Rose Hip Tea is an original artwork character by the Japanese artist, Sakizo. She does amazing work and created these insanely gorgeous characters, often with a food, beverage, flower, etc. theme. They vary in style a bit, and the one I chose as my first attempt to create in costume has a kind of rococo victorian influence. I’m actually not really sure what the “correct” way to describe it is. :P
So the first thing I started working on / worrying about was the skirt fabric. I had to be that perfect pale peachy pink color and nice looking, however synthetic so I could do the scallops. After much searching and exasperation, I found some (pricey but worth it) polyester taffeta in the perfect color. It looks really nice despite being synthetic, and allowed me to use a soldering iron to cut all of the scallops on the edges. I used a small glass candle holder as a “stencil.” It was VERY stinky and probably bad for my brain cells and lungs (I used a mask but didn’t have a respirator like I should have). I did make sure to not breath it in too much without constantly getting fresh air. Anyway that was probably the coolest thing about this project!
There are 3 gathered layers to the skirt, the bottom being biggest and gathered tightly on the ends to make a bubble-ish shape. On the front of the skirt is simple apron made of ivory cotton sateen and hand-sewed trim with some really nice lace I got from Etsy. The skirt was then sewn onto a waistband with hooks and snaps for closure. To make it really poof up over my butt, I made a basic crescent shaped bum pad out of white broadcloth with tulle strips layered on top.
The main fabric for the shirt is an ivory cotton jersey with a nice sheen to it. The front decorative piece and sleeve ends are ivory cotton sateen and various laces I had around. The rick rack and other brownish trim was originally white, and I colored it with a brown/gold sharpie by hand (was synthetic and I didn’t feel like buying poly dye. This may have been a huge mistake, I’ll find out when I wash it haha.) The rose motif lace around the wrists I also ordered from Etsy. The sleeves I quilted myself out of the ivory cotton sateen and batting. For the ruffles over the sleeves, I “hemmed” it with a tiny sulky brown satin stitch, using stabilizer to help. (Could have used my serger to make it easier I guess, sometimes I don’t know why I do the crazy inefficient things I do). I dotted the diamond corners with brown Swarovski crystals, alternating shades a bit for more interest. The rose buttons I found on clearance and painted gold.
The ascot is a combination of the ivory cotton sateen, lace, and scalloped taffeta used everywhere else. It ties on with ribbon. I was dumb and couldn’t find a cameo I liked (I know right? They are so common but I couldn’t find it when I needed it) So I painted one I found in a set of victorian buttony things.
The corset is an underbust corset I modified from a historical pattern. I dyed silk dupioni with a couple of different dark pinks to get the watercolor effect. I wonder-undered it to a stiff twill (in an attempt to mimic coutil) and used seam allowances and twill tape to make the boning channels. I used 1/2 inch flat and spiral steel boning. The back has antique brass grommets, no opening in the front. The front “lacing” is just ribbon. The corset is lined with a pretty pink flowery brocade I had sitting around since high school.
I made the tights myself out of the ivory cotton jersey. The stripes are actual ribbons I sewed on. I had to put the tights on and pin the ribbon strips carefully, then sew on the machine. This was super hard. The designs are painted on with fabric paint and Swarovski crystals. Underneath the skirt I made a pair of bloomers, using the same fabrics/ribbon/lace, etc. as the rest of the outfit. the back is the cotton jersey with elastic in the leg holes so it could stretch over my butt.
All of the other ribbons tied in various places were painstakingly made. I couldn’t find striped ribbon, so I wonder-undered tiny ribbons to bigger ribbons. Any striped ribbon you see, I did that. The large velvet ribbon I hand stitched the white stitching and painted the edges gold.
The wig is kinda awful, but it went through a lot. It started as a white pigtail wig from Epic Cosplay. It was supposed to be blonde, but I didn’t want to go through the effort of returning it and decided to try to dye it. Oh man was that an awful experience. I tried the sharpie method several times with different colors, Rit dye, etc and only got a super pale kinda blondish color. I didn’t try poly dye, which I now know to use. I sewed in wefts from 2 different wigs to extend the pigtails. Its quite special. The hat is a thick headband with roses and ribbons glued to it. The back piece is stabilized cotton sateen with leftover lace on it. The teacup I got from a kids set and painted.
The boots are clearance sexy referee boots, hah. I sharpied out most of the stitching and painted in the longer stitch lines.
I think that’s everything! I did spend a fair amount of time on this, and really took my time to execute it well and catch every detail as accurately as I could. I only have the one angle reference, so the back I just had to make up.
I got a few nice pics at Katsucon, and hope to get more sometime this year!