I expressed interest in tagging along and there the idea that I should dress up as Cirno was suggested.
She's basically the only Touhou character I could name before this all started. Never played any of the games but I do like some of the music and arrangements fans make of it. There is a lot of it so the odds of finding something you'd like are pretty good.
I did not want to import a costume and thus the mission to make myself a costume started.
Quickly the idea to buy a skirt and top and then dye them into the right colour got suggested to me which I decided to go ahead with. It seemed like the most fun as I had not dyed any clothes before. The process was mostly painless. While washing the clothes in preparation for the actual dye I accidentally locked myself out of the laundry room. After about half an hour of calling around to janitors and others responsible for things in the building I got inside again and could get on with the dye.
This dye was just the right colour (I have no pictures of the clothes in the sink with the dye)
- 6 liters of 40 degree celsius water
- 250 grams of salt
- One package of dye
- Stir for an hour
The next step was to add the white triangles to the bottom of the dress. Using fabric glue this was a quick procedure.
Didn't measure anything, got it right-ish by accident
I then had to join it with the top. in order for that to not be a huge pain I needed a sewing machine, which a co-worker happened to have so I followed him home one afternoon and put it and a scrap piece of cloth to use for the ribbon together.
That's it basically, nice and simple. Also ordered a wig which due to very ambiguous shipping dates I had shipped straight to Reimu in the UK. It still arrived well ahead of time but better safe than sorry.
Then finally the day came for me to fly out of Sweden and actually do this thing. Went straight from work to the flight and made it to Reimu's place without any major problems. The train between Manchester Airport and Sheffield got delayed by 23 minutes but since I had a 40 minute wait there before the next train it didn't matter. For a little while I was worried I had accidentally missed my stop before I heard the announcement about the delay.
The following day the quest for some pliers and metal wire, which I probably couldn't bring on the plane without checking in a bag, started. This turned out to be harder than expected.
The pliers was easy but wire wasn't. Walked all over Leicester (or at least a reasonably large part of it) and just as I was about to give up I found some in a hardware store I happened to walk by that I hadn't scouted out ahead on Google Maps. It wasn't really thick enough but the store staff suggested I could twist multiple wires together.
Doing that by hand was a tedious procedure even once I had worked out how to hold the wires for them to not tangle together in the wrong end as well. Thankfully Reimu happened to have a powerdrill so we went out on the street and started to twist some wires together.
After some bending with the pliers, an accident with super glue and some properly applied hot glue we finally had the wings for my costume finished.
Beautiful and fragile
All this walking in a pair of shoes I'm not too used to wearing for longer periods of time really messed up my right foot so the actual day in London was rather painful. I had a lot of fun but it would probably have been even better if my foot wasn't aching the whole time.
We got stopped and asked to pose for photos more often that I would have expected. Owning some vanity domains with catch-all email set up for I decided to hand a relevant and reasonably rememberable email out to most of the people taking pictures of us and I did get a couple of emails with photos back actually :)
Walking the streets of Leicester and riding the train and underground while dressed up like this was an interesting experience. People looked and some talked about us. I didn't think too much of it, just that it was a shame some people had to look down on it. Reimu put down some words on this and I highly suggest reading them. I feel that I don't think enough about this myself sometimes.
I would probably not have been even close to as comfortable walking around like this as I was if I had to do it by myself instead.
We also had some nice photos taken by a real photographer which I would love to put here but I've not recieved his photos yet. He took a lot of photos of a lot of people, some of which you can see there on his twitter feed, so clearly it is going to be worth the wait.