Inkling Girl (Pink) - Splatoon
Time to Make: 11 hours
Timeline of Construction: August 2015 - January 2016 (with a quick costume fix in May 2016)
I heard quite a bit about Splatoon for months before the game came out. Several of my friends were really excited about it and I couldn't help but get caught up in some of the hype as my friends described what the game was going to be about. I don't have a Wii U so I couldn't play the game, but I often visited my friend Adrien who did get the game when it was released and I saw him and my other friends playing it from time to time. I loved the colourful look and whimsy of the Splatoon world. It wasn't long before a group of my friends decided to get together and organize an Inkling Kids group. With the various outfits, accessories and colours of the characters, Splatoon is great fodder for a Cosplay group. My friend Andy pitched the group to me a little while after Anime North 2015 and I definitely felt drawn to join the group. The group was meant to happen during the summer of 2015 with the aim of getting the costumes done for Otakuthon. Right off the bat I had trouble with joining the group because I had no plans to go to Otakuthon, but I kept the group in mind anyway.
Over the course of that summer my friend Adrien, who is an amazing prop maker, decided to start designing and making splattershot guns so Splatoon continued to be on my radar throughout the summer. I did miss the Otakuthon group, but everyone that did make costumes for the con did an amazing job! They definitely were very inspiring. I was pretty much at the point of backing out of joining the group by August since I had missed the boat on participating in the group when they first wore the costumes. A couple of my friends hadn't yet made costumes, however, and were still excited for it, so I decided that if I approached it as a simple costume and kept it casual, it would be a fun project. The outfits are pretty recognizable and look like they would be great for summer so I figured it would be fun for summer cons and events in 2016 even if I missed the big initial group.
I had purchased the Inkling Girl Amiibo when it had been released because I really liked her outfit and I drew inspiration from that. The initial Splatoon group already had an orange Inkling Girl, though, so for variety, I settled on being pink. I didn't realize quite how many colour options were in the game for pink, though. I meant to go for the default pink option, but after going shopping for spandex fabric in August, I ended up setting my sights on more of a hot pink. Turned out to be a really fun colour choice, but at the time I was worried about not matching the colour from the game very well.
Before I actually got started on the costume, Adrien and I decided to get a head start on the prop side by making headphones. He had mentioned he wanted to make himself a pair and I said I would like to learn how to do it. He said we could work on it together. He purchased eva foam floor mats and used that, along with craft foam, to create the headphone shapes. It turned out to be a fairly simple process. Just measuring around the head, cutting out a headphone shape and then creating the ear padding. He used electrical tape to make it look like fake ear padding. I really appreciate his help with the costume accessory! Neat accessories are what really make Splatoon costumes fun.
I actually took a big break from working on costumes after getting the material for this costume. I intended to get working on the costume in the fall to maybe wear part of it on Halloween, but I became quite stressed out due to taking my final road test for my driver's license in late October. I was disqualified from that test due to an issue with the car so I had to reschedule for late November. I spent most of the last few months of 2015 worrying about my road test among other matters. Not a very conductive atmosphere for taking on a sewing project!
Before I took my sewing break, I talked to my friend Sierra (Sieby) and commissioned her to make my tentacles that I integrated into a wig using snaps as well as sewing part of it down. She made all the tentacles for all the ladies in the initial Splatoon group. I loved the way she painted the bottoms of the tentacles and made little suckers for the inside part. She has a great pattern for them that's much nicer than what I could come up with. Definitely love the results! She made my tentacles for me in September and I got them back from her in October. Once I got the tentacles I went on a search for a wig to attach them to. Splatoon Cosplayers have used lots of different techniques to match the look of the crazy hair of the Inkling Kids. Some make full hats and other people make tentacles from fabric and attach them to wigs. I definitely prefer the look of the fabric tentacles attached to wigs. I really like the fullness you get out of a wig and I think it adds a nice dimension to the costume even if it's not as sleek and uniform as the characters look in the game.
It took me a few weeks to settle on a wig to order. I wanted to make sure that I could match the tentacle colour as closely as possible. I debated between ordering from Arda or Five Wits. In the end I settled on a magnum wig from Arda in hot pink because they had a flash sale and I was able to get a pretty good deal on it despite the exchange rate being unfavourable. I was worried the tentacles wouldn't attach very easily to the wig and it was a bit of a struggle. I used 4 snaps initially to hold the tentacles in place on either side of the wig, but the night before AN 2016 I got a bit frustrated and reinforced the tentacles by sewing part of the tentacles directly to the wig. Back in early February Pan also helped me by trimming my wig so it was a bit more under control. I appreciate her help!
Throughout the summer and into the fall of 2015 I looked for a t-shirt to use for my Splatoon costume. I settled on making the default Amiibo outfit because I thought the simplicity of the shirt design matched well with the bright pink colour I was using for the wig and tentacles. I had trouble finding a shirt to use. I bought one from American Apparel, but it wasn't opaque enough. I then ordered a shirt from Walmart, but it was way too big. In the end I ordered a plain white shirt from Threadless in September. I often order t-shirts and hoodies from Threadless so I knew the shirt would be good quality and the fit would work well for me.
I didn't end up working on the shirt design until early January. I was going to sketch out the design and then cut it out from felt. I mentioned it to my friends Adrien and Kevin (who were also making Splatoon costumes) and Kevin told me that he had high quality pictures of the default front and back shirt designs on the computer. He e-mailed me the file so I just printed them and used them as a template. Saved me a couple hours of planning. I didn't have a clear image of the full back design so Kevin really helped me out! Once I had the template, it was just a matter of tracing it onto felt, cutting out each letter, cutting out head 'n bond as well and then ironing the felt and heat 'n bond to the shirt. It was still a fairly time consuming process and it didn't help that I accidentally ironed the heat 'n bond to the wrong side of the felt the first time so I couldn't actually use my first run. I had to redo all the shapes. XD Thankfully it worked out in the end and the heat 'n bond held the felt and shirt together well. Felt is a pretty forgiving medium to work with so the shapes looked really nice. It stands out nicely too. I finished off the shirt by making a little fake t-shirt tag using pink felt. I painted a little design onto the tag using white-out. It took me a while to find something that would paint and come out fine enough using felt. I couldn't get a fine point with the white paint I had. The white-out pen was just a shot in the dark, but it turned out really nicely. (^^);;
I worked on the shirt design in January, but in late April my friend Adrien mentioned to me that new official shirts were being released in Japan that showed the full lettering for the front and back of the default shirt. Turns out the design Kevin gave me was incomplete and was missing a little logo in the bottom of the last letter and actually was missing a corner piece to that final letter. Took me by surprise, but I decided to try to salvage my shirt by creating a little felt square that I used heat 'n bond to attach to the last letter to fill in the gap. The fix works pretty well although you can see the edges where it fills the gap from some angles. Still the best thing I could do to save my current shirt. Adrien sent me his own shirt design and I used that to create the little logo that's in the bottom of the letter. I printed it out and used iron on transfer paper to meld it to the lettering. I'm glad that I was able to fix up my shirt before I wore it the first time. Of course, if I had waited until it was nearly AN to make the shirt design in the first place I would have been able to create the correct design right off the bat. XD
I made the mask in a similar way to the shirt details. I used my old Batgirl mask (care of Pan) as a template. I cut it out using old scrap black fabric and I cut out a piece of black felt and heat 'n bond as well. Once I had a rectangle with the black fabric and felt, I traced out my old Batgirl mask and I changed the sides a bit to round it out. Then I just cut it out. That was it. I attach the mask to my face using spirit gum. Never tried that before with a mask. Glad it actually held up for most of AN! It did start to fall off in the last few minutes of the Nominoichi, but after wearing the costume for about 12 hours in extremely hot conditions, I think the spirit gum did its job just fine!
I purchased the shorts from Walmart. They were simple bike/exercise shorts. I bought a pair before to wear under costumes and they were really comfy. All I had to do was measure and cut out spandex to make stripe details on each side of the shorts. I sewed a simple seam to hide the edges and the stripes were hand sewn to each side of the shorts.
That was it for the construction of the costume. I just wore my current black and pink sneakers. I debated about getting an ink tank and a splattershot gun, but I wanted to keep the costume cost down so I decided to just keep it casual. Even despite that, I still spent almost $150 on this costume. I honestly never understand how I manage to spend so much on my costumes. XD This did turn out to be a great costume project. It was a nice way to ease myself back into sewing after a stressful break and it was fun to Cosplay something that several of my friends are passionate about. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to do a shoot with more of my Inkling Kid Cosplay friends! It's rare for me to find a costume project that matches up with my friends, but I definitely treasure every chance I get to Cosplay with other people. It makes the experience more exciting and fulfilling!
I was quite surprised by how popular Splatoon was at AN. I wore my costume along with my friend Adrien who was Cosplaying as a blue boy Inkling Kid. We got stopped quite a few times for photos. It also helped that the casual nature of the costume was a great choice for the Nominoichi. It was very hot in the Nomi hall so wearing a t-shirt and shorts was nice. Not to mention the fact I was wearing running shoes really made my feet happy. XD Cons can be so tough on the body so I'm definitely glad that I've been finding more casual costumes to incorporate into my Cosplay repertoire.
Events/Conventions this costume was worn to
Anime North 2016 (Friday)