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Seifuku Tutorial by JoJoBynxFwee Seifuku Tutorial by JoJoBynxFwee
This is an old guide I made for drawing seifuku. I happen to own one I got as a kid directly from Japan, so it is still mostly accurate.

I will mention some things though:

The tie that came with mine is a gigantic triangle. There were no instructions that came with it, but I think I'm incorrect here and you don't roll it (but you can if you don't want the third flap visible at the back). The site I bought it from assumes purchasers are actual students, I believe. There's probably variations from school to school, and in anime I've seen a lot of wacky tie designs. I've used normal neckties and ascots with my uniform, anything will fit. Not all uniforms come with the tie band, it was an optional feature on mine.

You should also know that the skirt drawn here is inaccurate because I stuck the pocket midway between pleats; the pocket opens directly from the seam/pleat fold and is completely invisible from the outside. It's actually incredibly roomy, and for some reason, points backwards (unless they put the tag in the front in Japan). This could be unique to mine. There's also only one pocket on mine.

Also remember there are two main types of pleats: the kind that's folded one over the other infinitely, or the kind that doesn't overlap at all, like a traditional kilt. Pick the kind you want and remain consistent to that design, if you're doing a serial manga or somesuch. Skirts shouldn't suddenly change their engineering between panels. They can, however, loose the pleats at the bottom over time, which can be fixed via ironing.

The material of the shirt is a stiff, starchy sort of cotton, and the skirt is rather rough and heavy, possibly wool. The tie is a light silk/satin. The stripes on the collar and sleeves are sewn on, so if you do an extreme close-up, you may want to add the thread for realism. All the materials are washable. Also, this may just be due to my particular tailor, but it is really high quality and I've never lost a stitch in the 10+ years I've owned it! Then again, if I wore it every day like I would if I had been in school, it might've worn out.

Summer uniforms are the more popular lighter-colored ones with shorter sleeves and skirts. In the winter they switch over to the longer sleeves and hemlines and typically make the entire blouse out of the collar color. This may or may not be a universal standard, I really don't know, but that's what I've observed in anime and photographs. (While anime is fiction, remember it's created BY people of that culture, who are intimately familiar with its trappings and idiosyncrasies.)

The most common color is navy with white trim, but green, gray, and beige are also common.

I didn't touch on the more esoteric or non-Japanese styles of uniform (like the ones in Eva, or any you'd more likely find in a Catholic private school). But if you're setting your picture in another country, you should do some research to see what their uniforms are like, they can vary quite a lot.

If your setting is a fantastic one then take this with a grain of salt, it's your world, go nuts.

---

Considering the wild popularity of this piece and some thefts I've regretfully had to report, I feel the need to point this out.

You may use this AS A REFERENCE ONLY.

You may NOT RE-USE, RE-DISTRIBUTE, OR ADAPT THIS INTO YOUR OWN TUTORIAL/GUIDE/REFERENCE/WHATEVER.

If I find this used, traced or copied in such a manner I will report without warning or hesitation. This makes me very sad, so please don't make me do this anymore!
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:iconotakudanny:
OtakuDanny Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll keep that in mind. ;)
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:iconpinkgem31:
pinkgem31 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the reference. <3
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:iconshimoyaki:
shimoyaki Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011
thanks!!!
maybe this will help me
Reply
:iconmoondragon-hardrock:
moondragon-hardrock Featured By Owner May 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome!:XD: ecuse, but do you know wherei could find basic petterns for a sailor uniform? i couldn't find any. :/
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner May 17, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! I'm afraid I don't, but Jo-Ann Fabrics [link] might have it. If they don't, you might be able to find it by looking for Naval-, anime-, or generic costume-themed patterns.
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:iconmoondragon-hardrock:
moondragon-hardrock Featured By Owner May 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
no problem~ and thanks!
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:iconshinwa-tsuki:
Shinwa-Tsuki Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2011
Very nice!
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:iconbaconlovergirl:
baconlovergirl Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011
thank you! i always have a hard time finding references for sailor uniforms/seifukus.
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:iconsanguijuela:
Sanguijuela Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this! I will be cosplaying Chibi from [link] and I needed reference! :D
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:iconmikurunyan:
MikuruNyan Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010
Perfect! Just what I needed for a cosplay. Thanks so much!
Reply
:iconjocund-slumber:
jocund-slumber Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010
I'd love a seifuku, but it'd be a bugger to import one from Japan. And since 95% of Japanese girls are uber skinny, I couldn't fit into one even if I bought one :D

Anyways, great tutorial, really helps :)
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! If I had known it would be this popular I wouldn't have drawn it so shabbily, haha.

Not only are Japanese girls skinny, but Asia has a completely different size system than we do, on top of measuring in metric. I played it safe and got the biggest one (which is still fairly small) and used a safety pin to tighten the skirt until I grew into it.

Though they are expensive, the one I got is very well-tailored. Not a single thread on it has broken in the seven years I've owned it. Strong stitching and a sturdy woolen material. So, a big buy, but a good buy if you intend to wear it a lot!
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:iconattorneyhoboninja:
attorneyhoboninja Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010
wow huge help! thank you! 8D
Reply
:iconkawaidesu:
KawaiDesu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2010
Cool!!!I want to make a sailor fuku for cosplay.Your tutorial is wery helpfull and interesting!
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:iconshadownater:
shadownater Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful. c: I'm not really drawing one but I'm trying to make one so this helps quite a bit. xD
The only thing both my mom and I can't quite figure out how to make is the nekutai neckerchief thing. What shape is it when it is off of the uniform? What dimensions? Just really stumped. ^^; Trying to make Rin Kagamine's outfit and the nekutai is weird. xD
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Student Digital Artist
The one I got is just a big obtuse triangle that I had to roll up, a couple feet long I think. I'm not sure why it's like that; it might just be the style of the the company I bought it from. Any tie/ascot/silk scarf can be used though.

If you're working from an anime/manga, the uniforms for the characters may or may not be realistic anyway, or might be based on some obscure (like the odd square ties in Furuba) or outdated (like the 1960s-set Gatekeepers) style, or just be completely off-the-wall (Sailor scouts, anything Utena wears...); in that case, just do whatever makes it look right. ^^

I'm glad you found this helpful. :D I admit it's pretty sloppy, and I sketched it up in a hurry...If I had known it was going to be this popular I would've put more effort into making it look nice. XD
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:iconshadownater:
shadownater Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
It's all good. xD Thanks a lot. :D
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:iconinfectious-rage:
Infectious-Rage Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
This is a bit hard to read, but it gets the point across! :+fav:
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Ah, sorry, my handwriting was AWFUL back then. I keep telling myself I'm going to remake it someday...^^; Thank you though!
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:iconinfectious-rage:
Infectious-Rage Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
You're welcome~
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:icontenko72:
tenko72 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009
Not the best drawn, but it gets the point across and is very thorough. I like!
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Thanks. This is years old though and I never expected it to be popular...I should probably redraw it someday. ^^;
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:icontenko72:
tenko72 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009
Your welcome! :D

It's on a popular subject and you don't see such in-depth tuts for clothes everyday. Redrawing wouldn't hurt.
Reply
:iconnekotamamiku:
NekotamaMiku Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
:delighted:
kya~~
Thank You so~~ much!!
I've been wondering for a long time about the flap
:happy:
Reply
:iconmikhail-faulken:
Mikhail-Faulken Featured By Owner May 10, 2008
My dad is an enlisted man with a sailor's jumper, which is a little different from the seifuku shirt, but it makes sense.
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:iconkizumi-n-sesshomaru:
Kizumi-N-Sesshomaru Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2007
Oh awsome! Thanks.
Reply
:iconmimblewimble:
mimblewimble Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2006
this is helpful, I haven't been able to find any tutorials on how to draw uniforms =O

Do you think you might be able to do a step by step on drawing it next?
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2006  Student Digital Artist
Probably...and I probably should make a tutorial a little more presentable than a bunch of doodles. XD

Thanks for the fave, btw! ^^
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:iconmimblewimble:
mimblewimble Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2006
That would be brilliant, because I can't for the life of me, draw a schoolgirl shirt.
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:iconangelicbunny:
angelicbunny Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2006
I knew how they were supposed to be but sometimes I'm too lazy to draw them properly(I'm sure I've read a manga somewhere witch was supposed to be from Japan but they didn't draw it right either so I thaught maybe I could draw it like that if I'm drawing a quick sketch and can't be bothered doing details because I am sometimes impatient) This will help my sister's though, I try to explain it to them but they don't understand¬¬(they never listen to me anyway!)
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:iconjojobynxfwee:
JoJoBynxFwee Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2006  Student Digital Artist
Haha. I don't think little siblings ever listen.
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:iconangelicbunny:
angelicbunny Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2006
:lmao: You're right there!
Reply
:iconfoundhotty92:
foundhotty92 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2006  Student
I like it. it really expreses(can't spell) alot of creativity here is your reward :icking: :chainsaw: and my fav :picknose: how do you like your reward??
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:iconroninxtreme:
RoninXtreme Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2006
Cool!
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