Yoko Kurama Build
Growing up, I would race home from school, hoping to catch the end of Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Hamtaro, and Yu Yu Hakusho. I never fully understood why I enjoyed it so much, but I loved that the cartoons weren't like "normal" cartoons. I was between seven and nine and I just loved the battles, the badass girls fighting villains, the hamsters, and all the amazing stories. Having become a fully-formed adult, not much has changed. I still love watching anime, and now I have the knowledge and ability to create my own cosplays. I can't believe this is the last day of February. It's just flown by, and I'm really happy that although I chose a simple build for my 2nd of 12 cosplays for this year, I feel I have learned something and I am super excited to show you!
I specifically chose Kurama because I always seem to drift to the "queer" characters. He's very effeminate, yet amazingly powerful, and my friends told me I should. I actually binged the whole series last month and fell in love with Kurama. His different outfits, the power he wields, and I ship him and Hiei together so much. I do have another YYH cosplay planned for later this year, but of course, won't be talking about her just yet. If you haven't watched Yu Yu Hakusho yet, they have the whole series on Hulu, which is about 112 episodes, but they go by fast. I binged it in about 4 days, and I was absolutely furious when it ended.
Although this project has also ended, I am extremely excited to share with you the amazing build for Kurama's Wave Tunic (my name for it) design. As always, I started with the wig, which I bought when I got Chompette's, since Arda was running a sale. I started with a Jareth Classic in Cherry Red and spent probably 2 hours trying to figure out if I wanted Cherry or Apple, and my color wheel was so helpful (definitely buy it if you plan on ordering Arda wigs often. It's $22, but definitely worth it. I really want to buy the silky one as well) The Jareth is super poofy on top and requires little teasing before the pieces stick up. I started with one small section of hair and teased, then brushed it out with my detangler brush, and glued the ends with clear tacky glue. I then sprayed the piece with hair spray, curled it how I wanted with my fingers, and gently blow dried the piece on warm. Then I tackled the side pieces, trimming them a little and gluing the edges so that they don't get lost with the rest of the wig and the sizing remains consistent. Then I went back and did the last two curls the same as the first, and finished up with the two pointing down spikes. For those, I cut, teased, brushed, and glued the edges, but then I focused the hair spray on the base of the spike, so it stays just a little out from the wig. I made sure to have the reference on hand at all times so that I could make sure to get as accurate as possible.
(You can scroll over to see the finished product)
Next, I tackled the pants. As per the usual, I took a pair of pants I already owned, flipped it inside out, then folded it to make the first of 4 pieces. I put it on the fold so I would only need two pieces to sew. I cut down a little bit on the sides because, canonically, Kurama has pockets in his pants (praise the Cosplay Gods). I cut out 4 little squares, big enough for my phone at the very least, and cut out two rectangles that would serve as the ankle cuffs. These are just a little bigger than my ankles, since mine are really petite and I have huge feet. I sewed the cuffs along the seam, then the pockets. I folded the cuffs in half, where the clean edge faced out, and sewed the pants seams. Taking my pins, I put the two right sides together, then sewed the cuffs into the bottom of the pants. I sewed the edge that was cut down to where the pocket would fit, then sewed the pocket in, making sure to keep the right sides together. All you have to do to make the pants sewn together is flip one leg right side out and sew from front to back and flip it back once completed. Finally, you hem the top of the pants and you have some completed white Ninja pants.
(Please slide over to see more pictures)
I tackled the undershirt next, which I had to bs from a pattern I thought I had, but turns out I didn't. So I started with a tube shape and cut it to how I needed. I made it have an open collar so that I could fit my big ol head into. It took a couple cuts to make sure I was happy with it, then made an invisible collar to make it nice and clean. The sleeves were really easy, and I just took a long rhombus shape and added a little trapezoid at the bottom for the cuff. I wanted to make this cosplay look as clean as possible since it was so simple, so I ironed the end of the cuff down flat (pictures provided), then ironed that in half towards the rest of the shirt to make it easier to sew down. When that was finished, I sewed the top of the sleeve to the shirt and sewed up the sides to complete the sleeve. I think the only thing I really need to do is finish the collar by sewing around the edges to keep the invisible collar from flipping up. Finally, you just roll the hem (fold upon itself twice) and sew down with the matching thread, and his undershirt is finished!
(I apologize for the quality of these photos, my camera was acting up, but please use the arrow to scroll over and see the finished products.)
The only two pieces left were the tunic and the belt. Honestly, the belt was the easiest part, and I took a 12 inch piece of yellow satin, then sewed up the rectangle, flipped it and sewed the open end closed. The belt took me literally 5 minutes, and I plan on just knotting it in the back for photos.
The tunic was a really fun learning opportunity, because I wanted the collar to be as clean as possible. I took 2 yards of yellow and navy cotton, as well as a scrap (about 24") of light blue cotton to make the tunic, then finished it off with a pink ready made bias tape. I cut out my neck hole in the middle of both cottons to make sure my head could fit and make sure the placement of the blue would be perfect. Then I took the navy cotton and drew out the pattern in tailor's chalk in order to make sure I had it right. Then I followed the pattern with the blue and only had to cut out half, since the back side is same as the front. I placed the light blue on the navy and zigzag stitched it all down. I would highly, HIGHLY recommend that unless you are an expert and can read your machine super easily, that you get wonder under and iron your pattern onto the navy so that it doesn't budge. I went super slow and took my time to make sure it didn't move too much, and finished that wave pattern on it. You can also paint it, but I'm trying to challenge myself to do harder patterns, and curves are the worst for me.
I then took the yellow inside layer and sewed the navy and yellow right sides together, sandwiching the collar at the neck, so I could cut slits around the seam and make it clean. Because the edges weren't sewn, I could flip the pieces how they needed to be and could sew the bias tape onto it. You can also sew a bias stitch (really wide stitch) on the two layers to make sure it holds both the layers together while you sew the tape onto it in order to keep it from slipping. It took me about a package and two thirds of another one to go completely around the tunic. Depending on your length or width, you may need a third package (I bought 3 to be safe) and to go slow while doing this. And finally, Kurama is finished!
This build took me about 10-12 hours, including everything, and I used the white shoes I had for Sailor Sailor Uranus, so I didn't have to buy new ones. Some of his art is inconsistent, so I took the pieces I enjoyed most and ran with that. I'd say this cosplay had a difficulty rating of maybe 2 out of 5, only because the waves were a bit of a butt, and you have to sew the collar precisely in order to make it come out as clean. I have a photo shoot planned for the 16th of March, and I cannot wait for you guys to see it! I will be selling prints of Kurama, thanks to Mouzeycat Cosplay Photography. I really hope you guys enjoyed this build as much as I did, and I cannot wait to get started on Slayer Jinx, which is going to be a MASSIVE build for me, so I may break it up into parts. As per the usual, please message me or comment with any questions, comments, or concerns and I will get back to you! Happy cosplaying!
Slide over for more photos!