Lulu is a powerful black mage, known for using voodoo-like dolls to channel her abilities and cast her spells. Her stern, no-nonsense demeanor belies her fierce, unwavering devotion to those whom she loves. Prior to the start of the game, Lulu served as a Guardian on two Summoner's Pilgrimages, both attempts rife with tragedy and ending in failure. Disillusioned with the quest, Lulu reluctantly agrees to serve a third time as one of Yuna's Guardians our of personal devotion to her friend.
Like so many gorgeous Final Fantasy X designs I always was fascinated by Lulu's outfit. When I stumbled upon faux fur at Joann's that was absolutely ON POINT for Lulu, I decided right then I had to make this. I started by finding the right color grey vinyl fabric; after striking out at fabric stores, I bought a bolt from a supplier of car interiors! The color was perfect and the fabric had just the right amount of shine vs. matte texture. I self-patterned the sleeves and three-paneled skirt using several mockups before committing to the vinyl; once the pieces were cut I used the hemline of both the skirt and the sleeves to switch gears and start in on the complex embroidered trim. After capturing as many references photos as possible, I gave them to Sketch who used photoshop to create templates for the trim. We collaborated on some stylistic and sizing choices, and in the end he printed out many copies for me. Creating the trim out of paper I ensured it matched up to the vinyl edge before I painstakingly cut every tiny pattern piece out of pastel cotton fabric and fused it to trim strips of grey cotton. Sketch then helped me satin stitch every detail until we had heavy and beautiful trim pieces. We then matched them up to the vinyl and cotton liner perfectly to make a perfectly clean edge. This was by far the hardest part of the entire costume.
With the trim a success, I went back to the regular costume, using black satin and grey bias tape to create a steel boned corset for the top. The faux fur trim along the top edge was also used to secure the sleeves to the rest of the top, and accented with small faux belts and buckles. The final major hurdle was the belted skirt; I had decided to create it as a separate layer from the vinyl skirt rather than attempt to make it one skirt. Sketch and I raided a thrift store for belts which make up about 50% of the belts on the skirt, the others Sketch recreated by raiding our scrap vinyl, leather, pleather, metal grommet and buckle collection. Experimenting with combining both to recreate, as closely as possible, her design and counter weight it so it didn't drag the entire costume down in the front was the second biggest challenge of this costume. Everything we tried on this costume worked perfectly the first time, and I was beyond thrilled with how it came out. For accents, I bought the necklaces and earrings off of Etsy while Sketch made my gorgeous hairsticks after we both had fun finding all sorts of beads in the jewelry section of JoAnns. The wig is a dark brown one from Arda which I braided and paired with a braided bun. I still need to make the accent beads for the wig braids. Finally for my first photoshoot with this costume, I made Lulu's baby bunting from purple cotton and yellow appliqué for my infant son; I used paper to mockup the petal pattern and then made the petals with fabric sandwiched around flat pieces of quilting batting. His hat is made the same way but with a worbla top in which a small wire was inserted to hold on the foam moogle ball. I love this costume and that it was my first cosplay as a Mom makes it even more special!