I’ve recently been asked about creating Sailor Moon sailor senshi costumes. I have been working on a few lately. In the past, I have done Neo Princess Mars, human Luna, Rei Hino’s school uniform, and Sailor Pluto. I am currently working on Super Sailor Mars in hopes to have it done before Anime Expo. I normally post tutorials and progress on my personal blog,Eri Kagami Sews. However, the number of questions I have encountered on Facebook and at Sailor Moon gatherings have been overwhelming and I decided to make “How To” guide for Sailor Moon cosplayers. This guide is for your basic sailor senshi outfit.
1. Where Do I Get the Pattern?
I was recommended to use a figure skating pattern. The best one I found is Kwik Sew 3836. What I like about this pattern is that the skirt pattern has more of a flounce than a pleat. You would still have to do very small pleats on the side seams though. What I also like about the pattern is that it has an underbreast seam. One of the defining features of a sailor senshi uniform is the underbreast seam. The only modifications you may have to make is to raise the neckline in the front and in the back. I highly recommend using this pattern especially if you want something quick and easy to follow.
2. Fabric, whatdo?
Obviously, for the skirt, collar, and ribbon, nothing too shiny. However, I have talked to a group up in Sacramento and they were able to get away with the casa satin from Jo-Ann’s. For Super Sailor Mars, I am using a tango red casa satin. I actually used a heavier polyester for Sailor Pluto. For the main bodice, I used dance lycra. This tends to run expensive, but it is well worth it.
For the boot covers, I used stretchy lycra.
I am not huge into making my own jewelry and accessories, though I am interested in learning, Catzia has some amazing stuff all at reasonable prices. This is where I bought my Sailor Pluto tiara and earrings. They have tiaras, jewelry for various characters, and little odds and ends to enhance your senshi cosplay.
4. But what about the collar?!
Lynleigh Love Cosplay has very easy to follow tutorials on the collar and other odds and ends. Not only this includes a tutorial for the sailor collar, but it also includes a pattern for the bows (front and back). There is also a boot cover pattern included in this set. For the collar, you may want to make a mock up first before you try your actual fabric. Everyone is going to be a different size, so mind making adjustments as you go. The collar is very self-explanatory if you read through the directions. If you do not have ready access to a store that sells pattern paper, paper bags and newspaper make a fine substitute for drafting a pattern. Have a straightedge in hand and make sure all sides are symmetrical (remember your elementary school Geometry).
5. Glove toppers, what the heck are those?
This is my least favorite part about making sailor senshi cosplay. Basically what you do is take a strip of fabric and fold it. Sew the ends together and reverse it around. Make three 1.5 inch wide rows. Stitch three rows and then stuff it with something. I used to do it with stuffing / batting, but I learned that using piping from Jo-Ann’s can be less of a pain to stuff batting into a 1.5 inch hole.
6. I still don’t get the deal with boot covers!
You and me both! The best tutorial I found was a sock tutorial that was recommended to me by Claudine, a fellow Sailor Mars cosplayer. Claudine recommends the final product to be snug. Otherwise, it can start slouching down. You also want to curve the foot part according to the shoe that you are wearing. For Sailor Pluto, I wear black ballet style flats from Payless and wear the boot covers over them. Super comfortable, especially if you plan to wander a major anime convention.
7. Wigs? Where?!
The benefit of cosplaying in this era is that you have a variety of wig stores to choose from. Some of them even have pre-styled Sailor Moon wigs. Here’s a few wig sources:
I have shopped at all of the above wig sources and I never had a problem. The first three wig companies do appear at most anime conventions, so you can try out their wigs and see for yourself. One thing I recommend about wigs is you want to find a shade that compliments your skin tone. For example, I have a very mocha complexion, so only certain blondes and pinks work well with my skintone.
8. When in doubt, Ask.
Cosplay.com has their own Sailor Moon cosplay forum where you can ask questions and where fellow moonies can share ideas and trick of the trade. Of course, this is not the only resource out there to exchange ideas. I really enjoy talking to Sailor Moon series cosplayers at Sailor Moon cosplay gatherings and photoshoots about how each of them constructed their costume and how certain challenges were pulled off. For example, I talked to a Sailor Twilight Sparkle cosplayer at artist alley how she made the sleeves for her cosplay. She told me how she did it and we exchanged ideas. I find that asking someone in person is probably the best way to go to get a positive and friendly response. Be sure to thank them once they share some cosplay protips.
And that about wraps it up for sailor senshi cosplay from beginners. I hope you found this quick guide helpful and I wish you the best of luck on your projects!
– Eri Kagami