I’ve been a Sailor Moon cosplayer for many years now, and it comes from a love and appreciation of Sailor Moon. I don’t only cosplay as Sailor Moon, I’ve cosplayed as other characters and have plans to cosplay non Sailor Moon related characters. I’m only saying that I seem to enjoy cosplaying from Sailor Moon a lot more than other cosplays.
Being a long time fan and cosplayer of the series, I still try to keep my outfits looking new, fresh and different. When entering cosplays into craftsmanship competitions I try to keep as close to the reference images as possible and maybe only use artistic license a tiny bit with details. However when its for fun, anything goes ^_^ the cosplay is for me and I try to add a little bit of my own style. When cosplaying as Sailor Moon, with all the outfits she has throughout the series, I also try to find outfits that are unique, ones I’ve are hardly ever seen before, not just at conventions, but online as well. Which has led me to one of my current cosplays that I fall in love with more every time I wear it.
Dark Moon Gown
This gown has been given many names, Dark Moon, Captured, Slave, Fairy Dress, Diamond gown, just to name a few that I’ve heard. I’ve chosen to call it the Dark Moon gown, and if you know Sailor Moon or at least watched through the Sailor Moon R series when Chibi Usa comes to the future to find Sailor Moon, you’ve seen the dress. Yes, its pretty obscure, only being in one episode of the show and being on maybe a dozen or less pages in the manga, but I have loved this dress more than the regular princess dress since making it.
Making a dress pattern from scratch can be difficult, which is why i try not to do it unless I have to. Altering an already made pattern tends to work out a little better. Which is what I did with this one. I found a mermaid style pattern from vogue (V2931) and made a few changes. I made it strapless and since it wasn’t going to be for Queen Serenity, I adjusted the pattern to not have that big bow on the front. Except for those changes I did my best to follow the pattern as directed.
As far as far as materials, I was lucky enough to purchase several yards of bridal satin on sale for less than the regular satins made in the casa collection. I was a little wary of using bridal satin since I had never worked with it before but I’m glad that I kept with it. Unlike the other satins, bridal satin has a heavier weight to it, and makes the fabric drape and cling in the right places.
I can be very picky about what is against my skin, if it itches you know I’m not going to be comfortable and then won’t want to wear it. So for the lining i used a nice soft posh lining. I recommend using a lining when making long gowns especially if its going to be con-wear, since it is easier to let the lining pick up stuff on the ground than the expensive satins (easier to clean as well).
Once the main body of the dress was made it was time to work on the details of the rest of the gown. To make the bottom edge fan out more and not be so “clingy”, I added horsehair braid and petticoat netting to make it “poof”. It makes it easier for pictures if I don’t have to kick the edges out all the time.
At the time of working on the dress I didn’t like how the bottom of the gown looked but I left it alone and began working on the other aspects.
The backbow or fairy wings, as my mom and sister called them, were made out of a fushia pink organza. The “wings” were cut in the shape of leaves and then roll hemmed with wire on the top side to make them stand out, allowing the bottom edges to take on the fluttery shape in the reference pictures.
The tails of the bow were cut in a scooped shape to allow them to flow back and forth upon themselves. Once it was all done I attached it to the back of the dress to one side of the zipper, with hooks on the other side to make it even.
The next part was going to be a little more difficult with all of the beading. I didn’t want to do the beading directly onto the gown because of having the threads possibly showing on the lining. So I used the pattern for the top and cut out another bridal satin base. I pinned it to the top to make sure they would line up with correctly with the details and used a chalk pencil to draw on the satin for the beading. Unpinned the beading base, and started laying down the lines for the crosses in the middle of the circles and the edging.
The picture with the close up shows the crosses being started in beads but after looking at it, I decided I didn’t like it and took it out and used the gold edging to make the crosses instead. I then found a gold and white braided trim to use as the outline. Once I was happy with the design I used Fabritac to glue down the trim and gold glass beads for the circles. Finishing up this part of the dress took about a week before I could sew the tops together and add the invisible zipper. I don’t have a lot of experience with sewing invisible zippers on the machine, so I pinned it in place and hand stitched it taking my time to catch the lining on the other side. I used paper to make a template for the circle underneath the crosses, then used a gold metallic fabric on top of a heavy interfacing to make the base. I used a lighter interfacing on the back of bridal satin to make the banner part of the detailing match the rest of the dress, but have more weight to it.
Remember me saying that I didn’t like the bottom edge of the dress. I felt it needed “something” else and after looking for several months at laces I was almost ready to give up. I looked everywhere, in fabric stores, online and in thrift stores till I finally found an old wedding gown in much need of some TLC but with lots of lace. I trimmed out as much of the lace as I could and did a tester soak of the worst part of it in a mixture of water and Woolite for delicates. This took out all of the dirty /stained parts of the lace.
(It also works great for recovering anything white after the conventions.) I pinned everything in place to make sure it was even and the design worked before Fabritac ing it to the bottom edge of the gown. Why Fabritac? because I didn’t want to have slight pulls here and there in the satin from the stitches, and invisible thread is a pain to work with. Left to dry overnight, the crescent moon looking lace makes the bottom look a little more finished and the whole gown look more classy and regal.
While actual work on the dress probably only took a few weeks, searching for the right materials for the various parts took months. As I said before, I can be very picky about what I use for my cosplays. More than wanting them to be completed, I want them to look as close to the reference picture as possible, and stand up for a very long time. Trying to find beads for the center of the bodice took twice as long to find as the lace, as did finding the beads for the straps.
I eventually took apart several necklaces and earring sets to use the oval gold beads for the inside row of beads. The outside row of beads are clear acrylic leaves dry brushed with a metallic gold paint to pick up the veins in the leaves. To attach both sets of beads to the gold circle I used something a little stronger than Fabritac, E6000. The glue itself stinks a lot, and can have some side affects if used in an enclosed area. So open all the windows and be careful of how you use it (it will melt a styrofoam plate). Also allow it proper time to set your project. I glued everything, let it set overnight and then tested it by trying to pull the center earring off (it didn’t budge) To finish the whole look off I added tiny rhinestones to the centers of the circles and artistically placed them on the center detailing.
The poofy sleeves on the arms aren’t attached to the dress. They’re made out of bridal satin trimmed with more of the lace and held up with elastic.
My Sailor Moon wig is from thefivewits and I love it. I’m still a beginner when it come to styling wigs and adjusting wefts, so this is an easy wig for me to wear and style. It normally comes in 5 pieces, with the base, 2 odangoes, and 2 ponytails. But I have made a few adjustments to make it look a little more like the manga with the side curls and longer ponytails. The side curls are 12 inch wefts that I wrapped around a hot curling iron, sprayed with hair spray till it was wet and then unplugged the curling iron. Once it was cool, and the hairspray dry, they were the perfect curl with the perfect amount of bounce. They also bobby pin under the wig very easy. The longer ponytails are made up of 2 different pieces, the top pieces butterfly clip into the base right behind the odangoes and the bottom pieces have wig clips to blend into the middle of the top pieces. One of the reasons I love this wig so much is because of how easy it is to put on. I can put my base on and do all my makeup without having to worry about the ponytails or curls getting in the way. Plus anything I can do to my regular hair i can do to this, it takes to heat very easy. The long ponytails can take a lot to maintain, but soaking them for a few hours in a water and fabric softener solution, then letting them air dry, helps to detangle them and bring the bounce back to the curls. Putting a million clips on them once they’ve been detangled helps to keep them that way until the convention/photo shoot.
Wearing a cosplay for a few progress shots, doesn’t prepare you for walking around in it all day at a convention. The weight of the satin combined with all the beads make the dress a little top heavy, so I added a few clear elastic straps to make me a little less self conscious and not worry about my cosplay as much. Believe me, piece of mind in your cosplay is priceless, you can strike a pose and not have to worry about showing people stuff you don’t want them to show.
I’d be happy to discuss further or just hear from Sailor Moon fans over at my page: