Armor & sword by Volpin Props | Fabric and leather by GSTQ Fashions | Photos by Dan Almasy
Today I was delighted to receive another email from costume extraordinaire Catherine Jones! She outdid herself with yet another incredible costume: Clare from the anime series Claymore!
Catherine owns Gods Save the Queen Fashions, and she’s well known for her cosplay, and top notch costume design. Any costume you can imagine, Catherine can make it. I’ve happily posted her work many times in the past, it’s always great to hear from her.
Thanks for the email, Catherine — you’ve done a tremendous job with this costume!
I love this anime series. Underdog stories are my favorite, and Claymore really hits the nail on the head. I knew right away that Clare needed to go on my cosplay “to do” list. All of the finished photos are at the tail end of my Flickr gallery.
The cape is made out of two fabrics: white faux suede and grey raw silk. I tossed the silk into my washer/dryer to loosen up the weave and give it a more used look. The cape is a half circle that has been pleated to fit into the backpack that Volpin made. The trickiest part about lined circular capes is dealing with all the stretch that comes as a result of parts of the fabric being cut on the bias. I let the cape hang overnight before hemming to prevent and weird sagging and bagging. The cape has grommets at the top, which acted as great washers for the screws I used to attach it to the backpack.
The gorget is made out of veg tanned leather (thinner weight than the rest of the veg tanned stuff on this costume) and lambskin leather for the edges. I tooled Clare’s symbol on the front using a shading stamp, and covered the rest of the neck piece using a texture stamp. I left a few areas bare for variety. After dying it with EcoFlo’s “Evening Blue” and sealing it, I went over the gorget with sandpaper to bring out the texture and remove some color. The gorget is lined with felt and the lambskin edging has a Hong Kong finish. I got the buckles on the side from Patterns of Time.
The pants and top are made out of white, pearlized finish lambskin leather. There is a decent amount of stretch to the leather, so I used that to my advantage with fitting the pants. The pants have spandex cuffs at the bottom to keep them in place and to reduce bulk underneath the boots. They also have side laceups which make it easy to get in/out of them. The laceups are hidden by the battle skirt pieces.
Underneath the top is a 12 panel corset. The Clare statue I used for reference makes her look extra hippy, and I thought a corset would be great to create that effect. I lined it in silly pink fabric.
The quicksword arm is made out of deerskin leather (main body) and veg tanned leather (all strapping). The buckles started out super shiny, so I toned that down by sanding off the finish, making some nicks and cuts with the cutoff wheel on my dremmel, painting them matte silver, then going back over the cuts with a black paint wash.
There is also (not visible) a leather rig that the backpack is attached to. It acts all as one piece so it is reasonably easy to put on and get off. I have a wide range of mobility in my shoulders/arms as a result. The backpack rig is all veg tanned leather. It can adjust via a series of chicago screws.
The dark brown veg tanned leather was dyed with Eco Flo “Dark Cocoa Brown” and then sealed with Saddle Lac. After that dried, I took sand paper to all the strapping to give it an aged look. The sandpaper tended to remove color from the edges. I also wrinkled the belts a bunch by soaking them in water, twisting them tightly, and letting them dry. To soften them after this process, I run them back and forth around one of the table legs in my shop.
Some of the leather parts are silver to mimic the finish on the rest of the armor. I painted these leather parts with silver Nu-Life paint, sealed it with Saddle Lac, then rubbed an black paint wash into the leather. The black really brings out the subtle texture created by the Saddle Lac topcoat and makes it look like metal.
The wig is a blended blonde “Lucky” from Henry Margu. I had the bangs cut at my regular wig stylist, Steve Hightower here in Atlanta.
The contacts (not seen here) are “Sterling Grey” from Freshlook.
The sword has a leather wrap that I made out of veg tanned leather. I carved a diamond print pattern into the leather, dyed it with EcoFlo “Cranberry” and then sealed it with Saddle Lac. I sanded various areas to give it some texture and age. It is sewn shut with black waxed thread.
Dan took these photos in my backyard without any extra lighting equipment. View more of his work here: [link]