Character: Mew Ichigo (ミュウイチゴ) / Ichigo Momomiya (桃宮いちご)
Series: Tokyo Mew Mew | 東京ミュウミュウ
Variant: Anime Version
Debut: Anime Weekend Atlanta 2005
I got really into magical girls and Tokyo Mew Mew around the time the TV series was still airing in Japan (2003), but was only JUST starting to learn about cosplay. I had yet to attend a convention myself, let alone construct an entire costume. For a while it seemed like a far-off dream, something that would never actually happen. Fast-forward two years later and I had since attended two conventions, cosplayed two obscure characters, and finally obtained my own sewing machine. The only problem was I didn’t know how to sew! Enter my future mother-in-law. She helped me choose patterns, purchase materials, and made the costume for me — though I did collaborate with her during the entire construction process, and learned a lot!
The main outfit was made from a shiny bridal satin — I justified this decision because Ichigo’s costume looks shiny in the show. The bodice pattern was heavily modified to include the points. A braided trim was used for the edging. The arm cuffs had elastic sewn in, while the leg cuff attached to tights with double-sided tape. The collar was made with the same construction methods as the other accessories, but it closes with velcro and has a charm sewn to it. I made the charm out of Sculpey clay and painted the designs with acrylic paints. The ears were made from fleece and attach to a headband. The skirt was a simple a-line pattern, which we hand-stitched the bubble hem and stuffed a bit of tulle inside to give it poof.
Boot covers and tail were the most challenging aspects of the costume. The boot covers were made from broadcloth to match the trim, and based around a platform sneaker. First version of the tail came out of the top of the skirt, but put a lot of strain on my back and was too thin. The second version was a team effort with my husband. I sewed the tail shape, stuffed with batting, and he rigged the wire inside and attached it to a belt so it would come out the underside of the skirt. Giant bell and ribbon were purchased from a local craft store. My Strawberry Bell is the official toy prop from Japan. The first wig I used was from Amphigory, the second was a gift from Katie.