Monday, 30 September 2013

Moxxi Part 10 - Hats off!

Old school Robin!
Like this! But curvier.
So there are exciting things going on at Chez Crankypants! If you recall, I was training up for a half marathon for an extended period of time, and as of last Sunday - I did it! I finished in 2h43 min, which is about 13 min longer than I intended, but it was my first half, and my bigger goal was to finish - and I DID IT! I've been a little slow getting back to running, but as a little extra motivation, the hubby and I signed up for a run that combines running AND cosplay, The Ottawa Hospital's Rattle Me Bones 10k on October 27th! It's a great run to raise money for bone cancer, and since it's a Halloween themed run, and I get to run it in costume! 

I had considered trying to make Moxxi run-friendly, but with all the accessories and the cleavage? I can't see it working out well. So instead, I'll be revamping the Robin costume I had thrown together thrift-store-style for a Superhero Scavenger hunt last year! I wish I had pictures, but it wasn't a priority that evening. It's based on the original Dick Grayson Robin, somewhere between the movie and comic versions.  At this point, all I need to do is build a new belt, make gloves and shoe covers, and pick up skin-colour tights and green briefs! I'll have to finish it fast, as I have a photoshoot with a friend scheduled for Saturday to help promote some interest in my fundraising efforts! Can't wait to see how it turns out!
In the meantime - the task at hand, Moxxi's hat! I looked for a while to see if there was a pre-made tophat of the proper size that I could re-cover or paint or whatever to no avail. So I went to what all good cosplayers do - how can I make that? Again, small surprise, but I didn't take nearly enough pictures of this phase.  I swear for my next costumes I'll take more detailed pictures... mostly because I won't be in nearly as much of a hurry!
Moxxi's hat - front and side
Front and side!
Materials needed:
-3mm craft foam
-Left-over fabric from the jacket
-Left-over fabric from the cuffs
-Black fabric marker
-Black and purple thread
-A pack of multi-colour feathers
-Acrylic paint
-Bristol board
-Water colour pencil crayons

The prototype hat
Matt made a sweet model
I started out with bristol board to make a prototype, attempting different sizes of brim and top, cutting and taping as necessary until I had something that I was happy with.  I judged in the mirror to check for sizing and proportion.
Tophat pattern!
Something like this, pretty straight forward!

Once I had my "pattern" I moved on to craft foam for the base construction of the hat. I used purple just in case, but intended to cover it with fabric to match the rest of the costume. Once the pieces were cut out, I made a cover for the brim and a cover for the rest of the hat.  The cover for the brim was made using two pieces of jacket fabric cut to the same shape as the brim, but with just a little extra for seam allowance. Then it was sewn (with "right sides" facing in) around the outside, flipped outward, and the craft foam brim was stuffed in. I used an iron to heat shape the brim, using VERY light pressure so as not to squish the foam flat, and bent it into the appropriate shape (or as close as I could get).

For the top cover, I did about the same, cut the material pieces just a bit larger than the craft foam, sewed the rectangular piece into a tube, then sewed the oval piece to the top. Once the cover was together, I stuck the oval piece of craft foam in, then placed the rectangular piece of craft foam in, and glued them in shape with hot glue (craft foam to craft foam, I did NOT put glue on the material.) 

Attaching brim to top
Not perfect, but it works...
At this point, I needed the hat band! The hat band was made of the same stripy fabric used on the cuffs.  Super simple, just made two rectangular pieces, sewed them together and flipped them right side out. I ensured that it would fit around the base of the top, then sewed the ends together and slipped it on! Finally, I folded the excess material on the top cover in to the top and hot glued it in place, then folded the excess from the brim cover into the top and hot glued THAT in place and TA-DAA! Hat! Oh, and as per usual, black fabric marker, cell shading, blah blah blah.

The mistakes I made! Because I was in a huge rush at this point (I'm pretty sure the hat was two nights before con) I failed to notice that I had made the hat too tall, and the band too thick. Oops.  Also because I was rushing, I ended up gluing the brim on in the wrong direction, the seam is out of place, and a laundry list of pickety things most people wouldn't notice that bug the crap out of me.  Also, the top cover doesn't fit quite right, so the seam buckles a little around the outside. Need I go on?

The clip used to attach hat to head
The attaching clip
Anyway, to ensure the hat stayed in place over the day, I sewed a hair clip in to the back of the brim right at the base of the top to clip it on.  In reality, I should have used more clips or one of those little comb thingies, as I ended up adjusting it many multiple times over the course, but it worked well enough to be getting on with, and the hat didn't fall off in the middle of the masquerade or anything - so, success!

Next, for the accessories - I'm actually proud of this stuff!  I looked and looked, but couldn't find feathers in just the right colours or just the right sizes.  There were some that were kinda close, and I could have bought a few different bags of a few different mixes, but who really needs a million feathers?  I ended up going with a multi-colour pack of large feathers that had orange and green, but not turquoise (I figured blue would work worse come to worse.) I started with the colour accurate ones, and cut them into the desired shapes. As always, my default to making things just right, I used acrylic paint to add the graduated yellow and cell-shading. I had been planning on using the blue to make the turquoise feather, but there was a white one in the pack as well, so I gave that a shot and BOOM, the paint took to it perfectly!! I set the feathers down to dry, and all was right with the world!
Making the feathers for Moxxi's hat

The Queen of Hearts was actually something I completed ages before as it was one of the few pieces I could work on at work. It's totally possible to use just a standard Queen of Hearts from your average pack of cards, but for the size and accuracy, I opted to make my own out of bristol board and watercolour pencil crayons. There's not much to describe for process, I just drew it as accurate to the in-game images as possible (plus a little detail... artistic license and all), coloured it with the watercolour pencil crayons, then painted the colour in with water.  Because I was working on it during a night shift (and had all the time in the world) and because I am easily amused, I took the time to make the back of the card red with a vault symbol pattern, even though it was likely no one would ever see it (except for YOU! Muahahahaha!)
The card for Moxxi's hat
Once the feathers were dry, I hot glued them in the appropriate order and at the appropriate angles to the back of the playing card, then hot glued the playing card to the inside of the hat band - and it was finished!
The work pays off! Moxxi's hat!
In spite of all its (many) flaws, I was happy with the way the hat turned out, and received many compliments about it at the convention.  I love the way the accessories looked, and it translated well in the photos. That said, I'll probably be re-making it or attempting to modify it before the next wear as there are just enough things that piss me off enough that I feel the need to fix it!

Next time, the only joint tutorial - Cell Shading and Blood Spatter! It only made sense to spatter everything at once, so I finished off the smock, gloves, and spats all in one go!

All the Moxxi parts I've written tutorials for so far:

Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper
Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar
Part 5 - The Button Solution
Part 6 - The Patches!
Part 7 - Belt and Buckle!
Part 8 - Rubi's Holster and Garter 
Part 9 - Finishing the Jacket, Piping, Rick-Rack, and Curly Tails!

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