Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Making of Wonder Woman

 The Wonder Woman costume is completed! I started this in an attempt to use up some of the material I already had, and I halfway succeeded. I used up a lot of red stretch velvet and some white lycra, but had to buy new material to make the shorts.

This blog post explains how I made each part of the costume.

The Crown
 The crown is made of craft foam. I cut out a paper crown and altered it until I got the shape that I wanted, then cut out the craft foam pieces using the paper as a template. I didn't have a big enough piece of craft foam, and had to glue it together with hot glue. The front piece and the back pieces were all separate. I joined them by placing some glue along the edge and holding the two pieces together until the glue bonded them. For extra strength, I glued cloth to the back of the crown. There are also several layers of PVA glue coating the crown. The whole lot was then painted with gold acrylic.
 Once that was dry, I cut out a craft foam star, painted that with red nail polish, and stuck it to the crown. The crown fastens at the back with a snap.

The Armour
 I went for a simplified version of Diana's armour: just the belt and eagle. Initially I was going to use craft foam, but didn't have enough. Instead, I had some vinyl from a coat I had cut up for a project. I cut out the shapes I wanted and painted it. I didn't paint the shiny side, but the back of the vinyl, because the painted adhered to that much better.
 The eagle and belt fasten to the bodice with snaps. Those were sewn on before painting. I used acrylic paint. You have to use several layers to get it to look good, otherwise the colour of the vinyl backing just shows through.

The Bracers
 I started off with a paper pattern. The bracer is basically as wide as your wrist at the top, and as wide as your forearm at the bottom. Then add about two inches on either side for the velcro.
 Sew the velcro on: one piece on the wrong side, one on the good side.
 Vinyl is a little difficult to sew. I suggest placing it between two pieces of tracing paper so that it moves easily through your sewing machine.
 Next step was to paint it. Painting helps to hide the stitch lines. You need quite a few coats for it to look good.
Either have a lot of silver paint, or paint on a white undercoat.
The finished bracers should look like this. I should mention that for some reason they are quite sticky: if they get folded, they stick to themselves, though you can easily unstick them without damaging them.

The Bootcovers
 These were quite tricky to make, mainly because I had to add in the white stripe in the centre of the bootcover. To start off, put on the shoes you intend to wear with your bootcovers, and drape the cloth over your leg. Pin it in place as best as you can. When that's done, trace the shape on to paper: this will be your template. Trace around your template on to the cloth, and cut out your boot covers. Draw around the sole of your shoes to make soles for your bootcovers. Sew the back of the bootcovers together, but leave the front.
 You need to remove some material from the front so that you can sew in the white stripe.
 I removed roughly 2 inches from the from. I cut out a piece of white lycra that was 2 inches wide, and much longer the the boot, and pinned to the front centre of the boot, and sewed it into place.
 Once the stripe is in place, sew the sole on.
Next, you need to create the point at the top of the boots. Rather than cutting, I folded the top into a point. This is better than cutting, because if you make a mistake you can fix it by refolding the material.
The top white stripe was sewn on like bias tape. Pin the stripe and boot cover right sides together and sew, Flip the white stripe to the other side, and sew it down.

If you want your bootcovers to have a better grip, glue some felt or vinyl to the bottom.

The Corset

The corset pattern is based on the Custom Corset Pattern Generator This is an Elizabethan style corset, with only two panels. It creates a conical silhouette rather than an hourglass shape.

I explained how to make the corset in this post

The Shorts
These were tricky to make. I started out by trying to use a T-shirt, but it wasn't nearly stretch enough. For my next attempt, I used blue stretch velvet, which looked pretty good, but I then had to try and applique stars on to it, which was incredibly fiddly and time consuming. I scrapped that and decided to buy some star print material. JB stores had what I needed, but it wasn't as stretchy as the other material I'd used. So I decided to make the shorts non-stretch.
 To do this. I made a rough pair of shorts from cotton. They were too small, so I added strips of fabric to the sides until they were wide enough.
 Next I tailored then until I got the shape I wanted. I cut my material on the bias to get a little bit of stretch, then sewed the shorts and added darts at the waist.
They look pretty good (as good as starry Granny pants can!) though they are very short at the back. I'll be wearing tights with these! There's a invisible zip in the side. And despite cutting on the bias, I have quite a lot of material left over, which is going to be made into a skirt. After all, Wonder Woman has been drawn both with shorts and skirts:

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