Back in May of this year, I was contacted by a young lady and her mom. It was her first convention, and her mom didn't get 'Geekery' and 'Cosplay' at all. Remembering my first con, I wanted to help make that experience special for her. However, I don't like any less than four months to work on a costume because of the amount of research, gathering materials, and plenty of time to for construction and trouble shooting.
Here, I'm going to take you through the process of creating this cute, fun character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series - Amy Rose.
First things first, I had some items to start with that I'd amassed.
Now that I everything; it's time to get started.
As we can see, Amy has 'hair' that is a pale pink,and buying a wig that color was out of the question. Thus, I started with with a white wig, and I did a custom dye job. I'd heard about using clothing dye to tint wigs, but I hadn't tried it before. Yay, experimenting!
Washed out the wig.
Now for color. My first try - spray color, which I've seen with other wig dyes.
....Not so much. It was uneven, streaky, and wasn't colorfast. Then, I simply tried dying the wig as one would fabric.
While I let that steep, I started working on prop hammer. Traced out the spot for the handle.
Drilled the starter holes for the handle on both sides of the cylinder.
Cut the holes.
Took a moment to dry fit the handle.
Now, I bulked up and lengthened the handle. I had another, flimsier wrapping paper tube that was longer. I was able to glue that to the other tube.
Then, after feeding it through, I used paper mache to secure the handle in to place. I planned from the beginning to leave the inside hollow so the cosplayer wouldn't need to carry a purse - it breaks the illustion of the character and they're annoying to deal with during photos.
I set the mallet down to dry in front of a heater and turned my attention back to the wig.
The Wig: (Part II)
I was going to be making ears to wear with the costume that had to match. I'd picked up fleece to use to make then, and I have to make sure it matches.
Now that I've doubled checked that, and it worked out successfully, I pull it out and dry the wig on low with a hair dryer.
Did some light styling with a curling iron set on around '3'.
Sprayed it in place as I went with some "Got 2 B Glued" freeze spray. Here's the difference between the areas that are curled and leaving them unstyled.
Now that the wig is done, I'm going to start on the costume since time was starting to get tight. I drafted out the pattern on tracing paper. I set my dress maker's dummy to the young lady's measurements and drew out everything on the dummy. Not the most scientific way of making it, but it certainly works over all, especially since I didn't have
The Prop (Part II)I used some Great Stuff to fill the hollow handle and give it more strength while still keeping the weight down.
Trimmed off the excess
Covered the rough spot and set it aside to dry
It's a very basic, A line, halter dress over all, so lots of sewing.
Detail (before trim is fully attached):
Here I'm putting in the zipper.
Attached the trim at the bottom of the dress
The boot covers came together quickly; just more sewing.
Added elastic to the bottom of the boot covers
And with that, the boot covers were finished in short order.
After the fitting and making adjustments, I added the stiffest interfacing I could find to the outside of the dress to help it flair out.
The Accessories:The rings around Amy's wrists were simple tubes of interlocking stretch knit of fabric. Here you can see the sort of 'bracelets' with the gloves.
The headband and ears are a bit more complex as far as accessories go, but were still pretty quick to put together. First, I pulled the velvet liner on the inside of the headband to reuse later.
Leaving on the original fabric as a liner, I attached the support wiring for the ears. and glued them into place with E-6000
After letting that cure over night, I dry fit the ears which are simply 7mm craft foam, pink fleece, and 4mm tan craft foam for the insides of the ears.
After making sure the ears fit properly, I removed them to add the red fabric for the headband itself.
One that's attached, on went the ears again, which were glued in place. with more E-6000. While I did want to attach the ears to the wig which would make for a more seamless look, since the wig itself wasn't the highest quality, I wanted to leave open the option to where if the client eventually wanted to upgrade the wig, she could.
The tail was very simple also - 7mm craft foam, some chipboard and elastic that can be easily wore under the dress.
The Prop (Part III):
Now that everything else was taking care of, I put the finishing touches on the prop mallet. Sadly because the deadline was so tight, I didn't get too many pictures of this part of the process. I painted the handle in a light brown to giving it an even, flat color. Then, still wanting to keep the weight down and still have bright, bold colors, I put in on the details in craft foam around the hammer, drawing in the 'outlines' with marker.
Here, you can see the interior storage of the hammer. To keep the client from losing the top, I glued a ribbon to it. I know my friends and I have often joked about 'hammer space' so to make that disappear, as well as to hide the handle/support beam running through the middle of the space.
That pretty well wraps it up. Thankfully, I was able to see the young lady at Animazement, and I got a picture of her in the finished costume.
It was a fun little project, even with the time crunch, and everything came together beautifully. If I had to make it again, I would most likely picked a different fabric for all the red - a twill or trigger instead of the gaberdine.
~ K. D. Thompson