Photos by Matt Barnes

NIGHTMARE MOON - MY LITTLE PONY

Completed 2016

EARS/WINGS

The ears are made with 12mm EVA foam, cut from floor matting and covered on the textured side with 2mm craft foam. The edges were rounded off with a dremel, and smoothed out with Polyfilla. The surface was prepped with several coats of PVA glue, which was buffed with water to remove brushstrokes before painting. The base headband was drilled out and there are 2x large nails poking through into the foam of the ears to provide support, before being painted.

The wings are made using the same technique, and are mounted to steel strapping pieces - these are slipped into a pocket sewn into the lining of the suit so there are no visible straps when worn.

WIG/HORN

The wig is a lacefront from WigIsFashion.com, which I straightened and cut. The horn is cast in urethane resin and is secured to the wig with a T shaped bracket sewn into the wig and extending out from the hairline in clear plastic; the horn is simply screwed through the clear plastic support and sits in place on the forehead. No adhesive required!

SUIT

The suit was modified from Yaya Han's pattern McCalls M7398. I found the shaping on this pattern really good after a bit of tailoring, my only major modifications are the center front panel and the height of the legs. I found that I couldn't make the original center front work with the seam shaped as it was (which may just be a lack of experience on my part) but straightening this seam made things much easier for me. Note that if you do this, you will end up with an excess of fabric in the crotch; you need to remove this to have it sit properly.

One thing I love about this pattern is the fit around the butt - because the center back seam is curved, it cups your cheeks really nicely and it is super flattering. I actually tried straightening this seam as well to keep it in line with suit patterns I found online, but when I pinned out the excess to fit I ended up right back where I started.

Sizing on the pattern runs large, like every other commercial pattern I've ever used - I measured at a size 16, and cut this just to be safe, but I had to tailor down closer to a 12. This is my preference anyway to be honest, I like having the extra material to be able to get a really good fit.

I initially lengthened the pattern by about 3", but this turned out to be way too much - I ended up taking it out agin in the first toile. My recommendation is to cut your first toile as per the pattern (with the exception of the center front panel), mod the leg holes and crotch, plus any major size adjustments you want to make now, and try it on. You'll definitely be wanting to adjust further from there, but this method has worked for everyone I've helped fit their suit so far (five different people plus my own) to get a pretty accurate idea of what adjustments to make next.

TIGHTS

The tights were bought from WeLoveColors.com in white and dyed with iDye Poly. This was a mixed success; there is a clear gradient to the tights when looking at the garment on its own but when it's worn and stretched out this completely disappears; if I were to do this again I'd do a much more dramatic colour shift and probably use lycra or some better quality tights - I went with a pretty cheap style, and they weren't ideal. The cutie marks are cut from scrap lycra backed with heavyweight fusible interfacing with the edges satin-stitched, and these were machine stitched to the tights. Positioning was finalised by wearing the tights and pinning the patches in place while the garment was stretched, to ensure that the fabric behind and around the piece matched for tension when worn.

ACCESSORIES (collar, cuffs, bowtie, tail)

Most of the accessories for this costume (collar, cuffs, tail) were made with pattern pieces included in Yaya's pattern and all were very easy to construct and wear.  The tie is held in place with snaps under the collar, and the tail is fixed to the suit with hooks and eyes; it can be removed for ease of dressing or for use with other costumes. I highly recommend using long fur for tails, it looks great - a little more realistic (though I use that term very loosely) than shorter fur. It is expensive, but a small quantity of fur is enough for several tails, so it's a good item for splitting the cost across several people.

Notes

This costume is based on an artwork by Sunset Dragon, and was planned with a group of other cosplayers. So far we haven't managed to get together for a group shoot, but hopefully we'll make it happen soon! I drew up some concepts based on Nightmare Moon and Celestia, which I'm working on for someone else. The bunnysuit was very much a learning experience - I've tried making one before with limited success, so had a reasonable idea what I was getting into, but it still took a lot of fiddling to make it work properly. I'm very pleased with the results, and am looking forward to making more in future.