Sunday, 29 September 2013

Moxxi Part 9 - Bias Tape, Rick Rack, and Curly Tails!

Not much yet, but full of LED goodness!
Cosplay seems to be a dangerous hobby. Beyond the finger pinning, hot glue burns and drain on the bank account, it's very addicting. I can't stop thinking about it! Every time I see a movie or video game character with a neat design/costume, all I can think is  "How could I make that happen?" Once I have a specific character in mind, all I want to do is look at others who have succeeded in making that costume before, research methods for creating bits, pieces, props, armour, search the internets for material sources, sketch out ideas for how to piece things together... all I want to do is make costumes!  Dangerous stuff I tell you! That's pretty much how it's been going with Gaige, so far I've mastered LED wiring and played quite a bit with craft foam and my wannabe Dremel while working on my Rubi, but more on that when I finally finish going through all the steps for Moxxi and Dr. Zed!

Bias tape and rick rack needed here!
Bias and bumps on boob line!
So, I know I promised this again and again, but finally, back to the jacket! With the jacket all striped up and ready to go, it was time for rick-rack and bias tape!  Again, my friend Fatima was huge help here, pinning while I worked on something else, but this is how it went -

Materials needed:
-About 3m of yellow double fold bias tape (I used 1/2", but if I were to do it again, I might use 1/4")
-About 30cm of matching yellow rick rack
-Yellow thread
-A lot of pins

It went a little like this!
For the chest, I really wanted to have the bumps along the cleavage, just like Moxxi. I know I promised some pics of a mock-up, but I just keep forgetting, so this will have to do! To create the look, the exact length of bias tape needed for the bust had the yellow rick rack sewn to the back of it allowing just the bumps to show. The bias tape needed to be folded open, and the seam needed to be stitched exactly in the centre of the fold so the bias tape will still worked properly. IMPORTANT NOTE, the rick-rack needs to be measured out for the different sides, and applied where it will show. The left and right sides will end up being placed differently to ensure the rick-rack is on the "back" of the curve. With the rick rack in place, the bias tape was pinned on and sewn in place as per usual.

Installing the zipper in the bias tape
Pardon the sheets... Zipper!
The bias tape along the front opening of the jacket was sewn on at the same time as the zipper, with the bias tape folded around the edge of the fabric, and the zipper pinned in place behind it - I sewed both on together, which ensured the zipper wouldn't be visible once closed. Unfortunately the zipper wasn't quite enough to close up the front, and Fatima added snaps to help keep my chest in place.

From there, the edges of the jacket were pretty straight forward, with the exception of the tails. I wanted the tails to be solidly curled, so the logical method to me was wiring them with some nice, stiff wire.  As it was the most readily available resource, I used wire coat hangars, and sewed them directly into the piping. The coat hangars (one per tail) were bent into the shape of the tail, starting from the center in the back, and following the edges from there until the end of the wires. I squeezed a little ball of hot glue on to the ends of the wires to avoid having the sharp edges pop out the sides - this was effective, but I kinda forgot about the hot glue when I was ironing the bias tape after, and ended up making a little burn mark at the first end I came to, but I learned to avoid the hot glue after that.
Sewing the hangar into the coat tails
As always, seemed like a good idea at the time!
The pinning process was an ordeal and a half, and sewing it in place was a trial (a proper zipper foot would have helped, but alas), but the end result was exactly what I was aiming for!  That said, I saved the curling to the last minute (so I wouldn't have the curls in the way while working on other bits and pieces) and didn't make them nearly curly enough at first (as I can't see my own backside). Before the masquerade at Ottawa Comiccon, I did notice and rectify my mistake, but I walked around all day with only semi-curly tails - what a bummer after all that work!

The only thing left once the bias tape was on was making the bias conform to the shape of my hips. While the tape curved nicely along the edges of the fabric, it stuck out strangely at the hips.  To aid the curving, I threw the jacket on, pinched/pinned the tape in where necessary, and sewed it down.  There may be a better way to address that problem, but for the time being, it worked!

With that (and a little cell shading for good measure) the jacket was FINALLY complete.  It was a long, trying process, but all in all, I was definitely happy with the result.  That said, it was nowhere near the end of my work on Moxxi, as she's full of accessory goodness - we've covered the belt, buckle, garter, holster - but we've still got the hat, choker, bra and more, no, my work wasn't finished yet! Next time - the hat, feathers and card! Until then:

Trying to keep up? Moxxi Cosplay Tutorials 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 

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