Following a trend of villains, I found myself wanting to test my abilities with this tiny acrobatic sadist. While most pieces either didn’t challenge my skills, or were easily found online, a crop-tailcoat fully lined and articulated with buttons.
Neo doesn’t have a very complex design, and thankfully she was made with simplicity in mind for cosplayers. Everything you need can be purchased asides from her cropped tailcoat. So, this is how I made it.
Due to the style of the show, the character’s clothing ends up looking a little flat. When I made Weiss, I tried to stay as close as possible to her original concept, as I know many details are left out when it comes to creating the model. For Neo, however, seeing as there was never any concept artwork, I took the liberty to add in those details myself. Such being princess seams based off of Melvinopolis’ femme-Torchwick design sported by Soulfire Photos at PAX East 2014, as well as some floral-pattern brocade for the lining along with decor buttons.
My patterns are anything but professional and clean!! But this is how I go about making pretty much everything. You can see I’ve laid out my lining, with the outer layer on top. The top pieces are single fold on the left, to allow for the tail and back pieces to be perfectly symmetrical when I cut them out, while the bottom is double folded.
This can be a bit confusing and tricky to get right; there are two folds on the left (each a center line for the sleeves) and one on the right, with the two raw edges also on the right. This allows me to cut out both arm pieces at the same time, ensuring everything is the same. The collar also shares this bit of fabric.
Everything cut out and waiting to be depinned. I learned a while ago to simply pin my patterns through my fabric to save me the headache of accurate tracings. I should also mention the interfacing that was cut out with the tail piece, as well as the inner-lapel and cuffs.
The layer ordering for the tail piece. Interfacing is on top, then the brocade with wrong side facing upwards, and finally my outer fabric with the right side facing upwards.
Sewing the lining and outer fabric together in about 5 hours. Patterning and cutting took about 3!
Back and front of the tail before pinning and sewing. For something pleated like this, I made sure to iron it carefully. The interfacing helps the jacket keep it’s shape during wear, as well as making future ironing tasks simple!
And here we were after about 9 hours. The tail piece and collar are inserted into the openings I left when pinning the lining to the outer fabric. You can see I mirrored the princess seams on the lining here, too.
Something handy I learned: how to use my button-hole maker foot, and using a pin to keep my stitch-ripper from cutting through said button-hole thread. Why did I make button holes? Because I could. Also a learning experience, so why not rack it up x5?
Wooh buttons that will never be undone!
Here’s the finished jacket hanging on my ever sagging costume rack. I’d ironed down the lapel, affixed the closure button and test-fitted it.
Some of my seams are undoubtedly a little messy, but this coat was a huge learning experience for me, along with being a very comfy, fully lined jacket. I will humbly say I am proud.