How It Was Made: Wolverine
February 26, 2017

In this post, I’ll be covering a new Wolverine project. This will be an original version of the character based on different concepts and reference images that the client and I reviewed and selected design elements to focus on and include.

As usual, the first step was to create a fitting mock up. I created the mock up in muslin, sketched out the initial design lines and sent it off to the client.

He then sent me back images of the test fit. The mock up is tight on him and should be. There will be a number of areas of the costume that will be made of stretch fabrics to allow for fitting ease and movement. What I was mainly looking for in this mock up was proportion. I wanted the shoulders to fit, the curves to follow the body and the cut lines that will make up the larger shapes on the arms, chest and shoulders to fall in the right places.

Once I had the mock up back, I began with the undershirt. Like many of the costumes of this type that I make, it will consist of an undershirt with the structured sleeves and the vest that will fit over and coordinate.

The started with the sleeves. Working top to bottom, I fist assembled the shoulders and upper arms. This particualr Wolverine has full sleeves that are primarily blue with yellow details on the upper shoulders and outer biceps.

The yellow accents on the upper shoulders were added and then the stretch segments of the sleeves were set into the upper arms and all of the detail stitching for the upper arms was completed. The forearms were then assembled and inset into the sleeves.

The undershirt was then built entirely of the navy blue stretch with a section of yellow stretch at the upper front and a yellow collar. The shirt will zip up the back.

With the shirt complete, I began on the vest. I decided to start the vest with the ribs and work my way around to the back and complete the lower segment first.

To illustrate how I make a segment with small inset pieces with a lot of sharp angles, I’m showing this piece back to front. When confronted with these types of pieces, I usually cut my mock up apart directly off the muslin and don’t trace them out, omitting seam allowance from the actual cutting patterns. I then trace these patterns onto the back side of the fabric and cut the pieces with the seam allowance added in.

This way, I can see very clearly where the actual finished stitching lines are supposed to be as well as all the pivot points for all the angles. This image shows the yellow segments being inset into the rib section.

Once all the sections are inset and trimmed, the yellow segments were backed with 2mm craft foam (tacked down with Super 77) and then the entire piece was backed with headliner foam (also set down with Super 77).

The back of the ribs was then added as well as the rest of the stretch and cordura segments of the lower vest. At this point, there was binding added to the this part of the armhole. This binding will be replaced later as I changed part of the design when I got to the chest.

When I began the pattern, I had a layout for the chest/shoulder and abs sections. However, when I began to cut them, I decided they needed some more detail and the yellow needed to be broken up a bit. So, I redrafted the section based on the original pattern with new style lines.

The chest/shoulder was the first section to develop. The main chest piece (that extends to the back) was built from the blue and yellow cordura, backed with headliner foam and attached to the lower vest.

The arm holes were finished with a thin binding.

Next, the shoulder sections were assembled from blue and yellow and backed with headliner foam. These were detail stitched, the edges finished and then stitched under the main sections.

The collar was then added to complete the upper part of the vest.

The final section to complete on the vest was the abs. Like the chest, I sketched out the new version based on the original pattern, adding some additional details.

Working from top to bottom, the sections were cut and assembled from the blue and yellow cordura. Once together, the pieces were backed with headliner foam and inset into the vest. Finally, the vest was hemmed and the front edges finished with with a yellow cordura binding.

Next up – the pants and accessories. Stay tuned!