Nana - +Anima

Cost: $105
Time to Make: 35 hours
Timeline of Construction: October 2004 - March 2005



For Christmas 2003 Pan gave me volume 7 of +Anima as a gift. I was thrilled when I saw the Gothic Lolitaish dress Nana wore in the extra image at the end of the Manga (pictured above). Pan agreed to Cosplay as Husky and we decided to make our costumes at some point in 2004. I thought it would be fitting to make it for Halloween so I bought materials for it in October, but ran out of time to make it for the Halloween J-Pop Dance. Due to university, it was put on the backburner until MTAC when I finally decided I needed to finish it.

During October, however, I did manage to start the costume. I had purchased a pattern to alter along with several metres of black and pink Halloween satin. I know satin can be a hit or miss material to work with for costumes (as it can photograph poorly and look wrinkled) but the satin I picked out was very low sheen and suited the look of the dress in the image. The pattern I picked out, however, was deficient in several ways. It had a low square neckline and was only meant to hold four points. Therefore, the dress design had to be played with and my mother and I decided the best way to increase the number of points was to create points underneath the ones specified in the pattern using crinoline. That's all that was done prior to March 2005. During March the points were created and covered with fabric. They blended in with the original points pretty well. At the end of each point I sewed pearl beads. I was lucky to find the exact beads I needed amongst a box of beads an older women gave me after I helped her clean out her basement in the summer of 2004.

My mother surprised me one day after coming home from university when she handed me my dress with nicely cut sleeves that had the bat shape I needed. Hanging from the bottom of each sleeve I needed see-through black bat-like extensions. They were made using pipe cleaners as a support and a see-through material that I bought. The end of each extension had points like the end of the dress which needed to have beads sewn on. The ribbon on the front of the dress was made from a thin strip of pink satin along with the bow. It wasn't difficult to make the little bows. While I wore the dress my mother put in some stitches so both the ribbon and the bow would stay in place.

The "crown" was a bit of a challenge. I wasn't sure how to make it stand up, have a bat shape and look decent. Thankfully I found that pipe cleaners worked really well as a structure for the crown. I cut out the bat wing-like shape and tightly stitched around the edges and around the pipe cleaners to hold it in place. The edges of the pipe cleaners wrapped around a headband to provide extra security. I managed to find some neat sparkly fabric bats on sale at Fabricland which I thought would be nice for the crown. I stuck three bats to the crown and they were a perfect fit.

The "jewel" on the dress, which you can't really see because it's covered with a bat, was made by Pan out of model magic and painted by me when I combined two shades of purple. It was supposed to be plain, but it looked boring so I decided to attach a bat to the brooch. I had a small laminated bat from Halloween that I painted black and attached to it. The morning of MTAC my mother sewed the black fur to the collar and shoulders as I wore the dress. It was attached very lightly and had to be pinned in the back. We sort of forgot it existed until the night before so it was a bit rushed, but it still looked and worked ok. I went crazy trying to find a wig before MTAC. I had noticed a nice long blonde wig at Ganesh in October 2004 for $40, but I didn't buy it and when I went back in March, the only blonde wig I found that would work cost $70. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to find one that I could afford, but then Hikari Light noticed Dani was offering one and I managed to get it from him for $46. Finally, I bought the fishnet stockings around Halloween and I used a pair of brown shoes I've owned for a number of years to finish the look. Overall I'm thrilled with how this costume turned out. It wasn't that accurate, but it looked very nice and is by far the best +Anima costume that I've made. At the Centre Island Cosplay Picnic I was part of a small +Anima group with Pan and Amanda as Amanda Cosplayed as Marein and Pan Cosplayed an art image of Husky. I had a lot of fun being in a group with them. :3

Events/Conventions this costume was worn to
March Toronto AnimeCON 2005 (Saturday) & to the Centre Island Cosplay Picnic on Saturday, July 2nd, 2005. Sakura borrowed and wore this costume on Sunday of CNAnime 2005 (with some modifications).

Photo Credits