Final All Might Cosplay Post!

It’s done! Aaaaaah!

This is the last post for my daughter’s custom My Hero Academia All Might cosplay outfit! She loves it and it fits her perfectly.

She loves it, and really that is all that matters.

The top has a full jacket zip so she can wear the top casually, as I knew she’d want to later.

I used 3-inch elastic for the waistband and covered it with a really finicky yellow ribbed Lycra to make the belt easier to deal with.

The pants are fine cropped as she’ll cover a pair of boots with the remainder of the yellow fabric, but can also wear them whenever – because she’s 13 and can get away with that!

We’re both happy with the end result, and I’m SO GLAD to be done. I’m glad I CAN do something this epic, it was a lot of fun, but it’s exhausting! I need to make some easy stuff before I take on something epic again!

She was a good sport, and we walked to a nearby park to take some action shots in the fading autumn light.

For the most part, my pattern worked really well.

I laid them out and pieced them in what seemed to be the best logical blocks to then sew together.

There were a few adjustments on the fly, like removing unnecessary Y-seams (seams that come together in a Y-formation and are more evil than anything else on earth.) I top-stitched most seams, and when inserting the zipper, I used a Gutermann clear, nylon thread so the stitching wouldn’t be visible over the alternating colors. The nylon thread isn’t the easiest to stitch with, so I didn’t do the entire outfit in it…I’m generally not a fan of the thread, but it was perfect for the hem and the zip insertion. LOTS of hand-basting and tacking the zip in before sewing to get each of those pieced sections to line up across the chest! LOTS.

And we’re done! YAY! Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, and Post 4 if you’re interested in the entire process.

Are you done with your Halloween sewing?

 

Custom Cosplay – My Hero Academia’s All Might – Part 4

Here we go. The last part of making the custom pattern. You’re going to need a roll of paper. I’m using an inexpensive roll of art easel paper from IKEA. You can use freezer paper, craft paper, Swedish tracing paper – whatever floats your boat. If this is something to be done again and again, Swedish tracing paper or brown craft paper is more long-lasting. I don’t use freezer paper anymore, and this is a one-trick-pony for me, so using the paint roll was the best option for me.

You’re also going to want a few more colors of pens/pencils that you didn’t use in your design.

I used a black Sharpie to cut my piecing lines. Naturally, I edited as I went x-marking out lines I decided against. I numbered my pattern pieces so that when I come back to this photo later with the pieces, I can see where it goes. You’re not going to remember all of your edits, so make sure you take a lot of photos BEFORE you cut, take notes if you need, etc. There will be edits on-the-fly as well…the better organized you are, the better you’ll be prepared.

I drew green lines across all of my pattern before cutting into pieces. These green lines indicate the direction of greatest stretch. You want the greatest amount of stretch in your fabric to go around your body, not up/down. This will be key in order to not get weird warping, and to make sure the garments will stretch around your body. Unlike in quilting, which lays flat, this will be 3-dimmentional around a body and needs to be designed that way. Quilting, you can make a bunch of strips on-grain and cut-to-length. Apparel, the grain must be in line with the body.

I used a yellow highlighter for areas I wanted to add extra seam allowance, such as the middle front of the top, so I could have enough seam allowance to add a zipper.  I cut the pieces and glued them to the roll of paper. Using the edge of a ruler against the pieces, I added 3/8″ seam allowance for most edges, except the yellow, I added 1 full inch. Curves are tricky – I favor pivoting the ruler around the edge and making dots to connect. You CAN do the trick where you tape 2 pencils together and it will be about 3/8″ between each leaded point….but there’s a LOT of tracing here, and I wanted to be more accurate. There are also specially made tracing wheels and all that jazz out there, but I chose not to go that route.

I had my tape handy for any edits or pieces that needed more securing.

A mistake I made was forgetting to mark edges that already had seam allowance. Luckily I caught it before I got too far along – so don’t do as I did. Use another color, like I used orange here when I caught it, and mark edges that already have seam allowance.

Another option is to add seam allowance as you cut either by cutting with a ruler guide, or marking directly on fabric as I did above on my leggings pieces. This works if you only have a few things and you’re not going to be interrupted in the middle of all of your work because it’s difficult to remember all the details on the fly – and cutting is permanent. So…you make a mistake this way, you can’t go back. I don’t recommend it, in general. This was for an example, and I knew during cutting the leggings, I had the time to get it all done at once. Even then…I did make a mistake, but had enough fabric to correct it. Barely. It’s better NOT to leave things to chance, or to memory in this case.

Here is why we put the green lines of grain/stretch on the pattern pieces. Would you remember which piece goes which direction once you have them cut out like this? Not likely. And more importantly, why would you want to? For the red, I had enough strips that I cut a couple yards on grain, and a few on the 45-degree (remember I made all angles 45-degrees to be easier later?), and lined up patter pieces on the corresponding grain-strips. I have fewer patterns in the white, so they got cut out one at a time. All pattern pieces are cut on the doubled fabric, so I’ve got my mirror images for left/right sides cut at the same time.

I highly recommend you stay organized. Something you learn in quilting is the magic of ziploc bags. Keep your corresponding parts together. I have a bag for sleeves, one for shirt front, one for shirt back, and one for leggings. Pin your pieces to the paper pattern pieces and keep them organized. Take a lot of photos.

Next is piecing it all together.

Continue to the Final Post.

New York Comic Con and Sewing

Singer Sponsors NYCC

I am SO inspired by New York Comic Con this year. Granted, maybe I would have been in years past if I was sewing cosplay then, but you tend to find things as you find them, you know?

See the comment on the IG post above about a “repair station?” How freakin’ cool is that? Sign me up to host a repair station at a comic con! I couldn’t find such a listing on their event site, but honestly, most event sites are pretty hard to navigate anyway, so I may have missed that one.

Singer is a sponsor, and…

Mood at NYCC 2017

Mood Fabrics! Incidentally, Mood is also running a prize for homemade costumes this month with the hashtag #MoodMadeCostume17.  

AND….

Brother Sewing NYCC 2017

Brother Sewing USA has a booth, AND, naturally, …

Simplicity NYCC

Simplicity has really been growing their cosplay/costume section lately, so that’s a given, right? AND…

Dritz / Prym booth at NYCC 2017

Dritz / Prym. I could totally move into that booth. Click the link on the photo caption – there are 4 photos. My screen shot doesn’t do it justice.

There’s also a new-to-me company called Cosplay Fabrics. It looks like they have some pretty cool stuff on their site. I have no experience with them, but the more, the merrier.

This is great. I hope there are more and more people joining the sewing / DIY community. I hope to see even more sewing people and companies supporting the cosplay/comic-con/anime genres of art and sewing.

Alright, I gotta get back to my own cosplay pattern making, currently in progress!

Custom Cosplay – My Hero Academia’s All Might – Part 2

Here we are in Part 2. In Part 1, we chose our base patterns to hack for a custom All Might cosplay costume. Being I want to get this done well before Halloween, we are truckin’ right along.

First, I altered the patterns to make the crew neck I wanted, and to widen the shoulder coverage. I sketched on the drawing the alterations I thought I would need and made those adjustments to the pattern.

Second, I made a muslin, or a fitting sample, of the pattern pieces to be sure they were where we wanted them. I drew directly on the muslin, while it was still on my daughter, the alterations that would need to be made on the final draft. The neckline needed to come down about a centimeter in the front, up about 2 cm in the back, and the leggings needed widening in the calves plus 2 inches in length added.

These alterations are pretty simple. I’ll be using knit fabric with a lot of stretch, which allows a lot of forgiveness. This isn’t like making a custom corset out of woven silk – I’d have about zero wiggle room there and would have to be much more precise. I’m going to be using a fairly thick ponte knit with rayon/nylon/spandex content. I chose a ponte because it will be thick enough to be opaque, and only have about 10% stretch so it won’t get all baggy, but will have enough stretch for movement and fit.

I let my daughter take a run at directly sketching the design on to the fabric. This route proved to be ineffective, albeit a great learning moment for her. I need more precise pattern pieces…and the ability to erase LOL. So….live and learn. As a 13 year old, she doesn’t have the experience to know what needs to line up, and where…and how pattern pieces are made. Letting her make mistakes and showing how it will be corrected is all part of the process.

I leave these here so you can see how this can go very wrong. There are ways of doing this correctly… I put tape down the centerline, because you’re only going to pattern half of the shirt front/back, add seam allowance, make a mirrored version, and combine (or add a zip if you’re making a body suit.) You *could* cut these pieces and use them as pattern pieces this way IF everything was drawn accurately. In this case, it was not, and that’s ok. There’s always a Plan B. 😀

However, I’m going to take this moment to say if you’re only making this once, which I am, don’t over think it too much. Although I will be making more accurate pattern pieces, I’m not making pattern pieces that will last. This will be a one-trick-pony.

Next post, Part 3, will have how to sketch directly on the base pattern to create pattern pieces.

Custom Cosplay – My Hero Academia’s All Might – Part 1

My oldest daughter is 13 and is having fun with cosplay. I’ve coached her through sewing a thing or two…

…and she’s put together a cosplay outfit here and there…but now she wants to be All Might, aka Toshinori Yagi, from My Hero Academia for Halloween.

This is a screenshot from a site, EZ Cosplay, where you can order a custom-fitted cosplay of the character you want.

I don’t have experience ordering from them, but honestly, that’s really not a bad price if they really fit and it comes on time.  My daughter wanted to be sure it would fit and on time, so she requested mom-help.

We have purchased things on eBay in the past, and have been perfectly happy there as well. These Attack on Titan belts were complicated, but worked out great.

Point being, however you get to your outfit is how you get to it, and it’s all about enjoying it.

For this adventure, however, we are going full custom. We looked at Simplicity’s many, many base costume/cosplay options:

This base pattern of a jumpsuit and leotard was a strong contender, but at the end of the day, I wanted my daughter to do a lot of the designing, and be able to use the restroom easily, so we opted to use a basic long sleeve t-shirt top and leggings patterns as a starting point. We have enough pattern hacking to do without having to remove panels, or deal with snap crotches. We’ve also borrowed The Hero’s Closet from the library.

It’s a great book with a lot of base patterns, and if you’re new to sewing and pattern hacking, it would be a great resource. In our instance, my daughter has me, and I’m not new to it, so we’re going to use what we have on hand.

Like I said, we’ve opted out of using a leotard or unitard, and we’re going to hack a long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of leggings. The basic t-shirt we are using is from the same Craftsy class the hoodie my daughter is wearing above, and the leggings base will be the Seamwork Manila leggings.

from the wiki on My Hero Academia

So, if you’re interested in following along, I’ll document our journey on creating a custom costume based off of these basic patterns.

Seamwork Manila
Craftsy class on sewing knits by Sew Liberated

Part 2 is here.