WonderCon has arrived in Southern California! While this has caused many Northern California people sorrow, I am happy to have an event before SDCC to debut my Sif cosplay! There is only one problem… it’s not done yet. I have made a lot of progress and will be able to finish tonight, but sleep may be sacrificed. Everything is looking great and I am very excited!
Sif’s belt is a trademark of her costume. No matter how many times she is redesigned, she almost always has a prominent, geometric belt buckle in the center of her abdomen. I started with a faux leather corset belt that I got on Ebay for $6.99. I really liked the pattern the sections made and how it added texture. Plus, it’s stretchy without being spandex. Bonus points! The biggest problem is that I wanted the pattern in the belt to accent and frame the Sif buckle, which meant I had to move the buckles already on the belt. I removed them with a seam ripper and restitched them on the opposite side of the belt which would be on my back. I stitched the front together to prep it for the Sif buckle.
The buckle was actually much easier than I expected. I measured and cut the basic shape out of an old teaching poster I had. It was stronger than poster board, but not as thick as cardboard… plus I already had it. I’m not planning on teaching Kindergarten again anytime soon, so it’s not a huge loss. I cut up the rest of the red leather purse that I used to make straps for my leg armor, and covered the polygon (see? I’m such a teacher…) by gluing it and then stitching the edges. I was happy that my new sewing machine could handle the laminated poster board and leather.
The white boarders on the belt were the most time consuming piece, just because they needed to be perfect. I traced the finished, red leather polygon on the back of my white leather hide and measured out the designs. Then I carefully cut out each section so the lines would be perfect and keep the geometric look. Once it was cut I sewed white stitches 1/8th inches from the edges of the white. These served no structural purpose, but added texture and gave the illusion that the white was stitched onto the red. Then I carefully used barge cement to glue the white onto the red. This was the most stressful part, because if I messed up I’d have to start ALL over again. I also had to glue the white leather on perfectly so the lines and angles would stay straight. Luckily, non of the leather had stretched, and it ended up looking great.
The skirt was fairly simple, but time consuming. Lots of measuring and cutting very straight lines. I had it basically put together, but realized that it looked like cheap plastic from even just a few feet away. I decided that adding metal studs would give the leather a little more weight and help give it more texture. I carefully added them to each strip of the skirt. This is pretty challenging since the leather was very prone to wrinkling under the studs and the wrinkles showed up a lot on the white. Once this was finished, I put the waist band on over my corset, inside out. I than taped (you don’t want to use pins on leather because they leave holes) each strip in place to get the desired look. It’s important to do this with the corset on, because the measurements will be very off otherwise. Finally, I sewed everything down and added Velcro to close it at the top. I’d usually use laces to close a leather skirt, but it’s not going to show and I wanted it to stay as flat as possible under the corset.
I still need to finish the garter belt that will hold up my leg armor, and my sword belt tonight. My first try at making a cosplay sword ended in a very unremarkable, heavy sword that flakes paint at every turn, so I will be wearing my backup LARP sword this weekend. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t distract from the outfit. The armor will be the most difficult part, so I hope the concept for the garter belt works. Wish me luck!
I’ll be posting pictures from WonderCon and from the Merry Wives’ St. Patrick’s Day concert this weekend, so check out my facebook page or twitter feed to see them!