On Pins and Broken Needles

Mamimi Samejima

Character Name:
Mamimi Samejima
FLCL (Furi Kuri)
Costume Variation:
Pyro Schoolgirl
Debuted At:
Anime North 2005

Reference / Design Sketches

Costumes Notes

FLCL is one of my all time favourite animes: it was love at first WTF?!. While not my favourite character from the series (that goes to Haruka and the kitten), I still loved Mamimi and was confident enough that I could create her costume.

This costume has many stories behind it, practically one for each piece. It wasn't entirely finished for Anime North, but it was at a point where I was happy with what I accomplished.

For the skirt pattern, I had measured my hips, figured out how wide the pleats would be and how many I need, and went from there. Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in the slope from waist to hip, so there were some bad gaping issues. The plaid pattern was created with fabric markers when I couldn't source a suitable fabric locally.

The shoes I picked up at a thrift store, which was surprisingly the only place I could find brown oxfords. They were an unfortunate half-size too small, which isn't a big concern until you walk and stand in them for 12 hours.

The undershirt was a boys' singlet with a printed iron-on. While making this, I found out that my printer's inks are heat sensitive and change colour somewhat when you iron them. Oops.

The sweatshirt measured 25" from hem-to-hem; zippers come in 24" and 26" so there was some fun making things fit. Also, the collar refused to cooperate with my sewing machine and so it ended up being safety-pinned on.

The original plan was to use my natural hair for this costume, dyed to be the appropriate colour; but the dye took oddly so I had to find a last minute wig. I ended up using a cheap party wig, which was annoyingly thick, shiny, and tangled horribly. (It also biased me against wigs for years.)

The lighters were just a couple of BBQ lighters with their butane tanks removed. Surprisingly, I was only once questioned by con-ops/anyone in regards to them.

The bag was my favourite part of this costume. I used it post-con to carry my stuff on a daily basis until I literally wore it to pieces. It was also my first foray into dying fabric. I learned that if you use a smaller container and don't stir often enough, you get an unwanted but very pretty marble-like uneven dye.

Despite all the issues I had with this cosplay, I loved it. It was insanely comfortable--with the exception of the shoes--and you can't go wrong with BBQ lighters strapped to your head.