Spirited Away has been a favorite of mine since I saw it subtitled when I was in college. However, I hadn't thought about crossplaying until mid 2007 and never had much desire to cosplay as Chihiro or Lin. So when Rynn mentioned that she wanted to cosplay Chihiro and I started wracking my brain for who could go along with her, Haku popped into my head and wouldn't let go.
Scroll down, or Click Here to read about how I made this costume.
COMPLETED: March 2008
STATUS: Retired (reluctantly)
DEBUTED: SakuraCon 2008
WORN TO: SakuraCon 2008, Anime Central 2008, World Cosplay Summit 2010, AkiCon 2010, Anime Matsuri 2011
CONSTRUCTION TIME: ~ 3 months
This SHOULD have been an easy costume, right? Wrong. There is no existing pattern for that type of traditional tunic... Thing... That he wears, so! I had to draft the pattern based in a tutorial that was for Sae from Hikaru no Go. There were no instructions for sewing it together, so I had to try lots of different things. Ultimately, I wound up making the tunic of amaretto linen-look (a line from JoAnn fabric) and lined with broadcloth. The sleeves were made completely separately from the base tunic, attached with steam-a-seam, and then reinforced with hand stitching. There's probably a much better way to do it, but I wasn't that skilled at the time. The blue under-robe was made using a kimono pattern and made from dark blue quilters cloth. The pants were made of a turquoise quilters cloth, and crafted from a pattern I made using a pair of tied up pants I got a couple of years back in Hawaii. I put elastic in the bottoms, to keep it gathered tightly to my legs right below the knee. The sandals started life as a pair of pink- trimmed flip flops. I spent hours ripping stitches to remove the pink rubber trim, then cover the edge in brown bias tape. White bias tape was used to cover the straps of the shoes.
The wig is my favorite part of this costume. It started out as a medium brown Cleo wig by New Look. I trimmed it into Haku's style, and then custom dyed it with sap green acrylic ink, to get the very subtle dark muddy green. Depending on lighting, it doesn't always show up in photos though. If I were to cosplay Haku today, I would most likely just buy a wig from Arda, as they have several dark/off-green colors.