On Pins and Broken Needles

Reika Mishima

Character Name:
Reika Mishima
Source:
Rah Xephon
Debuted At:
CNAnime/FanExpo 2002

Reference / Design Sketches

Costumes Notes

Reika was my first costume, my first use (and modification) of a commercial pattern, and the first thing I had sewn in more than 5 years. It was also a great example of Murphy's Law.

I modified the pattern, cut the fabric (thrift-store bedsheet), and sewed everything together -- and then found out that I had made it a size too small. So everything was stich-ripped apart, and resewn with a smaller seam allowance. All the night before the convention.

My natural hair at the time was the right length for Reika, but the wrong colour. My attempt dye it my partially bleached hair to a more natural and consistent brown ended up with it going a few shades too dark--essentially black.

The shoes were a pair of flip-flops that I had picked up at a thrift store. I covered the elastic stretching across the foot with some fabric, added an elastic to go behind my ankle, and called it a day. What I didn't realize until the convention is that I had made what was probably one of the most unforgiving and painful shoes I had ever worn up to that point. I didn't even last a day in those shoes.

The only reason I managed to get this costume done was with the love and patience of my mother, who got me through the tears of disappointment due to the botched dye-job and who helped me tear apart and remake the costume the night before I left for the convention.

I learned a lot from this costume: don't start a costume the week before a convention, double check your measurements, wigs are a good thing (that actually took a few more costumes to truly be learned), and don't expect to be recognized if you're dressed a character from a series that's not even halfway done the first season.

Photos

  • 2002 (CNAnime / Fan Expo)
  • © 2016 Elemental Photography (G-Anime)
  • © 2016 Elemental Photography (G-Anime)

Photographer Links