Monday, November 7, 2016

How to Make a Sora Cosplay From Kingdom Hearts II

NOTICE: I haven't added photos quite yet but I will eventually. I have two kids under 3 and it gets so crazy around here XD

I recently sold my Sora outfit to someone in Georgia. Sora was my second major cosplay that I made back in 2005. Oh those were the days... the cosplay scene was just starting to really take off as the internet became a better resource for photos and materials. We still didn't have great wigs to choose from but we worked with what we could find.

Sora is a typical Square Enix boy, a mashup of all the things that are signature Squeenix. Spiky hair. Zippers in dumb places. Clothing or gear that is just too heavy for normal people to consider using. Shoes that could double as boats. His overall look in KHII I would call "sporty street", complete with king's crown bling on a big chain. Assless wading chaps plus leg saddlebags are an interesting touch. Also pauldrons on the shoulders, because you gotta protect those. At least his look is super symmetrical, unlike most Squeenix protagonists, who prefer to wear most of their accessories on just one side. Lightning is crazy asymmetrical. Wearing her costume feels so weird. See photo below for some examples.

Anyway, I first got the idea to make Sora while working at JoAnn Fabrics in early college. I spotted a chain with those crazy large links and I began to obsess over how I would make him.


I bought a cheap 80s brown punk rocker wig and cut and styled it myself but it wasn't quite what I wanted so I asked my friend's mom to style it for me since she did that on the side. It turned out a lot better after she handled it. I had to re-style it after every couple events and eventually it was just such a mess that I had to toss it. I had great fun wearing it. I know it wasn't perfectly screen accurate but it was special to me :) I made a lot of friends those first few years who I still talk with today. I even found my very own Riku and Kairi <3


I felt very clever when I figured out how to make this. I had the chain from the fabric store first. Then I got a 1/4 inch thick piece of fun foam and cut the crown from that. I painted it silver with nail polish. I took two quilting pins and stuck them through the sides of the foam, through the chain, then into the middle prong of the crown. Then I cut the little ball things off the top of the pins. It was so screen accurate it made my heart sing!

Jacket and pauldrons

I decided to make the jacket from scratch, something I hadn't done a lot of so it pushed me into new areas of sewing. I had only made simple things like skirts and pajama pants before that. I modified a simple jacket pattern by shortening the sleeves and the length and also making the hood pointier and longer and the back a bit more curved. I wanted the shape to evoke the feeling of the classic Nomura piece where Sora is eating a popsicle while standing in the waves. The black fabric was a soft sweatshirt knit and the white parts where made from a slightly shiny knit that had a fluffy backing. The jacket was durable, washable and so comfy and soft.

The pauldrons were made of pieces of foam covered in a shiny gray vinyl. I used velcro and snaps to attach them to the jacket so I could still wash the jacket. Washable cosplay is the best kind of cosplay!

Tank top

I bought a thrift store tank top that was the perfect sport jersey material, navy blue and slightly shiny. I added white material to the neckline and made a red and white pocket for the front.


I bought a huge pair of Gore-Tex gloves at the thrift store. They had so much stuffing and insulation in them it was staggering. I cut the fingers off and just tucked the raw edges in each time I put them on. For the stripes I used just regular bias tape. I made a little vinyl piece with silver button covers attached and sewed it onto the gloves. They were comfy and because they were big they gave that cartoony feel.


I had a navy blue pair of gym shorts underneath. For the chaps I bought a pair of pants that was several times larger than my size. I added white trim and elastic to the bottom of the pants and the waistline. That way the pants billowed outward from my knees to look cartoony. I added a ring of quilt batting to further add to the effect.


I made these from scratch and they were fully functional. They were super great to have at conventions and carried all my stuff!


My good friend surprised me by buying me a very screen accurate Keyblade at Anime Expo in 2007. It was made from solid metal. It was so, so heavy. I will forever be indebted to her for her generosity.

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