So I was filling out some paperwork for a convention and I was asked ‘Please provide pictures of three different outfits and include a description of the materials and techniques used in constructing them.’ I didn’t know what costumes to talk about, at first. Now I felt like the three I wound up choosing are a pretty good array, sooooo here, have a bit of insight. :)
Ivy Valentine (Soul Calibur 5 version) – Hours: ~120 Cost: $75 Sometimes some of the smallest costumes have the most construction to make sure everything stays in its appropriate place. Fabric: 3 types of spandex, microsuede, silk, lace. The combination of stretch fabrics with non-stretch fabrics is always a struggle, and atop of that there was piping in between the paneling. Most of the construction was done on my serger, sewing machine, and details were sewn by hand. The pattern for this outfit was entirely drafted by me. All of the fabric of this outfit started off white and I hand-dyed it all to achieve the perfect colors. Armor: Wonderflex covered in metallic spandex, and the shoulder piece was sculpted from expanding foam, wonderflex, and epoxy putty. Sword: Insulation foam covered with polyethelene sheeting, with coil conduit for the ‘whip’, with the pommel made of insulation foam, a wooden dowel, and decorated with pieces of polyethelene sheeting. Wig: Hand-cut and styled by me. Boots: These are boot covers, into which I slip a high heel of my choosing. Making bootcovers saves a lot of money – you can invest in one pair of great, comfy pumps, and slip them into all high-heeled costumes – and I would be happy to teach others how to make a money-saving bootcover pattern.
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers version) – Hours: ~12 (Flame props: 30) Cost: $50 (Flame props: $40) Fabric: Navy is hand-dyed 2-way stretch wet-look spandex, the gold is 4-way stretch shiny moleskin spandex (the same gold I used on my Ms. Marvel/Warbird costume, which tied two costumes of the same character together), and the red is 2-way stretch faux leather. Constructed on my serger, the only hassle was combining 2- and 4-way stretches, and fitting a 2-way stretch fabric to my bust, which was achieved by patterning panels that would fit my bust without compressing it. The gloves were made by me, with finger gussets and fully functioning buttons. The boots were painted to match using Nu-Life leather spraypaint, with aesthetic buttons hand-sewn on. The wig was a combination of two wigs, weaving wefts of long hair down the center of a short wig, then styling it into a faux-hawk. While the flame effect has been enhanced by the photographer, they are props I made using theater lighting gel – forming them into ‘flames’ using a heat gun, then adhering them to a Wonderflex base (the tutorial for which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/bellecherecostume/photos/a.10151351721546130.1073741827.224399206129/10151352837586130/?type=3&theater). The cowl is made out of silicon, made by 4th Wall Designs.
Red Sonja - Hours: ~75 Cost: $60 The bikini top and loincloth/bottoms were made from a base of brown microsuede, atop of which I hand-stitched over 750 nickle-plated mild steel scales (purchased from theringlord.com). It weighs about 16 lbs. and is tied with reinforced leather strapping. I test ALL my costumes out before attending a convention, to ensure no ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ happen, by the by. Gloves were made out of the same brown microsuede, as well as the boots – the soles of which are water shoes, which is another cost effective way to sole a costume shoe. The shoulder, thigh, and arm bands are made from Wonderflex, covered in metallic spandex.