Hello cosplayers and cosplay-curious readers!
I am trying something new this year. Rather than wait until months after I finish the costume, this page will be continuously updated as I gather references, tutorials, patterns, and supply links for building a Shao Jun costume.
I’ll do a write up with more detail about my design choices and construction processes after PAX. For now, if you are building a Shao Jun costume, I hope these links will help! For work-in-progress photos and updates, follow me on Facebook or Instagram – @ FabricAlchemist
For a collection of images and personal history on Shao Jun, checkout the Assassin’s Creed Wiki.
These two images have been the most useful to me thus far in my costume design.
Full Shao Jun Turnabout
I have also created a Pinterest Board for Shao Jun with many of these same reference images.
There are a handful of other cosplayers who completed Shao Jun after she appeared in Embers and when Chronicles was first announced. Everyone interprets the costume a bit differently, which is great. If you get stuck, you can see how others interpreted, ignored, or worked around that same issue. There is no PERFECT version. The black and red and the shape of the coat are what makes Shao Jun iconic.
Yaya Han’s provided some good costume notes. I am amazed that she did this in a week. A week!
Purchased Costume Components
Sword – Tai Chi swords are a near-perfect match for Shao Jun’s sword and scabbard. Unfortunately, most are true metal and are unlikely to be allowed into a convention. To be a better fit for convention weapons policy, I bought an extendable sword that is very blunt and I will have to make the scabbard (template coming). I plan to buy (or borrow) a “real” metal Tai Chi sword down the road for photoshoots.
Shoes – I bought a pair of Tai Chi or martial arts shoes. Tom’s shoes might also work here. She wears some kind of slip-on shoe. If you can find one in gray, grayish-brown (taupe), or black, I think you will be set. Aliexpress has these, but shipping may take up to 40 days from China…so plan accordingly.
Beads – I bought an inexpensive wooden rosary. However, considering that Shao Jun is Chinese, the beads are probably meant to be Buddhist prayer beads, which don’t have gaps between sections.
Undershirt – any light gray long-sleeve knit shirt will work here. You can find one online, in a thrift store, or make it yourself. I bought an Under Armour shirt for its dry-fit and sweat evaporating features. Last year I overheated in a cotton knit shirt under Leliana. I am hoping this will help me be cooler. Nike also has dri-fit options.
Pants – UPDATED: I decided to buy a pair of baggy jersey yoga capri pants (available on Amazon). I bought size small – I wear size 4 pants – and they fit really really well! The pants are less baggy that the image appears, which is better for the costume design. If you are using game-play for your costume design, choose a darker gray for the pants and undershirt. The light gray matches the 360-turnaround I linked to above.
If you want to sew the pants, I recommend one of these patterns based on appearance: Burda Jersey Trousers or Peek-a-Book Yoga Pants. Make with a cotton jersey or cotton lycra lightweight to mid-weight fabric, such as: from Girl Charlee Fabrics or from Spandex World.
Costume Sewing Patterns
Hood and coat – I am working on creating a dress pattern block that can use used for future costumes. It is made from a bodice pattern block and a skirt pattern block. I self-drafted these blocks, but you can find standard size pattern blocks online or in store. This book – How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns – is a great resource. It comes with standard pattern blocks and I used the instructions in the back to create my dress block.
From the dress block, I can create seam lines and shorten or extend the hem to match the shape of Shao Jun’s coat. Sketches coming.
Tunic – Using the same dress pattern block I used for the hooded robe and the sleeves from New Look 6104 (view C), I drafted a tunic that has a higher neckline, a mandarin collar, and a longer hem than the front of the hooded robe. It is fitted, so to get it over my head, I am leaving the back seam open with a hook & eye fastener at the neckline. (I didn’t want to install another zipper.)
Leg wraps – I tried cutting long strips of knit fabric, but they stretched out too much and didn’t hold. If you opt for long strips, use a woven fabric like SCA folks use for medieval or Viking footwear.
I ended up sewing tubes, like jersey leg warmers that slide over my socks. You may need to pin them to your pants.
This blog post is being slowly updated. If you are working on Assassin’s Creed Cosplay, bookmark and come back soon! I am trying to get a full write up done before the end of July 2016.