On Pins and Broken Needles

Delphine Eraclea

Character Name:
Maestro Delphine Eraclea
Last Exile
Costume Variation:
Flashback dress from the intro of episode 23
Debuted At:
Version 1 - Ad Astra 2011,
Version 2 - Anime North 2011

Reference / Design Sketches

  • Spheres - Last Exile 2st Character Filegraphy
  • LASTEXILE Aerial Log
  • LASTEXILE Aerial Log

Costumes Notes

Delphine's little red dress had captivated me from the very beginning. It's on screen for less than a minute, in a flashback placed before the opening credits, but it stuck in my memory and immediately became one of my many "someday" costumes.

The shoes were a set of thrift-store clogs, that I had extended the base and filled in the toe-heel gap and raised the profile of the front with fibre clay to give the illusion of platform shoes. (Fibre clay is also known as paper clay, which is not the same Paperclay™ It is considerably denser and doesn't sand near as nicely.) Later, I realized that I probably should have used expanding foam to fill in the gap to keep the weight down. I then covered everything in a black spandex boot cover with a red satin overlay (which was partially sewn on but mainly hot-glued).

The dress started out as a floor-length, sleeved, loose, boat-necked princess-seamed commercial dress pattern. By the time I finished altering the pattern, the only seams that remained untouched wer the princess seams over the chest. I think there were at least two mock-ups made (and altered) before I was ready to work with my good fabric.

I ended up having to remake the dress the week before Anime North as my cats created a small but very noticeable snag the fabric after its first and only use at Ad Astra.

The waist-cincher/belt thing is black satin and interfacing, and a piece of fun foam in the front to help it keep its shape.

The collar is more black satin, gold cording, and a delicate applique in the back. The collar unsnaps in the front from the dress so that I can avoid putting in zippers and still get the collar on over my head.

The sleeves and collar were attached to the dress with a webbing of black ribbon which was mainly positioned and attached late Friday night and Saturday afternoon of Anime North. I owe a huge debt to one of my roommates who was drafted into helping me when he went looking for a 2am snack. All of the ribbons were sewn onto the the collar, dress, and sleeves, and most points where they intersect have been tacked together as well. (Some intersections are untacked so that I can actually get into the dress.)

The wig was a long ponytail wig from Cosworx with a slight bang trim. The black hair bobbles are just painted styrofoam balls.

The headdress was by far my favourite part of the costume. Version one was red patches sewn onto a black background with everything sewn onto a headband and stiffened with a fun-foam insert. It worked, but wasn't quite why I wanted. Version two consisted of the black outline heat&bond'ed to a red background, a fun-foam insert used to stiffen, and an elastic to go behind my head to hold everything on.

WIP Photos


  • © 2011 Lockport Expeditionary Force