Sailor Saturn Crocheted Cosplay
fondly referred to as "Sweater Saturn"
400+ hours of yarn madness
I blogged about this whole thing as I worked on it. My blog posts are not always coherent, but they do exist and I'm sort of funny? There's also a huge collection of WIP pictures in an album on Facebook for your perusal.
Check out the basic FAQ based on questions I was asked at the con here.
There is no "pattern" for this. I literally made it up as I went and sized it specifically for my waif-like body (my measurements are 32-27-35 and I'm 5'3" - so unless you are my exact size, any pattern I jotted down would not fit you). The purpose of this page is to attempt to explain my personal process, ideas for improvements, etc. etc. for the curious folks. If you want to attempt a crochet Sailor suit you can really make it in whatever order you like. You can also feel free to NOT do the colorwork shading.
A note about the colorwork: I thought that without the pseudo-cell-shading that this costume would be too much "solid" area and that it would look really boring AND be boring for me to work on. The bodice, for example, would just be a big white blob. I don't know if that makes sense to normal humans, but that was my thought process.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the finished project. I wish I'd been able to find a lighter shade of gray for the shadows on the bodice, etc. I also don't care for the colorwork I did on the back of the bodice or the back part of the collar. I got really caught up in the shaping in the back and lost my train a little with the shading.
I worked entirely with Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in the following colors:
When all was said and done I ended up using over $100 worth of yarn.
I used a size F hook for everything (except the main part of the gloves). My sc gauge is extremely tight ~5 sts/in.
Other things I used included:
The Pleated Skirt
I began work on the skirt in mid-January 2015. I chose to crochet each individual "panel" of each individual pleat. I felt this would be the easiest way to get the look I was going for with the shading, but it meant I had to weave in a lot of ends. I made some larger panels and smaller ones and just kept making them in sc until I had enough to make a skirt that would fit me. I then seamed them all together with sc to create folds. I finished the waist of the skirt by just working in rows of sc and turning. I made a small overlapping part to make the skirt somewhat adjustible. Look at these pictures - they'll help if this doesn't make sense!
I took some artistic liberties with the boob bow and went with the heart broach in the center instead of the pure heart crystal business. I also noted from numerous reference images that the butt bow appeared a but larger than the boob bow. I chose not to create a functional bow and instead made bow "parts" with colorwork, which were then attached together.
I processed a lot of the more complex colorwork by making sloppy sketches. See that bow above that completely unrelated tree?
You can vaguely see how I translated that sloppy sketch to the parts, I think.
For the butt bow, which I made first, I was sort of dumb. I ended up making two parts that could have been one part, you see. I wisened up for the second bow.
I obviously made a fake knot for the butt bow and then for the heart broach I made a heart-shaped front and back with shading on the front. I cleaned up the edges with sl and used sl to seam the parts together and stuffed it with polyfil. For the white highlight, I used a yarn needle and basically needlepointed it on.
The Collar and Bodice
The collar was pretty straight-forward. Saturn's collar is usually depicted as solid purple with no white accents. I started off doing that, but it looked really boring, so I again took some liberties and added the white stripes. It's all just sc that was worked flat and then I did sc around to create the stripes.
The bodice is where shit got tricky with both shaping and colorwork. I was very concerned with making the garment form-fitting and breatheable (it ended up still not being breatheable and it's like wearing a blanket). I mostly didn't want to look like a mighty Sailor Sack. I took an insane number of measurements and did sloppy sketches and took a lot of notes. I then decided to divide the bodice up into pieces and invisible seam them together later in order to do the colorwork most efficiently. Again, I still lost my train with the colorwork on the back. The top portion is sc, the middle portion is hdc and the bottom I worked some dc to totally fail at making this beast a little bit cooler (temperature, not awesomeness).
Basically, I stopped and measured after every row and decided if I needed to work even, increase or decrease. Then I also took a moment to think about the shading. I worked a lot from a "one-piece block" pattern that I modified to not be a leotard. The exact pattern I used no longer exists on the Internet, but if you poke around I'm sure you can find a similar one. Keep in mind that it's a sewing pattern, not crochet, and it used it as a guideline for sizing only and not, like, number of stitches. Instead of cutting shapes from fabric I made the shapes with crochet.
Making the sleeves wasn't too difficult. I made the first one and then used it as a template to make the second one. Making the winged sleeves was not my best idea and they ended up very floppy so I had to go back in with the gray and create two more matching "panels" to stitch underneath them to help them hold their shape.
I seamed all of the bodice pieces together, including the collar and then I stitched the bow into place, as shown
The piping along the lower edge of the bodice is one of my favorite parts of this whole deal, second only to the piping around the elbows of the gloves. I pondered 3D shapes for a few minutes and then made a long flat panel that tapered at either end to create the correct point in the front and center. I seamed it all up and stuffed it with polyfil then attached it in place. I either failed to take pictures of this step or I can't find said pictures because I'm lazy. After attaching the piping I actually sewed the butt bow onto the back of the bodice and not the back of the skirt in order to position it correctly as well as not weight down the skirt because I don't like to give free shows.
I'm going to be honest, Internet. I don't enjoy making gloves. I find making fingers incredibly tedious and pretty much one of the most boring things ever. Gloves also suck for cosplay because I like to have full tactile function for holding drinks and using my phone. This is why I made fingerless, bag lady mitts.
I actually used a pattern for the gloves because I didn't feel like thinking. Sort of! Check out Stitch11's Arm Warmers.
I ended up pretty heavily modifying the pattern by not working in the round in order to get the shading effects. I also dropped my hook size down to H because I'm a tiny person then I went on to further size down the gloves by changing all of the dc to hdc.
Like the piping around the lower edge of the bodice, to create the elbows of the gloves I did some thinking about shapes. Then I made flat panels to create the two lower cylinders and the top pointy part. I also put a lot of pondering into the colorwork - the elbows are my favorite. Because look at them. And they're stuffed with polyfil. Ignore my kitchen.
I already wrote up a detailed boot tutorial, which you can find here!
These boots are not my friends. They were not my friends when I wore them with my Miranda Lawson cosplay and they are not my friends now. I mitigated the issue with my toes sliding forward and become crushed, but I somehow destroyed my right ankle (which is my already screwed up ankle). I ended up rather crippled and in blinding pain after DC @ The Aquarium. /sadbootstory
The Choker and Tiara
The choker is simply short rows of sc that I worked until it would fit around my neck with some overlap. I cleaned up the edge with sl then attached velcro to the back. I made the star using ch and sl then stitched it into place.
The Silence Glaive (AKA Another Poorly Planned Prop By Michelle)
I learned a lot throughout this process. I learned the most when working on the Silence Glaive, transporting the Silence Glaive to Atlanta, and then while lugging the Silence Glaive around the Marriott. This poor creation. I forgot that yarn was heavy.
I made the frame for the glaive out of cardboard - this was stupid. Do not make it out of cardboard unless you plan to reinforce the entire thing with epoxy or something before covering it with yarn. So I made this cardboard frame out of a box and some wrapper paper tupes and then I used duct tape to do a poor job of reinforcing it and to create the shapes at the bottom and below the blade. This seemed like a good idea. Let me emphasize - this was not a good idea at all.
Here are some pictures of my sketches, the frame, and the initial crochet pieces (shaft and blade) that I used to essentially yarnbomb the frame:
Things went wrong because yarn is heavy and my cheap frame couldn't support the weight of the yarn. The larger part of the blade bent at a 90 degree angle in the middle and the shaft began to bend in a lot of places. Disaster!
I kept working and finished the other accents. Again, I lost sight of the colorwork on some of the parts because I became too fixated on shaping them. But that aside, I had a flaccid glaive and that was no good. I could have tediously labored to undo the seams and remove the crochet pieces so that I could reinforce the frame, but what I did instead was get a syringe and some epoxy resin. I then proceeded to insanely inject the epoxy between the frame and the yarn. This worked surprisingly well, but I ended up with darker yarn at the "injection sites." I ended up working with the resulting color-changing on the blade to create some different shadows, which you can see in the full costume pictures if you look closely.
Anyway - this epoxy injection worked. It didn't make the glaive too much heavier than it was (for me to carry around), but it still wasn't very stable and it was inclined to bend in every single place where I had not injected the epoxy. I pretty much lined what I thought was the entire shaft, but all of the places I missed totally came to light in the van on the way to the con. I ended up having to delicately hold the thing the entire way there to keep it straight. When in costume I then had to be mindful of where I held it and how I held it so that none of the little bends would show.
I plan to opt to make the entire thing heavier, but more durable by completely coating it in layers and layers of epoxy then polishing it. This is going to change the colors, but I'd really like the thing to stay together and not be a delicate flower.
If I were to remake it, I would go with PVC for the shaft and I would take the time to reinforce the blade much more solidly before incorporating the yarn.
XOXOX - Happy crafting!
If you have questions I didn't answer, please take them to Facebook! I've noticed that a lot of people have the same, or similar, questions and the fbook is a nice place to get them answered where everyone can see and refer to them. :)