This costume was a big one! I adore the style and detail in the Atelier series, and Totooria “Totori” Helmold was my favourite lead from the Arland series. Her design has so many beautiful elements and an ethereal look to it which I wanted to try and replicate.

I started making Totori as a passion project, aiming to enter the EuroCosplay Qualifiers. I finished her in time and even though I didn’t win the qualifiers, this was a very satisfying project and I’m still very happy with the result!

Almost the entire costume is handmade – the only exceptions are the pieces I couldn’t make myself like the fabrics themselves, the base shoes, and the shells. Otherwise, every single piece was made from scratch – even down to the underwear! I put a crazy amount of time and effort into this costume and it inspired me to improve my skills to enter future competitions.

Materials Used:

  • Cotton • Bolero Lining & Trims, Dress Lining
  • Polyester/Viscose Blend • Bolero
  • Polyester • Blouse
  • Dupioni • Dress, Trims
  • Habotai Silk • Tiara, Bow, Skirt
  • Duchess Satin • Trims
  • Nappa Leather • Tiara, Bag, Boots, Trims
  • Lambskin Leather • Boots
  • Wig  80cm Long Wig in Sand Grey from AyanamiSatoru
MCM London Comic Con May 2012
MCM London Comic Con October 2012
Play Expo 2013

Construction Notes:
This is going to be a long one! You can see a selection of progress images in the Construction Gallery.

I originally documented this costume on CosplayIsland (you can read the journal updates here). These Construction Notes here are a more concise summary of the costume, but if you’re interested in seeing a more day-to-day summary of how the costume was made, I’d recommend checking that out too!

All of the Atelier art is very painterly, and even in game the characters are very soft so I wanted to use materials and colours that would reflect that. The main material I used was habotai silk which was light enough to float and could be dyed appropriately, with leather for the boots, bag and tiara. Everything else depended on what was available and what looked appropriate for the design.

I used habotai silk for all of the delicate parts of the costume, particularly the bow on the back of the bolero and the skirt. It was ideal because it was light, floaty, semi-translucent and would take dye well. I used 4 different hand dyes from Dylon: Powder Pink, French Lavender, China Blue and Ocean Blue. The bow was dyed with all 4 colours. The skirt was dyed with 2. Each colour was mixed as a separate dye batch and applied in stages, pulling the fabric gently through each colour then rinsing it with water thoroughly to get the gradient effect.


Dye: Skirt


The wig was trimmed from an 80cm Long Wig in Sand Grey from AyanamiSatoru. I trimmed it to a more appropriate length, thinned the edges and trimmed the fringe. Her hair varies in different art from anything between blonde, grey, brown and even a bit of lilac or blue so it was a bit of a minefield to find something that looked appropriate and not too flat.

The tiara is made from pink cotton with a layer of thick interfacing inside, with wire around the edges to it can be bent into shape. The gold detailing is made from leather with red acrylic gems glued in place. The tiara is sewn to a hairband with a dyed silk panel attached to it.

The bolero is made from a polyester blend, with pink cotton for the embroidered edging, frill and lining. The pattern was drafted from scratch to have as few seams as possible and it attaches to the front of the dress with snap fasteners underneath the decorative buttons to avoid slipping. The embroidery was vectored by myself and done in multiple 10cm sections. Once the embroidery was trimmed and sewn, it was attached to the bolero and finished with the silk bow.

The blouse is made from a lightweight polyester with a functional button band closure. The frills around the top are gathered and attached by hand. There are snap fasteners to attach it to the dress on top comfortably.

The dress is made from pink dupioni and lined in cotton. The bias edging is made from gold duchess satin. This was very tricky to pattern because of the specific seam placement on the design; I had a lot of help from my sister with the initial fitting and zipper. It slouches a little which is frustrating but can be fixed in the future.

The skirt is made from habotai silk dyed with Powder Pink French Lavender Dylon Hand Dyes. The skirt was cut as a very wide circle and finished with an overlock rolled hem. The skirt was then gathered to a small plain waistband. Inside the skirt there is a smaller layer of silk as a mini petticoat, to help create volume at the top. Underneath the skirt I wear a thin tulle petticoat and a pair of elasticated cotton panties I made to match the costume and design.

The bag is made from brown nappa leather, lined with patterned cotton. The top detail was done with custom embroidery. The bag is fully functional and closes with a snap fastener. The shells attached to it are natural shells I glued together, varnished and finished with a pink gem. The blue potion bottle is made with resin which was cast in a “screwball” ice cream mould. Both accessories are finished with gold toppers made from bells with the clangers removed.

The boots were the toughest piece. I looked for a pair of shoes with a similar shape sole and heel and patterned the rest of the boot to fit comfortably. I used a pearlescent pink lambskin leather with brown and gold nappa leather detail to match the tiara and bag and lined it with the same cotton as the bolero. They close with zippers up the centre front.

The pattern on the gold leather is stitched in place, finished with eyelets and lacing and glued to the rest of the boot for a seamless look.