/Shidou Mana

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About Costume:

For a while I was looking for a costume that was going to be challenging for me and also something that really attracted me.  I love the design of the outfit, armor, and props.  Getting the fit just right for the shirt was a challenge.  It probably took me the longest, I wanted it to be perfect.  I drafted all my own patterns for everything, and it took a lot of calculating and time.  All the gold designs are hand-painted on.  The lace is hand stenciled.  The skirt took a lot of measurements to get the lines to match up just right, and be at the edge of every pleat.  I used boning for the corset front piece, and tied in the ribbon using hooks.  I did some leather work with the belt and connected it to 2 straps that screw into the sword.  The sword, sheath, and hilt were made with a variety of materials consisting of plastic, wood, and sculpey.

This was my first time making a set of armour.  Which required me to use a lot of new materials that I was not familiar with.  So was a lot of learning and figuring things out.  I used plastics and three different methods of forming it.  Some pieces took 20 hours just to make depending on the method and waiting times.  I had to build a vacuum-form to create some of the pieces and use complex mold methods.  Even painting the armour took forever.  I coated everything with about 9 coats of spray paint.  I added rivets to get all the pieces together and become moveable.  I also added the blue strap on the knee and upper arm armour pieces.  Over all the costume took about 200 hours to make.

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