In love with the latest Zelda game and itching to make Zelda's ceremonial gown? Read on for a step by step of how I made it using material from the JOANN cosplay fabric line!
My most recent project is a dress Zelda wears in Breath of the Wild. The dress itself reminds me a little of a Kalasiris, which was a linen dress worn by ancient Egyptians. I liked the idea of using fabric with a texture or unique look. Avoiding spoilers, this outfit is a ceremonial garment made for a royal character. It’s a simple design so I’ve decided to take some liberties with materials.
For this project I used White/Gold and Gold/Gold Dual Fantasy Dupioni from the Yaya Han Cosplay Fabrics line. These fabrics are made exclusively for JOANN, which you can find at your local store or online. The fabric is blended to shift colors in the light. I recommend this fabric for projects where you want to add a little extra glamor.
A common question I get on my construction notes is “What pattern did you use?” Normally I draft my own but for the sake of making this project easier for readers to duplicate, I’ve modified a commercial pattern. I used McCall’s M6030 pattern for an empire waisted dress. Here’s photos of how I modified the center bodice piece and skirt panels.
To create the layer of the dress that wraps around her waist, I used the draping method to rough out a shape in muslin that looked roughly like the reference. After I was satisfied with how it looked pinned to my mannequin, I traced the shape on to paper and used a flexible drafting ruler to refine the shape. Once that was done I was ready to cut out the pattern piece on the Dupioni.
Since I was constructing the dress out of the ‘wrong’ side of the White/Gold Dupioni, I thought it would be nice to line it with the golden side facing out. If you are working with this fabric, I recommend finishing all edges of the fabric with an overlock or zigzag stitch. This material will fray. Using pinking shears on parts that you line may be enough, but exposed seams will need some sort of stitch to protect from fraying or french seams. I like to make my cosplay machine washable so I’ve overlocked all the seams that I could.
There is a panel of small pleats in the front of the dress. I opted to use pin tucks instead of pleats. My reason for doing this was to control the silhouette of the dress. Pleats create volume and I wanted the dress to hug the body. Pin tucks allowed me to maintain the shape I wanted while avoiding the issue of pleats making the skirt flare out. If you construct this dress and want to stay true to the design, you could look into using professional pleating services that chemically treat fabric so that the pleats are permanent and uniform.
I decided to construct the dress in two pieces. The draped layer is separate from the main body of the dress, and I attached it to the belt piece. The belt is reinforced with buckram.
To create the belt, I used fusible web to adhere Gold/Gold Dupioni to some blue fabric I had in my fabric stash. I satin stitched the design with gold embroidery thread. Rather than appliqué on dots as the design calls for, I decided to sew on gold beads in a triforce pattern. The belt snaps closed in the front (hidden under a decorative buckle) and snaps to the dress in the back near the zipper to hold this layer in place.
The jewelry parts of this costume were rushed out for photos & I have plans to remake them soon. In the future I’ll make a separate post for creating those!
Much thanks to JOANN for providing me with the fabric for this project. It was fun to work with and I’m sure I’ll be using it for future cosplays! I’m a big fan of their whole cosplay friendly fabric line, and I'm excited to see it expanding to cover even more quality fabrics made with our projects in mind.
Here’s the end results of my latest cosplay project:
If you have questions or need help on this or a similar project, leave me a comment below!