Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Kili Project - Scabbard strap

With HobbitCon just around the corner, I found out I would try on Rik's Kili costume, just for fun, to see if it actually fit, and it did! Inspired by this sudden delightful surprise, I did a quick make up and hair and realised (to Rik's horror) that I might actually make a pretty decent Kili myself! The idea formed in my head that I could actually participate in the costume competition at HobbitcCon, as Kili instead of Tauriel. As much as I love my Tauriel cosplay, I've put down a ridiculous amount of time, money and effort with the Kili costume, way beyond what I've done with Tauriel, and it would be amazing to be able to showcase that work through a competition (especially if the rumors are true and Richard Taylor (yes, THE Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop) IS in the judge panel). Therefore, after putting it down to a vote on my Instagram and Facebook account, Kili won through with way over half the votes!

Great! This will be awesome! At least that's what I thought a first. And then my compulsions kicked in ...

"I'll have to make the coat now! I don't have time for that ... But I can make the quiver/sword strap! I have time for that! And maybe the bracers? I could have time for that (possibly) ... And the gloves? That's pushing it."

As you can see, I have a nasty tendency of getting in over my head, but at least I've gotten better at calling myself out on it. I made the strap. Well, technically, I'd already made the strap, as a scabbard for the sword for the premiere, but it was just a simple leather strap, no embellishments, so I modified it look like the one in the movie. I might make the bracers if I have time tonight. Possibly.
Anyway, here's progress photos! And me as Kili! ^_^

Making more studs out of fimo clay:

Drilling holes in the corners of the studs for sewing, oh, and the buckle:
Gluing the studs and the leather pieces onto the strap:
Putting on the overlaying leather that attaches the buckle to the strap and gluing that too on:

Getting an idea of how it's gonna look before securing the studs by sewing the corners to the leather:

The finished product (I apologize for the messy background, I'm messy, I know, Rik keeps telling me off for it):

Me as Kili:

Friday, 4 April 2014

Tauriel Bracers

Having finished the bodice, I started to work on a new pair of bracers that would match it. The old ones are too tight and rigid to be comfortable and they're made out of the same thick suede I used for the old bodice, and are spray painted the same way. Good last resort, but hardly impressive. I had to make new ones!
I used the old bracers as a pattern and cut out four copies; two in a thinner, brown suede material, and two in the same thin leather that I used for the bodice.

I could probably have wrapped it up quite quickly if I hadn't decided to decorate the bracers with gold thread embroidery. I sat down, found some reference pictures, which are pretty few and hard to come by, so I opted for an original freehand design that took on some of the style from the fragments I could find pictures of. Using baking paper, I traced the pattern and taped the paper to the suede side of the thin leather (the gold thread is quite fragile, so I only used it on the under thread, thus, to get the gold on the right side, I had to sew it with the suede side up).
After that, I simply sewed the pattern with my sewing machine, using the freehand embroidery fuction. It was rather time consuming, and it sometimes turned out a little different than the design, but on average, I'm pretty happy with the result.

Then came the tedious process of removing the baking paper! It was truly such a bother, I decided to go for some silk paper for the second one, and that definitely made it easier as I didn't have to worry about ruining the seams when I pealed it off.
With the embroidery done on both pieces, I started to peg (those wonderful pegs again) the supple, thin leather to the more rough and rigid suede leather, and stitched the two layers, also with gold under thread. And that's what I've done so far. Next, I'll be sorting out some sort of closures,  hut I'm still trying to come up with one that both looks good and is functional.

I think they turned out rather nice, though! What do you think?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tauriel Bodice

After I had stitched together the leather pieces as demonstrated in my last post, I also did the lining and attached some channels for boning to the latter. Using thin spiral steel boning gives the bodice the rigidity it needs, and yet allows it to remain flexible enough for comfort.

I sewed together the leather and the lining and proceeded to sort out the lacing in the back, inserting boning at the end piece and then eyelets for the lacing. Only to realize I'd made the whole thing a bit too wide; even lacing it all the way in, it looked and felt slack, so I had to do some cheating on the back panels to get rid of a couple of inches. That worked a treat!

Moving on from here, I started to work on the "winged" sweetheart neckline and straps. This was a fiddly process, but I got it right in the end, with the help of some pegs (!), and now, all that remains is to attach the two last bits on the straps, and then attach the latter in back!