Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Moxxi Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar!

Gaige's Character Design
So much fun, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, I came very close to doing something silly yesterday.  It probably would have worked out well enough, but I considered putting in an offer to take a commission.  Beyond the fact that I'm extremely new to the cosplay scene, I doubt I would have had the time to make it without adding considerable stress to my schedule, but she was looking for a Gaige cosplay (which I have wanted to make but don't have an occasion to wear) in pretty well my size (so I could check the fit), and I sooooooo wanted to make it!  Oh well, one day I may have the time, skills, efficiency, precision and confidence to do commissions, but at the moment, not so much!  That said, there may be a Gaige inspired top somewhere in my future - I just love Borderlands character designs... and just about everything else about the game(s) for that matter!

So, I had been planning on talking about the bias tape and such in this post, but since I didn't take pictures at the time, I was planning on doing a little mock-up for this and that to make sure I can get my point across accurately. So instead, I'll write all about the cuffs and collar!
Moxxi's Cuffs and Collar
Today's targets...
Materials needed:

Cuffs -
- Black and white striped fabric
- Medium weight fusible interfacing
- Fabric paint (blue and white)
- Black fabric marker

Collar -
- White fabric (I used the same lightweight denim as in the spats)
- Heavy weight fusible interfacing
- Painter's tape
- Fabric paint (for the collar I used acrylic fabric medium, and acrylic paints - black, blue, and white)

Cuffs ready to go!
Paper cuff, fabric cuffs!
The cuffs were relatively straightforward. I made my own pattern using printer paper - I wrapped it around my wrist and determined (based on the reference pictures) what the dimensions needed to be. So as not to have to deal with the cuff being able to open and close, I made sure the paper cuff was large enough to be pulled over my hand when closed. The paper cuff became my pattern, and I added the seam allowances while tracing it on to the fabric. Because I slanted the pattern to make it curve and give the overlap/space, I needed two "fronts" and two"backs" with the interfacing in between. When sewing them together, I came close to messing up and sewing the interfacing between them (durr...) - the two "out" sides need to touch, and the interfacing goes on top of either. Once it was sewn together, I flipped it right side out, and ironed it to fuse the interfacing inside and stiffen the cuff.  I think I used a lighter weight than I needed, but it worked out - that said, I got a much heavier weight for the collar.
Failed fabric marker
Fabric marker - no use on black!

I used fabric paint for the swirls (you can see the little tube of tulip in the picture) mixing white and blue. I'm mostly happy with how they turned out, they're just sketchy enough, but still have presence - that said, the thickness of the paint made it difficult to keep the swirls even in colour.  I also experimented with blue fabric marker, but it didn't show up on the black parts at all.  Once I discovered the fabric medium, I knew acrylics would have done a better job, and that is what I ended up using on the collar.
Attaching Moxxi's Cuffs

Attaching the cuffs to the sleeves took way more brain power than I had to give the day I did it... It was one of those days where I was just exhausted and should have been in bed, but instead, I was determined to get that one last thing done, and found myself sitting at my sewing table thinking "If I put it like this, then flip it... wait... If it's like this while inside out then... no... wait..."  ...serious issues trying to think. Anyway, what actually DID work is - I turned the jacket inside out, then pinned the cuff on with the outside facing outward, and sewed it as though it were an extension of the sleeve. I also took care to ensure that the opening (where the cuff comes together when flipped) faced away from the body with the front overlapping the back, then sewed the cuff closed to the point as shown in the references.
Moxxi Collar Pattern
I think it looked like this!

Cutting out the collar
Making sure the two sides match...
The collar was based off of the collar from the original pattern, modified to account for the shape, both on the outside and inside of the collar - the bust line was adjusted to give the appropriate show of cleavage, so I brought the inside in a little, and adjusted the outside to give the right shape. The tips of the collar are quite long, which I accommodated for, but I ended up making the back of the collar too wide. Oops.  I knew pretty quickly that using the same striped fabric as the collars wouldn't be effective, as they're straight all the way around, and the stripy fabric would be random angles once in collar shape. Instead, I used the white denim I had made the spats out of, and painted the stripes on in accordance with the references - but that was only after putting it together. Same as the cuffs, I had a front, a back and the interfacing - as mentioned before, heavyweight, to stiffen the collar and allow it to stand up a bit. Once I had everything  together, I flipped it right side out and ironed it to activate the fusible interfacing.
Collar taped for painting
Sketch it on, tape it up, and paint, paint, paint!

Moxxi's Collar and Cuffs
Swirls in place and ready to go - I like collar's better than cuffs
I used pencil directly on the bottom side to sketch out the lines, and it took a little experimentation before I had a working pattern.  When they were in place, I taped over the "whites" and the  collar was ready for painting!  I mixed up a batch of black fabric paint using the acrylics and fabric medium (mixed 1 to 1) and got to work painting in the stripes. It took a few layers in certain areas, but I kept going all around to ensure a nice even black. After allowing all of the paint to dry and removing the painter's tape, I used the white and blue acrylic paint with fabric medium to paint the swirls.  The thinner paint made for much easier swirl painting, and more even swirls, then allowed them to dry again. I turned the jacket inside out, pinned the collar (right side facing in toward the liner) in place and sewed it on. While it looked comically large at first, with a little shaping and the rest of the costume in place, it was just about perfect!
Attaching Moxxi's Collar
Swirls touching liner, pin in place, and sew on!
Next time, I really WILL cover the bias tape, rick rack, and tail curling... Or at least I think I will?

Miss anything? Moxxi Tutorials so far:
Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper

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