Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Adventures in Sewing - Viper Cosplay

This year I decided to attend the Sydney Supanova Pop Culture Expo. It's a celebration of all things nerdy and features a range of special guests from TV, movies, animation and comics. Most years I find out about it when it's too late to buy a ticket, but this year I was organised! And just to make it more interesting, I decided to go in costume.

So this is how I made my Viper cosplay.


Now that I've made a couple of them, I can't get enough of wearing 50's style circle skirts. Especially now I can make them for myself! A bit of searching came up with some amazing vintage cosplay outfits from Comic Con, and this amazing Wonder Woman Cosplay.

After a couple of nights researching various female comic book super heroes and villians, I settled on Madame Hydra/Viper
  • Her look is basic green - easier to work with for a starter costume.
  • Being a bad guy is fun!
  • Snakes are cool.

I was very lucky to score a beautiful snakeskin brocade on sale at The Remnant Warehouse, and chose a lovely green poplin for the rest of the dress.

This is the first dress I've made, and while a skirt is easy, a bodice is another matter entirely. I purchased a couple of vintage dress patterns, but unfortunately my current measurements make it hard for me to fit a standard dressmaking pattern. So after a dissapointing mockup using an old sheet, I decided to try another approach.

This Body Coutour Cosplay Tutorial on YouTube was most helpful! If you're not familiar with how to use a bodice sloper, or if you have a tricky figure, this is a pretty good approach for a one-off design (provided you can get a dress form with your measurements. I had to make some..ahem..additions in the bust region).

First I made a paper+tape bodice to fit Dolly

Cutting a practice bodice from muslin.

An acceptable fit!
Cutting the bodice from the brocade and poplin.

The skirt cut and sewn, with pockets!

Back view

Front View
At this point, I still had to add some facing to the bodice, and fix the ugly side zipper.

Back view

Front View
The buttons are to hide the spot where the seams all join.


With some fun accessories off ebay, and a bright green wig, it wasn't exactly what you'd call an authentic cosplay, but it was fun to wear. And the best bit was that it made wandering around a crowded convention centre much more fun. Now to plan next year's effort :)

Heading to Supanova!
Wearing boots to cover up a bandaged ankle.

And best of all, there was a fantastic camera to take a picture of my work!

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