Bravely Default: Praying Brage
Rynn and I had been talking for a while about making a new set of costumes together. We hadn't done just a pair cosplay for a few years, and we hadn't done anything that was really challenging in even longer. While we looked for a set of costumes to do, I remembered these designs I had seen in the artbook for Bravely Default. I shared them with Rynn, and we decided they would be our next project.
Scroll down, or Click Here to read about how I made this costume.
COMPLETED: February 2015
DEBUTED: KatsuCon 2015
WORN TO: KatsuCon 2015
CONSTRUCTION TIME: ~ 4 months
This costume was full of both familiar, and unfamiliar elements to me. I had experience with applique before, but not as extensive or complex-shaped as the designs on this outfit. I had never really done any kind of armor before, and the neckline of the bodice was something new. The wig was 2 blonde wigs that I purchased on ebay, and sewed together. The head band was made from 3 layers of non-fusible interfacing and a light blue lining fabric, that I satin-stitched around the edges, and attached to a thin plastic headband.
The bodice and skirt are both made from ivory Casa Satin, while the gold and silver applique pieces are made from JoAnn's Cloud 9 Jacquard. Each piece was scaled and printed by me, then re-traced because the pieces were not symmetrical when printed. The bodice is 3 layers, fully boned with 1/2" spiral steel, with off-the-shoulder sleeves that were also appliqued for the silver design. The tabard is attached directly to the skirt, sewn into the waistband. Each applique pattern piece, after scaling, printing and cleanup, was hand-traced and cut out, heat-and-bonded to the fabric, followed by countless hours of satin-stitching. (To give you an idea, one of those large gold pieces on the skirt took almost a full hour to satin stitch, and there are 8 of them on the skirt.)
Underneith the skirt is hoop skirt that I modified (with the help of my room-mate) to be shorter in the front, to show off the feet. Since the dress is blowing in the reference picture, I felt like I have a little bit of creative license. Over the hoop-skirt is a custom-made petticoat, which I created to help fill the skirt and give it that bell shape, while trying to keep it as flat as possible in the front. The charms hanging from the bodice were made by assembling a bunch of plastic rhinestones into formations that resembled the reference image. They were then coated in wood glue, and painted and weathered with acrylic paints. The whole thing is strung on wire, with black glass seed beads in between, to keep them spaced and create that distinct black cord. The armor is made from craft foam and this plastic sheet I got from TAP Plastics, all painted by hand with custom mix of metallic and pearl acrylic paints. The smaller ivory armor pieces attach to the silver base with Velcro, and the largest base piece attached to the bodice with magnets in the front, and 2 long steel bones tucked into my back. The blue-and-gold pieces on the bottom of the armor are made from a very thick non-fusible stabilizer, and the same blue fabric I used on the head-band. All of the designs were appliqued with the same technique and fabrics as on the rest of the dress.
In the end, I elected to go with the variation of the design that did not have a veil, because I felt that it would be too much to deal with wearing one more element. That, and my initial efforts on it were not looking at all the way that I would have wanted them to.