Bombshell Wonder Woman Cosplay, Part 1 – The Closet

WW full costume editI’ve been Wonder Woman since I was about 6 years old. This picture shows my latest costume, Wonder Woman from DC Bombshells, and the costume my mom made for me when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I guess you could say I’m a fan.

In this post I’m going to show you how I put together the fabric portions of this costume. A lot of this is closet cosplay, with modifications. My posts assume that you have a basic understanding of sewing. I apologize in advance that I did not have as many pics as I would like.

THE SHIRTWWshirt-finished

I had this red button up shirt that I used to wear to work. And then I didn’t because I didn’t really like it that much anymore. It was from NY&Co. It still fit, I just didn’t really wear it anymore. This was a great opportunity to give it a second life.

The first thing I did was add the logo. I found one online, then sized it in Photoshop so it would fit on my shirt. I traced it out in tailor’s chalk, being careful to note how it would look with the buttons in place. I ironed on interfacing to the inside for stability, and just sewed over the chalk in a satin stitch. I made the logo in black, and then outline in yellow, as indicated in the original art.

WW shirt applique 2

WW shirt applique

This was a long sleeve shirt, so I chopped off the sleeves just above the elbow (because that’s how long I wanted it!). I added fake cuffs at this point. That just required measuring around the sleeve and making a rectangle that was the right length and width, plus seam allowance. I added interfacing to the cuffs so they would stay rigid instead of falling down. Then I just folded over 1/4 inch to finish off the edges. Easy peasy.

WWsleeve-inside

In its original form, the shirt had a pretty standard collar and buttoned all the way up, but the costume needed a white collar with a plunging neckline. So I faked it. I cut out a piece of white fabric the same size as the existing collar, added 1/4 inch, and just covered it.

WWcollar-inside

Then I tried on the shirt to approximate where I wanted the lapels to land. They are just two triangles, stitched on over the button section. They end at the point of the “W.”

WWcollar-outside

And that’s about it for the shirt!

THE SHORTS

WWshorts

This was the easiest part of the whole costume, because I just bought the shorts from PUG. It’s not as easy to find high-waisted shorts as it should be, and not as easy to find patterns for them as it should be either! I found star buttons at the fabric store, and then I found a piece of scrap denim in my vast collection of fabrics to create a loop, put Velcro on each end, and there you have a place to put your lasso. Done.

THE HEADBAND

headband-finished

This was an interesting piece of engineering, because as the Rosie the Riveter-type headscarf is drawn, it defies logic. A square kerchief will not have the tie next to the pointy part. So I basically made a headband and added a triangle.

IMG_2191

I measured around my head, noting the way it would be positioned. I also noted where I wanted the star/triangle portion to sit. Cut two, stitch wrong sides together, turn right side out, finish ends, top stitch. I added Velcro to the ends, ironed on a purchased red star, and to complete the illusion, cut out a small piece of fabric to create the tie at the top of the headband. That is actually a separate piece.

bombshell-wonder-woman-poster

Most of the sewing is straight lines or zigzags, and all of the measurements are just my specifications, or to fit the shirt. There is a bit of variation to the DC Bombshells art, so I don’t feel compelled to be perfect. There is no exact way of making this, depending on who is drawing that issue. I will have 2 more segments for this costume: props and boots. I will finish this approximately whenever I have time.

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Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Zombie Felties Update

Zombie Pirate rises from his adorable coffin

Zombie Pirate rises from his adorable coffin

It’s that time of year again, and I’ve been sewing up an adorable army of the undead. Last year I reviewed the book Zombie Felties and made the Classic Zombie. That pattern had a difficulty rating of 2 skulls. This year I made a Pirate Zombie (pictured above) at a rating of 3 skulls, and the Zombie Kitty at a rating of 1 skull.

Zombie Pirate and Book

Zombie Pirate and Book

I actually felt that the Pirate was a bit easier to construct than the Classic. I concede that may be because I had a little more experience in making them at that point, but I also noticed there were fewer beads involved in the Pirate’s construction, and I think all the little bandages on the Classic made it a little fussier. I did not have the right size red bead for the Pirate’s eye, but I did have on hand some red sequins and a red seed bead. I’m pretty happy with the results. That was my only real substitution, apart from the hook, which is just a piece of bent wire. Super easy.

The Kitty was appropriately 1 skull because it was very easy to put together. The photo in the book does not reflect this, but there is a drawing on the following page that depicts the eyeball collar decoration as being bloodshot. I used a fine-point sharpie to add the red squiggles to the white bead. I did not use pale green felt as directed in the book, because I couldn’t find any. I think the gray works just fine.

Zombie Kitty

Zombie Kitty

Speaking of the actual felt material, there is one consistent piece of advice I would give for making any of these: try to find eco felt. It is made from recycled plastic bottles and it is more firm than regular felt. I wouldn’t use it for anything really cuddly, but for decorative purposes it makes life a lot easier. The Zombie Felties projects involve lots of teeny-tiny pieces of fabric, and with lots of handling the felt can start to come apart. Eco felt will not fall apart when cut into tiny pieces.

Since it is nearly Halloween I expect my next project will be a costume. I hope I can find some spare time!

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm  Comments (2)  
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Steampunk Softies – Craft Project and Book Review

Steampunk Softies

Steampunk Softies

Well, of course I had to pick up this book when I saw it in the store! Those craft retailers know the trends, and our weaknesses. Steampunk Softies is a new book by Sarah Skeate and Nicola Tedman. Many of you may be familiar with Sarah Skeate from her book Zombie Felties, which I also reviewed here. This book contains eight different characters/patterns, and includes very detailed instructions. The authors also include tips for how to modify some of the materials to make them look more authentic.
The first thing that you have to accept is that you will never, ever find the exact elements to perfectly recreate these dolls. And they tell you upfront in the introduction that you will have to make substitutions. This was actually a great exercise in creativity and making the doll your own. I was skeptical at first, but ultimately this was a lot of fun. I really had to look at craft items in a new way to achieve the look I wanted.
I chose to make Marveletta O’Houlihan. This decision was based mostly on the fact that she appeared to be the easiest doll to make. The materials and equipment list was very daunting, and to be honest I balked at it a bit. There are 37 individual items listed, including 4 different kinds of adhesive. Personally, I think E-6000 is the only adhesive I need, and it was the only thing I used. As a craft hoarder, I used this project as a personal challenge to purchase as little as possible and to just use what I had on hand. I’m sure you could easily spend $50 trying to assemble everything you needed. I say this because you can’t buy single bugle beads or 4 square inches of fabric at a time. So if you do one of these projects, try to work with what you’ve already got.

Constructing Marveletta

Constructing Marveletta

The body is assembled first, then the head piece is sewn on, and the collar covers the seam where they meet up. For the main body you are supposed to use a suiting fabric with a narrow pinstripe. The only appropriate fabric I had was brown, and I sewed pin stripes onto it, which they also recommend in the book if you can’t find what you need in the store. They are helpful with recommending substitutions here. For the hair they recommend a stretch woolen fabric. I did not have anything of that sort in my fabric collection, but I did have a fuzzy sweater with a hole in it that I planned to throw away. Lucky break there. I found working with the stretchy sweater really difficult, especially because the pattern has a lot of unusual curves that just didn’t keep their detail. But that’s just what I chose; another type of fabric may work better. I used muslin for the face and that worked out just fine. The face detail is drawn on with a marker, so I recommend that you do a test with the fabric and marker you choose before you do it for real on the final product. You have to hand-sew the stretchy hair fabric around the face in a kidney-shape with a blind stitch and that was probably the most difficult part of the whole project.

Opera Glasses

Opera Glasses

The next bit is the one that can either be really frustrating or really fantastic. Here you have to assemble her opera glasses and handbag. The body of the glasses is supposed to be a funnel-shaped metal blind pull weight, or similarly shaped bead. The handle is part of a handle to a tea strainer. Obviously I’m not going to go around town looking for a single blind pull weight, and if I hacksawed our tea strainer my husband would be a bit miffed because it is actually in active use at our house. Besides, those things are kind of expensive, at least too expensive to buy just so you can cut them apart. This is the point where I had to muster my creative energies and figure out how to make this work. My secret weapon: Sara Cura. Whenever I get to the Twin Cities area I stop by a little bellydance shop called Sara Cura, which is located in Dinkytown. The proprietor frequents estate sales for vintage jewelry and buys it in lots. These lots often contain broken and mismatched jewelry, which she sells in little bags for $4. Finally, this has paid off for me. I constructed the glasses from two funnel-shaped beads (purchased especially for this project), and two pearlescent beads from a broken necklace. For the handle I dug out an old bangle bracelet that I didn’t like, cut it and straightened it. I liked the texture of it and thought it would work here. All of this had to be glued together.
The handbag consists of beads and a charm I already had in my stash, and it is connected to the opera glasses with a chain from another broken necklace. The handbag is supposed to be attached to the body with a round-end safety pin, but I couldn’t find any. Instead I used a dangle earring finding. Her hair jewelry is an earring that had no mate.

Marveletta - both versionsMarveletta – both versions
Marveletta close up

Marveletta close up

As far as my review of the book, the instructions were very detailed and there are lots of drawings and photos to help you figure it out. I think that the patterns could be very adaptable to different kinds of dolls for whatever occasion. This could be a lot of fun for  a craft hoarder, but if you have not amassed a ridiculous amount of oddball craft items over the years it could be particularly difficult or expensive to pull this together. Ultimately, the only things I purchased especially for the project were plastic pellets (for fill) and the funnel-shaped beads. With the massive supply list at the beginning I did go into this project thinking that there was no way it was practical. But it really forced me to use my brain, and that’s always a good thing. I genuinely feel inspired by the project and I look forward to doing another in my spare time.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Steampunk bag project

Costumed at CONvergence

Eric, Karen and Erica

This is my very first blog post!

My latest spare-time project revolves around CONvergence. If you are unfamiliar with this annual affair, it is a huge genre convention held at the Bloomington, MN Sheraton Hotel. It regularly draws 3000-5000 people. Last year was my and Paul’s first year and we loved it! I went in costume so I am going to explain how this costume was put together for your edification.
The easy part was the actual costume. I have fallen in love with the steampunk style so I worked with that idea this year (and last year as well!). The ensemble is composed of a cream-colored frilly blouse that I found at a thrift store, a pair of vintage goggles I found online (I think I paid $20), an altered skirt from Old Navy, boots from JC Penney, and the key piece was a lovely green corset that I bought at the CON. I had planned on that purchase this year because I just don’t have the knowledge or patience to sew a corset. Maybe I will someday, but today is not that day.

Skirt from Old Navy

From Boring to Steam

It took very little time to alter the skirt. I just gathered it in strategic places and added vintage-looking buttons from JoAnn Fabrics. My main accessory to this whole thing was a rather snappy-looking messenger bag. I found this bag in Mills Fleet Farm’s army surplus section for $15. When I showed my husband he decided he should get one because it is perfect for carrying the Netbook. I also showed it to my friends Karen and Eric, who each ended up buying one, and I just found out my dad bought one after I showed him mine on Father’s Day. It’s just too good a deal. So I went to work turning it into a steampunk-style bag. I called on a very knowledgeable friend for advice on leatherwork. He was able to hook me up with what I needed.

Before and after

Finished bag and original

I got a 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of leather, mahogany dye, sealant, screws for leather, and a really cool dragonfly adornment that is also for leather specifically. My first step was to make a stencil from brushes I downloaded from obsidiandawn.com. She has some gear brushes for Photoshop that worked perfectly. I printed off a design and cut it out of the leather with a box cutter. I then burned the edges with a soldering iron to give it a more finished look. It worked OK . I would have liked it darker, but I was under some time constraints, as usual. I then stained the leather. It ended up being streaky, so I had to stain it twice. Since I was using a water-based stain it took 24 hours for each pass to dry, leaving me with even less time. After I finally got the sealant on it looked somewhat distressed and very dark, but I think it worked pretty well. Next I glued some pewter-colored fabric (half-price remnant) to the back side of the leather piece so it would show through as gears. I used the screws to hold the cut-out pieces to the bag. That got to be hard, because the hole puncher only reaches about 1 1/2 inches. Paul ended up helping me drill holes through the bag. Then the screw for the dragonfly decoration was shorter than the other screws and I couldn’t get it to go through all of the layers. I ended up having to hot glue one corner of the main piece to the bag and also the gear decoration that covers the clasp on the bottom. I would have used E-6000, but I had reached my last night and I didn’t have time for the adhesive to set. My final detail was to hang a chain between the dragonfly and the screw in the top gear. I was pretty happy with how it had turned out.

It turns out I should have started earlier and used the E-6000. The one corner came loose and my gear ripped off almost immediately. I managed to locate some crazy glue, but ultimately that would not save my gear. It is probably somewhere in the dealers’ room. The jump rings I used to connect the chain to the screws kept pulling apart and I eventually had to just pull it off entirely. Ultimately, for a woman this turned out to be a very bad bag. It was difficult to access and didn’t work for girly things like a makeup kit and hairbrush. If I were transporting documents it would have worked just fine. The part that made this realization difficult was that I was getting compliments on the bag, so it still looked great in spite of everything – it just isn’t functional.

I am already plotting a more lady-friendly bag for next-year. And a more elaborate costume. But I’ll have to do that in my spare time.

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 3:40 am  Comments (4)  
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