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bumblebre4life in dressdiaries

New Costume: Zelda (entry 1)

Hey all. I have a new project underway I'd like to share! I'm trying to gird myself for the start of my final semester of grad school, and I gave up on using this reprieve for productive things like organizing closets, a new website or making photo books. Instead I'm being super selfish and doing projects I want to do... namely, new costumes for next year's San Diego Comic Con!

Since we managed to get tickets almost a year ahead of time (they have a special pre-registration where attendees of this year's con get first grab at some of next year's tickets) I'm pulling out all the stops and aiming to turn up the volume from this year. I decided this time I want to document the work that goes into these. So here we go...




Zelda: Twilight Princess Costume Diary

The first costume I'm doing is a tandem with my husband. We're going as Link and Zelda from Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I've played nearly every Zelda game to come out and I love the design of this version. Here are some reference photos:

 

I am starting with my costume (Zelda on the Right) because there is a lot more to that one! I've never made costume armor before, so the task is a bit scary, and that's where I decided to start!

I researched the craft foam method of armor, which has actually turned out quite successful. First I cut the pieces out of card stock to get the shapes right and design how it would fit together. Then I traced the shapes onto the foam and cut it out. I cut out two layers of each piece because there are raised patterns on this design and I figured along with looking the best, it would add extra structure.

 

After the pieces were all cut out and the pattern layers glued to the base layers, I drew on in pencil where additional detail would go (which would be accomplished using puffy fabric paint). I heat set the curves of the foam by holding it over the stove and setting the shape with my hands. Then I taped everything together to see how it fit:

The foam is very flimsy and kind of fragile at that point. So I gave the pieces support using white glue and thin cotton fabric adhered fully to the back. I had to wait overnight for it to dry.  Then, I took everything outside to seal it. I used a wonderful product called Plasti-Dip (the spray version). It's essentially rubber in a can. A couple of coats and we were all sealed up!

Note: the plasti-dip did have the unfortunate side effect of messing with the curves I'd made by heat setting everything earlier. So I made sure to drape the pieces on surfaces that helped maintain the desired shape and it turned out fine.

Then a quick coat of gold spray paint on both sides of each piece and it's starting to look like armor! I opted to glue sheets of felt (in places where it definitely won't be seen) to the back for even more structure, and added comfort. Glued and spray painted fabric really isn't that forgiving on skin.

The cat helped.

Everything was looking good, but it still didn't look like real armor. Real armor is at least a little dirty and tarnished. So lets get dirty! I used watered down green and black acrylic paint to do this. I brushed it on, and quickly wiped off most of it, leaving paint in cracks and corners and smudging up large surfaces. The picture below shows both one aged piece (left) and the corresponding paint-only piece (right).

 Lets put them together! They are held together with hot glue and strips of felt.

The two sides are tethered to each other in back with a gold chain.

There are more pieces still to be made: the center-front medallion, the headpiece, and the belt will all be made in the same method. I can't wait to keep going!





x-posted to my LJ and costumes geekcrafts

Comments

That is amazing! And your steps are so informative, I actually feel like I could try doing something like that myself.

Thank you for including so much detail!
REALLY well done. I might get up the courage to do something like this myself. Thanks for posting!
Gorgeous work!
This is so interesting. I took a class on working with craft foam for armor but it was not nearly as detailed as your photos and descriptions. My daughter wants a Zelda for a Con or Halloween (and her older brother loves Link), so this will be very helpful for me. Historical clothing I get, Cosplay I'm such a newbie on. So thank you for sharing this project with us. I look forward to more.
Awesome! Such a straightforward method to create something so wonderful!

*Takes notes, bookmarks post*

I can't wait to see the rest of your costume.
Neat! Thanks for the explanation.

And your pieces look excellent.
WOW! That is gorgeous!
Gorgeous, and brilliant explanations too. Love the obligatory cat critic/assistant. Cat spam with the next stage please!
OOoooh, I can't wait to see how it turns out! And thanks for the explanation shots, they're quite helpful. -takes notes- :D