Once in a while I like to do a little bit of what I call “casual cosplay”. Such a term describes a time when I dress completely like I would in public, working one or two noticeable pieces from an anime or fandom into the outfit. The other day I went fabric shopping in hopes to construct some arm bands for this very reason, but alas, I could not find the color necessary to complete the task. I was just about to leave, disappointed and dejected, when I spotted a beautiful textile out of the corner of my eye.
Red with white polka dots, the fabric called to memory the recently-watched anime, Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun, and Chiyo Sakura’s iconic bows. I jumped on the idea of it and went to work web-surfing the perfect tutorial. Much to my dismay, I found plenty of etsy listings for the hair accessory, but not a single youtube video or blog site that could instruct me specifically in making her bows. I didn’t let that stop me though! If there wasn’t anything out there that told how to create these pieces of casual cosplay, I’d construct an article myself. And so here I am today, with the hope of doing just that.
While I could not find a specific tutorial for Sakura, I found a one on constructing anime bows that was almost as helpful! With a couple adjustments and a little time spent working out the details, I developed a 3D representation of Chiyo Sakura. As not to steal anyone’s thunder, I’ve linked the video I followed below, and if you care to make some of Sakura’s bows for yourself, I advise you listen in then carry out the Youtuber’s suggestions according to the alterations I’ve listed below.
– Cut 1: 1.5″ x 6″ (small center part)
– Cut 1: 6″ x 3″ (also for the rectangular strip that hangs down)
Besides this change in sizes, here are some other helpful hints to consider:
– When I bought the fabric it was on sale at Hobby Lobby for $4.20 a yd. I ordered 1/4 yd, for the price of $1.05, which is probably more fabric then needed, but a good amount if you’re prone to mess-ups and/or want to make more than two. If you have even the slightest interest in making these bows and have a Hobby Lobby near you, I’d suggest heading over there before the bargain ends!
– I used grey thread for the sewing part of this project but red or any other color you desire is definitely doable!
– When folding down edges of the fabric over the interfacing, fold over about 1/4 of an inch.
– The video makes little or no indication of ironing, but it is just as important to the process as any other step. I found this out the hard way, but it pays off when you use an iron to smooth down the folded edges as well as fuse the interfacing to the fabric.
– When connecting the two sides of the large main part of the bow to make a tube, overlap about half an inch.
– The small center part does not need to be sewn, and instead of folding it twice, I would just fold the two long edges in ’till they meet in the middle. I used a twist tie underneath this piece to hold the fabric in place, and then I wrapped the strip around and secured it with a hot glue gun. The fabric is way longer than it needs to be, but it’s nice if you want to wrap it around a couple times or just clip it after the one. I also put a dot of glue towards the top of the two strips that hang down in order to keep them from sticking straight out at both sides.
– Speaking of the strips that hang down, if you want your bows to look the most like Sakura’s, I’d probably cut the fabric to a shorter and wider length than the one I instructed above. But if your like me and like the longer strips, I’d stick with the sizes already provided.
– Once your bow is complete, it might take a little shaping to get it the way you want it to look. I suggest spreading apart and bending back the edges while pushing forward on the fabric near the middle. This will help to give it a larger, more fuller look.
– Finally, since you’ll be wearing it as a hair accessory, you’ll need to attach a hair clip to the back. I did this via hot glue gun and it worked out just fine.
I know it probably seems like a lot, but really most of my points above were suggestions and tips rather than actual changes. So don’t let the long list stress you out; the most important thing is that you have fun! If you give this project a try, like and comment below; I’d love to see how you incorporate Chiyo Sakura’s iconic bows into your daily attire!