Completed: July 30, 2005
Worn at: Sacanime aka Sacramento Anime and Manga Show 2005
Sakura Shinguji is one of the main characters of Sakura Wars. She's a member of the Imperial Flower Troupe, a group a young girls who fight demons with their spiritual energy. She's a very sweet girl and tries hard to please.
So far, I've only seen the Sakura Wars OVAs and movie. I haven't seen the TV series yet. The soundtrack for the Sakura OVA is awesome - especially the main theme song.
Why I picked this costume: I've seen a lot of people cosplay as Sakura in her normal outfit. (See her normal outfit here.) But I've never seen anyone do her military uniform. I love uniforms of all kinds. Uniforms are just sooo cool! Besides it looks suitably complex and challenging for my current skill level. Making a fitted uniform will be more difficult than any of my previous projects!
Also, I had hoped my sisters and I could cosplay as the Imperial Flower Troupe together. But it probably won't happen. Both of them are too busy!
This costume was 3 years in the making! I started in the fall of 2002 and finished in July 2005. (Finally!) Of course, I didn't work on it all the time! My enthusiasm for this costume came (and went) in spurts. This was because it took a long time to make! After working on it for a while, I'd get sick of it, and not touch the costume for many months! ^_^;
Fall 2002: I completed the pattern for the jacket. While I was working on the pattern, I made 2 mock-ups of the jacket using cheap broadcloth - to verify the pattern. I probably spent a month or so on it. It was difficult - and frustrating. By the time I had a working pattern, I didn't want to make it anymore!
September 2003: I was inspired by all the cool costumes at AX'03. So I revisted the costume. I dusted off the pattern and made Sakura's jacket. It took about a month. The jacket is fully lined. Most of the gold trim was attached by hand.
October 2003: Because I'm on a roll, I finished Maria's jacket, too. Then I made the jabot (necktie) from white satin. After 2 solid months of doing nothing else in my spare time, I didn't want to work on it anymore. ^_^;
June/July 2005: I found out about Sacanime and decided I would finish the costume (finaly!) for Sacanime. Just in time! Since the jacket and necktie were complete already, the rest of the costume came together extremely easily. I'm almost embarassed I didn't finish it sooner! The rest of the costume: unitard, short turtleneck, belt, boots, hair ribbon, and gloves.