Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Elektra: Cosplay Write Up


Elektra was an ambitious project for me.  My costumes prior to Elektra were bagged female Robin, bagged Bo Peep, and Calie Liddle.  Calie was created with a typical French Maid pattern plus a waist cincher and a few modifications.  Starting up my sewing machine for Calie was challenging.  I was scared.  I was not new to sewing, but it had been a very long time and when I did sew I was never confident in my skills (I am still not exactly confident).  However, I was happy with Calie’s result so I decided to try creating Elektra.

The top part of Elektra
There is no pattern for Elektra.  It’s not a dress or leotard pattern one can just pick up and work with.  I wound up buying the pattern for an evening dress that has one shoulder, but I only worked with the top part of the pattern (See & Sew B4426).   The pattern, even though I purchased my size, was HUGE.  It had to be taken in everywhere.

I did not have a pattern for the bottom of the leotard or the skirt.  For the bottom, I took one of my favorite bikini bottoms and quite literally laid it on the spandex and cut it out.  For the skirt, I took my hip measurements and the length I wanted the skirt to fall to.  I then sketched out the pattern on some paper.  Initially, I wanted the front part of the skirt to be shorter then the back, but when I tried the costume on after creating it in such a way I didn’t think it looked very attractive.  I then cut out the front and created a new front piece to match the length of the back.

My homemade computer paper pattern.

Next I added a spandex waist band.  I made the waistband open on the bottom so I could give it the look of being tied on.  I also left the hips free of any stitching so I could thread the sash through the side and put my sai’s in the waistband as well.

I racked my brain over the skull cap, until I realized it’s just a do-rag.  I found a wonderful pattern online and voila the perfect skull cap.  In researching this I also found out that children going through chemo love do-rags and it’s rare they get any not to mention finding a child size pattern is tricky.  But if you happen to be making do-rags they are always a welcome donation for children going through chemo.

The original footwear consisted of red ballet shoes.  These were very difficult to find.  I added red knee high stockings and wrapped spandex strips around my calves.  The original arm and leg bands were athletic tape.

No contacts here,
but the wig in it's full glory
Since making this costume, I have added a wig.  The wig I added was originally intended for Calie, but when I tried it on I didn’t care for the shape of it.  However with the skull cap this wig is more then perfect for Elektra.  I even left a bit of the bangs out of the front of the cap which I think really added to the costume overall.  I also added color contacts.

The original sash was spandex but I found it to be heavy so I switched to a lighter fabric.

The arm and leg bands are now spandex and held in place with body glue.  Bands tend to slip on me regardless of how tight I make them, plus I keep changing so what once was tight may not be by time I wear it.  So I have the added security of the body glue.  In fact, when I wore Elektra to the 2012 NYCC the leg bands were too big and I had just made them a month prior to the show.  One of the bands was so loose I had to pin it tighter after gluing.  Circus just keeps tightening everything up and in the last month there has been a huge difference everywhere.  My super girl boots are no longer tight on my calves either and when I made them they were a touch too snug.

New shoes!
Elektras shoes were completely revamped.  They are so much easier to put on and much more comfortable to wear.  I decided to go with a shoe cover this time around.  The shoe is actually a seriously comfortable slipper.  Remember that original spandex sash?  It was cut up and made into the base of the shoe covers.  The spandex strips that were originally laced around my leg are now laced around the shoe cover and adhered with fabric glue.  I made sure to have some extra spandex so I could have a tie in the back of the shoe.  I still haven’t gotten down putting the new shoes on.  I have to remember to get my foot in and then fish for the piece behind the heel.  I will remember one of these days.

Elektra is so much fun to cosplay at conventions!  The only issue is that the red costume blends into the carpet, but she is a fun character regardless.

I would like to remake the leotard in the future.  Mostly because of the way I attached the top, skirt, and bottoms.  Now that I have been sewing more I have better ideas and ways to make it work.  I think I would prefer to have the leotard it’s own piece and then the waist band with the skirt as a separate piece that either attaches similar to a belt or is sewn on but like a belt.  I may possibly try yet another fabric for the tail of the sash as my lighter fabric does not have as much drape to it.  All the accessories for Elektra are perfect as of now.

However, I am still very happy with this cosplay and it’s one of my favorites.  A labor of love for sure.  I learned a lot piecing this costume together.  I keep thinking about skrull Elektra, and then I remember how much I don’t like body paint on me or on my costumes.  The idea of potentially ruining any of my costumes kills me.

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