Cosplay, General
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Toko Fukawa Cosplay Progress: Pleated Skirt – Video and Transkript

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Hey! It’s my again! Aka Lilly aka @mupfinsmiley on Instagram. In my first video – So exciting, I know! – I tried to showcase my progress on of of my latest cosplays: Toko Fukawa from Danganronpa.
I started off showing you how I made an underskirt to be worn under this and when needed under other costumes as well.
Today we’re gonna be working on the second layer: The overskirt.

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I always like making skirts since they’re easy and you can get amazing looking results with few frustrations and little effort. It eneables me to get into some sort of meditative trance really quickly and I do enjoy that so much. I also just love flowy fabrics … It’s really weird since it’s not at all what I usually wear in my day to day life.

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This one is an almost florlength pleated skirt and therefore a bit harder to make than the ruffled one from before.
The concept is still the same, though: Take a long piece of fabric, shorten one edge by folds or ruffles and have it fit tight on top but be flowy near the edge.
It is incredibly important that you work correctly and precicely; even moreso than with other sewing projects; since every mistake will show in the pleats later.

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As with the underskirt: I always cut and zigzag the seams for cleanup and pin right on right unless specifically stated otherwise. You should also always work with seam allowance.

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Also similarl to the other skirt: You’ll need a long rectangular piece of fabric and a smaller strap for the waistband.

What you can see here are 4 meters of fabric with a width of 1,40. We will obviously shorten the hem (even thoug a huge drape would have been cool) later. It later turnt out that I wouldn’t need all of it to fit my waist but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

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This is probably the most important steps in making a pleated skirt: Actually making the pleats. I know: Shocking.

Before we can actually make the pleads, we’ll have to mark them off on our fabric.
I laid my cut fabric down flat and aligned my tape measure with it. I then marked off my folds. There’s two measurments to take into consideration here: the depth of your fold – this is the fabric that will later be tucked away within the fold – and the width – this is the amount of fabric that will later be seen on the outside.
My measure were 7 for depth and 4 for width. You can adjust that to whatever skirt you’d want to make and have bigger or smaller pleats.

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It’s pleating time. This is pretty much what we’re gonna do instead of ruffling this time. It is a little hard to describe but I am going to try anyways. Please look at the video segment for further clarity.

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Fold the segment you marked off as fold depth in half. You should now automatically have what you marked off as width lay on top of that. Pin it.
Do that with all of your folds until you’re done. This is again very time consuming but I find it to be really realxing for some reason.

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May I just say how cool this looks? I’m going to have to go into pleated skirt mass production just so I can do this again and see it again. I think it’s just so satisfying! But I feel like I’d never wear it … And I wouldn’t reall know what to do with the other ones …

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Anyways: Iron those pleats flat so that they’ll stay in position when you sew them on.

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Do exactely that. Sew along the folded edge to secure the pleats.

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Next thing we’re doing is the side-seam.
But wait; there’s more: Since I put a zipper in this one, so I only pinned and the stitched up parts of the side seam.

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I’m not sure how long my zipper was. I have gotten a huge bag of leftovers from my grandmother a while back so whenever I need something I look there. It’s what I did with this zipper. It’s a really nice way of lowering/keeping costs down on cosplay. Plan your materials and see if you can reuse things.

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So: I pinned on the zipper, then pin the rest of the side down to later put into the side seam.
Zippers are a little tricky but weirdly they’re one of my favourite things to sew on.

Youll want to fold in your fabric edges and pin them onto each side of the zipper. I usually open the zipper for this part since I find it easier to work with a little space inbetween.

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Sew the sideseam up to where your zipper is.

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Sew on the zipper. Again: Zippers are tricky. Sewing machines usually come with with a specific foot (the little metal thing that pushes down your fabric) for this. I didn’t use mine. Shame on me. But since I am actually quite good at zippers – I know, I know – I find it way to much work to switch out the foot… I just went ahed with it and did my thing. Don’t be me. And – as with the hem – don’t tell my grandma.

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What’s important is that you dont get the zipper’s teeth caught up under the needle. As soon as there’s some fabric caught within them your whole zipper is useless.

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It’s time to do the waistband. Now, since there was no hard-ish elastic to give it some form this time, I cut out some fleece interfacing and ironed it on.

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I noticed that my waistband was way too long. You’ll always want it to be a little longer than your waistsize so you can add a button and a button hole to close it, but it doesn’t really need to be double your waist. So I cut the excess off.
It’s always good to test out whether your garment actually fits sporadically.

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To those of you who are not familiar: This is a specific kind of fabric that’ll reinforce your pieces and give them some form. It’s usually put into collars or waistbands to make them hold up better.
It has some sort of glue – please don’t quizz me on textile science – on one sides that will actuvate when warmed up and therefore stick to any fabric.

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I then also folded the waistband in half and ironed that fold.

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Next, I just closed the shorter ends of the waistband and cleaned them up.
You’ll notice: We’re doing things a little bit differently this time.

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Pin one side of the incredibly long pocket you just created onto the skirt and sew it on. Fold over, tuck the edge in, pin it and sew it on again. Try to stay close to the first seam so it doesn’t show too much.

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I also added some little hooks to the protruding end instead of using a button. Tokos costume doesn’t really have one so it felt a little flashy to add one. This seemed like a covert option to close the waist.
You should probably lay them out first and pin them as to noz sew them on the wrong way. You’ll also have to do this part by hand. I’m really sorry.

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I then shortened the hem. The original piece of fabric was way to long.

I cut into the fabric and then tore the unneccessary fabric right off. Don’t do this, if you’re not super sure in what you’re doing!
You’ll also always want to cut a few centimeters lower than your final hem is supposed to be.

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I always keep excess and leftover fabric – especially if it’s that much – since I may use it in later projects, even if it’s just for some small details or patches.

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Stop. Hemming time.

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Please kill me.

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But seriously: Hemming time. You’ll want to fold over the edge of your fabric twice and pin it on like that. This is harder than it seems and usually very time consuming. A lot of my garments go unhemmed until it is absolutely and definetely time too hem them since I don’t really like doing it too much.
But it’s still worth it.

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I then ironed it, so that it will then stay flat for sewing.

As if mentioned in the first video: I usually go for a lazy hem. Normally you’d do it by hand by using very small and light stitches.
I just threw it under the machine and sewed along the edges.

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Toko’s skirt has those white stripes along the bottom as well as on her shirt. I got a lot of lace from my grandmother and I found this really cute white heart lace amongst it. There was also so much of it left!
Since Toko is the Ultimate Romance Novelist it just felt fitting to use it on her skirt.

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I really like altering cosplays like this. It may not fit the original image of the character 100% but it feels very individualistic and „me“. I can be creative and add something more, that’ll make the result better. It’s also a detail you probably won’t notice unless you get to see it up front or know about it. I myself like looking out for little things like this. I can’t really explain, it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

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I added two rows of the lace. Pinned them onto the flat-laying fabric and sewed them on with white thread.

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You may or may not have noticed in those little snippets that I hadn’t done the sideseam yet. It was a bit hard for me to piece this back together since it’s been some time since I filmed it.
I remembered that I did the hem twice since I had to shorten it later.
For the sake of understanding and clarity I decided to cut that out and streamline the video a little. I also decided to put the sequences in the order I’d usually make a skirt like that it.
I remember changing in up a little since I wanted to pin the lace on a flat surface. It’s doable after putting the skirt together as well, though. So in the end it doesn’t really matter. I just wanted to put in that little disclaimer.

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There’s your skirt. It’s all done!

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Thank you so much for watching the second part of this little series! I hope I was able to explain it all nicely and you got a good look into my – messy, I’ll agree – process.
Please leave your feedback down below – I appreaciate tips and tricks and getting to know your process as well. In case you want to see the whole costume assembled have a look at my instagram @mupfinsmiley or my other social media accounts. I will of course leave them down below.
Next time we’ll tackle the top. Until then: Stay healthy, drink some water and have a beautiful day!

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