Saturday, December 8, 2012

Patterning a 'Tail' Coat from a Psuedo Victorian Era Manga story.

The demon/butler, Sebastian, in the manga/anime "Kuroshitsuji" by Yano Toboso is well known for his immaculate tail coat.  God help you if you get anything on it, butter cream frosting not withstanding.  The artist has a marvelous time drawing intricately detailed Victorian Era costumes for her characters, and then throwing in delightfully anachronistic steampunk cell phones and televisions.  And clockwork people!

I'm going with the character sheets, copy write Yano Toboso, of course:

For those not familiar with anime, this is the costume design they use as a reference template when doing the animation. It's also candy on a stick for cosplayers who make the costumes to wear in competitions and to show off.

I'm using a scanned pattern lay out I got ages ago for some Halloween project before I was even aware of 'provenance' and the only info I have on it is what's on the page with the scan.

Ball joint dolls are based on fashion/fantasy physiques, so the first thing I run into every time is the hella long legs.  Everything else drafted out pretty close to what I was after.  The "tail" had to be doubled in length, about the mid-calf back of the character.  (ooh, those wrinkled pants, *face palm*.  Dolls do a lot of sitting around.)  If only someone would make paper towels human size!  I have to extend the front to overlap in a point, without widening the lapels to match a double breasted suit, with those interesting vest points, under which his actual vest points show.  My doll also has proportionately wider shoulders than the character, so I won't be needing those obvious shoulder pad extensions the artist has smartly drawn in.  And there are two 'watch pockets' on the jacket as well. 

Because of the joint dynamics, I have learned to always bend the limb involved.  So the sleeves need to be lengthened from the elbow down.  The nice thing about paper towels is you can write on them a lot easier than on Muslin. 

The hang on the tails bothers me. The character manifests as a raven as well, so the tail's are deliberately bird-like.  Do I go with the character sheet, or the original design for a Victorian tail coat?  Let it hang just a bit open, or pull it up in the middle and make it hang properly? And it's got to overlap a bit, so decisions  decisions. I think the character would go with the proper hang, based on his obsessive compulsive perfectionist personality.  I have to remember to add enough seam allowance for it to fit over his other layers of clothing. I've got silver disk beads to use for his buttons. I wish I could get some proper shank ones. But that's one part of the over all outfit project on its way and I think, the most difficult.  

His vest is one of those service uniform halter vests, so that should be fun. Fortunately the artist has that covered, too.  

I've been putting this off for 2 years and procrastination has paid off.  I'm much more confident about the techniques that will and won't work now for doll tailoring.  

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