Lightning is one of the main characters in the RPG game Final Fantasy XIII. She is one of the few female main protagonists in the game. Fans dress up as Lightning for cosplay events, making costumes that are exactly like Lightning in the game. Anyone can dress up as Lightning for Halloween or conventions. The costume does not need to be exact or as extreme as some used for cosplay. This costume tutorial is simple, but contains all the details for Lightning's costume.
Things you need
- White cotton shirt
- Tan leather material
- Brown turtleneck sweater
- Leather mini skirt
- Knee-high boots
- Red fabric
- Child-sized black tights
- Blue gloves
- Black leather cording
- Red vinyl material
- Green vinyl material
- Yellow reflective tape
- Metal rings
- Sewing machine (optional)
Cut the sleeves off the white cotton shirt. Remove the buttons from the shirt, and resew a row of buttons on each side of the shirt just below the chest. Sew four on each side. Cut four 3-inch long strips of the tan leather material. Cut buttonholes in the ends of each strip and attach the strips to the buttons on the shirt.
Wear the sweater and fold the bottom of it up so that it rests a couple inches above your navel. Pin the fold in place all around the sweater. Take off the sweater and cut off the sleeves and extra material.
Put on the mini skirt. The length of the skirt needs to fall just below the butt. If necessary, pin the skirt to the right length and cut off any extra material. Wear the spandex shorts under the skirt. The shorts should be shorter than the skirt, so cut off any extra material.
Cut a 4-inch wide strip of the leather material long enough to fit around your waist, plus 1 inch. Pass the 1-inch end of the material through two metal rings. Fold the inch of material over the rings and sew it to the other material so it holds the rings in place.
Sew three 1-inch wide strips of leather material around the knee-high boots. Sew strips near the top of the boot, around the ankle and around the foot.
Measure the length from your shoulder to the floor. Measure from your shoulder to just past your neck. Cut the red fabric to these measurements. Sew one end of the material to the shoulder of the white shirt.
Cut off one leg of the tights. Slip the leg over your left arm so that the opening of the leg is on your upper arm. Mark the place where the tights meet your wrist and cut off the extra material past the mark you made.
Cut the fingers off the gloves. Make sure the gloves are long enough that they go past your wrists.
Wrap the leather cording around your upper arm. Tie a knot so that the cording is tight on your arm. Cut the extra. Cut three more pieces of cording of the same length, braid them and tie it around your upper arm. This one goes above the first.
Place the green vinyl over your shoulder. Mold the vinyl over your shoulder so you get the correct shape and size. Mark the shape of your shoulder with the pins and remove the vinyl. Cut out the shape. Place two strips of reflective tape across the vinyl. Sew one side of the vinyl to the shoulder of the shirt and cape so the other half will stick out.
Measure the width of your upper leg. Cut two rectangle pieces of vinyl at the width you measured. The length will be 1 inch less than you measured. Sew the sides and bottom of the two pieces together to make a rough-looking bag. Place the bag against the side of your upper leg. Measure from one side of the bag, around your leg, and to the other side of the bag. Cut three 1-inch wide strips of red vinyl at that length. Sew the strips to the bag so that they'll go around your leg when you wear the bag. Measure from the top of the bag, around your waist, and to the other top side of the bag. Cut a 1-inch wide strip of vinyl at this length and sew it like you did the other straps.
Tips and warnings
- Lightning's hair is a very light pink. Dye a blonde wig if you can't find one the right colour.
- Lightning's "l'Cie" mark is on her chest. Use tattoo markers to make the mark.
- Other accessories for Lightning's costume include a necklace with a lightning bolt, bullet holders on her gloves and zipper on the turtleneck. They are not necessary for the costume, but will enhance the look.
- Make Lightning's gunblade using foam board. Cut the board into shapes of the weapon and glue them together. Paint the gunblade to look like the weapon.
- Sew by hand or use a sewing machine. The choice is yours.
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