Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vaporeon Gijinka - Under Layers - Pokémon

Let's talk about under layers!  This includes the front drape--with its built-in bra--and the navy booty shorts I constructed. If you want to see how I made the Bolero Jacket, go here!

Once again many thanks to Elemental Photography for the great photoshoot! I love this reflection shot. :) Credit for the original costume design goes to Cowslip!

Since the design only shows how the front looked I had to design a suitable back for the costume. I decided to make a second drape at the back, since it seemed logical and would cover more skin. Also, the design itself was originally designated as one of her "male" designs. I made a slight alteration to the design of the drape at the front for the purposes of female modesty--I changed the proportion of how the drape sat across the chest so it came further back towards my armpits at the top and would therefore properly cover my bust. This is one of the few minor changes I made to make the design work for me.

I started by using twill tape to outline on Molly where I wanted the gaps at the sides to be. I used some cheap broadcloth to drape the pieces.
I pinned and trimmed the fabric until I was satisfied with the way it gathered. I used these to create my pattern pieces.

The fabric I bought was pretty see through, so I double layered both sides. Each piece was sewn rights sides together along the side edges and turned right way out. Then I top stitched those edges to keep them from shifting about. This fabric was fairly uncooperative...

I created shoulder straps for the drape piece in the same beige cotton. The close using velcro to make them a bit more adjustable.

The bottom edge of the drape was finished with a band of beige cotton. On both sides where it overlaps it has velcro to adjust the size around the hips and allow me easy on/off.
I had to build a bra of sorts into this costume. I bought nude coloured bra cups in the right size. Awkward shopping moments include me trying to find the right size by holding them up to my body and comparing. Hahaha

Using beige cotton fabric and elastic I made the bra layer to fit comfortably. It opens at the back of the band with hook and eyes. I tacked the bra into the draped piece at the front so it would shift and be revealed. The band at the side peeks out a bit when I lift my arms, but it is not the end of the world.

The bra itself provides moderate support--I am not super busty, so I don't need that much support. Mostly it needed to be something that I could a) sew into the costume, and b) choose the placement of the straps so they wouldn't stick out too much and look weird. Had I used a regular bra bought in a store, the band would be clearly visible at the sides. This one I made comes up higher in the sides and back than a typical store bought bra--which is why it doesn't give maximum support. Also I didn't give it an underwire. Because I didn't think it would be super necessary.

The last detail was the cording. I bought tons and tons of navy blue cording for this costume. It wrapped around the gather at the center front and looped to the back. It's tacked in place so it doesn't move. The ends of the cord were dipped in clear nail polish so they wouldn't fray.

The other under-layer for this costume was a pair of booty shorts. Somehow I didn't clue in until the very last minute that the wrap-skirt did not actually cover all at the front and I didn't have anything suitable to wear underneath. Hence, I decided to make a very simple but unobtrusive pair of matching shorts.

They were made of some navy blue jersey I picked up at the last minute. I patterned them based off some leggings I own. I pieced them together at a friend's house so I could use a serger.

The hem was done with a zig-zag stitch on my own machine. The waistband had a roll-over where I inserted an elastic band.

I think this is one thing that convinced me I needed to get a serger of my own... I have been avoiding stretch fabrics for so long because I lacked the equipment to work with them.

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