AMBER LOVE 21-APR-2013 This “BOMBSHELL WONDER WOMAN” costume is almost done. The only piece I have left is the belt buckle. This also isn’t a tutorial but I wanted my process photos filed in the same place as all my other costume making photos so I had to tag it as “tutorial.” My deadline for this was Free Comic Book Day which will be May 4, 2013 at Comic Fusion in Flemington, NJ. I’ll post an update once I get it completely finished.
I haven’t made myself a costume in quite a long time. I was struggling so badly financially that I was selling off almost all my costumes. I’m lucky a few of those sales kept me afloat. I was able to pay auto insurance, gas, and my credit card. I’m also very grateful that some help from other people allowed me to take my autographed Fantastic Four suit off the market and keep it in my closet.
Now that I am getting back on my feet financially, I had to face the other reason I haven’t worn a costume: my weight. I had lost 70 pounds between 2004 and 2009. Since my divorce, I’ve put half or more back on. The costumes that I hadn’t sold simply do not fit. I squeezed into them as best as I could for 2012 to be Wonder Woman and Rogue for charity events. I wore two sets of Spanx and couldn’t get my belts to properly close. But that’s why I didn’t dress up for conventions because people are cruel and I was too uncomfortable. If you’re not comfortable in a costume, you shouldn’t be wearing it regardless of how you look.
2013 has been full of some hefty personal changes. I thought that once my finances were more stable that I wouldn’t be riddled with so much anxiety, depression and to be honest, desire to not be on this planet. I know that’s not something people who read the site and listen to the show necessarily want to know about. However, this is my site and my podcast so I will address my problems whenever I am comfortable doing so. This year I had one goal and that was to make a costume that fit so I could return to cosplaying at conventions. It’s almost ready. There are two things left to do: replace the snap closures with a separating zipper on the blouse and to make a belt buckle to match the bombshell statue design.
I used the Burda pattern 7226 available at Joann’s Fabrics. Since it needed some modifications, I was basically flying blind in how to assemble it. Plus, the Burda instructions pretty much suck. They don’t tell you how much interfacing you need or how to layout the interfacing or which pieces you need. It was confusing. I was able to successfully modify the top part of the collar so that the inside of it is white and there’s piping around it. However, I didn’t know what the attached facing was for in the instructions and it wasn’t until after it was mostly assembled that I realized I should have cut part of the red off and replaced it with white and add in more piping. I did all that half-assed after the fact and had to hand stitch this white facing in place. The left and right sides weren’t even attaching the same way even though I thought I was doing the exact same thing.
I wanted to use snaps for the front closure. My attempt at putting them in failed. My mother did it for me after I had to rip them out. Then I tried on the blouse and it was gaping and the snaps popped apart so I will have to rip them off anyway and find a suitable separating zipper. I didn’t want to use a zipper because I didn’t want there to be too much separation in the chest logo design.
The red fabric for the blouse was from the home decorator selection of fabrics at Joann’s. It was regularly priced $10.99/yard and I got it on sale for $6.59/yard. It’s a 300 thread count sateen and frays like a bitch! I had been losing full quarter inches around the pieces just from fraying. Normally I wouldn’t apply FrayChek until everything is done but if you’re going to attempt this, FrayChek the unassembled pieces and let dry. You’ll probably have a much better time.
Besides the piping, chest logo, and white collar pieces, I also added white cuffs. Just like with any pattern, I laid pieces together and cut them together and still managed to get one side wider than the other. It’s a costume and I’m not competing on a reality show so I don’t expect anyone to come over with a tape measure and figure this out.
For the chest logo embroidery, I made an applique backed with interfacing. It’s actually not tacked down at all in the center against the white piping except for the few spots where the logo actually ends. First I did the stitching with a cheaper matte gold color then went over it with a metallic.
The shorts were purchased by pinup clothing designer Bernie Dexter. I replaced the gold buttons with white stars. The stars were originally in bright bold colors to which I had to apply a ridiculous number of coats of Krylon white.
The boots were a great Amazon find. They were white with brown heels. This is my very first time using Nu-Life spray dye and I am not pleased at all. They looked fine until I touched them. Not kidding. Just the simple act of touching the boots to handle them caused a ton of cracking. I used masking tape to block off the stripe down the front. It worked much better on one boot than the other. I tried sewing a star to the cuff of one boot but it wasn’t working nicely so I cut the thread and switched to a crazy glue for the stars. I used a flexible white glue to add the piping around the cuffs. I held the piping in place with clothes pins for it to dry. When I removed the clothes pins, more of the shoe dye ripped off (and it had been dry for a week). I tried to use a red Sharpie to fill in the worst spot but it isn’t working. I also tried a black Sharpie to recolor the heels but I’ll have to go over it with black polish.
- Boots – $40
- Dye – $10
- Shorts – $30
- Wig – $37
- All the elements I needed for modifications and to make the blouse – over $100.