While I have not cosplayed in years (I believe 2009 was the last time I constructed a costume together), I recently had an urge to make Zelda's Skyward Sword costume (her Skyloft costume, to be specific). After finishing the game in December 2011, I fell in love with Zelda's character, as well as her design. What I also love about Skyward Sword Zelda is the fact that this is the first time seeing real romance between Link and Zelda. In the past, it always seemed that Link had to save the Princess because it was his duty for the sake of Hyrule. In this game, however, there is a completely different spin on Link's motives for saving her. I will leave it at that in order to avoid spoilers (even though it is way past the window of the game's initial release).
I am not a master costumer. I have constructed costumes from scratch, so I would consider myself on the intermediate level when it comes to creating costumes. Why is this good? Because I really want to reach out to those who are beginners or are on the same level as me and are looking to cosplay. I am skilled with fabric, sewing, and embroidery. But when it comes to armor and props I require commissions. Out of all of the past Zelda's elaborate character designs (those tapestries have so much detail!), I felt that Skyloft Zelda was the easiest costume to make. Boy, was I wrong. The little details in the costume require a lot of patience and thinking outside of the box. I was not entirely happy with the way some pieces of the costume came out, but I was overall satisfied with the costume after I put everything together. The following is a brief summary of how I constructed this costume. I hope that anyone who is interested in cosplaying Skyloft Zelda will find this post helpful.
Pattern and Materials
Unfortunately, there is not a pattern out there that is completely accurate to Zelda's dress. Therefore, I had to find a pattern that resembled her dress best and modify the pattern myself. I am not very good at altering patterns, so with the help of my aunt and grandmother, we were able to perfect the dress. I used Butterick B4827 for Zelda's dress. The material I used for the dress was a light cotton, and that is probably for the best for several reasons: it does not wrinkle easily, it is lightweight, and it does not add a shine/glow when pictures are taken. I was worried that I was not going to find the same color pink that matches her dress, but my local fabric store had the perfect match.
For the yellow/golden trimming on the top and bottom of Zelda's dress, I used a yellow ribbon. Instead of sewing the ribbon onto the dress -- which usually is frustrating because ribbon frays easily -- I used Heat n Bond iron-on fabric adhesive.
Zelda also wears a brown belt, where the tapestry she wears connects. I want to point out that I used a brown pleather for that belt and I would highly recommend anyone who wants to make this costume to do the same. It is easier to maintain than real leather and it looks great with the costume.
I do not know what the correct term is for the blue sash she wears on her belt, but nonetheless it is very pretty. It was also extremely challenging to make. For one, it is difficult to find the bird image on the internet. It is not the Hylian crest, but it obviously resembles the crest very closely. My aunt is a wonderful artist and she was able to trace the bird symbol onto a thin sheet of paper, and from there we traced it onto white cotton fabric. Again, we used an iron-on adhesive to attatch the bird symbol to the sash. This is definitely much easier than hand sewing or using a sewing machine and I cannot stress enough how it should be used whenever possible.
Honestly, I do not even want to talk about this wig. It was not too difficult to make, but it did not hold for very long. It is hard to replicate Zelda's hair because she is an animation, and the two pieces of her hair that are tied in ribbon in the front are not exactly a good representation of hair in real life. I knew it was going to be difficult to create, but I gave it my best shot (with the help of my mom who tied the ribbons together). We used crazy glue to glue the ribbon pieces onto my hair so they would not move. Unfortunately, the wig did not hold up for an entire day and pieces in the front began to fall out. The picture to the right is how the ribbons initially looked, after looking at the professional photographs it is easy to see that the wig did not stay looking so nice.
- The elf ears were purchased at Aradani Studios, the Anime Elf Ears.
- I would not recommend this, but the belt was made from a sturdy cardboard that I spray-painted metallic. Truthfully, it did not look as accurate to Zelda's costume as I had hoped. I would suggest searching for a "circle belt" for a better looking piece for a Zelda costume.
- Something that is not as easily noticeable is the fact that Zelda does not have bare legs. It looks like she wears white tights underneath her dress and with her brown boots. As a cosplayer, if you are going for complete costume accuracy I would take note of this.
I had originally planned to wear this costume at the Symphony of the Goddess Concert, but I decided to debut the costume at AnimeNext in Somerset, NJ. Some of the photos I used in this blog post are courtesy of the lovely Emily B.!
Overall, I would give this costume a difficulty rating of:
(I figured the heart containers would be appropriate)