The aprons were as simple as stitching on six black buttons to the correct areas. I made sure to use a ruler and mark with a fabric pen to ensure they were all lined up properly.
Because Joann’s didn’t have a matching green bandana like it did the red, I had to make one. Using the second green shirt I bought, I cut one square as big as the fabric would allow me. Then, finishing the bandana was as simple as hemming the edges. It ended up being smaller than the pre-made bandana, but still worked fine.
Before making the plush, I made a pattern using the styrofoam pumpkin I had purchased from Joann’s. The pumpkin was already the perfect shape and size for the tomato I had envisioned. Using the duct-tape method, I made a pattern. (This should look familiar because I used it for the mascot heads!)
Once the pattern was done, I made a mockup of the tomato to make sure it looked alright, using scrap fabric and pillow stuffing. It came out looking pretty good!
Happy with my pattern, I made the tomato plush using red spandex-y fabric, pillow stuffing, and green fabric for the leaves. The stem was a tiny block of foam that I wrapped in green fabric and then hot glued onto the leaves.
We have a big pot that was the perfect size for the Overcooked soup pots. I liked the idea of using it as a prop cause it could double as a purse. So, using the same red fabric as the tomato plush, I made some tomato soup.
This involved tracing out a cardboard circle the size of the interior of the pot. I cut that out and then hot glued red fabric on top of it to serve as the soup. I also cut an extra piece of red fabric in the shape of the soup dripping down the side to serve as an easy way to remove the whole contraption.
After the soup top was done, I cut out 4 strips of cardboard that were the height I wanted in the pot + half an inch. I bent the extra half inch on all 4 strips and then hot glued that end to the cardboard circle. Imagine it as a tiny little table. The little table sits neatly into the pot and I was able to put my phone, phone charger, some advil, and sunglasses. The flimsy cardboard legs unfortunately started to give way during PAX South and the soup started to “sink” so I’ll be reinforcing them with some sturdy popsicle sticks for Fan Expo.
Overcooked came out in 2016 and was an instant hit. I absolutely loved playing it together with Jason. I’d play it by myself sometimes when I’d get home after work before him cause I loved it so much. The sequel came out August 2018 and I decided it was time to cosplay some characters from it. Jason agreed to join me. The original plan was for him to be a chef and for me to be Onion King. However, in the months leading up to PAX South 2019, I ended up backing out of being Onion King. The task felt too daunting, considering I had never made a mascot head–let alone full costume–with foam before. So, it came to pass that we both became Overcooked chefs, specifically ones used heavily in promotional materials.
This post is going to focus solely on making the mascot heads, as it was a very labor-intensive process with lots of steps. I’ll be going over the rest of the cosplay (props and clothing) in Part II!
What I used*
Supplies (this is for both my and Jason’s heads, so the amounts may be more than needed for just one head if you’re using this write-up as a tutorial)
After working on my Mae mascot head, I went into this with some confidence, but not a whole lot cause I was going to use a different method. While Mae’s design was flat, the chef’s design is very round. Taking this into account, I decided to use foam instead of cardboard. I used Commander Holly’s mascot cosplay tutorial quite a bit for reference for both of the heads, which I worked on simultaneously.
First step was patterning out the foam pieces. There are a couple different ways to get a pattern for a sphere. Mine involved using the duct-tape method on a styrofoam pumpkin. I chose to go with 6 panels.
To scale it up, I made a pattern made of cardboard. Then, I set down some paper on a table–I had to tape together 4 sheets of standard 8.5×11 printer paper to get a sheet big enough–and held my phone with the flashlight on above the paper, with the cardboard pattern in between. By doing this, I could use the shadow of the cardboard pattern to scale up the pattern to the correct size. I scaled the pattern so that it could fit two panels in one 15x17x1″ sheet of upholstery foam.
Once the pattern was made, I traced it out six times onto the 1″ foam (2 per sheet). I cut them out using scissors (I’m not great with an X-acto knife) and then set out to glue them together. This part relied heavily on Commander Holly’s video. (Definitely watch it a couple times to get an idea of what to do. And be sure to use a respirator mask and work in a well ventilated area for this!
Working on the base pieces on my apartment balcony. Here’s two sets of 3-panel pieces glued together.
Once the big sphere was done, I cut a hole in the bottom to work as the entry point for Jason’s head. Next up was drawing out with a sharpie where the facial features would go. I referenced lots of different game and promotional art and tried to make everything as symmetrical as possible. These sharpie marks would later be covered with fabric, so the most important part was making sure the mouth placement is good. Once happy with the placement of everything, I cut out the mouth hole, which served as the hole for Jason to see through. After I did all this for Jason’s head, I did it for my own.
Last year, Night in the Woods came out and I had the pleasure of watching Jason play through it. It’s a charming game full of heart, humor, and fun mini games. Recently, I finally got to play it myself and purposefully picked story lines that Jason didn’t so that I could see more of the game. It has amazing replay value because of this and I would love to play it again. Maybe it’s just cause I’m feeling cats this year (finally finished Kali), but I wanted to cosplay Mae. And not just Mae, but her Witch Dagger costume. (A costume of a costume!) At first, I thought I’d just reuse Kali’s wig and ears but then I saw this:
While perusing the Instagram hashtags #MaeBorowskiCosplay and #NITWcosplay, I came across these amazing cosplays. I loved how instantly recognizable they were. I have been wanting to do a mascot style cosplay for a while, ever since watching Commander Holly’s video of her Animal Crossing cosplay. While I didn’t have the space to make a cosplay like that, I could definitely get my feet wet by making a head!
These heads in the above picture were all made by Frack Attack, who was gracious enough to post a tutorial on his tumblr! I definitely referenced this quite a bit, especially for the mascot head. I pretty much followed it to a tee except the shirt, so if you want, pop on over to that tutorial if you want to get it from the source!
But if you wanna read my (slightly different) process that includes adding the Witch Dagger elements, read on! And, as always, feel free to jump to the section you’re interested in:
I followed Frack Attack’s tutorial really closely. At first, I tried drawing out the face by hand. I quickly learned that I am not good at that, so instead decided to use my graphic design skills to recreate it digitally.
After tracing the face in Adobe Illustrator, I scaled it up to the correct size. I wanted the head to be proportional to my body and Mae’s head is very wide compared to her shoulders. So I measured it out and it needed to be around 20 inches wide. I scaled it up appropriately in Illustrator, then split them into tabloid sized sections so that I could print them out and tape them together into one big piece.
Once that was done, I traced and cut out the main head shape as well as a matching oval shape using black foam board. (It’s the same foam I used for Black Belladonna’s Gambol Shroud and can be found at Joann’s.) At this stage, I deviated from Frack Attack’s tutorial slightly to go ahead and cut out the eyeholes now rather than after covering it in fabric.
Once I had those two shapes, I covered them in blue anti pill fleece. I cut the fabric into pieces larger than the boards, then hot glued them on. For the face, I hotglued the whole front surface and the edge. For the back, I just did the edges only and it seemed to work out fine.
For the face, I used yellow felt that I carefully cut into her nose and whiskers. This part I did freehand while referencing the digital pattern. I did the same thing for her furrowed brow, this time using white felt that I had painted blue. (I thought white would work but in hindsight didn’t like it, so I painted them blue. If I were to go back in time, I would’ve just bought blue felt to save myself the trouble.)
Taking a leaf out of Frack Attack’s book, I got a hard hat from Home Depot (technically Jason got it lol). I’m pretty sure it was this one. Having the hard hat at this stage was very important, because I needed to make sure that it would fit into the head properly. Hard hat in hand and some cardboard from Joann’s, I determined that two fabric bolts’ worth of cardboard would be enough for the sides. (Joann’s keeps all the empty fabric bolts at the cutting counter. If you ask, they’ll give you some. They just toss them out at the end of the night anyway.) I hot glued them together (one bolt would not be wide enough for both my head and the hard hat) then bent them to match the curve of the head. Once I was happy with the shape, I covered the whole piece in blue fleece to match the rest of the head. At this point, I glued the back piece to the sides and switched gears to the eyes.
I used the same buckram fabric that Frack Attack mentioned in his tutorial. I bought 4 sheets of it and then painted them yellow and red to match Mae’s eyes. I decided to go for her looking to the side instead of straight forward, just cause I hadn’t really seen that much in the cosplay I saw. Also cause straight forward really is NIGHTMARE EYES. Once done painting and drying, I hot glued the eyes to the interior of the face piece and reinforced it with duct tape.
Eyes now complete, I attached the face to the rest of the head. I then used duct tape to attach a small piece of foam to the top of my hard hat for some padding. On top of that foam, I put on some industrial strength velcro. I put the opposite part of the velcro on the interior of the top of the head so that it all sticks. The velcro is so strong that it can hold the hard hat completely, which is what I needed since I need to make sure it didn’t slide all over my head.
After putting all the pieces together, I realized I really didn’t like the colors of Mae’s face, specifically her greenish Jaundice-looking eyes and how they were drastically different in color from her yellow mouth/whiskers. So, mixing a little bit of yellow paint to a lot of white paint, I repainted the eyes and the felt that made up her face. The results made me super happy! Much better!
Last was painting the little pink highlights in her tuft of hair. I mixed white and pink paint and then brushed it on. I wiped it down with a paper towel so it wasn’t so bright and looked more like on ombré effect. Lastly, I reinforced the velcro on both the hard hat and the interior of the head by hot gluing the edges. This should keep the velcro from peeling off with continued use.
I followed Frack Attack’s tutorial pretty closely. I had to do the pattern twice because the first time, I made it way too small. The second time around was much better. I made sure to measure the width of my arm and then cut the measurement in half to get the proper sizing for the forearm part. Making it bigger also made turning it right-side-out much easier. I used leftover pillow stuffing from previous plushie projects to fill the paws. I also went ahead and..
I’ve cosplayed Blake and now I’m cosplaying her momma Kali. She’s a super adorable cat mom so I just HAD to cosplay her! Also, she’s kinda tiny which I think works pretty well for me.
I thought her outfit would be a nice step up in difficulty for me sewing-wise. I wanted to pick something that would teach me some new skills (embroidery!) but also not overwhelm me. (Worbla is scary and expensive!) Not only that, but I pretty much wanted to cosplay her ever since I saw her in the RWBY Volume 4 opening credits. I mean, come on, look at her! Isn’t she so cute! *Lures Kali over with catnip*
As per usual, feel free to skip down to the part you’re interested in:
For the armbands, I used my Korra armbands as a reference while using leftover fabric from my Blake armbands. I made sure to leave extra fabric on the wrist end, however, since Kali’s armbands extend to her middle finger. After making sure the fabric was the right size for my arm by pinning it in place and very carefully trying it on, I folded it in half and cut a diagonal line for the hand part.
To keep the end in place, I used a strip of swimwear elastic band as a ring. I cut out a little more than the circumference of my middle finger, then sewed the ends together with a little X stitch. Then, after hemming the edges of the armband fabric and stitching the side together to form the armband, I hand-stitched the little stretchy ring to the point of the triangle. I would actually end up removing this elastic band in favor of a more accurate solution: 2 gold rings I bought from Old Navy.
For the purple ribbon, I used the same fabric I used for my shrug lining. I cut a rectangle piece of fabric that was a couple inches longer than the circumference of the armband and about 3 inches wide. I hemmed all four edges and then tried on the armband and pinned in place the purple ribbon. I stitched all of it except the ends to the armband so that it would look clean and flush with the armband edge.
After this, I ended up actually adjusting the shape of the armbands a little bit at the hands to better match Kali’s. Then, using e6000 superglue, I carefully attached gold rings I had bought at Old Navy to the end of the middle finger part.
I found a great pattern that works great for both the kimono and hakama: Simplicity #8318. I used the pattern for part A (size S) for the kimono and left off the sleeves since they wouldn’t be necessary for Kali. I needed to use the full length kimono because the white part of Kali’s “dress” shows up underneath her skirt.
I followed the pattern pretty much exactly with the exception of the length (I am very short lol). I actually followed it too closely at one point because I stitched all the way down the side seams when, in reality, Kali has a long slit going up the sides. So I had to take seam ripper to those seams… twice.
Overall, the pattern worked almost perfectly. I only made a small number of alterations, including not using interfacing for the collar and taking in the side seams a bit. I probably could have used the size XS of the pattern rather than S. I also adjusted the placement of the bias tape I used as ribbons so that it fit me better.
Using the same Simplicity pattern, I started the hakama. This one I had to make significant modifications to, but the base was a really good starting point.
Instead of following the pattern perfectly for the front and back pieces (which called for four pieces total), I folded my fabric in half first before cutting so that I’d have just one continuous piece for the front and one for the back. Also, because Kali’s hakama is a skirt and not pants, I didn’t have to cut out the inner leg or facing pieces.
1: Pattern pleats. 2: Kali reference image. 3: Revised pleats. 4-6: Pleat lines for clarity.
At first, I followed the pattern’s pleats exactly. While they looked nice and were good practice, they weren’t what I needed. I realized that the pleats were too wide; there wouldn’t be enough room to the sides of them to do that hole that Kali has that reveals the slit in her kimono. So, after undoing my basting stitches and ironing out the original pleats, I made my own.
I did it by doing a series of 4-inch pleats that, once folded, come out to around 2 inches wide. I made the pleats half an inch from each other so that there’d be a little bit of overlap but not too much space between them. This worked out perfectly. When I did the pleats, I marked with chalk the pleats on both the top and bottom hem of the fabric, then folded the whole thing and pinned both sides. This way, I could get one smooth fold for each pleat instead of it ending somewhere in the middle. Once everything was pinned, I ironed down the pleats then basted them at the top.
This part was weird. I don’t have a video of me doing it cause it was awkward and also involved me wearing nothing but the kimono so there were panty shots galore. (Sorry folks lol) This is a case where having a dress form would have been so much easier.
I did it by putting on the kimono, pinning on the hakama where I thought the side seams of the skirt would be, then very slowly putting the makeshift skirt on over the kimono. I hiked it up to my waist and then fiddled with it to find out where the side hole would need to be in relation to both my hips and the kimono slit. It was at this point that I realized the slit wasn’t high enough, hence the aforementioned seam ripping. After adjusting the kimono, I had to do the whole song and dance again of trying to put the pinned skirt on.
I marked four points on my skirt with pins, which I’ve marked on the picture below. These four dots would be where I draw the lines to cut the hole. After taking the skirt off, I measured out where the pins were so I had an accurate record of it. I also adjusted the pins a little bit since points 2 and 3 weren’t perfectly in line vertically. Once I was happy with how the dots looked, I used chalk to connect the dots together with a yardstick. I then repeated that three more times for the other sides. Finally, I cut out the holes and finished the raw edges with black single fold bias tape. The bias tape rounded the corners a little bit, but the shape itself is pretty close to the concept art, if a bit less angular.
Waistband and belt
Next up was the waistband. I used lightweight interfacing (the same kind used for shirt collars) for both the front and back pieces of the waistband. I ironed on the interfacing to the black fabric then stitched them to the skirt. After that, to ensure that everything stays in place, I hand-stitched on four pairs of black hoops and eyes, two pairs per side.
The concept art shows the straps of the hakama belt being of different lengths: one ending halfway down her skirt and the other near the bottom. To achieve this, I pinned two long strips of black fabric that I had hemmed to the sides of the front waistband piece, purposefully making them longer than intended so I could cut them to the right size. Then, I tried on the entire outfit and marked with pins where each fabric strand should end. Once satisfied with the length, I removed the skirt and shortened/hemmed the strands and stitched them onto the skirt.
With the belt now a continuous piece, I handstitched two strands of gold trim to the belt. I would’ve liked to have done it with the sewing machine, but given the weaving of the belt, it proved difficult. I had to resort to handstitching it in place which took about 3 episodes of Netflix’s “The Crown” and a few hours of watching Jason play through Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. I regret not actually timing it to see how long it took me precisely.
Once I did one side, I realized I’d need to do the other because sometimes the belt would twist in such a way that it showed the back and you could see the stitching. So, I went and bought more of the same trim and stitched it the back. Now, I don’t have to worry about how the belts fall because both sides will look fine!