Moving a long drive away from my seamstress mother led me to stop mooching off her sewing skills and finally teach myself how to sew. This is the result!
I chose Eruka Frog from Soul Eater as my first genuine sewing project because of the simplicity of the costume. Pattern-wise, it comes down to a polka-dotted sundress, long sleeve T-Shirt, tights, and boots, three of which can easily be purchased and used as-is*. However, her distinctive frog hat is also a must, and having never made a hat before, I wanted to tackle that, too.
*supposedly. I had a hard time finding white boots that weren’t cheap costume boots, but I assume they exist somewhere.
For the dress, I used Simplicity pattern 2176 and patterned cotton cloth. The pattern itself required minimal alterations, but the cloth I chose ended up presenting some small problems: The relative transparency of the polka dots made any seams behind the dots visible upon close examination, and of course, by the nature of patterned cloth, it was nearly impossible to make the polka dots flow seamlessly from piece to piece.
After the costume was finished, I happened upon several tutorials that suggested beginning with black cloth and painting the polka dots on once it was finished. Should I ever remake this costume, this might be the approach that I’ll take.
After the dress came the hat, which was loads of fun to make!
I used a combination of tutorials to guide the design. Shironotenshi’s at DeviantArt was the main one. I deviated from it some in that I used orange broadcloth instead of stretch cotton (for the main hat), Free Form Air instead of Sculpey (for the eyes), and that I didn’t use spray adhesive (for the internal batting) but rather sewed everything together after stuffing the upper portion.
I used broadcloth because it was cheap, and I (correctly) anticipated making many mistakes until everything came together nicely.
Free Form Air I used because I had it lying around anyway, and also because it is a very light material that was less likely to weigh down and disfigure the hat. It’s also easy to sand, which enabled me to get a nice, round, eye-like shape with minimal effort. And while we’re on it, to mold the eyes, I just plopped the stuff in a 2” wide PVC pipe cap, stuck in some .25” O-rings, and let it dry. (Should you want to do this, note that you’ll want to line the cap with something like plastic wrap to prevent the Free Form Air from sticking to the mold.)
When it came to determining the size of the brim, I found the earlier tutorials too vague, so I switched to this one, which helped me determine the brim size using the magic of math!
The hat was easily my favorite part of the project. Ultimately, a combination of incorrectly estimating the size of my head and having to make an extra seam (and thus lose .25”) ended up making it a little too small, but overall I think it came out quite well.
The costume debuted at a local con earlier this year, but is not as finished as I intend it to be. About a week before the con, I remembered that I hadn’t secured any white boots, so I attempted to convert an old pair of black leather boots. This ended disastrously, thus necessitating an emergency shoe change.
From now on, I’ll listen to tutorials when they tell me not to use regular spray paint on leather boots.
Because of some admittedly amateurish mistakes, I’ll likely remake parts of the costume in the future (bigger hat, more accurate polka dots on the dress, etc.). However, for the first project I completed entirely on my own, I was quite pleased with the result.
In the future, I hope to add boots (of course), Eruka’s suitcase, and possibly a Tadpole Jackson prop.