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Neopolitan RWBY

Neo was an interesting character to create a costume for. As some fans may know, her design was based on a gender-bent Torchwick cosplay, with several tweaks and design changes made during the construction.

In true artistic liberty fashion, I chose a dusty pink, flower-patterned brocade for the lining and a decorative button for the tailcoat’s closure. This button would be photographed and used for her model in the show later on. A simple white twill was used for the jacket itself.

From start to finish, this tailcoat took me roughly 11 hours in one “sitting." I paused here and there to stretch, eat and snack.

Prior to tackling this project, I had the opportunity to consult the maker of the gender-bent tailcoat to better understand the construction. Once I had broken down every part of the pattern, I layered up my fabrics and began cutting. I personally prefer to do each step entirely before moving on.

Patterning, Cutting & Pinning

After all the cutting came the matching and pinning. For a jacket with lining, both the outer and inner pieces were sewn together first, before matching and pinning the brocade to the twill. I left an opening at the neckline for the collar and in the lower back where the tailcoat would attach, which allowed me to turn the piece inside-out after stitching the two together. Seams were then top-stitched into place.

Sewing & Notions

Following the completion of the tailcoat, there were a few final touches I wanted to adorn this piece with. Using my button maker foot, I added two button holes to each sleeve cuff and hand-stitched the buttons on. This same method was used for the tailcoat’s closure in front.

Some close-ups before ironing/sleeping:

Considering I've never taken a sewing class in my life, I thought I made a lot of progress with my skills on this project!


Prior to my first shoot, I attempted to purchase a two-tone wig from Amazon for simplicity’s sake. Upon arrival, I learned the advertised photo had been flipped, because the colors were on the wrong side. Here’s my advice for needing two-tone wigs, adding extra volume or just trying to be frugal with your closet clutter and avoiding unnecessary purchases:


There is an art to sewing wefts into wigs, but if you’re looking to re-use your “two-tone” wigs, or maybe stitching such delicate parts together is difficult and lengthy, you can use this temporary trick I’ve been using for over a decade! Keep in mind, if you’re looking to add volume to a thin wig, or maybe a clip-in ponytail extension, the colors of your wig fibers matter because you want them to blend and compliment, not stand out like our two-tone example.

In the case of wig fibers not matching, you can always use some hair-chalk or acrylic paints to give EVERYTHING a color wash to help blend it all together better. The best piece of advice is practice having patience with brushing the fibers.

Good luck!


Anime Matsuri 2015

Studio Shoot