Doing it for the fun of it.
Oh jeeze, why do I do this to myself? So my friend Stephanie is going to be going to Awesome Con with me Easter weekend, and being the awesome friend she is, she wanted to wear a costume. Steph happens to be about he same size as me and I offered to let her borrow one of my costumes to wear, but instead she came up with the idea she wanted to make one. Which is fine, except we had 18 days when she decided this. AND she decided that she wanted a Lady Sif costume from Thor. Now I have done armor before and it has turned out okay looking, but I also had plenty of time to work on it. Steph asked what she would need for her costume, so I gave her a list of supplies, as well as pieces of costume she may want to buy. Lets start from the top.
First I told Steph she was going to have to either buy a wig or dye her hair to match Sif. She is going with the dying option as her hair is already the same length and cut. Which will also helps with keeping cool longer as I think her costume could end up being a bit hot. Next I told her to look for boots, they needed to be knee high and dark brown. After both of us looked for a while, Steph found these. She had them quick shipped and they showed up just in time for the weekends power costuming party. They are actually perfect, from the picture we weren’t sure if the top front was pointed or round, but they are pointy just enough that they look just like Sifs. After the easy parts were figured out I told her she needed to order some Worbla, and get it overnighted, if possible. I had her order 2 large sheets so that if we made any mistakes we would have plenty to redo parts with it, or if no mistakes were made we could make her shield and sword. Planning to spend all of a Saturday, and maybe most of the day Sunday working on the costume, we waited for our material to show up. But what about the under-dress you ask? Well, Saturday morning, a very hungover Steph and I (I was not hungover) met at Joann’s to figure out fabric for the dress. I figured we would end up with a vinyl, which I informed her would be warm. We got a little under a yard and a half, grabbed some breakfast and headed to my house to begin our day.
I had spent most of the week between conception of this costume and the weekend of making it, patterning out most of the armor. I usually use some sort of thin poster board, it has almost the same thickness as Worbla, so that the pieces will bend and shape about the same as the Worbla. As soon as we got to my place I quickly held up the armor pieces I had taped together and checked to see if they kinda fit. Luckily they did so we were able to immediately start tracing and cutting. So usually when I am doing work on costumes I like to have music or a movie with really good soundtracks playing in the back round, but this time I had a theme to work with. We put in Thor, Avengers, Thor 2, and Captain America. Fun movies with good soundtracks to keep us in the right mind set. We also had on Thor 2 to get a better look at Sif’s armor, mostly the back which I had been unable to find reference pics of online. Quickly working away we got all the armor pieces cut and I began heating and shaping on my body form to get a rough shape. Once I had a few pieces together I would switch to Steph and reshape to properly fit her. Steph decided at this point she wanted to try and do something herself, so I quickly cut a shape for her shield and told her to sandwich two pieces together and work on her shield. She sandwiched the pieces together and shaped the shield as well as made a handle for her to hold. After that I gave her some chalk so she could sketch out the design on it and began creating the design out of scrap pieces of Worbla. By about 3 o’clock, we had finished shaping the armor and attaching the straps and D-rings, and took a break to go for a walk and grab dinner. After that it was time to start the under-dress.
Unfortunately I didn’t take any picks of this step and I was in the zone and happy things were working out the way I wanted. So I will try to explain what I did. First I grabbed some kinda thick white fabric I had laying around, it looked to be just enough fabric for what I wanted. I took some quick measurements of Steph to determine how long the skirt parts needed to be, as well as her bust and underbust, and length of her torso. I drew out the shapes of the skirt pieces and cut them to the length I needed, then cut and quickly pinned them together to see if they fit around her waist properly. Then I began the top of the dress, which was basically a long tank top. Once that was cut I pinned it together and put it on Steph to see what the fit was like. It only needed a few tucks here and there, so I fit it to her body, and then took a marker to mark where I would need to cut the actual pattern. Took the whole thing back apart and trimmed to where I marked leaving some room for seem allowances. And then cut the real fabric. The dress fits her like a glove, I used a zipper for the closure on the front since the armor would cover it. we then made some quick van bracers to attach the small pieces of armor for her arms, which were glued on with E6000.
Now there is also some other parts tot he costume, like the what I am guessing is chain mail, under her leather dress. You see a part of it on her chest just under her chin, and in between the flaps of the skirt. SO i had this shiny metallic sheer fabric that I had bought way back when I was doing my Valkyrie, and was the correct color, to kind of mimic the chain mail.
At this point we had been working for 10 hours and needed to call it a night. Some of the painting had been started, and we figure we could punch out the last bit of painting the next afternoon. So we cleaned up a bit and Steph went home, while I sat down and zoned out for a while.
Sunday afternoon came around pretty fast, I had done a little bit of sewing earlier in the morning to finish the collar and put the attachment on for the chest ‘chain mail’ accent. When Steph got to my place I put her right to work on the painting while I did the final straps and D-ring attachments for the shoulder armor. Once the layers of painted had dried we did some quick weathering on the armor, which consisted of us smearing some black acrylic paint where the armor plated meet, and wiping it off the excess with a rag. Then we did a clear coat over everything and waited for it to dry. Once everything had dried we did a quick test to make sure everything fit together and comfortably. I think it looks pretty amazing for 12 hours of work. Although once she had packed everything up and left I remembered we forgot to put a strip of the vinyl on the sides of the armor, but that is a quick cut and glue we can do this week. Steph opted out for the shin guards but I may throw those together this week. And if anybody is going to Awesome Con please come see it closer up, it isn’t perfect, but I think it looks pretty good, and has some nice little details.