Hi! I’d like to cosplay Maryden Halewell from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I don’t know how to tackle her sleeves, they have an interesting texture I’m not quite sure how to replicate. Do you have any suggestions?

Hi! I’d like to cosplay Maryden Halewell from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I don’t know how to tackle her sleeves, they have an interesting texture I’m not quite sure how to replicate. Do you have any suggestions?

Hello there!

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That texture is quite interesting! There’s a few ways I can see to go about this.

First of all, the pattern of the sleeves themselves. They appear to be vertically pleated, which is an usual style. I would pattern these like you would a pleated skirt, only you are going to need to deal with the curve of the sleeve cap. Basically, vertically slash a straight, dartless sleeve pattern at even intervals where you want the pleats to go, spread the pieces apart in the distance you need (these are box pleats, so pleat depth x 2 for the sides + however wide you want the “bottom” of the pleat), and then redraw the curve of the cap to fit the new size and shape.

For the texture, you can either buy a fabric with a texture or you can create a fabric with a texture. Chenille or corduroy with the wale running horizontally would work well, as would a synthetic fabric with a pre-pressed “crinkle” effect. You might also get lucky and find a really textured dupioni that could work. If you want to create the pattern yourself, you can use dye to create a simulation of texture (possibly by doing rough accordion pleats on green fabric and then dipping in black?), or you can pleat or melt fabric in a way that gets you that texture. If you don’t want to deal with all that, raw silk/silk noil might make an interesting texture, though not entirely accurate. I would say that the more inherent texture to the fabric you use, the better in this case.

Personally? I would go with a chenille or a corduroy with a wide (lower number) wale (the the lines running through it), since the rest of the outfit gives off the kind of vibe where a rich, fall fabric would make sense.

I hope that helps! Good luck :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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Hello, I’m thinking of cosplaying as Estelle from Tales of Vesperia but I have no idea of how to make the coat keep its shape around the shoulders and the bell shape on the skirt. Any advice you could offer? Thank you!

Hello, I’m thinking of cosplaying as Estelle from Tales of Vesperia but I have no idea of how to make the coat keep its shape around the shoulders and the bell shape on the skirt. Any advice you could offer? Thank you!

Hello there!

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Ah yes, the old not caring about gravity when making a character design issue.

Mostly for this kind of outfit, you are going to need to add a lot of extra structure. This can come in the form of boning, interfacing, horsehair braid, wire, or any other item that can be inserted into the fabric to make it stiffer and behave more to your will.

The sleeves are going to be a bit tricky in how they are patterned, since they don’t have visible gathers. You can either add gathers to the bottom where they will attach to a separate piece for the lower arm, or you can leave it ungathered and add a panel in order to bridge the two, much like how lantern sleeves are constructed.

As for keeping them off your shoulders, I would recommend a heavy interfacing and some sort of still material in the open edge. It would be even sturdier if you continued that stiff material in through the top neckline edge of the jacket. Horsehair braid is a good option, but if that ends up not being sturdy enough for your tastes, soft plastic boning (the cheap stuff, not anything like German plastic or synthetic whalebone) inserted into the edge would work quite well. If you have issues keeping the sleeves up, they can be attached, either permanently or with hidden snaps on the inside, to the pink undershirt.

The skirt is also tricky, but the main issue you will have will likely be keeping the petal shape, not keeping the poof. There are going to be at least two parts to the structure of the skirt: an underlayer that holds the petals out away from your body, and structure within the petals that keep their curved shape and allow them to fall in that lovely egg shape around your body.

For the underlayer, I would recommend a small petticoat. Be sure to get or make one with more of a bell shape than an A-line shape, because this will help support the top of the skirt as well as the bottom. Thankfully, the front of the skirt is closed above the knee or mid thigh (depending on how you are proportioning this to yourself), so you can easily hide a support garment underneath. 

For the shape of the petals, you will need to do a few things. First is to make sure you pattern them so that they retain a curved shape on their own – the inside of the petal is going to be larger than the outside edge. This is simple enough on the petals that are split between the two shades of pink down the center, since you can simply make the two pieces curved, sew them together, and have a curved shape. The pattern will look roughly like this, though be sure to do some tests at small scale to ensure the proper curvature:

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(ignore that my handwriting is terrible!)

You can see here that the middle seam is curved to allow more space inside of there than a simple straight seam would allow – this is what creates the curve of the petal. It’s the same principle as a princess seam or any other curved seam that creates fullness.

For the front petals with asymmetrical seamlines, you will need to play with the patterns a LOT to create fullness in the top portion without adding too much fullness near the sides. On these, I would recommend also creating a vertical seam on the light pink portions, running from the tip of the petal to the seam that attaches it to the dark pink (so about halfway up the petal), so that you can shape it with the fullness that you need. These petals would then be three pieces (two light, one dark) rather than two. I would personally pattern the symmetrical petals first and then modify a copy of that pattern by slicing along the curve where the dark meets the light and adding seam allowance to that edge. This will ensure the same shape as the other petals and save you a bit of time on trying to get those curves correct!

The petals themselves are also going to need some structure in order to keep their shape. Interfacing will help quite a bit. You can also experiment with a few things, which will give you a few different effects: running a length of plastic boning down the center, running a length of wire down the center, running a length of wire around the outside edge.

The boning would be the most “bouncy” of the structures, and would be the first thing I would go with. Wire down the center would be a hybrid. Wire around the edges would be stiffest, but would also be the most posable. Be sure to get a wire that won’t discolor your fabric over time, like a millinery wire, which is intended for use next to fabric. If you are finding that the petals tend to collapse with only a center support, you can also try a center support and a V-shaped support, with the lines of the V running from the point, through the centers of the panels, and then to the waist.

This skirt is going to be heavy and cumbersome pretty much no matter what you do, so be sure to give the waistband good support!

I hope that helps! Good luck :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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So I’m thinking about spraypainting some faux leather Doc Martin-type boots. This won’t really be for cosplay, I’ll be using them for everyday use. But do you have any recommendations for spraypaint that is light blue/sky blue but is also durable and waterproof?

So I’m thinking about spraypainting some faux leather Doc Martin-type boots. This won’t really be for cosplay, I’ll be using them for everyday use. But do you have any recommendations for spraypaint that is light blue/sky blue but is also durable and waterproof?

Hello there!

What I would recommend isn’t spraypaint, but rather a leather paint. The difference is that leather paint is soft and flexible and can adhere well to the types of materials that shoes are made out of, where spray paint is not at all flexible and will flake off easily.

Angelus brand leather paint is very popular, comes in many colors, and can be purchased at most US craft stores, and the brand I would recommend.

If you absolutely have to spray paint, I would get Designmaster Colortool spray, which is meant for faux flowers, since it will be softer and more flexible than other spray paints, though it still won’t have quite the effect of a leather paint.

I hope that helps! Good luck :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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I’m planning on cosplaying the “cute jumper” wardrobe piece from the game Dangerous fellows. Do you have any tips on how to distress jeans. (I’m fairly small so I’m having a hard time finding ripped jeans that fit me)

I’m planning on cosplaying the “cute jumper” wardrobe piece from the game Dangerous fellows. Do you have any tips on how to distress jeans. (I’m fairly small so I’m having a hard time finding ripped jeans that fit me)

Hello there!

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Thankfully, since distressed jeans are fashionable, there are TONS of guides out there on how to do it! Here’s a few methods you may find helpful:

Creating patches of horizontal white threading

Fraying with a razor

Light bleach wash and sandpaper

You can also use heavier grits of sandpaper (lower numbers) and elbow grease to not just soften, but to actually wear holes through the jeans.

Make sure you concentrate the distressing on areas that jeans would naturally get distressed – the fronts of the thighs, the knees, around areas that are on the tops of folds and creases (rather than inside the folds and creases) when worn, around the pocket openings and the bottom hems, etc.

Have fun with it! I hope that helps :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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I don’t know if this has already been asked, but I’m making a cosplay for Midnight from My Hero Academia, and I’m mega struggling with her corset thingy. It’s so impossible to find a tutorial on any of her costume, but I pretty much have it downpacked besides the corset. If you can help, I’d very much appreciate it! Thank you

I don’t know if this has already been asked, but I’m making a cosplay for Midnight from My Hero Academia, and I’m mega struggling with her corset thingy. It’s so impossible to find a tutorial on any of her costume, but I pretty much have it downpacked besides the corset. If you can help, I’d very much appreciate it! Thank you

Hello there!

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There’s a few ways you can go about her corset.

Perhaps the easiest would be to simply purchase an off-the-rack underbust corset and modify it as needed. Even though you won’t likely be looking to actually reduce your waist, I would still look for one with steel boning and a curvy enough cut that it will conform to your underbust and hips while still defining your waist and not creating gaps. Remember that the lacing should be parallel in the back! Here’s a good guide to the basics.

Another option would be to make an underbust corset. It doesn’t have to be extremely complicated, since you likely aren’t going to want to tightlace with it, but still be sure to use a firm fabric and high-quality boning – I typically recommend spiral steel for the bendy areas like the waist and flat spring steel for the areas like the center front – since a lot of cheap plastic boning can warp and twist and become very uncomfortable. Making your own would allow you to customize the fit and the detailing in a way that purchasing would not. Even a basic pattern found in the costuming section of a major commercial pattern manufacturer’s catalog would work well for this, since you don’t need tightlacing or historical accuracy. Thankfully, costume corset patterns are very common these days!

Lastly, you can make a faux corset out of a stretchy fabric and enough boning for structure, but not the same amount or type you would use for a full corset. I would recommend using a stretch interfacing on your fabric if you go this route, as it helps create a bit more firmness and control. This would be the least corset-like, but would move in the same way hers seems to. It also would take less skill in getting a precise fit, though you would need to know how to work with stretch fabrics. I would recommend a boning like rigilene for this option.

Any of these options can either have the panty area attached to the corset or as a separate piece worn underneath.

For the front detailing, I would recommend creating the neck piece as a separate item and then having it snap to the front of the corset rather than sewing in on. This will allow you to dress and undress easier than if it were attached, and if you needed to remove the neck piece for any reason, you wouldn’t need to remove your whole costume. If you have a pre-made corset or if you make a corset with a busk in the front, you can use the detailing to cover the busk and hide it. The red gems can simply be sewn or glued over where the snaps are.

I hope that helps! Good luck :]

Fabrickind / Q&A Staff / Twitter

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