The latest project to get underway is an armored Loki costume from Avengers. As usual, I began the build by creating a muslin sloper and drawing out the style lines for the costume’s details. This muslin version was fitted on the client and notes for alterations were made. The sleeves will eventually be attached to the tunic and the long jacket will actually be a sleeveless ‘vest’.
After the fitting, the tunic was taken apart and the patterns transferred to paper. I kept the front with the style lines in tact for use as a guide for adding the criss-crossing strips. I made a base front out of muslin and then cut it down to the top ‘v’ that the fabric strips are attached to.
I began at the top and worked my way down. Each strip was sewn with top edge over the bottom edge of the one above it. It was then folded down with a 1/4″ overlap and sewn down. Then, the next strip was attached.
The ‘keyhole’ on the front that shows the silver tiles was created next so that it could be added in while the strips were being constructed. For the areas with the silver tiles (this section and the backs of the legs), we decided not to cast all of the pieces, but rather simply mask off the lines on the faux leather and use Angelus leather paint to create the tiles. The piece was then incorporated into the rest of the strips and the lower front was completed.
The upper front was assembled and attached to the lower front. There is a 6″ ‘pocket’ at the center between the upper and lower front sections for the breastplate to slip into.
At this point, the skirt pieces were cut and attached, the entire front and skirt pieces were lined in green and the only thing the body of the tunic needs is the back set in.
I also got started on the armor. I began the armor with the arms. I’m using craft foam as a base for all the armor and finishing it with Worbla.
I created a template out of poster board and transferred that to 2mm craft foam. I then used the ‘sandwich’ method to encase the foam in the Worbla and shape it around the arms from one of my forms.
I did the same thing for the bracers and then, it was a process of layering additional Worbla onto the pieces to create all the details. Once finished, these pieces will be coated with Titebond wood glue, sanded and painted.
Next, I added the back to the tunic. The back is being made of the green fabric backed with muslin. I decided this might aid in breathability somewhat and keep the heat down a bit. Here are the front/skirt piece and the back pieces laid out flat before assembly.
Once the back was complete, it was time to add the collar. Rather than just adding a black band collar, I wanted something a little more sculptural and that would blend out into the green so that the green would not show above the breastplate.
I began by making a basic collar in muslin using the pattern pieces for the tunic and adding a simple band collar. I then marked the piece from top to bottom where the new seams should be and cut it apart.
I then transferred the cut apart pieces to paper and created my new collar pattern.
The entire collar piece was made out of the black faux leather and lined in green. Then, it was just a matter of marking the tunic, cutting the top back and sewing in the new piece. Here’s what the finished collar looks like on the tunic.
With the jacket pattern mocked up, I decided to make the templates for the shoulder armor. I created the templates with poster board and pinned them to the mock up on the form to test the size and fit. The armor will be created in the same way that the arm pieces were done.
There will actually be two main pieces per side: the chest and ‘collar band’ and the shoulder itself. I made a template for each piece and they will be bonded together at the worbla stage. There is also a cutout in the shoulder for the cape to fit through.
Next, I moved on to creating the jacket. I have the zipper stops (1000 brass and 100 black to start) that will make the edging on order and I want to make sure the jacket and tunic (where the edging is heaviest) are finished first so that that long process can get underway as soon as possible.
I cut apart the marked up muslin, transferred the pieces to paper patterns and then tested them in muslin to be sure they would all fit back together properly. Here is the muslin pattern test laid out flat.
Once I was satisfied with the pattern, I began cutting and assembling the pieces. There are certain areas on the jacket that have the zipper-stop trim that are not on the edge of the piece – up the sides and across the side back above the tails.
In order to allow for adding the stops, I piped these areas with black bias tape so that the stops can be applied after the piece is completely assembled.
Here is the top of the jacket assembled.
The next step was to create the 6 ‘tails’ that form the lower part of the jacket. These are all lined in green and have a gold stripe detail on both sides near the bottom.
The back 4 were assembled and sewn to the upper part of the jacket. The 2 on the front were a little different – they were made in conjunction with the front linings so that they could be added in such a way as to create an unbroken line down the front of the jacket.
During this process, I had the client come in for a fitting to make sure that everything was going to plan.
The muslin sleeves in the above pictures are the test blanks that were basted to the tunic to check the fit and also mark length and note the placement of the elbow.
Once we were happy with the fit, the rest of the tails and the front linings were set in. The only left on the jacket is to put in the back lining and finish off the armholes.
Next, I began constructing the shoulder armor based on the templates I created earlier. I traced the pieces onto 2mm foam and then covered the pieces with Worbla – just like the bracers and upper arm pieces. Once the pieces were covered, I first shaped the main plates and then added the ‘neckline’ pieces.
Next, the curves will get adjusted on these pieces to fit the shoulders closely, the lower panels will be added and all the top details created.
In the meantime, the long task of adding the trim to the jacket and tunic got underway. The trim is made of zipper top stops and, for this project, I decided to go with #10 tops in antique brass.
First, I needed to finish the lining in the jacket.
Then the stops could be clamped onto the edges. Here are several pictures of the stops being applied and how they look on the jacket.
That part of the project will be done in stages throughout the completion of the rest of the costume.
The next step was the pants. Using a muslin fitting copy, I marked out the locations of the client’s knees and the center front and back of the legs so that I could map out the pattern. Once that was transferred to paper, I could begin cutting the actual piece. The side sections with the silver plates were created using the same method as the section on the torso.
I was then able to add those sections to the front pieces and put on the ‘woven’ areas at the knees. These sections were made by adding a piece of muslin to act as a base for the strips. The strips were then sewn down using a similar method to the tunic.
Next, the red inner leg area was added. For the side trim on the pants (as well as part of the sleeves), I decided to use an iron-on pave trim. The trim was originally an iridescent green/blue color so it needed to be painted to a bronze/brass. Here is a picture of the trim test on the fabric and the finished trim fused to the ‘woven’ section of the pants.
The pants were then assembled and are ready for a final fitting before the waistband is added.
Next, I got to work on the sleeves. I began by drafting a basic pattern to fit the tunic and then drew out and marked all of the details.
I then cut a muslin base and built up the details on top of that using the same method as the tunic. Here is the sleeve with all the pieces assembled.
Next, I added the pave trim, same as the pants, and attached them to the tunic.
With the sleeves nearing completion, I needed to complete the armor pieces so that they could go to get painted. I picked up with finishing the shoulders. I needed to create the multi-layered effect, so I created lower pieces to add to the bottom of the pieces I had already constructed.
To these pieces I added a small strip to create some ‘padding’ between this layer and the ones above. There was a smaller layer on top of this one and then the upper layers were attached.
After that, I added the details to the upper layer.
The next step was to add all the ‘rivets’. I did this by using nail heads, clipping off (or bending under) the prongs and then adding them onto the pieces. To make space for them on the armor pieces and give them something to grip onto, I heated a leather punch and created recesses in the worbla.
Once the armor was all complete, it went off to join the helmet for finishing and paint. With the main armor pieces together and off getting paint, I turned to the chest plate.
For this piece, I created a base in 2mm craft foam, and cut a second copy out of another piece of foam. I then cut the detail piece from one copy. I glued the piece with the cut out to the base – creating one piece with a recess to accommodate the detail piece that would be covered in worbla.
I used an X-acto knife to carefully cut detail lines out of the piece to be covered in worbla.
Next, the base was covered in thin black leather and the detail was covered in worbla.
Coating and paint on the worbla section and this piece is ready to go.
The last major component was the cape. The cape is made of 4 main components: the stabilizer base, the center section and two pleated side panels.
The first step was to create the base and add the center section to it.
Next, the pleats were sewn down to the side panels. The edges of the side panels also create a deep pleat where they attach to both hide the seam in the folds and add volume.
Once the sides were in place the sides were finished and all the edges hemmed. Here’s what the ape looks like draped over the shoulders.
And here’s the final costume…