Costume Breakdown: Kasumi – Dead or Alive 6

Kasumi is a character I’ve wanted to cosplay for a long time, so when I saw her new design for Dead or Alive 6, I just had to make it!

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The Bodysuit

I made the bodysuit by altering a store bought pattern to fit the costume.  I made a mockup with a cheap spandex, drew on any new seam lines I needed, cut it apart, and used those pieces to make my new pattern.

 

I used a thin tissue-like paper to make my new patterns.  I also made sure to add a 1/2 inch seam allowance to all my new pattern pieces.  If I hadn’t the pattern would never have worked, so be sure to always make sure you have the proper seam allowance whenever you’re making patterns!

To make the bodysuit, I used the Ultrapreme fabric from Yaya Han’s fabric line in blue and I used a much more breathable spandex for the gray.

I also used a laser cutter to engrave my fabric with a design since the blue sections on Kasumi’s bodysuit had a pattern to them.  This isn’t a necessary step, but its a step I decided to take since I had the option, and I couldn’t find the right pattern pre-made.

Side Note:  You can also get fabric custom printed if you don’t have access to a laser cutter to engrave your fabric.  

Once my new pattern was done, I used them like to cut out my fabric pieces like I would with any pattern.  Then I sewed them together by machine with a straight stretch stitch.  I also took care to cut off any excess fabric in the seemliness to help the fabric lay flat.

As I was sewing, I took the time to try pieces on as I went.  Its better to find out something doesn’t fit before you put the entire thing together in stead of after.  When I tried the sleeve on, I realized that it ended up way to small for my arm, so I had to make another before I could finish the suit.

Below is the finished bodysuit!  It fit great and would serve as a great base for all the armor I still had to make!

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The Shoes

The shoes were the next part of the costume I tackled.  I started with a pair of sandals with a low heel as a base shoe and built onto them.

I started by removing the gems and embellishments.  I simply took a pair of wire cutters and chipped away at them until they all came off, then I tied the straps back together with a ribbon since after removing the gems they didn’t stay together.

After that, I needed to make the upper section of the shoes.  To make the pattern for this part, I put the shoe on, wrapped my leg up with plastic wrap and packing tape, and drew on the pattern.  Then cut the pieces out and transferred them to paper to make the final pattern.

Before continuing with the upper leg sections, I made a piece to wrap around the base of the shoe and my foot out of thick vinyl fabric to give it better support.  I knew the fabric I was using on the upper sections wasn’t going to be strong enough to function as a stable shoe on its own, so the extra vinyl piece really helped!

To make the upper section, I used a shiny metallic spandex in black and the blue Ultrapreme fabric for trim.  Once it was done and I was sure it fit properly, I hand stitched it to the shoe to keep it in place.

Last, I added a strip of blue trim around the foot and I was done with the shoes.  The only thing missing were the white socks, which I would get later.

 

The Leg Armor

The leg armor is your classic EVA foam armor with Plastidip, plus some added details with different plastics.  There are lots of tutorials out there for building foam armor, so you can do a bit of research on it if you’re unfamiliar and want a more step by step guide than what I’m about to give.

I started by making a pattern, testing it for fit, and them using it to cut out foam pieces.  Then, I heat formed the foam pieces and glued them together with contact cement.  After that, I added some thin strips of foam for details before Plastidipping and painting them.

For the paint, I used black and blue lacquer paint and a gloss lacquer clear coat.  I layered the black and blue together to give the high points on the armor a highlight while keeping the edges dark. This allowed the paint to appear black but still have some depth to it.  After the paint was dry, I added gold wax to the raised details and coated it with the gloss clear coat. If you want a more detailed explanation of how to painted these, check out my tutorial on adding depth to black paint!

After the paint was done, I added the straps and large gold pieces.  The gold pieces are gold mirror back acrylic, which I laser cut and heat formed to shape.  The straps are strips of vinyl fabric covered in the same gray spandex I used for the bodysuit.  The silver pieces on the ends of the straps are resin pieces which I sculpted, molded, and cast.  The straps are then opened and closed with snaps on one side.

 

The Neckpiece:

The neckpiece was similar to the leg armor in terms of construction.  I also made it out of EVA foam, coated in Plastidip, and painted with lacquer spray paints.  Though instead of using a strap to close it, I used a zipper!  The zipper is just glued in place with contact cement.

 

The Arm Bands

Kasumi’s arm bands looked loose and gathered to me, while still remaining somewhat form fitting, so I made them out of fabric that would easily stretch and gather. I didn’t bother to make a proper pattern and instead just started cutting fabric and sewing until they went together.

To start, I cut two sections of fabric longer and wider than my forearm and folded it down the center (below, left).  Then, I cut that piece into 6 sections (below, right).

Then, I made tubes out of the blue Ultrapreme fabric and sewed them into the seam lines, the same as you would do with piping.

Once I had a blue strip in between each section of gray, I lined them up along the seam line and sewed the whole thing into a tube.

Then, I took the tube in at the seam until it fit snugly, cut off the extra fabric, hemmed the openings, and the arm bands were done!

 

The Chest and Thigh Armor

Since the chest and thigh armor needed to be able to handle a lot of movement, I decided to use fabric covered foam to make it rather than going the same route as the leg and neck pieces.

To make the pattern, I set my dress form to my measurements, wrapped it in plastic wrap and tape, and then drew the armor pattern right into the form.  After that, I cut all the pieces apart.

After transferring the patterns to paper and adding length for overlapping sections, I used those patterns to cut out foam pieces.  I also made sure to label each piece so I could put them back together properly and marked where I had lengthened each pattern so I could be sure to layer them correctly as well.

Unlike the rest of the armor, I wanted to make sure the chest stayed rigid.  So, instead of making the chest pieces out of foam, I made them out of Worbla.  I made a double layer thick sheet and formed it over a styrofoam ball with my heat gun.  Then, after the Worbla had cooled off, I cut the piece to shape.

Side Note: I have my styrofoam ball covered in masking tape to protect it from the heat and to keep the Worbla from sticking.  

The next step was to cover each piece in fabric.  The fabric I used was a shiny metallic black vinyl spandes, so it was perfect for making Kasumi’s armor.

To cover the pieces for the chest, I covered the surface of the armor piece as well as the back of the fabric in spray adhesive, waited a bit for it to become tacky, and the stretched the fabric over the armor piece.  I made sure not to leave any creases or bubbles between the fabric and the Worbla so it would be as smooth as possible.  Then, I coated the inside of the piece with spray glue and folded the excess fabric around to the inside to finish it off.

I used the same method when covering the foam pieces in fabric as well.  Spray adhesive is extremely useful for applications like this!

Once I had all my pieces covered in fabric, I used the spray adhesive once more to attach everything together.

Side Note: While I did use spray adhesive to attach everything together at the end, it was not the best decision.  If I were to remake this part of the costume, I would actually run each piece through my sewing machine and stitch the fabric down at the edges (like I do in my Foam and Fabric Amor Tutorial) and then use another kind of glue (such as super glue or fabric glue) to attach the pieces together.  I had quote a few issues with the foam separating from the fabric along the edges and the overspray form the spray adhesive was difficult to clean up.  

After that, I added the details along the edges with foam (I coated them with Plastidip prior to adding them to the armor) and painted them with metallic silver wax as a base color and blue leather paint with a pearlescent pigment mixed in. I used both fabric glue to attach all the edges on before painting.

After that, I added some more foam to the inside of the armor for support, added a Velcro closure to the back, and the armor was ready to be fitted to the bodysuit!

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Side Note: Later on, I did add some gold studs to the armor for more detailing, but I neglected to get photos of that part.

I unfortunately didn’t get any photos of the thigh pieces, but they were made with the same method.

The Arm and Leg Straps

The arm and leg straps are made using a vinyl fabric strip covered in the gray spandex fabric from the bodysuit with blue Ultrapreme edges.  I added snaps to the ends to open and close them and used a gold stud for the round detail on the end.

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The Gold Acrylic Details

Kasumi has some beatiful gold details on her costume, so I decided to make some of them with gold mirror backed acrylic.  I made the files to cut them with Adobe Illustrator and laser cut each piece.  The symbol that goes on her back (top left photo) was made using individually cut pieces which I glued onto a piece of vinyl fabric.  The leg pieces (as mentioned earlier) had some acrylic details as well.  My favorite detail, however, was the tiny flower the front of the bodysuit.  It was so small, but it was such an important detail!

It’s actually held on with tiny snaps!

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The Attachments

I didn’t get any photos of this, but I used a combination of snaps and Velcro to attach each piece of armor to my bodysuit.  The chest/torso armor is all snaps with one piece of Velcro that closes with the back.  I also have a strip of fabric that connects the front to itself.  I made this strap the same color as the bodysuit to help keep it as unnoticeable as possible while still being sturdy.

The thigh pieces were held to the torso armor with a heavy duty leather snap and Velcro strips along the legs of the bodysuit.  The leather snap allowed the thigh pieces to still move freely from the torso while also keeping it in place, and the Velcro kept the thigh pieces from detaching from the legs at any point!

The emblem on the back of the suit is also help on with snaps, that way it can easily put put on and taken off over the zipper.

 

Last Notes:

Any pieces not mentioned (such as the elbow and knee pieces, hands, and bikini bottoms) were made using various fabrics (mostly stretch vinyls) and were sewed by machine.  The knees and elbows are just tube-like pieces the slip over my legs and arms. The bikini-type bottoms are also made using vinyl fabrics and the pattern was made with the same method as the legs for the shoes and the torso armor (plastic wrap and tape method).

 

And With That, We’re Done!

Overall, Kasumi was a challenging build.  However, in my opinion, the best projects are the ones that force you to learn new techniques and grow along the way.  There are a lot of things I might do differently if I were to make this costume again, but I’m still very happy with how my first try came out!

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