If you haven’t seen show RWBY by Rooster Teeth and Monty Oum, then stop reading this and go watch the trailer now.
No, seriously, go watch it now. I’ll wait.
From the moment I saw that video, I knew I was going to make the costume. I scrutinized the trailer and paused every few seconds to get a sense of the fabric drape and movement of the cloak. I even emailed the artist (Ein Lee) who created the concept art to ask her how she thought the outfit broke down (“Is the red ruffle attached to the skirt or is it a petticoat?”, “Was it a dress or a jacket and skirt?”, “Is the material heavy winter stuff?”). She was very nice and helpful to someone who was clearly overthinking the costume.
I completed the jacket by lining it. Normally, this would be a good thing, but unfortunately, I decided to line it with the twill I had leftover. The result was a much thicker jacket that could probably withstand the cold winter depicted in the video. This was not however ideal for a costume. Once I piled on the tights and the cloak, I overheated when I wore this for Halloween at work.
I ended up making a second version of the jacket that only had a single layer and had the red ruffle attached to it (removing the need to wear a shirt underneath). I also adjusted the pattern so that the jacket closed in the back rather than the front since the original had a tendency to create a gap when I flexed my shoulders. Here is the final result with the belt, pouch, and petticoat:
Finally, my favorite part of the costume: the cloak. The pattern for the cloak was very easy — it was a large half circle with a hood and a clasp. I settled on a half-circle because it gave me the movement I wanted without feeling overwhelming. I splurged on the material and bought nice velvet for the exterior and proper lining material for the interior. Originally, the lining would sag inside the cape and made it look sloppy. This was quickly fixed by topstitching all the edges between the exterior and interior material.
The Finishing Touches
I complemented my handiwork by adding purchased accessories from EBay and Amazon. Most of the details are covered in the table below.
One thing that is still missing from the pictures is the rose belt buckle (not seen in the video, but is in the show). I did finally make it, but that will be for my next post. 🙂
|Difficulty||Intermediate to Advanced|
|Lesson learned||Don’t line a costume jacket with heavy material.|
|Jacket||Simplicity 1558 (sleeves shortened to fit)(second version also had purchased ruffle attached to the cuff and collar)|
|Skirt||Butterick 5748 (shortened significantly) with a custom waistbandSimplicity 3618 could have been used as well|
|Cloak||Simplicity 3618 hood + half circle (44 in. radius with 7 in. neck)|
|Petticoat||Trimmed the lace from the hem and attached ruffle to hem|
|Socks||Attached purchased ruffle to tops of socks|
|Boots||Replaced laces with purchased red cord|
|3.25 yds. twill
4 3/4″ fabric buttons
4 yds. 2″ quilt binding
|Parachute cord||EBayJoAnn Fabrics||$2.03|
|Thread||3 spools||JoAnn Fabrics||$5.40|
|Belt pouch||Leftover fabric
|Red ruffle shirt||(purchased)||EBay||$18.99|