Sif is an Asgardian goddess in Marvel comics, and is based on a beautiful (blond!) goddess in Norse myth. Her current costume pays tribute to this with a red cape adorned with large amounts of white fur.
As with all my cosplays, I wanted to make her cape as realistic and functional as possible. This meant changing it into a cloak so that it could actually do some good in the frigid Norse climate where her myth originated. It also meant finding a use for the furry shoulder pads, which seem very functional but would keep the wearer much warmer if they were located on the inside of the cloak. Once again, I fell back on historical costuming for the answer.
The Kinsale Cloak is a traditional design that originated in Ireland. It is very popular with historical reenactors because of it is a very attractive garment and is incredibly functional. It is a lined cloak that will keep you very warm, but its trademark piece is the hood that hangs down around the shoulders when not covering the wearer’s head. I decided that I’d get the desired Sif look by lining the Kinsale cloak hood with fur, then wearing it around my shoulders.Plus, I already had the pattern. Huzzah!
I am very happy with the results… ignore my exhausted face and pajama pants.
This was the first time I had worked with (fake) fur. It was challenging, but I was lucky enough to get some pointers from very experience friends.
– Cutting – Don’t cut through all the hair! It will ruin the texture and make your edges look bad. Flip it over and make shallow cuts to the fabric at the base of the hairs.
– When sewing, pin the hairs flat away from your seam allowances before you pin pieces together. Yes, this takes a LOT of pins, but it keeps you from sewing the hairs into your seams and messing up the cool look of your fur. It may seem time consuming, but it will save you a lot of time later and really improve the look of the whole garment.
The fur will get EVERYWHERE, but once you finish off your garment it *should* stop shedding since it should only be losing hair around the edges where you cut. Be sure you have a good quality lint roller on hand to clean up your garment after you finish.
I have about a month until WonderCon, and I still have to finish Sif’s belt, skirt, and sword. Those are all fairly simple pieces that are very similar to previous projects, so I might actually be done early. Amazing!