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The blueprint of... is an article series in which we're taking a closer look at an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.


Today we are dissecting Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay




Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay Lulu - Close Up by yayacosplay Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay


First off, please introduce yourself.


My name is Yaya, and I am a costume designer and model currently based in Atlanta, GA. I am originally from China, though I've lived in Germany for several years as well - so culturally, I am a complete mutt! I have been designing and making costumes for 10 years now, starting off just as a hobbyist and cosplay enthusiast. In the last few years however, my love for cosplay has turned into a Profession, and now I travel to over 20 conventions per year, worldwide, to teach workshops and panels, judge contests, meet and greet friends and fans in costume, and offer my original cosplay accessories for sale inside dealer halls. I still love making costumes for personal enjoyment, though my free time is severely limited during the busy season of each year (May - October). I'm slowly getting through the hectic convention season this year, so look for some big new upcoming costumes on my DA!


Please explain what we are viewing.


This is the Artisan Craft Deviation I submitted with photos of my Lulu costume - a recreation of the character from the "Final Fantasy X" video game. From the first moment I laid eyes on her design in September 2001, I wanted to have this outfit. To me, Lulu was the most intriguing and captivating Final Fantasy character I had ever seen, in looks and personality. I started gathering materials that week and made the costume in a month, in time for Ani_Magic 2001.
The photos you see were taken in a graveyard in Atlanta, GA, by Cosplay.com Administrator Kyle Johnsen. He invited me to be the 2nd Featured Cosplayer on the website in the summer of 2004, and this costume was a part of that feature.


Can you describe for a layman how it's made?


Of course! First of all I would like to note that I took the liberty to add a personal touch to Lulu's character design in order to bring the costume to life. At the point of this project, I had been sewing costumes for a while and while making something accurately down to the last detail can be fun, it left little to no room for my own creativity. To this day, you will find details on my costume that give the design a little more depth and texture and make them stand out a bit more.
Onto making Lulu: I looked for a while for the grey fabric and found a beautiful rubber coated upholstery pleather that had a sheen and weight to it. I made my own pattern for the skirt and sleeves, and altered a historical corset pattern for the fur trimmed corset. I sewed the basic pieces together and made sure they fit and attached right. I bought a fur stole on eBay and cut it up, re-lined it, and sewed it to the corset which is also lined and has grey trim hand stitched on the seams. I made the little criss-cross belts for the sleeves by covering nylon straps with pleather and putting silver buckles on them. Overall, the belts were the most difficult part to work on, as I had to figure out how to attach them to the skirt without pulling everything out of shape and being too heavy. In the end I made a separate panel of belts that snaps around my waist and is supported. I probably bought 50+ leather belts at all the thrift stores I could raid lol.
Even though the belts were a pain, making the jewelry/hair accessories and embellishing the costume took the most time - over two weeks. I made the four hair sticks out of a variety of materials such as wooden sticks, wire, model magic, sheet metal, lace, and beads. The necklaces were also fun to make, and I sculpted each of the purple disk beads. Painting the jewelry and hair sticks took over 2 days alone as I kept going back with layers of paint to achieve the gradient effect. I used a wig for this costume, and lots of hair extensions which I had to braid and sew together.
Lastly, I did a lot of beading for this costume, such as adding my hand beaded original trim onto the corset to make it pop more, and a ton of glass and gold beads in the hair braids. I also hand-painted all the lace trim on the dress and sleeves and sewed them individually on, creating a pattern inspired by Lulu's character design artwork.

Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay Lulu - Close Up by yayacosplay Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay

What tools did you use?


I had a sewing machine and a serger at my disposal, and a plethora of random materials and tools (see construction notes).


What was your inspiration in creating this?


Lulu's awesome character design first of all, and I also wanted to challenge myself by working with new materials and techniques.


How long did it take you to make this?


About 4 weeks of working multiple hours per day. And about $300 in materials if I remember correctly.

Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay Lulu - Close Up by yayacosplay Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating this?


There were definitely experiment days lol. The belt took a trial run before I got it to hold up right, and I had to make everything longer to fit me with 5 inch heels on. Since Lulu is much taller than me haha. Also, the pleather started peeling at stress points after a few conventions so it didn't look very shiny or new anymore sadly.


Are you happy with the result?


I am 90% happy with the finished costume. It has definitely been one of my best received costumes, but construction wise I can see places where I could have improved, if I had had the knowledge I have now. A couple of years ago I was really in a financial bind and got a great offer on the Lulu costume, so I sold it to a new happy owner. Since then I've been thinking of making another Lulu costume, and do the corset with steel boning this time and make the belt structure lighter and the skirt out of a more stress-resistant material.


Where have you learnt your skills in this area?


I am completely self-taught - I had no clue how to sew before getting into cosplay, but when I saw other people having fun dressed up at Anime Expo 1999, I really wanted to learn. A friend of mine sat me in front of a sewing machine for a couple of hours and showed me how to use a pattern and I went on from there. Styling wigs, making props, jewelry, wings.. all this I learned by doing, making mistakes, correcting them, and so forth. But to this day I have the most fun with the creation process of cosplay, and I have so much I want to learn, and skills that I want to hone.

Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay Lulu - Close Up by yayacosplay Lulu - FFX 10 by yayacosplay

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?


I do a lot of photoshoots with varies friends, professional photographers and amateurs alike. I knew fairly early on that I wanted to make the effort to take nice looking photos of my costumes, because it is also part of cosplay and what makes it so much fun. Re-creating a feeling, look or scene from the source in your own photos helps showcase the costume and make the character come to life. I also believe in the importance of makeup and correct hair for your costumes, and encourage everyone who wants to cosplay to not only work on their sewing skills but also play with makeup and wigs and seek out photographers to photo shoots with. There are so many out there who love to take photos of cosplayers. It will make all the difference in the presentation of your costumes.


What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?


Be patient and enjoy the process of making a costume. Iron open your seams, make sure the stitches are straight, cut off the extra thread. These little things are vital to making a finished costume look nice. Rushing to meet a deadline will only frustrate you and take the fun out of making the costume, and there are so many conventions these days that your chances of wearing a costume are a plenty. Also, do research and read tutorials on what you're wanting to make, don't take shortcuts or blindly start on a new technique you've never tested before.
And of course, always remember to have fun!


Are you selling your work?


I am doing limited commissions for feather angel wings of all sizes, and I have an online store with my original cosplay accessories for Sale. You can find more info on the angel wings on my website at www.angelicstar.net and my store link is yayahan.bigcartel.com. Fans and collectors can also purchase signed 8x12 photo prints of me on my website www.angelicstar.net.
Aside from that, keep an eye on my Appearance schedule and come say hi if you see me at a convention!

Lulu - FFX 10: Additional pics by yayacosplay Black Magic by yayacosplay

More photos of the costume:
Photos by Meg Hanson: angelicstar.net/cos-images/lul… angelicstar.net/cos-images/lul…
Photos by Kyle Johnsen: angelicstar.net/cos-images/lul… angelicstar.net/cos-images/lul… angelicstar.net/modeling/kyle/… angelicstar.net/modeling/kyle/… angelicstar.net/modeling/kyle/…

Steampunk Madam at Ohayocon 09 by yayacosplay Belldandy - Ah My Goddess by yayacosplay Intergalactic Alien Huntress by yayacosplay Midnight Wings by yayacosplay The Tea Room Scene by yayacosplay Empyrean Eyes by yayacosplay Cleopatra the Golden Queen by yayacosplay Disney's Mulan by yayacosplay


Thank you yayacosplay for participating and taking the time to answer my questions!
//Myana

I'd love to receive suggestions for the next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.





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Add a Comment:
 
:iconmerrychoko:
MerryChoko Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! You are a truly amazing cosplayer! Great skills in sewing too! Visit Polymanga in Switzerland sometimes! :) I would love to meet you~
Reply
:iconyukilefay:
Yukilefay Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Great article! Yaya is an amazing cosplayer!
Reply
:iconyayacosplay:
yayacosplay Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much for asking me to do this! I really appreciate it! <3
Reply
:iconclaudiasutton:
claudiasutton Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Professional
Thank you so much for sharing.
Reply
:iconjkcarrier:
JKCarrier Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009   Digital Artist
A great insight into the work of this talented lady. Nice job!
Reply
:iconberryberryrose:
berryberryrose Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
Always loved this one, Yaya! Hope to see you again soon! :)
Reply
:iconromaji:
Romaji Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ohhh! cool! She's going to be at Anime USA this year as a cosplay guest. ^^;
Reply
:iconstrixthef-ingbird:
strixthef-ingbird Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Professional Photographer
Yaaay! I met Yaya at Metrocon working in the dealer room with Anime Remix! She's so awesome
Reply
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August 23, 2009
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