Harley Quinn. I think at this point cosplaying Harley is something every cosplayer has done at some point (or it seems that way at least). I myself have made 2 Harley Quinn costumes: her Bombshell look, and a Harley inspired skirt + bustier. I've been wanting to work more with spandex for a while, and Harley's classic bodysuit from Batman TAS seemed like a good starting point. It didn't hurt that I already had most of the materials. I had red and black spandex that i has bought for Asuka's plugsuit, white spandex that I used for Sailor Mars, fleece to make the pom poms, and iron on tear away stabiliser. I think the only thing I bought for this costume was white ribbon to make the cuffs, and that wasn't expensive. This costume was a good way of utilizing materials that I already had.
I used a Kwik Sew pattern to make the bodysuit. THe pattern is ideal for Harley Quinn as it has a front and back seam. Interestingly it has no side seams. This is easier because it means less seams to sew, but it does mean you can't use the pattern for designs where there is no front seam.
The first stage was cutting out the pieces of the bodysuit. I cut out a red piece and a black piece. I then measured from my neck to below my bust to determine where my waistline would be. Harley's waistline is a little above her natural waist, but this isn't flattering for everyone.
I then cut apart the pieces and re-sewed them. Be careful when you do this. Remember, Harley's left is top red, bottom black, and her right is to black, bottom red. I used an overlock machine, but a sewing machine with a stretch stitch should also work. I did the same thing for her collar, though I actually used the collar for the hood.
The next step was to add the diamonds. I used Acceleration Cosplay's video series on making a Haley Quinn suit, and I highly recommend them. She explains everything very clearly, though she is working with two preexisting catsuits that she cut up for her costume. I made the diamonds according to her specifications, and also traced the shapes on the sleeves and legs so that I knew where to sew them.
Here are the arm diamonds. To attach them I used Iron On Tear Away Stabiliser. You iron this on to the right side of your applique, and the wrong side of your sleeve. This stops the material stretching while you sew. I sewed the diamonds on with a small zig zag stitch (almost a straight stitch), then tore off the paper of the stabiliser.
I also had to make the sleeves tighter; my wrists are quite small and I wanted snug sleeves.
Here's the stabiliser in action; you can see that I've ironed it the wrong side of the catsuit pieces.
When you've finished ironing and stitching, your suit should look like this. I should also note that my placement of the diamonds could have been better. Next time I'd like to position the red diamond further forward so they show from the front.
I then started sewing the catsuit together. I used an overlock machine and sewed slowly to make sure that no material was bunched up and that I sewed the correct parts.
I didn't take photos, but I added a zip and hemmed the neck, sleeves, and legs. The zip was basted on, then I sewed it on using a slight zig zag stitch. The pieces didn't line up perfectly at the back, which was a bit annoying.
The finished bodysuit. I was very happy with this, considering that I'd never made a bodysuit before.
In my next posts I'll write about the cuffs, collar, hood, gloves, and boot covers.