Making Diary: Shinsengumi Sonico Cosplay

I recently picked up some super cute Sonico keychains for my ita-bag, including a special edition one where she wears a shinsengumi uniform. The design is cute, and simple enough that I could create it quickly and inexpensively for Ikkicon this year. Check out my process after the jump!I’ve only ever seen one other person do this cosplay, and they did a great job. You can check out their work on Twitter here: しずかちゃん on Twitter

After deciding on this cosplay, I got to work. Here’s the item on which I based it:

The Garments

I bought the top and skirt off of Amazon- just a simple crop top and skater skirt. I accidentally bought the skirt too large, so I altered it smaller. This was easy- I cut about 2″ off the top of the waistband area and sewed that back down. Then I took about 1½” off of each side seam.

When it comes to simple, straight-line garments such as kimono, I prefer to go without patterns in favor of straight measurements. I’ve done the same with Sonico’s shinsengumi happi coat.

I laid out a folded piece of the blue fabric about as wide as I am tall. (Around 5′ ½” or 154cm). In the center, I measured out a flat distance about half of the width of my shoulders. I then cut up and across to the edges to make a T-shaped piece of folded fabric.

After cutting the happi, I needed to add the kanji on the back, as well as the white triangle designs. There’s no reference for the back of the coat, but shinsengumi normally had emblematic kanji on the back of their happi. I chose “,” which means “noodles.” It seemed fitting, since Sonico loves snacks, and one of her favorite foods is ramen. I used a Cricut machine to cut out an iron-on decal from a PNG I created in GIMP.

After ironing on the patch, I cut the triangle pieces. To make matching ones for both sleeves and the front/back, I cut a folded piece of white fabric to the width of the back, and one sleeve, respectively. Then I folded the fabric multiple times on the vertical, and cut a 45° triangle out of the top. After that, I just unfolded them to get two matching strips of fabric with zig-zag tops. I used spray-glue to position them, then let them dry completely overnight. The next day, I used a zig-zag stitch along all edges to tack them down permanently. Then I hemmed the happi and sewed its back and sides together.

The Banner

After that, I needed to create Sonico’s banner! It’s made of bamboo poles from Amazon, and leftover fabric from the happi coat.
The kanji pictured in the art is “試,” which roughly means “to try.” For the base of the banner, I used a simple rectangle, sewn on three sides. I sewed in a border of about 3″, and cut some tabs from that outer excess. For the blue applique, I used the exact same technique as the white on my happi coat. 
After ironing on the kanji (same technique as the happi’s kanji), I tied the two bamboo poles together with crocheting cotton.

All done! Since Sonico’s legs and feet aren’t exactly visible in the chibi keychain, I used some OTK tabi I already have, and the geta from my shrine maiden cosplay. I’m always a bit unsure about non-canon cosplays, so I tweeted Sonico’s artist to say hopefully my improvisation was acceptable. He said it’s “lovely,” so I’m satisfied with my choice.
As always, friends, thanks for reading and have a fantastic day! Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for more frequent posts and updates.