19 December 2012

Raven Roth: Design process and leotard

It's been awhile.  Too long!  Sorry about that.  I'm still not sure how to motivate myself to make regular posts, even though I love it while I'm doing it...

For Arisia 2013 (January 18-21), I am putting together a cosplay that is not anime-related: Raven Roth.  She's been on my cosplay list for quite some time and it seemed like a good idea to wear something like that to a convention that's more scifi and comics than anime.


My design is based off artwork from the animated series Teen Titans.  Due to the nature of animation, the costume design is rather undetailed, so I decided to rework things a little to make it more interesting:

Some ideas stayed, some got thrown out as the cosplay progressed.

First piece I made was the leotard.  Patterns for these are not common at the fabric store unless you are making a toddler's Halloween costume.  A summer visit to an antique store netted me this swimsuit pattern from the '80s:

My leotard is made based on view 1 with modifications to the armholes and front.

I already knew that I wanted a textured fabric on the front and side front panels, but I needed to use something stretchy for the back so that I could get the garment on.  At Joann's I found a beautiful pleated fabric with some stretch owing simply to the existence of the pleats.

Instead of lacing up the front like the Simplicity design has, I cut the front in one piece and used stretchy fabrics to accommodate putting on the garment.  The side fronts were cut at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric to create a streamlined appearance.  The front and side fronts are all interlined with the same stretchy knit fabric I used for the side back and back of the garment.

 I drafted a sleeve cap and combined it with a chapel mitt pattern from Patterns for Costume Accessories.  I would have liked to cut the sleeves along a different grainline, but I was ultimately limited because of the way I needed the fabric to stretch.

This whole garment came out wonderfully.  I haven't added the red jewels yet, or the loops to keep the tip of the sleeve in place.  Somewhat to my chagrin, I noticed that I don't seem to stand with my shoulders square.  The neckline is not symmetrical when I wear this leotard, even though I confirmed that I did not make a mistake when I hemmed it.  Sad -_-
At least this problem will be covered up by the cloak!

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