Vanille Cosplay: The Bag

Welcome, everyone, time for another exciting cosplay update!  One convenient thing about Vanille was the fact that her costume had built-in storage.  Most fictional characters have no need for wallets and driver’s licenses, apparently, as none of them have any pockets or bags with which to carry them.  At least, none of the ones I’ve cosplayed as so far.  And, seeing as I don’t want to ruin my costume with an inaccurate bag, it seemed very handy indeed that she already had this covered.

My bag is made of a suede-like material, and I was able to make a pattern pretty easily for it.  It was kind of just a long piece of fabric with a wider bottom so that it would have more storage capacity.  I sewed the sides together thrice each for added strength, then I folded the edges of the flap to make it a bit more triangular.  After that, the bag received a few adornments.  I was not able to find a button large enough for the flap, so I painted a large circle of foam silver and indented a circular shape in the middle for texture using the end of a pen.  I also took two strips of leather and added painted beads onto them.  They were too thick for the beads to slide on easily, however, so it took a lot of effort to get the beads on.  But, I was determined, so I managed eventually.  Ducks don’t give up without a fight.

The bag, opening its maw hungrily.
The bag, opening its maw hungrily.

After that, I super glued the beads in place and sewed the leather strips onto the bag, though I needed to loop thread around them because they were too thick to sew through.  I then sewed the foam button on over where the leather attached to the bag, sewing it on in four spots in the middle the way a real button would be.  Meanwhile, I also noticed that Vanille has this yellow piece of fabric around this part of her costume, so I decided it would be best to attach it to the bag so I would have fewer pieces to deal with.  After sewing on the green and orange strips, I sewed it onto the bag, as well.  Looking good so far…

The bag's looking pretty good at this point, I must say. It just needed some color.
The bag’s looking pretty good at this point, I must say. It just needed some color.

For the finishing touches, I sewed on the white border around the bag’s edges using leftover spandex from Ghirahim’s costume, because I’m thrifty like that.  You never know when you can use a thin strip of fabric later, so I usually keep them.  Good thing I did.  Anyway, most of the border was sewn on by machine, but I had to do some by hand because the machine couldn’t reach certain spots.  Unfortunately, my sewing skills are pretty rubbish, so it’s easy to tell the difference between what I did and what the machine did.  Just don’t get too close, though, and you won’t notice a thing.  It’s like it’s not even there….

Behold the completed bag in all its mighty glory! Give me anything in the world, that I may carry it for thee!
Behold the completed bag in all its mighty glory! Give me anything in the world, that I may carry it for thee!

Now that the bag itself was complete, however, that did not mean this entire piece was done.  I needed a way to wear the bag, plus I had decided to incorporate the beads hanging in front of her skirt to the bag’s “strap”, again, for fewer pieces to put on later.  While the bag appears to be worn using a string around the waist, I wanted something strong to support the weight of any objects inside the bag.  I ended up using the same rope as what was used for that thing on Vanille’s back.  But, how would I secure it?  Clasps seemed too weak, and the whole point of using rope was to have something strong to support my bag.  After much searching about, I found I had two pairs of large hooks left, the same kind used to close Ghirahim’s cape.  If they could support the weight of a heavy cape, then they could surely support my bag just fine.

I tied the clasps onto the ends of the rope with string, which I then super glued to make it stay.  Then, I wrapped my suede-like material around the rope and hot glued it in place to prevent being scratched with some decidedly rough rope.  Next, I added the long strings of beads.  These beads had already been painted and strung a long time ago, so they were already ready to go.  I just tied them around the rope and super glued them in place.  Because super glue is my friend.

Why so many beads? Why, Vanille, why! Don't you understand, I had to hand paint all but the white ones!
Why so many beads? Why, Vanille, why! Don’t you understand, I had to hand paint all but the white ones!

Last of all, I needed to attach the bag to the rope.  This was done by sewing a piece of suede underneath the bag’s flap.  Sewing one side was easy, but sewing the other was more difficult because I had placed the rope beside it so the suede would form a loop over it.  I solved this by using my sewing machine’s zipper foot to get close to the rope.  Now the bag is secure!  Huzzah!  Sadly, this resulted in the bag’s flap being shortened.  If only I had known, this issue could have been solved by giving the bag a longer flap to begin with.  Oh, to think what could have been.  It doesn’t look as good as it could have, but it still turned out pretty nifty otherwise.

The bag chomped my rope, and now it won't let go! The horror!
The bag chomped my rope, and now it won’t let go! The horror!

Now, here is where things get a bit silly.  Here I was thinking this bag would solve my storage problems, but when I put anything heavy inside it, it would sag greatly, as did my spirits.  It was securely attached to my rope, yes, but I quickly learned that, after all my hard work, the bag was simply not going to work for anything that weighed more than an ounce or two thanks to the way it would sag forward to a ridiculous, and rather exaggerated, degree.  Ah, but it still adds a nice look to the costume, so at least it was all worth it in the end.  To solve my storage woes, I ended up deciding to just wear a bag beneath this one to try and hide it and still grant myself the carrying capacity I so craved.  A store-bought bag, I mean.  Because those typically work a lot better than anything I can conjure up.

The entire thing, from an aerial view. I did it all myself. That's why it doesn't work.
The entire thing, from an aerial view. I did it all myself. That’s why it doesn’t work.

But hey, I’ve never made a bag before, so I still think I did pretty good.  I can still use it for light items, so I think I’ll just add a hidden button to close it to prevent as much sagging, and I’m good to go.  Another piece of the costume can now be marked off my to-do list.  And that’s always pretty satisfying.

A Bag of Ducks

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2 thoughts on “Vanille Cosplay: The Bag

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