Character: Kyōko Sakura | 佐倉杏子
Series: Puella Magi Madoka Magica | 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ
Variant: Magical Girl | 魔法少女
Debut: MomoCon 2017
As a long-time fan of the mahou shoujo genre, I adore Madoka Magica! I watched the series right after it finished airing in Japan and immediately planned to cosplay Kyōko. She’s not my usual character type, but I admire her feisty personality and tsundere qualities. Her design is also very unusual and I wanted a bit of a challenge. However, this project got delayed quite a few times. In 2011, I moved to Japan for a year and thus took a break from creating costumes. I got involved in other things upon returning, and it wasn’t until the third film’s release (“Rebellion”) in 2013 that I became interested in cosplaying Kyōko again. I ended up not completing the costume in time, and then she ended up being put on hold for a few more years due to a variety of factors (career, illness, moving, pregnancy, moving again, etc.) To be honest, I almost trashed the costume and gave up, but after evaluating the remaining tasks to be completed in Winter 2017, I decided to push through and not let my hard work go to waste.
From the top down: the wig is a Jeannie from Arda Wigs in Maroon. It was bought in 2013, well before they had different sizes, so I had to resize the wig’s inner structure using this tutorial. I also sewed many toupée clips into the cap so it would not slip off my head from the weight of the ponytail attachment. My first styling job in 2013 wasn’t the best, so I revamped it in 2017. The clip-on ponytail was soaked in fabric softener and later sprayed with Motions to help it tangle less. I restyled the bangs as well, this time sectioning and spiking them with Got2B styling gel and setting with a hair dryer. The bow was made from cotton sateen and attaches to the wig with an alligator clip.
The dress was the most complicated part of this costume. I chose a stretch suiting so it would have a nice drape and I wouldn’t have to worry about seams in the front. I made a few different mockups from a commercial dress pattern with a high neckline. The dress is fully lined and the front opening is supported with some steel boning to make sure it laid flat (a hard lesson I learned from my Himari costume). The white ruffles were made from a sheer organza material, doubled up and gathered, bottom layer sewn into the lining of the dress. The cascading ruffles were a lot of trial and error. I did a lot of experimenting and basting in place before they looked right. The side edges were finished with a rolled hem on my serger. For the collar, I created my own pattern and finished the edges with bias tape, with decorative trim instead of bias tape on the neckline. The keyhole opening was cut after the collar had been sewn, finished with an applique and bias tape. As for the soul gem, it was purchased from Shoujo Gems on Etsy. It attaches to my skin with spirit gum adhesive.
Pleated skirts are often quite simple for me to make, and Kyōko’s was no different. It’s a box pleated skirt made from doubled-up Kona cotton. The drape of it doesn’t look great from my first set of photos, so I plan to make some adjustments (more ironing, starching, keeping it snug with a waist cincher) for the next wearing. As for the black cincher, it is made from cotton sateen (shell, lining) and a structure layer of duck cloth with rigilene boning to keep shape. The bias tape edges have mitered corners and it closes with a separating zipper. The white designs were originally satin stitched, but they did not turn out very clean AT ALL. Instead of scrapping my work, I chose to make it pretty by hand beading over the ugliness. Although it’s not exactly what I envisioned for this costume, I think the beading works and definitely makes it stand out in a unique way for the character.
For the accessories, I made arm bands from grey milliskin matte spandex, and cuffs from sateen to match the bodice. These were patterned from scratch. I already owned stockings from other costumes, but they are from Sock Dreams. A major personal milestone from this costume was creating my own boot covers for the first time. I purchased black base boots from GoodWill, one size up so they could be slid into without unzipping. I followed the instructions of many different tutorials, and basically just traced my boots with added seam allowance to make a pattern, followed by sewing, adjusting, and gluing onto the base boots. Then I added the other embellishments: the vertical stripe (bias tape), front criss-cross (same braided trim as the neckline), and cuffs (white cotton with bias tape, and more mitered corners).
With this costume I get to carry and utilize a variety of props: plush Kyubey, artificial apple, actual Pocky for snacking, and the spear. My husband crafted the spear for me as a gift, and it’s mostly made of wooden parts and crown moulding. I also wear red contacts (“EOS New Adult Red”) to complete the look, which were bought from Uniqso.