Mami Tomoe’s bodice

I noticed that a lot of the hits I get on this blog come from people searching for Mami cosplay details, and after reading my old Mami write-up, I realized I never did a good explanation of the bodice/corset/waist-thing. So I’ve taken some pictures of the finished product in the hopes that they will make it clearer.

For the bodice I used Butterick 5371, which is a kind of “miscellaneous Renaissance pieces” pattern:

I used the bodice in the upper right. It required sewing the sides up instead of putting grommet holes and laces there, lengthening it so that it came down further over my hips, and adjusting the top so that it was straight all around rather than lower at the sides, but the shape is right and the modifications were pretty easy overall.

My bodice is made out of twill and is fully lined. If I recall correctly, it’s two layers of twill with a layer of cotton sandwiched in between. The channels for the boning are sewn into the under-layer of twill and the cotton layer, so you don’t see any evidence of them on the outer layer. It’s possible one of the layers is also interfaced for extra stiffness — I’m afraid that after two years, I don’t remember!

The big problem with the bodice in terms of the actual costume design is that, as far as I can tell, it’s meant to buckle shut in the front.

Mami1

You could do that, but you’d have to alter the design slightly to create actual buckles (just look at the ones in the drawing for a moment…). Plus, that’s potentially a lot of stress on three buckles. To get around that, you can do things like insert a zipper or put laces up the back like an actual corset, for examples.

I have a terrible history with zippers. They break on me frequently, and I’m just not that great at putting them in (remember my post celebrating the successful installation of a zipper?). So I decided to forgo the zipper route and use the lace-up technique instead, but rather than have it lace up in the back, I made two panels in the front, so that the under-panel laces and holds all the weight, while the outer panel is purely decorative and is held together with velcro:

IMG_1694 (800x533)

Note the velcro on the right.

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Velcro sewn onto a ‘modesty panel.’ This is what holds the outer layer shut.

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The two panels branch out starting at the yellow strip of trim (right). I sewed the decorative panel to the outer layer of twill and the under panel to the under layer of twill.

The buckles are made from aluminum floral wire, which is easy to bend but still metallic. As you can see, they’re just stitched on with thread.IMG_1697 (800x533)

The trim is a pretty standard one, which you can get at any JoAnn as far as I know. The only thing special about it is that I flipped it over so that the underside (left) is facing up.IMG_1698 (800x533)

The yellow trim is just more of the twill I used to the skirt, made into bias tape and hand-sewn on. The white trim was also sewn on by hand, because apparently I like hand-sewing a liiiiitle too much.

And that about covers it! I hope this helps — please let me know if you have any questions!

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