Monday, July 18, 2016

Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn: Shorts

These shorts - oh these shorts. I really recommend using stretchy sequin material, or buying two pairs of sequin shorts in red and blue, cutting them in half, and sewing them together. I used this material:
These are sequins sewn to a slightly stretchy mesh material. Since this is a bit see-through, it needed a backing fabric, and I used satin. So that meant a lot of messing around trying to create a good pattern. I used a combination of a Burdastyle shorts pattern, and another pattern made by copying an existing pair of shorts (made by covering shorts in masking tape to create a template)
This kind of sequin fabric is a bit annoying because it sheds sequins everywhere. There are still sequins in my bed and on the floor. You need to pick sequins out of the seam allowance so that the material can go through a sewing machine, though these sequins were so small that both my overlock machine and sewing machine could sew over them. Try to save any fallen sequins - you might need them.  
 The next step was to baste the sequin pieces to the satin pieces, then sew them into shorts. I also added bias tape to the leg hole so that the sequins wouldn't scratch me. Here's my cat, Pearl, helping me. I had to sew this by hand so that the stitches wouldn't be visible from the outside, and because I didn't want to try passing all the through the sewing machine.
So much work - and only one side is done!
 Hours later and the blue side is almost done
 And now sewn together
 I made my pattern too big by mistake, but this turned out to the advantageous, as it allowed me to add an elastic waistband, which was a lot less work than a zip. 

Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn: Jacket

 So this costume is almost done! Just need to finish styling the wig and make the glove and holster. So let's talk about the jacket
I looked at what other cosplayers had used to make the jacket, as well as looking at stills from Suicide Squad and the Harley Quinn action figure. I decided to use satin for the jacket, gold spandex for the applique and trim, and red jersey with painted stripes for the collars and cuffs.
The first step was the cut out all of the pattern piece. I used a Burda style pattern for a bomber jacket, with a few alterations, such as removing the back yoke and back pleat, and combining the two sleeve pieces into one.
Once the two back pieces were sewn together, it was time for the applique. This was very tedious. I had to print out an image of the design on Harley's jacket, and trace it on to a piece of gold spandex that I had previously ironed heat and bond (or some similar product) to. Then I had to cut out the letters. This wasn't too difficult with the large letters, but I had to use a scalpel for all the smaller letters.
I ironed on the letters and stitched the larger letters in place with a satin stitch, and secured the other letters with fabric glue, as the heat and bond that I used wasn't sticky enough. 
 The next step was the trim for the sleeves. This is made from interfaced gold spandex, sewn into a tube and then ironed flat. Treating this like a huge piece of bias tape could also work. Once the trim was ready, I pinned and sewed it onto the sleeves-make sure your sleeves are already sewn to the jacket body for accuracy. 

I decided to line the jacket with cotton to make the jacket more comfortable. I also added some pockets to the lining for my phone and keys. Once the lining was sewn together I place it inside the outer layer of fabric and pinned everything in place. I hand-sewed the facing to the lining, and basted the neck and sleeve openings in place.
To make the collar, waistband, and cuffs, I dyed a cotton/elastane vest red, and cut out long strips. I used masking tape to mark out the stripes, and painted those using acrylic and fabric medium.
 I sewed on the cuffs, then added a zip (spray painted gold). NExt I sewed on the collar and waistband.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Harley Quinn: Assault on Arkham

Harley Quinn (Assault on Arkham)
I actually finished this costume in early February but forgot to upload it!
I liked the design of Harley's costume in "Assault on Arkham", and decided to make a quick Carnival costume. I used the same red spandex as for my Harley catsuit, and some random black lycra that I had in my stash. 

I started out with a Kwik Sew Pattern:
I split the leggings and top at the waist seam, which was quite simple. 
I made a few mistakes in construction. I should have used a separating invisible zip for the top, and I should have made the leggings higher in the waist, as they ride a bit too low.
I also didn't have time to style a wig for this look (lazy :P).
The belt and collar are made of black vinyl. I made a paper collar first to make sure that it looked right, then cut out a vinyl collar. THe collar closes at the back with snaps. The pompoms are made of wool. I used a simple method where you wrap the wool around your fingers, rather thank going through the hassle of using cardboard circles.  

The studs on the belt are metal: I took them from an old belt. The belt is just a strip of vinyl folded in half and sewn into a tibe, then turned inside out and topstitched down. It closes with a large snap. The belt buckle is non-functional - just a piece of craft foam covered with cloth and painted silver, then glued onto the belt with hot glue.
The glove and arm warmer were very easy to make. The arm warmer is just a tube of lycra with a bit of elastic at either end to help it stay on. For the glove, I just traced around my hand and sewed it up. 

I'd like to give kudos to Axcelaration Cosplay for her video, in which she explained how she made her Harley costume. It was really helpful to me. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Luna Lovegood

My mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect . . .

. . . all my shoes have mysteriously disappeared. I suspect the Nargles are behind it. 
Luna Lovegood is done! I finished the dress last week, and the jewellery today. 

I followed a great tutorial, but added a few touches of my own, such as using clear tape and craft foam to reinforce the specs. 
Here's the tutorial I used: 

 I bought a pair of pyjamas, and drew up a design that I though would suit Luna, rather than copying any particular costume from the films.

 My first idea was to convert the shirt into a shirt and incorporate the sleeves as pockets. 
 That didn't work out very well. The skirt lacked volume and the pockets didn't lie smooth.
 I scrapped that idea, and converted the top and parts of the trousers into a large rectangle of fabric, which I then gathered down. For the bodice, I converted a burda pattern and added some straps.

 I had some bra cups from an old top and thought I'd try and add them to the dress to provide support, since there's no boning. These were more trouble than they were worth. Perhaps I just sewed them in badly, but it was really hard to make them sit neatly, and they made the seam at the top seem bulky. I had to add topstitching just to make everything look all right. 

The next step: sew the skirt and the bodice together!

I gathered the skirt to fit the bodice. In hindsight, pleats would have looked nicer - oh well. I tried to match the seams of the skirt and bodice, so that the pockets of the skirt would sit neatly on the sides of the dress. 

I've never tried beading before. Luckily I have a talented friend helping me make the radish earrings and the cork necklace.
For the earrings, we used this tutorial:

First we made the leaves. We used 28 gauge silver wire and some of my friend's beads. 
 I don't have any pictures of making the body. I found the body of the radish a lot harder to make, so no photos, but if you use the tutorial linked above, it explains it very well. My only advice is to write down the number of beads you use on each row, and then use the same number on the other earrings. Seems obvious, but I forgot to do that and had to estimate how many beads to add for each row on my earrings.  
 My friend did most of the beading work on the necklace, and I added the clasp and jumprings. We made two necklaces and just had enough blue beads. Mine is a bit short due to lack of beads, so I added a piece of chain at the back. My friend strung the beads on wire, then twisted the ends into loops. We slid the cork on, and attached the lengths of beads to jump rings. Then I added a lobster clasp. The cork is an ordinary cork with a metal flower decoration glue to the bottom. The top flower decoration is anchored with a pin (jewellery pin? not sure what it's called) directly into the cork. The cork pendant is attached to the necklace with jump rings.