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Toko Fukawa Cosplay Progress: Underskirt – Video and Transcript

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Hi! My name is Lilly and you may or may not know me from my Cosplay Instagram @MupfinSmiley and/or may blog … Let’s be honest. You probably don’t. Because there’s like barely 250 people on there … And I love every single one of them!
Well … Enough about that. In case it isn’t obvious: I’m a tad bit anxious to be on camera. But here’s the thing: That’ll only go away if I make myself be on camera more.
So, I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now. You see, I’m in a Media Studies course at my Uni and we do have some practical classes. Being on camera, operating one and editing footage will sooner or later be something I’ll have to deal with. In fact I already had too … So why not do my own little project in form of this channel?

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Well, as I’ve mentioned: I’m a cosplayer. A cosplay who now, given the current Self-Quarantine-Situation, has too much time and not enough to do to finally got herself to film this. Still nervous, but that’s ok.

I’m with my parents right now, so this is probably not what’s gonna be my later setup but that’s ok. Just testing the waters.

To slowly dip mee feet deeper into these untested waters, I filmed the progess on one of my recent cosplays to kinda lead you through the progress. Not the most original idea? Maybe. But we’re still testing the waters, remember?

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So: We’re gonna be working on the Underskirt for my Toko Fukawa Cosplay. Nothing big, nothing special. Something even a beginner could pull off.
Usually I’d probably line the overskirt but this was far easier and not so bulky, plus way more flexible. I could wear the skirt normally and without the underskirt and I can use the underskirt for other projects later.

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I used a simply lining fabric in black which I still had leftover, black thread (obviously) and an elastic to pull through the waist.

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As for the skirt itself: Its a pretty simple rectangular ruffle skirt.

This is probably the most basik way to make a piece of clothing, so if you’re just starting out with making any kind of clothing yourself – not just cosplay – try making one yourself. Just use a light, flowing fabric, so the ruffles fall nicely.

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Start by cutting out the pieces. For a simple skirt like this, you’ll only need a big rectangular piece, or – as in my case two smaller pieces, which you’ll add together for it to get a big one. The whole piece should be a t least twice your waistsize, maybe thrice, depending on how poof you’d want the end result to be.

You’ll also want to safe a little piece of fabric for the waistband. I took my elastic and cut a piece twice its width. Both the elastic and this piece of fabric should be as long as your waist.
Don’t forget to add about 1 to 2cms to each measurements. You’ll lose a little space through the seams later.

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I then pinned the two pieces together on what will later be one of the side seams aka „the short side“. You’ll wanna pin all of your pieces right on right or as I like to call it „pretty side on pretty side“ since you’ll want your seams to later be on the inside of the garment. It doesn’t really matter with a plain fabric like this one but it’s important in case you’re using a patterned fabric or you have some details on the front of your piece.
This is a pretty basic rule of sewing and it’s usually how I pin and then sew things together, so I don’t really feel the need to say that everytime I do it.

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I then went on to sew the two pieces together. I usually have my stitch length somewhere between one and two. Smaller stitches make for cleaner seams and may stop the fabric from ruffling up around them. We’re gonna take advantage of the whole ruffling thing, later on though!

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I also always clean up my seams afterwards. I cut off the excess fabric – that way the seams don’t seem so bulky on the outside – and zigzag along the sides. That way all of those lose little threads that may seperate from the fabric can’t really do that and your seam wont break open in the washing machine.

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Now: This feels like as good a point as any to point something out: I am in no way a professional. I don’t make clothes, patterns or adjustments for a living. This is simply my way of doing things and the way I have either learnt or taught myself or just adjusted to my personal needs.
My mom sews for a hobby and my grandmother used to be a seamstress so I get some of my information from their sage advice, yet there are some things in my process which we will not tell my grandmother about. They may cost me my inheritence and or my life.
This is one of those things. Technically she taught me to zigzag your cut pieces of fabric before you pin or sew anything. You’d the iron apart the seams and clean them up individually. The reason is stil the same: You don’t want all of the work to be for nothing as soon as you wash the garment.
Since I don’t wash cosplays particularly often (if at all. Though I try to keep it as cleanable as possible) this’ll do.

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Ok. Forging on: You will then have to take the long side of your rectangle and sew a long line along the edge. Put your stitch length on a higher setting beforehand, though. I’d recommend 4 or up. Do that twice, close together.
Don’t cut the threads off to short.
I also zigzag that edge as well, though you don’t need to yet. It’s gonna be held within the waistband later anyways.

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Remember how I said we’re gonna take advantage of high stitch length and seam ruffling later? Well, now’s the time: You will now be able to pull and ruffle the fabric up on that one piece of thread like a curtain on a rod.
This is very time consuming, so don’t be frustrated, it’ll just take some time. Be careful and take it slow, so the thread doesn’t rip. In case it does: Don’t fred: That’s why we did the whole thing twice. That way you have a  thread to fall back on in case one tears. If both do: You’ll just have to repeat the process. It’s ok. It happens. Often.

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Done? Yes. Great. I wasn’t sure as to how much I needed to ruffle the skirt to then reach my waistsize so I put it up on the doll – my trusted and beloved Delores – and adjusted it. I the pinned the other sideseam.

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Sew and clean it up, like you did the other one.

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Next thing on or to-do-list is the waistband. This might be the most dificult thing for beginners to do, but I am very sure anyone will manage!
You can – and should – iron it first. I didn’t. I did that way to late and it shows a little.
Take your waistband, fold it in half by length and iron it flat. That way pinning it on will be a little easier.
Don’t forget to turn your stitch length down again!

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I am usually a little careful with leftover fabric, especially if it’s for lining, since I don’t know the exact blend. Lining usuall has a lot of artificial fibres in it so it might shrink or melt when ironing. Test that out beforehand on a leftover piece and put your iron the lowest heat possible.

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Start out on the outer side of your skirt and pin your waistband on there. Remember: Right side on right side.
Sew it on.

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Now on to the kind-of-but-really-not-so-hard part: Fold it over – or make use of your ironed fold – and then tuck the fabric edge in again by about 1cm. Pin it down like that.
Sew it on.
You should now have a little tunnel on the upper side of your skirt.
Iron that tunnel. Even if you already did so before. It’ll make the next part easier.

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Take your elastic. In case you’re wondering: Yes I switched mine out. I don’t quite remember why but I think it just had something to do with the colour. I found a black one which would fit a lot better.

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Take a safety pin and pin it on the end of your elastic. This will help you thread it through the elastic. I don’t know if I mentioned but the elastic should be roughly as long as your waistsize. It’s ok for it to be a little shorter, since it’ll stretch and you’ll gain a little through that.
This part is a little fidgety: You’ll have to pull your elastic through the little tunnel you just created. Try and keep your hand on the saftey pin and guide it through. The elastic also shouldn’t twist while you do so.

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I then went on to sew the two ends of the elastic together, tucked in the edges of the tunnel and sewed them on like that as well.

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The last thing you’ll have to do is hem your skirt. I forgot to film this part but you’ll hopefully see the process in the next video. It’s the same process for the overskirt.
You’ll tuck in the edge, twice and sew it on. This is one of those things we’re not going to tell my grandma about cause it’s kind of lazy and improper … If you’re really going for that A+ you’ll wanna do that by hand and use very small, close together, light stitches. As you can imagine: It takes forever and I hate doing it.

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It’s also best to pin the hem on a doll or on a person wearing it. It’s important for it to be the same length everywhere. So: If you can: Get yourself some help for this part.

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Since I am very sure that most of you didn’t stupidly tear a whole into their project this part is probably optional: I had to fix up some minor holes in my skirt. I just took out some black emproidery thread and stitched it over. You can’t really see it in the final project, since it hides nicely among the folds. And also: There’s another skirt over it.

In case something like this happens to you: First off: It’s ok. Mistakes are an essential part of learning. Secondly: You can also actually emproider little flowers on and make the mistakes visible, if you want to. I think it’s a nice way of turning a mistake into a unique detail.

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And: You’re done. There’s your skirt. It’s really easy to do and versatile.

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I hope this wasn’t to awkward and I got to explain everything in a nice and understandable way.
I’m always open to suggestions and especially tips, since this is a first for me.
I’ll try and upload the other parts of this cosplay as soon as possible.

In the meantime: I’d be very greatful if any of you would check out my social media – you can also check out whole cosplay there – and the blog. It’s a pretty mixed bunch and I will of course put the links in the description down below.
I’ll also try and post the transcript of the video either down below or on the blog for those of you who find it easier to work with written instructions.
As for me: I am going back into quarantine hibernation now. Thank you for watching and have a great day!

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