I constructed a costume based on Zelda’s design in Skyward Sword. Read my notes on making this cosplay!
I consider this project of intermediate difficulty due to the number of different skills needed to complete it. For a frustration free experience, I would recommend this project for intermediate level cosplayers or beginners who will have plenty of assistance. There is a lot of appliqué work to be done on it as well as a fair amount of accessory making. Give yourself a generous amount of time to work on this costume if you are planning to make it! I worked on this costume on and off over the course of several years, so it sat for long spans of time partially finished while I completed other costumes. I'm all for taking on several projects at a time so you never grow bored of working on one thing. It was started in 2015 and finally finished this January! I bought fabric a year or so before starting this project at a by-the-pound fabric store. They sell sample fabrics or remnants based on a flat rate calculated by weight rather than yardage. It is a great way to find nice fabric at a discount, but it is a gamble. You never know if you’ll find what you need or enough yardage for your project. The pink I bought was a great shade for Zelda but there wasn’t much of it. I drafted an A-line dress pattern and was relieved to see I could make the limited yardage work!
I buy different gold colored fabrics when I come across ones I like because they are mighty useful for cosplay trims and appliqué designs. You can never have enough gold or white solid fabrics on hand! I went to my gold fabric hoard and found a color that complemented the pink fabric. After cutting out and serging the dress pieces, I got to work on the dress appliqué. All of the appliqué was cut out by hand, and applied with Steam-A-Seam Lite sheets. I satin stitched it after ironing it in place. It was a lot of appliqué, so I had my sewer’s aid on hand to deal with gunked up needles.
After finishing the appliqué on the skirt hem, I added horsehair braid to the hem. If you read my costume notes regularly, you’ll see I like using it to give skirts some extra lift.
Rather than use 2 different blue materials for the apron, I utilized both the front and back sides of a blue sateen fabric. This material was the same I’d used to appliqué a new Skyward Sword Link costume for HayabusaKnight the year before. I used the back side of it when making his costume and liked the idea of making ours match.
The emblem was appliquéd on to the shiny side of the sateen and the rest of the apron was constructed with the rough side of the fabric. I enjoy the subtle contrast in color and texture.
For the sailcloth, I used the same blue sateen to make the emblem. I used the back side of the fabric for the appliqué because the cloth I chose for the sailcloth is brushed canvas and the textures looked nice together. For Zelda’s belt I needed to make dozens of identical disks. Wanting to keep it simple, light, quick, and cost effective, I decided to make the disks out of Worbla. Here’s how I chose to shape them:
First I made an object out of craft foam and a giant googly eye. I created a mold of it out of silicon putty and heat shaped disks of Worbla into that mold. I then punched holes into each disk with a sewing awl. I surfaced the disks with spray gesso, sanded them, and then painted them with gold Meltonian Nu-Life spray…something that sadly is being discontinued! It was my favorite paint to use because it doesn't transfer on to fabric.
I sealed everything with spray Mod Podge. (Spray products are great but use a respirator mask and do it outside! Don't risk your health for a costume.) After the disks finished drying, I strung them together with gold leather cording.
I used Worbla for the belt buckle as well, and cast matching gems out of resin for it and the chest piece.
The chest gem detail velcros to the front of the dress so I can remove it when storing the costume and for washing it. The bracelets are wooden bangles I painted green and then decorated in dark green stick on vinyl designs I cut out by hand. For the hair accessories, I sandwiched wire in between ribbons and wrapped them into conical shapes. The ears I used are from Yaya Han’s online store. I painted them with acrylic paints to better match my skin tone.
One last part of this project I want to share isn’t related to the costume, but rather the set we made to photograph it in. It was snowy and cold when I wanted to photograph this costume, so we got creative. We decorated a room with fake foliage, potted plants, faux grass, and flag buntings to give it a Skyloft feel! Here’s the end results:
Thanks for reading! If you have questions for me, leave them in the comments! -Maridah
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