Continuing my Tales of kick, I decided to make Eleanor in early 2017 to celebrate the launch of Tales of Berseria! I absolutely love her design and she is a wonderful character.

The colours on this costume are so satisfying – I’m a sucker for pink hair anyway, but the ivory dress with gold and blue accents are beautiful together. It’s very feminine but also has a uniformity and elegance to it that makes it stand out. It’s one of my favourite costumes so far!

I updated this costume in 2018, remaking most of the pieces. I entered her into the SunnyCon Masters Contest, winning First Place!

Materials Used:

  • Duchess Satin • Dress, Collar, Sleeves, Boots
  • Cotton • Dress, Boots
  • Faux Suede • Jacket, Collar
  • Dupioni • Trims
  • Jersey • Gloves
  • Polyester • Bloomers
  • Wig •  Lulu & Short Wefts in Peony Pink from Arda Wigs
Japan Expo 2017
Anime Go! 2018
SunnyCon 2018
AmeCon 2018
MCM London Comic Con May 2019
SunnyCon Masters Contest 1st Place, 2018

Construction Notes:
I have made Eleanor twice, originally in 2017 and updated in 2018.

I wasn’t happy with the length of the dress or the shape of the skirt so I decided to remake it. The original patterns were used with the remake to help with proportions and adjustments. The collar had fixes to the length at the shoulders and the waist where it attaches to the dress. The only part of the costume that was kept from the original is the jacket.

The wig is a Lulu & Short Wefts in Peony Pink from Arda Wigs. I added a lace panel to the front of the wig for a more natural hairline, with additional wefts for length around the face. The pigtails were made by myself by sewing wefts to lace panels and then attaching them to small claw clips. This way the wig is much more comfortable to wear and the pigtails are adjustable, rather than using a back-parted wig. At the time of ordering, Arda did not offer suitable clip ons in Peony Pink.

Finding a suitable colour for her hair was tricky – it looks pink, orange or even red in different references. This was the best match I could find! In natural light it looks very pink but it has an orange tone under artificial light. Prior to getting this wig, I attempted to dye two other wigs but wasn’t happy with the colours I achieved.

The kanzashi flowers in the wig were made kindly by my sister. They look like solid pieces in most references, but I wanted a more feminine look to them so kanzashi were perfect. The fall decorations are done with ribbons and dupioni with hand drawn decorations. They slide into the wig on hairpins.

The dress is made from ivory and gold duchess satin with cotton lining and trims. The ivory material is the reverse “dull” side of the duchess satin and the gold is the shimmery side for contrast. All of the bias is handmade. The off-white trim around the bottom of the dress was dyed and pleated by hand and is sewn into the lining of the dress, so it stays in place when worn.

The dress was patterned by myself, adjusting the original for a better fit. The bodice was patterned with princess seams which flare smoothly into a circle skirt. The dress closes up the front with a concealed zipper and fits over a large petticoat to keep the shape.

The collar is interfaced and closes at the neck with hook and eyes. The gold patterning up the front and back are done with satin stitch applique, bondawebbed to the fabric and then sewn. The brown collar panel is made from faux suede and closes with gold tips made from black worbla and snap fasteners.

The jacket is made from navy faux suede with blue duchess satin sleeves. The pattern was made from scratch. The front of the jacket fastens to the dress with snap fasteners. The sleeves are attached to the jacket directly so it fits as one piece. The cuffs were patterned on a curve so they flare out comfortably – the seam is hidden by the satin stitch detail at the cuff.

The gloves are made from ivory stretch jersey with painted fingertips so they are super comfortable to wear without bulky seams.

The petticoat was made by following J.Hart Design’s Tiered Petticoat Tutorial, with a lot of adjustments. I didn’t need as much volume so I reduced it to two layers of petticoat using three tiers each, with different lengths and less fabric. It’s still a beast! Each tier is made using 5m, 7.5m & 15m of fabric. The edges are closed with bias and the bottom tier has horsehair braid sewn in for extra volume.

Underneath the petticoat I wear a small pair of bloomers made from polyester. The bloomers have two layers of frills around the bottom of the legs and are fully elasticated.

I struggled with the boots at first and made four different versions, which vary between photographs. At first I tried gold shoes with painted socks but I wasn’t happy with the finished look – they were too flat against the rest of the costume. The updated boots were made using duchess satin with gold applique detail around the front and back, closing with zippers on the inside leg for a close fit. The points on the outside of the knees are interfaced to keep their shape, finished with gold cuffs. They are glued to a pair of gold slip on shoes with a sock attached to the lining for comfort.

The spear is built on a screw pole from a cheap floor lamp, which makes it easy to collapse and transport! The head is made from 5mm foamboard covered with black worbla with PVC pipe and foam for details. The head was patterned with paper, cut from foamboard and covered in black worbla before being primed with lots of layers of mod podge. Once the surface was smooth, it was spray painted and masked for details, then sealed with wood glue and sanded smooth. The glue was then sprayed with varnish to soften the finish.

The base of the spear is made from black worbla and PVC pipe. The “spokes” were made by hand by heating two layers of worbla together, flattening them, cutting the curved edge and then securing them to the base. The base was also primed with Mod Podge and sanded before painting. All of the gold detailing is done with shimmery nail polish.

Since Eleanor has been updated I am much happier with this costume. I think it’s a great example of how you can improve a costume with better fitting, proportions and patterning, and a good example of how wearing a costume can highlight issues and help you fix them. There’s always room for improvement!