This set was a huge benchmark for us, as it was our first set of costumes made entirely from scratch, as well as the first for which we received craftsmanship awards. It was also the first time we drafted patterns without basing them on existing clothing or patterns, the first time we constructed detailed props (Riza’s rifle was banned from three cons for looking too realistic), the first time we used Wonderflex or EVA foam or insulation foam or any of those other materials that every cosplayer is familiar with, the first time I made a cosplay tutorial (sharing my patterns for the military uniforms)… Basically, it was a really steep learning curve. But we had a blast. ^_^
We added a lot of fun personal details, as well. Ed’s coat lining is covered with alchemical transmutation circles (we joke that he cheated on his State Alchemist exam), and has our initials hidden among them. The automail arm contains a hidden sliding blade with a loop of monofilament at the end, so Laura can clap her hands and “transmute” her armor into the blade Ed uses to fight. Ed’s red coat has interchangeable right sleeves that attach with tiny snaps: One is artfully shredded (for use with the automail), while the other is a normal sleeve (for wearing without automail). Riza’s later accessories included a shoulder holster sized to carry a mobile phone behind the pistol.
Our friends FallingRain, Dave and Melissa joined us for individual outings as Izumi, Maes Hughes and Sciezka.