Sunday, 2 June 2013

Dr. Zed Part 1 - Smocking it up!

When I decided to take on the challenge of creating my Moxxi costume, it was clear that I couldn't just wear it alone; the hubby and I would be hitting Ottawa Comiccon together, and I was certain we'd both have a better experience if we were both in costume.  Since I had chosen a Borderlands character, and we both love the series, it stood to reason that we do a pair!  Dr. Zed was the perfect choice for Julian, sharing his sarcastic sense of humor and lack of "cares" to give, so as our resident artsy fartsy perfectionist it was my duty to bring both costumes to life. 
Our target for costumization!
Who needs a medical license when you've got style?
The pattern I modified for Dr. Zed's smock
So stylish... In camo no less
For Dr. Zed, I started out with the most difficult piece, the smock. For now I'll just be covering the main body, and I'll talk about the shoulder armour, straps, and buckles later.

Materials necessary, all from Fabricland:

-Beige material (2m should be plenty)
-Dark grey material (I went with 1m)
-Matching thread for the materials
-Long beige zipper
-Pattern for a suit long enough to go over the hips (I used Burda 7918)

My very first step was actually making bias tape. I looked long and hard for dark grey bias tape, but there was none to be had, so I made my own double fold bias tape. It actually worked out better that way, as the Dr Zed's bias tape in game varies wildly in size, so it gave me a little more freedom to follow the style.  If you need to know how making bias tape works, check this tutorial HERE. I made a few different widths varying from 1/2" to 1 1/2" as opposed to one long line.
Making bias tape
Gettin' biased

Pattern mods to make Dr. Zed's smock
It went a little something like this...
Next I measured my model to see how much to extend the lower hem of the pattern - I measured from Julian's shoulder to his knee, then extended the pattern pieces to match that length. For cutting and shaping the outer, beige portion of the smock, having the bias tape edge gives a distinct advantage because you can shape to need measuring on the model once the smock is together, and the edge is sealed in by the bias.  I approximated the shape of the back cut-away on the fabric before cutting. The sides were left as per the pattern, the front I extended across to just over double width, and approximated the slant.  Once I had all the pieces, I sewed them together leaving the correct area open, draped the smock on Julian, and sketched out all the areas that needed to be trimmed down.  I trimmed it all as necessary, then sealed in the edges with bias tape, choosing different sizes for different areas in accordance with the reference pictures.
Under armour and smock shape
Observe, shaping and under armour!
Under-armour patternThe under "Armour" piece (which I've noticed some Dr Zed cosplayers miss... it took a little while to understand it from the reference) I re-used the suit pattern.  I made it only long enough to hit the bottom of the chest to avoid overheating my poor hubby, and so it could be pulled over his head.  The sides and back were as the pattern required, and the front I doubled side to side, and approximated a neck using the back's neckline.  It turned out that I didn't make it wide enough, and I ended up needing to add little pieces to make it fit, but you don't see them under the outer portion. Once it fit, I sealed in the edges with bias tape as per usual!

At this point, I decided that it would be much easier to put on if Julian didn't have to fiddle with all the buckles in the front, and if the under and over pieces were sewn together, so I installed a zipper.  I installed it under the arm on the left side of the smock, though if I had been thinking, I would have put it on the right, as on the left it goes through both colours, where on the right, it would have only been on beige - oh well!  If you need some assistance on installing zippers, there's a fabulous tutorial over on Make it & Love it. I had been looking for a long enough separable zipper to open the entire side (no luck) but a non-separable difference works just as well.  Once the zipper was in, I put the smock on Julian, and drew out where to sew the front shut, and where the under needed to be sewed to the over in order to fit properly, and stitched them along the seam that attached the bias to the outer pieces to avoid extra seams.
It's all coming together!
It should look a little like this!
Obviously, this pic came a little later, but success! And having followed the pattern, the fit was just about perfect on Julian - I love when things come together nicely! Next time, the shoulder armour and the flask pocket!

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