collar on the bodice back. Once, you decide where to place your flowers remove the wax paper from the back of the interfacing and iron the flowers in place. Next, stitch around the edges of the flowers to hold them in place. Also,now would be a good time to sew some clasps down on either end of your pink belt.

Step 12: Adding Trim

Next, sew gold trim: down along the edges of your pink belt, the bottom front of your skirt, and the top front of the back of your skirt. ( Technically, you could just add trim around both sides of the skirt but; that would be a lot of extra trim.)

Step 13: Attaching the Skirt

Because Erza's skirt goes around the top of her belts, you can't just sew the skirt down to the rest of the costume easily. So instead, you can sew velcro along the center of either side of black belt (Avoid attaching velcro to the midsection of the belt.) and along the inside of your skirt where the waist should be. When you get done it should look like the second picture above.

Step 14: Making the Bow

To make the big red (or in this case pink) bow on Erza's robe, you need to first decide how large you want the bow on your costume to be.( Keep in mind that the larger you make your bow the heavier it's going to be.) Based on what you decide, you will cut out two pieces of fabric at the desired length (Your finished bow will be roughly half the length you start with.) and width of your bow. Then, round each of the corners on the pieces of fabric you just cut. Next, cut out a piece of stabilizer (the really stiff kind) in the same shape and size as the fabric pieces you cut before. Then you will need to place the stabilizer down; layering one piece of fabric on top of it facing upwards and the last piece on top of the last one facing down. After doing all of that, you are going to sew all the layers together and flip the entire thing inside out. Make sure the stabilizer in the middle and close any openings we may have made.

Now, setting the piece you just made aside; you are going to create the center of the bow by, cutting a long straight rectangle of fabric and folding it in half. (Double check that the front side of the fabric is facing itself.) Then, you will stitch along the non-folded edge and one of the short sides of the rectangle. Next, you have to turn it inside out and close the opening.

Continuing on, take the first piece you were working on earlier and fold both the outer corners inward and wrap it with the second rectangular piece you just finished. Next secure the wrapping down by tying or stitching both ends together at the back of the bow.

Finally, we take a piece of red decorative rope that; is just a little larger then our waist measurement and thread it through the center of the bow we just made.

Step 15: Wrist Bands

To create the wrist bands for Erza's outfit, first take the white fabric you used earlier and cut some long rectangular strips. Then, you're going to take the fabric strips you just cut and pin them right sides together. Next, stitch along one of the edges and repeat this step for all of the fabric strips you have created. Then, take measurements of your wrist and forearm. You will use these measurements to create a trapezoid like pattern for the wrist bands (Remember your going to want a little extra room on each side for the velcro.) Next, turn the edges of your wrist band inward and sew them down. Now, attach velcro on either side of the wristband. Finally, repeat this process to create the second wrist band.

Step 16: Stockings

Erza's Robe of Yuen has some long over the knee stockings that match the color of her belt. Unfortunately, finding stockings or socks that are going to match your belt exactly is pretty much going to be impossible. A good way to remedy this is to get a bucket full of warm water and vinegar; add some red or pink dye to it. Then, carefully soak the stockings (white or peach stockings that aren't nylon) until, they change to the desired color. After which, carefully rinse your stockings out and let them dry.

Next, to get your stockings to fit properly with sandals you're going to need to separate the toe of the stocking; creating an oven mitt like shape but, for your foot. To do this, you will need to put the stocking on your foot and mark the spot between your big toe and your second toe. Now, take your sock off and and cut along where you made the mark. Next, turn the sock inside out and stitch up one side of the hole you just made and then down around the other side to close it. Finally, do this for your other stocking as well.

Step 17: Erza's Shoes

To create Erza's sandals just grab some inexpensive flip flops from the store and spray paint them gold. Then, use any left over trim you may have to line the bottom of the flipflops using a hot glue gun.

Step 18: Erza's Staff (Pole)

To create Erza's weapon, you first need to find a really long pole. (I found mine by ripping apart an old lamp but, you could just go to home depot or another hardware store.The reason I chose an old lamp pole however, was because, it can be broken down into two parts for easier storage.)

Step 19: Erza's Staff (Blade)

(To create the blade of Erza's Staff I got help from my father and his vast knowledge of power-tools to create a really thin wooden blade. However, if you aren't comfortable around power tools or just don't have access to them a foam board will probably also do the trick.)

First, you will need a long thin piece of wood (Mine came from the back of an old dresser.) on which, to draw out your blade pattern. Next, use a band saw to cut out the outline of your blade. After which, you can use a jigsaw to cut out the outermost half circle on the blade. Then, use a drill with a hole saw mounted onto it to cut out the other circles. (Be sure to only drill partially through on both sides of the blade to create a cleaner cut.) Now, use a sanding belt to sand down the rough surface and create and put an edge on your blade. Finally, use some sand paper to sand down some of the finer edges of your blade, as well as, sanding down the long wooden pole that the blade will be mounted on. If your blade had any chips or gaps in it now would be the time to fill them using a latex wood patch which, you will also need to go over with sand paper when it dries to smooth it out.

Step 20: Erza's Staff (Blade 2)

Next, instead of just painting the blade silver I found a really cool tutorial by Terrih1984, for using aluminum foil here is the link to it:click here for awesome blade tutorial I found

It turned out pretty good but, It works better if you use two layers of aluminum foil and let it dry in between two stiff cardboard bracers. You should also, use an eraser to help smooth over some of the wrinkles and bubbles. After encasing the blade in aluminum foil, you will need to cut off any excess aluminum bynusing an xacto knife. Then using silver paint you can hide any tears in the aluminum and create a blade edge (I feel the way they did the blade edge in the tutorial wouldn't look right on this particular weapon.)

Next, your going to want to paint your wooden pole to match the color of Erza's staff. Once the paint is dry, use a saw to cut a notch in the center top of your pole. Next, you need to insert your blade into the notch you just made using crazy glue to hold the to pieces together. Now, find some thin twine or rope to wrap the end of your pole where you inserted your blade and use crazy glue once again, to hold keep all the pieces in place.

Step 21: Erza's Staff (Foam Accessories)

Next, to create the smaller details on Erza's staff, grab some foam from the hardware store ( The kind you use to pad hard concrete floorsand the kind used to line drawers and tool boxes.) Then, on the thicker foam draw and cut out four rectangular shapes with rounded tops (first picture) Next,use the thinner foam to make a some frames to go on the outside of the first foam pieces. (second picture) After which, you need to cut out two sets of flower petals to put in the middle of your foam creation.(third picture). Also, you can use the thinner foam to create and end cap for the bottom of your pole by cutting a thin rectangular piece to wrap around the bottom edge and a circular bottom piece that will serve as its base. Next, grab some paint and paint all the small foam pieces. (fourth picture)

While, your foam is drying, use the left over fabric strips from the arm bands you made earlier, to create the decorative wrapping on the spear. You can do this by, hot gluing around your spear just under the blade.

Finally, after all the paint is dry, USE a hot glue gun glue all your foam pieces together and attach them to your new weapon.

Step 22: Finishing Touches

Now that your costume is built, you have time to focus on any small finishing touches you may need. Such as, finding a wig( I would highly suggest investing the money to get a better quality wig; as a bad wig will bring down the quality of the costume.) or using a hand full of safety pins to temporarily hold certain parts of the costume in place exactly the way you like.(like the bow) Also, below I have some helpful links to various tutorials that may help you put on any finishing touches to your costume to bring it all together.

Erza's Earrings

Erza Makeup

Erza Eyes

Anime Eyes

Anime Eyes Variation Just Because

Anime Lips

Gradient Lips

Step 23: And... Your Done!!

Here's an informal list of some of the references I used ( the ones I remember anyway) while working on this project:

Google Search With Tons Of Reference Pictures

Erza Makeup

Gradient Lips

Anime Lips

Anime Eyes Variation

Anime Eyes

Erza Eyes

Cosplay Blade Tutorial

Erza's Earrings

Tutorial For Working With Foam

Afterword: Overall, I really liked the way my costume turned out however, some things I would do differently would be to seal the paint on my sandals and to create a small matching satchel to carry my wallet and such in. Also, I probably shouldn't have waited so long to look for cosplay stockings. Despite all this,I still think this is one of my better cosplay projects to date.

P.S. If you have any question, comments or concerns please feel free to comment; even if it's just a spelling error.

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