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Submitted on
April 21, 2013
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Serenity. by cupcake-rufflebutt Serenity. by cupcake-rufflebutt
Character: Princess Serenity
Source: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Seamstress/Model: Tess [~cupcake-rufflebutt]
Photography: Jack Liu [*alucardleashed]
Location: Katsucon 2013

Construction Notes:
Serenity was one of several projects I made for Katsucon 2013. Like so many folks my age, Sailor Moon was my gateway into the wonderful world of Japanese animation. (I still remember rushing home from school to watch it on TV and saving up money to purchase the silly VHS tapes.) Making this costume was a bit of a long-time dream of mine and one that I continually talked myself out of for years, so I'm very happy that I finally went ahead with it and that the whole thing turned out okay!

The dress, which I based off of multiple artbook images, is made from 30 yards of bridal satin and silk chiffon. I began with a strapless dress pattern, to which I added 3 double circle skirts -- one of bridal satin and two of chiffon. I intentionally attached the skirts at the natural waist line (rather than at the bust, as the artwork dictates) for the sake of a more flattering fit. The back bow and chiffon skirts were finished with a lettuce hem -- my first time getting to use that hem, yay! -- and the satin skirt was finished with horsehair braid so that the skirt would billow and maintain its fullness as I moved. The circular ornaments on the bust were made from large grommets with a domed craft foam backing, and the gazillion yards of trim and pearls were hand-stitched. The sleeves were a source of great consternation for me, I'll admit. I've seen them done many different ways and for a long while I was determined to construct them as literally as possible using craft foam, but as the costume came together and I started collecting silk flowers for the hair and straps, I started mulling over the possibility of using a floral arrangement for the sleeves, seeing as their design already had a bit of a floral motif. In the end I created a base for the sleeves using craft foam and clear elastic straps, then attached the flowers in an arrangement that emulated the shape of the illustrated sleeves. I know it's a huge deviation from the original artwork, but I really like how they turned out -- light and delicate, and complimentary toward the other organic elements of the costume. C: The wig was constructed using a Chibi wig and matching Long Ponytail Clip from Arda Wigs, and the pearls and flowers were sewn in afterward. There are a lot of other little details here and there that I won't go into now, but if you have any questions about something I didn't mention here, feel free to ask!

One thing I realized as I worked on this costume is that I had never before made a huge gown. The only costume that came remotely close was my Wedding Yuna, and that didn't have near the same level of "poof." It was a strange revelation for me since I'm such a girly-girl and love pretty, fluffy, sparkly dresses. Now that I've realized I'm deficient in the pretty, fluffy, sparkly dress department, I'm going to have to seek out new pretty, fluffy, sparkly projects. :D Any suggestions?

Special Request:
Please no critiques; I'd like to keep this gallery happy! <3
Add a Comment:
PaXingCai Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Really really beautiful dress! I was just looking at all the pictures Jack posted of this and its just gorgeous. Thank you for listing all those construction notes as I'm sure it will help many people trying to make this outfit and not enough people will tell you thank you for your hard work. I just love all the volume in this, really a work of art :) I'm going to make a Belldandy in the not so distant future and will probably use a similar idea for making her underdress and its nice to read what other fabrics people used/liked for things before diving in and making things.
cupcake-rufflebutt Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh man, I actually wasn't aware Jack had posted more pictures. Thank you for the heads up! And thanks for taking the time to comment on my costume. I hope my notes were helpful and good luck with Belldandy! <3
gnelsonphotog Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
This dress is lovely. I'm actually about to make a kid-friendly version for my soon-to-be 5 year old, though she'll have straps :)

I too ran home from school to watch the show, hence the reason I'm obsessed with it. I bootleg ordered the VHS tapes from a lady in France. It's how I originally saw the remaining episodes of the S series (since the US dub stopped airing after Chibi-usa discovers who Usagi is).
cupcake-rufflebutt Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you! Good luck making the dress for your little one. <3
hobbit-katie Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just stunning.
cupcake-rufflebutt Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks! :3
koumori-no-hime Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
Absolutely stunning! I love the flower sleeves.
cupcake-rufflebutt Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ah, thank you! I was really worried that everyone would be all "THOSE AREN'T ACCURATE, RAR RAR RAR" on me. XD; They were very fun to make!
destianna Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
absolutely stunning~ oh I couldn't wait to see this when I learned you were making it and BOY what a treat! I always love reading your construction notes too! Your attention to detail is, once again, unprecedented! Fantastic work!
cupcake-rufflebutt Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! It was a very fun costume to work on!
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