Sewing can be a big part of making a costume (though not necessarily), but there are tons of other skills that go into it, most of them you learn along the way. I've got all the materials, and my Shadow Weaver costume for Comic-Con is well under way. Here's what I've done so far.

But first, a pit stop:

Before I could get started on this year's costume, I had to repair last year's. This is Melisandre's necklace from Game of Thrones. Some of the paint had flaked off and the electrical circuit to make the jewel blink had broken. I had to completely rewire it, but it's better than ever. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

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I found the mother lode - animation model sheets! Thank you to this amazing person who scored them and posted scans for all to share.

Model sheets are a cosplayer's bread and butter. Especially helpful is the detail on her belt. We'll get to that later.


The main dress part is done. It has actually been the easiest and quickest piece of this costume.

The hardest part so far has been the hood. The hood pattern was made by tracing an old hoodie and adding a long triangle to the top. But getting the cowl to drape the right way in the right proportions and fit with the front piece has been kicking my ass. I had to tweak the pattern a billion times and make 3 mockups in muslin.

Then I had to figure out a way to snake a wire up in it to be able to get the pointy part to stick up. Even then, I still had to re-hem it twice. Sigh, it's not exactly how I want it, but it's a close as I'm going to get.

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While all this was going on, I've also been working on the belt. I sculpted the little Hordak head out of Sculpy.

I blew up the model sheet above in Photoshop to make it life-size and used it to cut the bat wings out of craft foam. There's this really cool process you can do to make it look like armor, which is what I'm doing now. (Here's the tutorial, if anyone's interested.)

Tonight I finished making a black zentai mask. It will go on under the cowl to get that "eyes floating in a darkened hood" effect. I got the instructions from this site, but it's been a little problematic. I made one last night, but it was too small. So I redrafted my pattern without reducing the measurements, but it's still a bit tight on my nose and the chin rides up. I think the fabric I got isn't stretchy enough. I'm going to look into another option. Any ideas?

As always, any questions/comments/advice are appreciated, and please recommend the post if you want me to keep going.

Next: All the little things