Yang Xiao Long Build

Build process for my main girl, Yang Xiao Long, from Rooster Teeth’s web series RWBY! She’s hands-down my favorite cosplay to wear, it’s so easy to
get into character and the second that you put her on you just feel like a boss (and honestly kind of want to punch something. BUT DON’T.). This cosplay was a huge challenge for me, and I’m so proud of how it turned out! I’ll admit I’m terrible about taking in-progress pics, so if you have questions on anything in particular just comment below 🙂


Yang’s clothing breaks down into a few basic items: her jacket, tank top, scarf, skirt, and leggings (disclaimer, definitely just bought the boots and black shorts, the time struggle was real). I’ll just bullet-point how I made each piece, and I can give you more details if you’d like to know!

  • Jacket: My friend Quintilla had a denim jacket with a similar shape, so we just patterned the pieces based on that and then I altered it afterwards. To get the poof on the sleeves, you need to gather your fabric, which I learned to do here (applicable for all princess cosplays, and let’s face it, Yang is the prettiest princess 😉 ). Really important note!!! You lose a LOT of your length when gathering, so make your starting piece much larger than you think you need, you can always trim it later. For the collar, I pinned fabric all along the neck of the jacket, cut out the basic shape of the collar that I needed, then sewed it on where I’d penned and hemmed the outer edge.  A short invisible zipper up the front should wrap things up!
  • Skirt: This one’s got a few components, so we’ll break them down a bit further!
    • Brown flappy pieces: Measure your waist and subtract a bit since the skirt doesn’t continue across the front. Divide that number by 4 to figure out how many pieces you’ll need (each one will be 4 inches across), and plan on making a couple extra since you’ll lose width to hemming. Length is up to you! Cut out all your pieces, hem them 1/4″ to 1/2″, then overlap them with each other by 1/2″ on top and sew across to connect them all. Reminder: the final piece that lays on your right thigh should slant down on the bottom and have the emblem on it (I painted mine on using the same yellow acrylic as the gauntlets).
    • White butt cape: Should be the same width as your brown skirt. The shortest part on your left side is two inches longer than your brown skirt, and it should slant down around your right until it touches the top of your leggings. Tack it on the underside of your brown skirt an inch or so from the top. ALWAYS cut it too long, you can shorten it if needed!
    • Belt: All of the above attached to a leather belt via Velcro, which worked well until about a year later when the belt side of the Velcro started coming loose. I am the lame sauce and didn’t do the pouch.
  • Leggings: Cut off the arms of an orange long-sleeved shirt and just pull them up. Easy peasy! In retrospect though, I would probably just buy orange thigh-highs. For the leg tie, just cut a strip of grey fabric (or purple, there’s debate on the color) maybe 24-30″.
  • Tank Top: Grab a yellow one at the thrift store, cut off the bottom half, draw on her emblem with a black fabric paint marker, and VOILA! 24k Magic.
  • Scarf: This is a simple one to just follow a pattern for, try this one. Also, knits are the devil and they can all go die in a hole. Just say no.



Ember Celica (Gauntlets):

Ah Ember Celica. A weapon after my own heart. To build these you’ll need EVA foam, a way to cut it (I recommend a heat knife like this), a heat gun, and contact cement. And let’s get the easy thing out of the way, for the gloves just find long black costume gloves and cut the fingers off. Not the best in the long run due to unraveling, but it functions!

My final gauntlets are composed of two separate pieces: one cuff that closes around my arm, and the gauntlet plates that Velcro onto the top of that. I highly recommend using poster board to create your patterns the exact size you need. For EVA, you’ll need to make your pattern a little larger since you lose width when you bend it due to the thickness. There’s a great tutorial and pattern here if you’re interested! Once your EVA pieces are cut, bend it into the needed
shape and heat it slowly with the heat gun. After it’s been uniformly heated, hold it in that shape until it cool. If the curved pieces still try to uncurl too much, re-heat them and bend them further, then they’ll relax into something closer to what you need.

I pinned all of my shaped pieces together to figure out the attachment points, outlined them in pencil, then spread my contact cement on it, then waited the 20 minutes before pressing them together. This stuff fumes like nobody’s business, so you may want to look into a respirator to protect your airways! I did the shotgun shells by cutting wine corks in half, such fancy. Before you can paint the foam, you need to seal it with something like PlastiDip or wood glue, otherwise the foam will soak up your paint. Then paint. Then done! Wear your Yang with pride, you deserve it!!!




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