Okay so, last night I finished Yennefer’s doublet to wear this Sunday at GAnime. There’s still things I want to tweak, but for now it’s wearable and that’s the whole point. I thought I’d share how I approached it, just for any future Yens out there.
So, not only did Projekt Red provide some cosplay references, they went into great detail with full character turn arounds, close up shots of her costume and just, ;-; oh my god media companies please do this.
PLEASE MORE OF THIS.
The full guide is at the link below:
yennefer_cosplay_guide ( from Projekt Red <3 )
Things to note before starting
- The black velvet base material has a curly pattern (described as floral in the document)
- There is a waist seam for the peplum pieces
- the sleeves are slightly quilted
- It’s hard to see but there’s a collar hiding under her shawl
- On her back, there’d 5 strips of leather. one down the spine, two along the shoulder to waist and one hiding along the princess seam under the armscye
- (it lines up with the edge of the back peplum butt flap)
Pattern & Adjustments
Looking at the doublet I realised that I had a pattern on hand that had the right seam lines already on it (#Bless.) So I wouldn’t have to alter them at all aside from the shoulder caps and the peplum.
McCall’s Yaya Han Fit and Flare coat (M7373). I’ve added the blue lines in MS paint to show the seams that I’m talking about. If you have other patterns that can also work, don’t feel like you need to use this one.
Looking at the variations I was extra happy to see that there was a zipper and straight sleeve option which would suit the doublet better. (see option A below) I did end up drafting my own collar though because I AM A DUMB AND FORGOT THERE WAS ONE.
I wanted to use fabric I already had in my stash as much as possible on this project, so I dragged out the cotton velvet embroidered fabric I used for WCS 2015. I’d have to dye it black, but dye is much cheaper than embroidered velvet. Or embossed velvet. Or any kind of velvet really.
For the detailing I used a 2way stretch pleather which may I just recommend: avoid stretch. It twists and tugs and it’s a pain in the ass to get to lie flat. But, again, using what I had. The ribbons I bought for the sleeves, but I had batting (also from WCS) that I used for the quilting on the sleeves.
To Dye For
I used iDye (natural fabrics) for most of the fabric, and once I got the hang of using hotter water and longer dye baths, it turned out pretty well. In a pinch I had to dye a few pieces with dylon and… it didn’t turn out as well even with a longer dye bath.
Above, on the right most image you can see the difference between a (still wet) fully dyed panel and the undyed velvet. On the left is a dye batch that I didn’t bring the water hot enough nor leave the velvet in long enough. The Dylon was somewhere between the left and final colour.
Also, velvet is a friggen dye sponge. I had to use a LOT of dye to get the panels mostly even in colour.
Putting it Together
Order of Operations is Important
Whenever possible, do detailing while the fabric lays (relatively) flat. For your sanity’s sake.
- Dye fabric
- Serge everything because velvet leaves fuzzies everywhere. There’s a problem when my fabric starts to shed onto my cat.
- Interface all the vest pieces
- Sew front centre and front side pieces together. Sew the back and side back pieces together. PRESS YO SEAMS.
- Sew shoulder seams together. Press.
- DO YOUR DETAIL STRIPS NOW. I was dumb and did them after the vest was sewn down the sides. Don’t be me.
- I’ve already talk about how I made the sleeve details, but be sure to do the quilting while it’s one flat piece.
- For the white stitches I used embroidery floss and an embroidery needle, stitching down the machine sewn lines.
- Finish the vest completely before adding the sleeves. Actually, just sew the sleeves on by hand, wrestling the quilted pieces plus 4-6 layers of velvet and interfacing through my machine took longer than hand sewing would have.
I added the pearl beads to the sleeves, the buttons and the button loops at the end. To make the button loops, I cut pre-measured pieces of velvet ribbon (that I already had on hand!) and heat-sealed the ends to prevent fraying. I sewed them down onto a strip of twill tape that I marked with even spacing so that the buttons wouldn’t look wonky. With the strip of loops ready, I sewed that onto the vest’s front edge, hidden behind the pleather edging.
And finally the buttons, which I picked up in a bronze colour. Which, wasn’t what I was after. So I tried the Martha Steward brand of silver metallic paint (right, in the above image). But it was still sort of dull, and Yen’s buttons are nice and shiny. So I pulled out my trusty colourfoil nail polish and went over them again, and I’m much happier with the result.
Using the loops as a guide, I hand sewed the buttons in place, and voila! The doublet… is DONE. (for now.)
Hope this helps, I’ll be sharing the leggings build as well once I get them done. <3