Thursday, 12 September 2013

Moxxi Part 8 - Holster and Garter

Happy times ladies and gentlemen! I'm home, I'm ready to get back to work  and I'm back to two of my favourite things, obsessing about cosplay and obsessing about fitness!  For the first, my props for our costumes are closer and closer to reality. All the bits and pieces are together, and all I need to find now is the time. For the next order of business, fitness! I haven't talked all that much about it, partially because I didn't have enough time for it in the time leading up to Ottawa Comiccon (what with the only 20 days to make the costumes while working my full and part time jobs), and after I only had a short time to catch up with life before taking off for the summer. That said, it's been an overarching theme in my life for years.

As of summer 2008, I weighed 207lbs... It wasn't a good look for me. I was unhappy with the way I
My weight loss
Two years of hard work = success!
looked, but for years had "tried" with no success due to lack of consistent effort. Eventually, I had enough. I don't know what clicked, but something did, and I changed. Over the following years, I worked and worked hard.  I started out with walking, wii fit, and chosing lighter calorie options, then graduated bit by bit to bigger and better things - from biggest loser videos to beachbody videos and weight lifting.  Fast at first and slower as things went on, the weight came off, and it only got better from there.  Things haven't been perfect every step of the way by any means, I've lost and regained more times than I can count, but at my best, I was down 65lbs, and even though I'm up from that, all is well, and I'll get back there, and I'll go beyond because that is my goal. At the moment, getting back there means keeping up with my running, and getting back into weight lifting. The running need to be a priority because I have my very first Half Marathon coming up in a very short three weeks. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Anyway, part of the reason I mentioned all of this is because I chose to cosplay Moxxi. Where I am now is certainly NOT ideal for her body type (but then again, without surgery whose is? Amiright?), and while I WANTED to cosplay as Moxxi, I had thought "Maybe once I get to my goal weight" or "I'm not quite there yet." Heck, even after I made the jump from "one day" to "THIS year," I had doubts just about every step of the way... When I first put the jacket together and tried it on, all I could think was "how the hell am I going to wear this in public?" In the end, I think I went with it as a challenge to my former "fat girl" mentality, not only have I changed so much, but cosplay is about having fun and paying tribute to things you love, no matter your body type. I'm still not perfect and may never be, but in that costume, I had SO much fun, and darned if I didn't feel sexy! Granted, at first I was more than a little nervous being in public with that much flesh showing (I'm not one to show off my chest..underwear..body), but it didn't take long to get into character, and I had an awesome time being Moxxi, if only for a day!
Holster reference
The holster, front and side

Back to the task at hand, as promised, the holster AND the garter, as you can't make the one without the other. Luckily the garter is pretty simple - I went with , so I suggest making it first, as it needs to be attached to the back of the holster, and the holster was a royal pain in the keester.

Materials needed:
-Black pleather
-Black lining
-Black thread
-Black lace (I used 1.5" I think)
-Black elastic (I used 1" I think)
-Clear rigid plastic
-Acrylic Paint (black and white)

Moxxi's garter detail
Zig-Zag the lace on, zip up the end, and voila!
Making a garter was fast and relatively painless - so much so that I didn't even take pictures. There isn't much detail to it, so I got stretch lace, and elastic. Stretch the elastic around your leg at the appropriate height to find the right length. Make sure it's loose enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to stay. Next, stretch out the elastic along your lace to about 1.25x its length, and pin the two together. Switch your machine to zigzag stitch, and sew the lace and elastic together with the elastic stretched out.  Once you've run up one side and down the other, fold it in half (right side in), and sew up the end to complete the loop. Voila! You have a garter!

Holster pattern and fabric
Paper template, plastic stiffener, and traced out on the back of the pleather

Loops on back of holster
Two-loop system
The holster was a lot more complicated, and just like everything else, I made mistakes. Please forgive the lack of step-by-step photography. I literally measured the holster on my screen to get the proportions right. Using the length based on where the holster sits on Moxxi and how long that is on my body, then  measured out a template on paper. I ended up making it a little oversized in order to accommodate Rubi, which I didn't end up finishing in time for the convention (I WILL make it... sooner or later). The main holster has two components, I made the back and sides as one, then the end and bottom as a long strip. Then two loops need to be attached to the back, one for the belt, and one for the garter. I used the paper pieces to trace the back and sides as one piece on to the backing of the pleather. I made the loops using small rectangles, seamed on the sides, then folded on the ends and secured to the back. I tried to put them at approximately the same level as they seem to be in the game. The garter had to be in place inside the bottom loop before it was sewn on.

Holster liner
Note the liner, and the seam
I wanted the inside of the holster to be black (which the back of the pleather was not) so I lined it with polyester  lining. I'm sure there are other options, but it worked, and looked nice! The lining was put on AFTER the loops, but before the pieces were sewn together. I made duplicates of the back and sides in the lining material, then sewed them directly to the pleather pieces, wrong sides out, leaving the bottom to open flip them right side out and add the plastic pieces to stiffen the holster. I then put a quick seam around the entire outside to keep the original seam from puffing out. The stiffening pieces were made of plastic from the original paper pattern, but unlike the vynil and polyester versions, the front, back, and sides were separated so the corners would be relatively sharp. The pieces were inserted before I sewed the holster together. Herein the problem lay. I'm not sure how I would do it differently, but I sewed it together inside out, with the seams as close to the edge as possible.  Because of the stiffness, it was almost impossible to finish sewing up on the machine, and also almost impossible to flip back right side out once I was finished sewing. In the end, it worked, and you couldn't tell from the outside that the end of the bottom didn't come together quite right, so.... Success!

Once the holster was together, I painted it to look as much like the source material as possible, and had a great time doing so! I mixed up the black and white paint in a gradient much like the paint I used for the back patch so I could use different shades of gray for the gradual colour changes.  I messed up the sizing of the "Rubi" a few times, and just painted over it and re-started until it was right.
Moxxi's belt, holster, and garter - Finished!
The belt, holster and garter complete <3

And that was that! Really, it was one of the pieces I was most proud of once the whole costume came together, and it fit and looked right! I had intended to make Rubi so it could actually have something inside it (un-like the game), but as I ran out of time, it made a wonderful purse for the bits and pieces I had along and picked up over the day at the con! Up next, I SWEAR I'll get back to Dr. Zed, as he took a lot of work as well, and now that I'm home, I can get some pictures of my buckle solution!

All the tutorials for pieces of my Moxxi costume to date:

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!


  1. I am soooo dying to dress as Moxxi for Halloween with my husband dressing as his favorite character from the game, Axton. I was wondering if you have any pictures of the full costume finished? Your ideas here are all wonderful and have given me a great place to start. I'm just curious what your finished product looks like!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, and of COURSE I have photos! You can pop over to my profile to check out a selection - Good luck on your Moxxi, and I hope everything turns out well, but hurry hard if you're going for it! If you get her finished, send me some photos of you and your Axton - I love to see everyone's work!