First off, I am blown away by the amount of love I received for my Jester costume!!! She was amazing to make, so much fun to wear, and all around an incredible experience from start to finish!! I have a bad habit of getting sucked into details but I think it worked in my favor this time around! There were so many little things about Jester’s outfit I wanted to get just right, and fussing over them was honestly half the fun.
The beautiful photos taken of the completed costume were done by a dear friend of mine @ivorivet, who isn’t just a fantastic photographer, but also an amazingly beautiful talented cosplayer in her own right!! I can’t thank her enough for doing my solo shoot and I love her to bits 💖💖💖
Other helping hands are credited to @dontevenlikecoconut, @centeris2, and @artofnana, who all did little tasks on other costumes so I could focus on Jester, or drove me up packages from home so I didn’t lose my mind the night before con. 💙💙💙
I did something a little different this time around with my WIPs! If you follow me on instagram (pearlybaecosplay) then you would have seen the hell crunch that was on my insta stories all month!! If you missed it, no worries!! I saved all my Jester WIPs onto a collection on my insta profile, if people were interested in seeing extra details and some video progress.
One last thing before I let y'all go; my ko-fi is still active!! So if you like my work and appreciate these big costume writeups, please consider donating a coffee or two!! The link is available on my blog, or you can type in pearlybae at the site and find me that way!
As per usual, more details of how I made this costume are under the cut!! 🍭
My dear friend HarvCosplay was the one who came up to me a few months ago and told me very seriously that I “needed to listen to the second campaign of Critical Role, and that I absolutely had to cosplay one of the characters,” and then linked me Jester’s official character design and I fell in love instantly. Then I actually started listening and I was a total goner 😂 I’m so glad she shoved this amazing show into my life because I’ve had such a good time making Jester, yelling with other critters about updates, and interacting with people in cosplay 💙
I think the first piece of Jester I worked on was the chemise. I basically started from the inside out with her; all the layers underneath, then slowly making my way to the outside, leaving the accessories for later. I had to draft all my own patterns as per usual for making each component, since I couldn’t find any commercial patterns that were similar to Jester’s clothes without needing heavy modification, and because my short torso and curvy body never fit those stupid patterns anyway.
I hate that I have to state this, but please don’t ask me for my personal patterns!! They’re something that are fit uniquely to my own body, wouldn’t drape right on the average figure, and are something I put a lot of work into. I’ll do my best to describe how I made things but as for photo references of my patterns, those won’t be available. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to provide them since I had to recycle my muslin mockups of the cloak and chemise in order to make the bodice pattern, because I was nearly out of muslin and pretty desperate on time. 😂
The chemise was made of rectangles and tubes for the top half and the sleeves, and a circle skirt for the bottom. Everything was cinched in with elastic so I didn’t look like I was wearing a potato sack, and I had about 5 yards of fabric to work with. I used my airbrush to hit up the bottom of the sleeves and the skirt hem with some rosy pink ombres, and then came a very labor intensive evening of stenciling on the flowers with fabric paint.
The corset was something I had in my closet I used in order to bind my chest down in order to get Jester’s silhouette without having to bone her bodice. Once I was strapped in I was able to finish fitting the rest of her clothes, and a big shoutout to @artofnana for being there to constantly lace and unlace me out of that dumb thing 💦
Jester’s blue skirts are four panels attached to an elastic waistband. That was like, the easiest thing I ever had to make and took me under an hour tops. 😂 Her cape also only took me a few hours, and I slammed it together while playing a D&D session online with some friends. It’s your basic short little capelet with the fronts extended so you can have that little overlap, and has a hood attached. It started out between a semi circle and a circle but honestly I cut away like a 1-2 feet of material while I was fitting it so I can’t even tell you what the overall shape ended up being 😞
Jester’s bodice took quite a bit of time simply because of the amount of hand stitching it required. Only the vertical seams were done by machine. The reason for this was because the faux suede I used was so thick that top stitching by machine created a quilted pillowy look that I hated, so I stitched the straps and hemmed the bodice by hand. It’s so hard to describe exactly how I did those with only text, so if you look at my insta story collection, you can see a little video of what I had to do for the bodice!!!
The belts and accessories were my main timesink after the clothes. The horns were an old hat, I had plenty of experience with horns and body makeup from ye olde homestuck days. 😂 Those references are already available on my blog so I won’t waste time rehashing it on here, but the belts were new! I love braiding hair into super intricate styles on my friends, and these were very similar. I have no idea what the braid style is called (I tried a google search just now but came up with like 8 different names, all saying different things and being very inconsistent) but its a very simple one used for leather belts and friendship bracelets all the time!! I used 4 strands for one belt and 5 for the other, glued them together as I braided, and then painted in the details afterward.
The pouches were handsewn squares of the same faux suede of my bodice and strung through with the belt via belt loops to wear them. In the pouches I kept a leather sketchbook, my business cards, my wallet, and some cute little Traveler pamphlets I handed out to people at the con!! One thing I’m kicking myself over is the lack of time I had on making Jester’s holy symbol, and is definitely something I’m going to fix before the next time I wear her out 😭 That little sparkly is just a placeholder for now. 😞
Jester’s scythe was carved out of foam and then covered in Thibra thermoplastic, and then primed and painted and sealed as you do. I used Thibra when I made Jester’s shoulder strap accessory, and a combination if Terraflex and Thibra for her horns. Jester’s scythe case was a moment of insanity where I traced a vague scythe shape directly onto the faux suede, and sewed it around the blade with the help of many pins. It can come off and on in theory, but I stitched the baby straps directly onto the case fabric because I didn’t want to deal with sewing snaps at 1 AM, and because Jester never uses her scythe anyways. 😛
Jester’s gloves were two tubes and a thumbhole with hems thrown together the morning I was supposed to head out for con, it took like half an hour. Super super easy and I definitely almost forgot to do them 😂 The tail is also just a tube with cotton stuffed into it, I’m planning on going back and inserting a wire into it, but it honestly held up just fine with the cotton!! All the jewelry was made by me with the exception of the cloak pin, that piece was bought off of Amazon!! Jester’s leggings are just some blue leggings, and her boots are some slouchy brown boots I also got off Amazon. The photos I have up don’t showcase those a lot but I have others that do!! 💙
I think??? That’s all I have to say about making Jester??? This should basically cover all of her costume pieces I think, she’s got so many that it’s hard to keep track!! I definitely didn’t have as bad a time as Mollymauk cosplayers do though WOW. SPEAKING OF TIEFLINGS BEING EXTRA. WHAT IS UP WITH HIM????
As usual, if I’ve missed out on a particular detail that you want to know about, feel free to ask me!! Thanks for all of your support and love everyone!!
Today I tried to channel the spirit of Mollymauk and “leave the con better than I found it” by giving out flower crowns (straight from Hupperdook!) but oh boy I did not think this through and it made for some of my favorite awkward pictures. (Plus a cute one of Jester!) So happy to see everyone at the TAZ/Critical Role meetup today!
Jester in second pic: @magicalvoltage on tumblr/insta
“Mollymauk Tealeaf, of the Fletching and Moondrop Traveling Carnival of Curiosities. Molly to my friends, and we’re friends now, aren’t we?”
All of my photos ended up just being of the back of my coat for the most part. In fairness, it’s my favorite part. Just wish photos captured all the sparkles from the beads.
Photos by @iron.photography on instagram.