Saturday, February 12, 2011

WIP: Viral

Here's a look back to August 2010, where I constructed my first complex costume: Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. This costume debuted at FanExpo 2010, with two others from my group (Simon and Kamina).

Many hours of work went into this costume, particularly into hand-stitching on 40+ dome fastener pieces and the covers for the shoulder pads. My fingers were in great pain after this! Unfortunately, I went pretty much unrecognized at this convention, and so I was a little sad. (But I understand, because FanEx is largely attended by Comic and Gaming fans, rather than Anime fans.)

Photo by's Baron Karza

The jacket is modified from a pattern, as are the pants.  I installed 6 zippers for easy access to this tight fitting costume, and even then I still think it needs to be taken in some.  I carved the foam pads for the forearms by hand.  As with the shoulder pads.  I need assistance getting the beast hands on and off, but with the zippers in I can get the arm pads in easily.

My sister made my beast hands using gardening gloves, which she extended the fingers for with sculpey and covered with another glove she made.  The she covered the whole thing in multiple coats of liquid latex, adding tissue for texture.  The nails are made from fake nails (which were originally hot pink with purple peace signs on them. The hippie nails have been sharpened, painted and put to much better use!). They look totally gnarly and wonderful! Super job! (And it was her first time too!) :D Bonus is that I still have some dexterity, meaning I can bend my fingers enough to hold things, but the nails get in the way of picking things up. They still need a coat of paint, but we ran out of time before the convention.
rest of the photos by my mom. :D
The fur was a nightmare to sew in. I think I broke almost 5 needles on this costume, some shards of which were never recovered. (I think they're imbedded in the stitching!) It's still sheds all over the costume, so I had to pick up a sticky roller to get the loose hairs off my costume.

Lots of topstitching on the front and sleeves.  It was an ordeal getting everything to line up nicely. -_-"

The wig was styled and cut by my elder sister. :D

As the jacket is such a complex item, I used it in my portfolio for Ryerson's fashion program to show my skills with sewing.  I wouldn't say it's runway material, but it certainly shows I can put in a zipper, topstitch, work with various materials such as fur and foam, modify patterns, etc. Fingers crossed! XD

Still have more work yet to do on this costume. I would like to take it in, make his weapon and sheath, and I still need to add more dome fasteners! -_-

For more pictures of this costume, check out my profile:

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