Please excuse the informality:
Alright! So I'm about 50% done with my Nidalee costume and I've decided to make a how-to/progress update.
Let's start out with the basic materials needed:lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Zbk…
-Hem measure (not needed, but nice)
-Fur (brown fur and white fur)
-Ivory floral paint (not pictured)
I first researched Nidalee to find the way I wanted to portray her that was still accurate to the original and in-game art. I always want to be as true to the character as possible, which can lead to extra work and complications.
I decided to base my concept off of her "American" art and her in game appearance:media.giantbomb.com/uploads/9/…images.mmosite.com/news/2009/1…
This lead me to sketching my concept for the bottom of her costume in paint:i116.photobucket.com/albums/o4…
As I said in my [url=www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewb…
the Perfect Costume[/url] blog, sketching a costume is a great way to get an idea of the details you need. While I was naughty and didn't sketch out the whole costume (let's just say I've done enough costume that I get a little lazy), this sketch of the bottom part allowed me to decide on a pattern before I moved on to the next step.
The next step is making the pattern in real life. While many outfits can be made from store-bought patterns, you need to create your own for the more unusual outfits. If you have tons of cheap fabric, you can just draw and cut your pattern right on the fabric, but when you're working with expensive material like fur, it helps to draw it out first.
I like drawing on news print (the same paper that you drew tons of crayon pictures on in elementary school). Not only is it cheap, but it is also lightweight and bends easily, so it acts more like fabric than any other cheap paper you can find.
Armed with a pencil, a measuring tape and my sketch, I started outlining pieces:lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Sre…
I used the measuring tape to make sure each piece was the right size for the area I planned to have it. I made sure to sketch on a hard, flat surface, though, as the news print is prone to tearing. After I was satisfied with my sketches, I cut them out and "tried" them on. I used the scotch tape to fix each piece in place and checked to see if they laid as I wished, then I trimmed any parts I desired and had the pattern for the bottoms complete!lh4.googleusercontent.com/-QjI…
For the top of the outfit, I decided to modify a dress pattern. Breasts are tricky when it comes to getting fabric to lay correctly on, so I decided to go to the experts. I found a nice dress pattern that did not have seams that would be too difficult to do with fur, then I shortened the pattern to what I determined I wanted. Instead of putting this newly modified pattern straight on my fur, I used my scrap material to cut a practice top first to make sure it was the right size and laid correctly.lh4.googleusercontent.com/-o5v…
Satisfied with the top pattern, I went to work on outlining the patterns on my fur fabric. Note that I also outlined leg warmers for her "boots" using a pattern from a previous costume. I used the sharpie on the back of the fur and marked each piece with it's orientation so, after they were cut out, they would not be mixed up in the sewing process.lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YVd…
Cutting fur is a tricky and time-consuming process. If you cut fur as you would a normal fabric, you cut the fur short at the bottom of each piece and it looks odd, as if someone shaved the bottom. To avoid this, fur must be cut carefully only at the base fabric. This means snipping along each line with 2-3mm cuts. I made sure to take a few brakes during this process and still got hand cramps. After cutting each line, I went along and carefully brushed up any cut fur to reduce the mess I was making.
The cut out top looks like this:lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lv8…
Unfortunately, fur is also not like regular fabric to sew. Since fur is so slick and thick, it needs to be "shaved" along each seam. I like to make my seams about 1/2in wide, so I had to trim 1/2in of the fur along each seam and ONLY along the seams. To trim the fur, I used my hem measure and scissors, snipping close to the base fabric along the edge of each piece. A finished edge looks like:lh4.googleusercontent.com/-U6x…
Now I have to sew the fabric, cut my "claws" out, add trim, paint everything and tie it all together with some leather cord!
Oh, and my wig should be here within the next week.
So the wig is in the mail and should be here soon! It's this one:cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Black-Sexy-Ex…
I was going to go with just a straight wig, but I decided the waviness is slightly more true to her hairstyle and will hide any issues I have with styling it. For those of you who don't know, wigs can be surprisingly difficult to work with, especially when trying to put them up in ponytails, because the hair is designed to lay differently and is much less willing to change direction than real hair.
As for the rest of the outfit, I've completed a decent amount of the sewing. I sewed together the top and leg warmers and now I just need to add cording and trim! I haven't put the bottoms together yet, but I am not expecting it will be too difficult.
Shaving the seams worked out wonderfully and the top came together much more easily than I expected. Unfortunately, the fur has proven to be very stretchy fabric, so I will have to take more fabric off of the back and I'm not completely satisfied with how it lays on my chest:lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WSh…
The legwarmers/boots look really great so far, though I haven't been able to get a good picture of them. I left the top 4" unsewn so I can easily get them on and off. I plan on putting some of the leather cord around the top to use to them on. Luckily, even if the cord doesn't hold well, the fur is so stiff that they hold position quite well on my legs. I jogged around without any attachment on top and they stayed on just fine. Sorry for the bad picture, I just can't get a good angle of my own legs!lh4.googleusercontent.com/-E9e…
Unfortunately, I've run into a slight difficulty. I tore a ligament in my wrist a few years ago (yes, years), and I was too hard-headed to have it checked out. Now it's been acting up terribly and the doctors have been playing with it. Two weeks ago I had an MRI that showed slight cartilage damage, but didn't show the tear well. So, today, the doctor pumped my joint full of stuff to reduce inflammation and pain and threw it in a brace, which I'm supposed to wear 24-7. The doctor hit a vein with her oversized joint-piercing needle and caused my wrist to literally spurt blood, which I found highly amusing, but, other than that, the visit was pretty fast and normal.
I get the brace off in a week, but I'm probably going to cheat and take it off occasionally. Not that I'd ever take it off to work on my costume... nor to type about my costume.lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p2R…
Due to my handicap, I haven't been able to make as much progress as I intended, but I have gotten some work done!
First, I sewed the trim on my boots. Since I have extra white fur, I sewed on more than I thought I'd want so I could trim it down to the amount I desired.
In addition, I pinned the bottom half together to see if I needed to make any adjustments. The front and side panels seemed to be okay, but the back panel is a bit bulky and too wide. I've cut it down a bit, but I haven't taken new pictures, so this is the most current status of the costume:i116.photobucket.com/albums/o4…i116.photobucket.com/albums/o4…
My hand is now officially bruised from scissor use!
I've cut out the spear head and two claws. The first claw I cut straight with the intention of bending it using an internal wire (as I've done with my horns), but it seems it is too stubby to do so easily. I may use it or make another, we shall see. The second one that I made curved looks much better in my opinion.
The spearhead was quite a challenge! Not only to cut the correct angles into it, but to cut so much material off! Due to the shape, I couldn't cut off large pieces without going too deep, so I had to do a billion little snips. While I smoothed the claws down, I decided to leave the spearhead with rough groves and chips in it. As it is, it actually looks like it was carved out of stone! It came out slightly smaller than I expected, but, other than that, it's perfect.i116.photobucket.com/albums/o4…
My top is almost finished, I cut the arm triangles and I convinced my mother to help me sew on the trim. Instead of putting a zipper in the back like I had originally planned, I decided to use grommets and lace it up with leather cord. It looks good and seems more like what Nidalee would have done herself!lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c6v…
I've also decided the front panel is a little too wide on the bottoms, so I'm going to trim it a bit, but they are done other than that!
If I finish the top, I'll update again later today!
My dad also hunted down seven different branches for my spear and let me choose which one I liked best. Apparently, the once I picked was the first one he grabbed! I'm really glad my parents are assisting me with this, though, it's great to have their support!
I FINISHED THE SPEAR!
It looks badass. The head of the spear did turn out a bit smaller than I wanted, so that's rather lame, but the rest of it is absolutely gorgeous! I even included the leather around the top and base like in her skin.
I've also completed a few more of the teeth, so all I have left are 4-5 large teeth, 8 smaller teeth and the two earring teeth, as well as the bracers. I believe I'm going to complete the bracers (or, at least, most of them) and the large teeth today.
I put the full part of the costume I have done thus far on and it needs some minor trimming. I think the white fur on both the top and the boots is a little too long and I'm going to trim down the front panel on the bottoms.
Okay, I cut and spray painted all of the remaining teeth except for her two earrings. Of course, I decided to spray paint at 10p.m. outside, which caused some of the fumes to get inside to the living room, thus sending my father into a rage. It was extremely frightening, but I survived.
I cut about 1.5cm off of the white around the top, but I can't decide if it looks better or not. definitely looks better in the back, but I'm not sure about the front. Oh, well, it's been done.
I may trim the boots/bootcovers, but I can't really decide yet. Other than that, all I have left are the earrings, finishing the belt/necklace, the bracers and buying the body paint!
The end is neigh!!!