It’s no secret that LOVE AND CAPES is one of my all-time favorite comic books. I was speechless when LNC creator Thom Zahler grabbed me off an elevator and introduced himself. Well, after spending quite a bit of Thom, I begged him to let me craft an Amazonia costume and work at his booth. If you’re at a convention, be sure to find him and pick up the LOVE AND CAPES trade paperbacks.

You’ll notice I took a lot of creative liberties starting with adding a halter style strap to the top. I just didn’t want to attempt another strapless outfit at this point. My Wonder Woman outfit could be so much better if I really knew how to make corsets and bustiers. The headpiece is more of a Roman helm style and the boots were changed into gladiator style shin guards.

I cut up a rather expensive bra that I never liked to wear just to get the proper shapes of a bustier style top.
I used spare spandex to create the pattern pieces so that when I tested it out, the fabric would be wearable just like the final costume.
Basted the draft pieces together to do an initial fitting and make adjustments.
Cut out the real fabric and began assembly of the top's main portion.
Cut out a "V" shape from craft foamie sheet and styrene. Glued them together. Traced onto silver spandex. Attached to top with silver band at rib cage. Note: Problem with bowing at neckline where "V" wouldn't cooperate with opposing breast cup area.
Cut out front and back panels. hemmed sides of panels and bottom of panels. Basted two rows through the top of the panels to create a gather.
Gather the tops to 12" wide. Then straight stitch to hold the gathers firmly in place.
Create a mini pocket for cell phone! Fold under the left and right sides of the front skirt panel. Pin. See where to attach the pocket. Zig-zag stitch pocket to panel so that the stitching only goes through one layer of the fabric and not clear through to the finished front. Straight stitch the tops where the panel has been folded under.
Cut 36" inches of 5" wide of waistband contrast fabric. Pin front and back panels to waistband, folding under for a clean edge. Change to the embroidery foot. Straight stitch to sandwich the panels inside the waistband. Leaving ends open so that belt can thread through.
Spray paint an old belt. Thread through the waistband.
View of back with the low rise dance tights (Capezio ultra solft hip rider #1821) s/m).
The boots were a complete disaster. Originally I was going to modify a lovely pair from the thrift store. After an entire sleepless week of cutting, painting, gluing pieces repeatedly with different glues, I gave up.

I ended up making some shin guards out of fosshape covered in spandex. The silver bands around the back are from a belt kit (sewing section of craft store) covered in silver spandex. They weren't adjustable or tight enough to hold up the pieces so I had to pound in grommets; couldn't get those to stay so tried more glue which made more of a mess. Ultimately I just pounded the grommets as hard as I could to get them to stay. Thread leather laces through and wrapped around my calves.

I ordered some green shoes but they are being express shipped. Shown here are just my Birkenstocks which actually look ok.
Original boot project:

Final Shin Guard project:
Made from Wonderflex. I attempted to use a heat gun and mold them to a natural curved shape but they just came out warped. I used Krylon Fusion green spray paint. The bands are also Wonderflex spray painted silver. Trying to get the "industrial" strength velcro to adhere to these was just as big a disaster as the boots. Lots of different glue. Lots of time waiting. And in the end, I hate the way they look from the side because the velcro is so obvious.
It took four attempts to cut and mold Wonderflex for the headpiece. In the end, it still isn't right. I have the side pieces going forward like a helm rather than going back like they are supposed to go under her hair.

This design looked so SIMPLE on paper but turned to be one of the most difficult builds I've ever done. Even though each piece from top to skirt to accessories has something in need of improvement, I'm actually excited about it. Camera angles will be crucial! Some of my test shots make me look really huge.

NYCC 2010
Photo by Gregory Dubno NYCC 2010
Amazonia & Silk Spectre II, NYCC 2010
Amazonia with artist Erica Hesse, NYCC 2010
Lil' Wonder Woman and Amazonia, NYCC 2010
Amazonia with her creator Thom Zahler, NYCC 2010

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3 Comments on Tutorial: Amazonia from Love and Capes

  1. Lookin good, Amber. You make me a little sad I am going to miss NYCC. Take lots of pics like you always do! 🙂

  2. Hello Amber- Just happen to locate your website…..ENJOYED. I see that you work with my heat activated products FOSSHAPE and WONDERFLEX. I came out of the developement and manufacturing side of these materials several yrs ago. Not sure where you purchase them, but would like to hear your constructive comments as to working with FS and WF. Hope to have my own website up before end of this year as devoted to both materials. Currently working on making some improvements on the WONDERFLEX.

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