Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gazelle walkthrough

I really enjoyed Zootopia. It was well-written, beautiful to look at, creative, poignant: I don't have enough adjectives to describe it. I thought it would be fun to make a costume from the film, and settled on Gazelle.
I liked Gazelle's design: simple and elegant. I also wanted to try making the horns, which I've never done before.
It was quite easy to break down the design into its basic elements: crop top, skirt, shoes, leg-warmers, horns, microphone, bangles, and hair.

Crop Top:

The first step was to cut out the pattern pieces. I used a simple princess seam bodice, cropped to the correct length. There's a layer of stretch satin as the base.
The outer fabric is this strange sparkly material from the costume section of the fabric shop. It has little foil dots on a stretchy material. It photographs well and is easier to sew than sequin material. Sewing Harley Quinn's shorts put me off using sequin material for a while: too much time spent removing sequins from the seam allowance.
 I used spray adhesive to attach the stretch satin and sparkle material together. The satin is a lot comfier on the skin than the sparkly material, and helps to add some structure.

 The straps are just strips of material with the edges folded under and sewn down. There's a layer of jersey on the underside to make them comfortable. 

I didn't take enough photos while I was making this, but I'll summarise. The skirt pattern was traced from a skirt I already had. I traced the pattern on to some jersey, cut that out, then used spray adhesive to glue it to the sparkly material. Once that was done, I drew lines where I wanted the fringe to sit, and sewed it on. To sew on the fringe, I used a zigzag stitch, and stretched the skirt material as I sewed.
Once all the fringe was sewn on, I made several tassels from crochet yarn, and sewed them on by hand.
Tassels attached!

Next was the waistband. I used silver lycra to make a simple waistband, which I sewed on to the skirt with an overlock machine. To complete the skirt, I sewed on lots of silver discs. I think Gazelle was the kind of discs that bellydancers have on their costumes, but I just used sequins (spray painted silver)

Very easy to make. Just rectangles of fabric (also jersey with sparkle fabric glued on with spray adhesive) pinned to fit my leg. There's elastic at the top and bottom to keep the legwarmers in place.

To make Gazelle's beautiful horns, I used a tutorial by Klairedelys as a guide:
Instead of using modelling clay, I scrunched foil into a horn shape, and also used a card roll for the base of the horn.
 I wrapped the horns in masking tape, then began to apply paper mache.
To get the spirals, I used three different methods. The smallest ridges at the top were created using 3D paint.
The middle sized ridges are made by gluing yarn around the horn. 
The largest ridges are made by soaking toilet paper in white glue/water mixture, rolling it up, and applying it to the horn. 
After several layers, I had a very sturdy pair of horns.
I painted the horns with a mixture of acrylic paint and PVA glue.

Once the first coat was dry, I drybrushed brown acrylic paint on to the horns.
The last step was the hot glue the horns to a large hairband. They look pretty good, though they threaten to fall off if I tip my head too far forward. I'm gluing on some wig hair to the hairband to help camouflage it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn: Wig

Wig time! For Harley Quinn, I bought a blonde wig from ebay. I chose one without a fringe. A lace front wig would have been ideal.
A friend (Vladas cosplay helped me to put the wig into ponytails. 
She recommended adding wefts to the back to hide the wig base, which I did. I also curled Harley's "not fringe".

The next step: dying the ponytails.
 I used the FW Acrylic Ink/Rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit. I’ve heard that you need 91% isopropyl, but I bought normal surgical spirit at the pharmacy and it worked well enough.

According to the tutorials I found, you should use 1 cup of surgical spirit mixed with 8 to 10 squirts of the ink - there a dropper in the lid of the ink which you can use to suck up ink. I’ve been warned against using colours containing white ink, so I used a cerulean for the blue tail, and a mix of red and pearlescent pink for the other tail (8: 2 ratio of red to pink ink). 

I mixed the ink in old jar and carefully dipped the ponytails in. Later I transferred the mixture into old plastic and styrofoam trays (the kind you get frozen meat in - clean it first!)
I left the wig to dye overnight, then carefully rinsed out each tail in the sink - it’s made of ceramic so is much easier to clean than the plastic bath. While I rinsed the blue tail, I used a hair clip and a plastic bag to keep the red tail from dripping everywhere. I rinsed out the ponytails with a mixture of shampoo and fabric softener. 

Once they tails were dry I combed them with a wig comb. Be warned that if you use normal detangling spray it may lift some of the colour from the dyed wig, and it also gave my blue tail a strange texture. In general wigs dyed with this method have a slightly rough texture, but if you rinse them thoroughly they should be fine.

I’m storing this wig with the ponytails plaited-it gives a nice wavy texture and stops them tangling.

Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn: The Accessories

My costume has come together. I;m going to see Suicide Squad tomorrow - maybe it's good, maybe it's terrible, but I guess I'll find out. Today let's look at the accessories.

I found these boots in Budapest (I live there most of the year). They weren't too expensive, are much comfier than high heels, and looks quite similar to Harley Quinn's boots. There's a hidden wedge in these boots, so I look at bit taller.  


The glove is made from sleeves from an older sweater. I drew around my hand, and cut and pinned until it fitted well, then painted on the design with acrylic paint + fabric medium. I was a bit impatient waiting for the paint to dry, but it turned out all right.

The belt is a Frankenstein-monster mash of an old stud belt, hot glue, a strip of vinyl, snap fasteners, and craft foam. I'm not sure how durable this belt will be, and I may remake it. I initially tried inserting the studs into the belt, but it was really hard to align the studs properly.


These are made from an old belt, craft foam, hot glue, and velcro. The weird marks are hot glue - I was initially going to use this belt to make the studded belt, changed my mind and ripped off the studs, but unfortunately the glue marks remained. 

This is also made from the same old belt that I used for the bracelets, painted white. The letters are also made of craft foam and are hot glued on. 

The holster isn't complete; I still need a toy gun and an actual holster to attach to the harness, but I can do that later. This is made from a strip of black vinyl, decorated with studs (I only had brass coloured ones, so painted them silver). I had this metal ring on my desk, and used it for the back of the holster.


 It's August and it is sweltering. Even at night it's pretty hot. All in all, Harley's jacket will probably be too hot to wear to the cinema. I need somewhere to keep my tickets, phone etc, so I made this drawstring bag. I used Annika Victoria's tutorial, which is excellent

Baseball Bat
I could have bought a real baseball bat . . .but you know, I must like making work for myself or something. So I made one from foam, following the excellent instructions in this tutorial:
I deviated from the instructions here and there. I shouldn't have used hot glue, because the edges were very uneven. 
Here's the basic bat I made. The core  is an old broomstick, sawed down to the right length. I primed it with a layer of light yellow acrylic paint.
 I painted the bat to a base colour, and added a subtle wood effect - it doesn't really show in these photos. I decorated it, and then my brother, my boyfriend and I decorated the bat with various Harley Quinn appropriate quotes. I wrapped the handle in a strip of thin white cloth, and that was it!