So I've actually started on multiple things when it comes to this cosplay, but a lot is just ordering samples and things ready, which isn't very fun to talk about or show photos. Here's what actual crafty bits I've worked on so far.
First of all I've broken down all the layers I'll need to work on to compete this cosplay. The belt was the first thing I looked at as it seemed simple enough. Two twos of leather thonging with cord detailing and some test tubes with green liquid attached with blue wire. However, looking at the bigger picture and how I would actually wear this thing I would say it'll be easier to do the belt as a combo paired with the woven leather panels and fur fringed panels suede panels underneath.
I ordered some different sized cables in the post, as well as a lot of different pleather samples too. Whilst waiting for these to arrive I started looking into the woven leather and how I could do this. I had some black pleather from a previous project so decided to make some mini samples to see if the techniques I think would work, would do so in practice.
1. I cut out strips of pleather to play with. I didn't go for a particular width or size, simply used the width of my metal ruler as a guide to make sure all strips were uniform. I then move them together in a simple plain weave.
2. Here I stated to take up the edges at the bottom, simply holding in place with paperclips to get the visual effect I wanted.
3. Here I've done the same all around the sides also, to mimic the reference photo.
4. Then using some cord I had from a previous craft project I used a pin to wrap the strip round and hold it in place. The end result was exactly what I wanted so I was pretty pleased for a first try!
5. I then used some staples to hold everything in place and wasn't too worried about it looking messy - that's what samples are for!
6. The back however, didn't look great. If I was using real leather I could get away with the underside looking raw, but with most pleathers it has a women back which isn't pleasing to the eye and looks messy and unfinished. This sparked me to try again with the back in mind this time.
So my goal now was to make a better looking piece on the front and back as well as making it a stiffer final piece like in the reference photo. My idea was to have the pieces double sided, so they were thicker pieces of leather and had a nice finish either side. This was made trickier however with the finished edges I needed that included the cord.
1. To start with I used my favourite crafty thing ever, double sides tape, to loop two long pieces of pleather around some cord. The tape was further enough down that the cord could still freely move through the loop if it needed adjusting.
2. Here you can see the two looped pieces, plus the other three I was going to use for the length of the piece. Looking at it as a whole though, I realised I was going to have to work along two sides at once to build up the weave.
3. Here you can see me turning this area into one of the corners. To 'attach' the 5th strip to something, I first added another looped strip then using double sided tape worked out how the other piece was going to fit.
4. Here you can see it stuck down in place, thus creating the first corner piece.
5. I then started to the same along the bottom edge of the piece, starting to bring the weaving together, working from the corner out.
6. Here you can see the bottom edge as well as the left side complete, with the final bottom edge ready to be stuck in place with double sided tape. First I would need to add in the corner loop.
7. The tricky part was adding in the loop to the other side of the piece (the right hand side) This took some working out but was pretty simple in the end. However, this meant I had to re-look at the double sided strips. I could have them double sided, but the finish needed to happen in the middle of the back, to accommodate for the two loops.
8. Once that loop was done, I could stick the final piece down that I had previously got ready with tape.
9. Here you can see I misjudged the length needed for the double siding of the pleather on the back of the piece so there's an edge here. As this is a sample it's a learning curve. Moving forwards these seams can be easily hidden thanks to the weaving.
10. Again, this is the back view of the piece now. I need to finish off edging - this one is a simple stick down around the strip. 11. Here's the sticky tape in place ready to be stuck down and trimmed to size.
12. If you look to the very right of this photo, you can see the finished seam from 10/11. As you can see because I'm wrapping the leather around the other piece it ends up with two squares not being in the weave. As this is the back though I don;t mind this as its the neat correct finish on the front. Again, you can see the next piece that needs to be stuck down around the previous leather strip.
Tada! Here is the finished piece. The front is on the left and the back on the right. The back has the extra square stuck down die to the double-sided pleather, but it's still neat and I'm pretty happy with it! The piece feels stronger and less likely to crease up with the added thickness of two strips. There are some seams visible, but know I know how to hide these under the other woven strips to make it neater in the future. Next is working out the real scale needed for the actual cosplay panels. I will need to make four identical panels which will attach to the belt - this is the next step to work out.
I have some blue thick cording on order so once that arrives I will see if it is suitable!
Cheers for reading! x
So this idea has been in the back of my mind for the last two years now. Last year (almost to this day) I moved into a new flat in London with my partner, thinking I could get back into cosplay once and for all. I started a new job and all was looking up until Covid struck the world. I have continued to work from home all this time, which I am truly grateful for, but my mental health took a hit. Now I feel in a better head-space and want to dedicate my free time to doing something I have always loved, crafting.
So my third big cosplay will be Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn. Yup..daunting to say the least. Even more so when I've decided to go with the armour I wore in game which happens to be extremely detailed. So where do I start? As you can see from the image to the left there is a LOT going on here in this outfit. Many layers, a lot of detail and many techniques look and feel quite overwhelming. This is where my problem has been from the start. I've tried breaking it down into small chunks and then have got overwhelmed and stopped. So what have I done so far? I'd already started drafting up the pattern for the top. It's not there yet, but I know roughly how I want this to sit and look. I also have the wig and wefts ready to go which is exciting. Having short hair I never was any good with hair styling..so that will be a whole other learning process for me. What I do know if the headdress in the photo wasn't something I actually had Aloy wear on my play through, so I won't be making that. (That's one thing off the list!)
I've also looked into what weapon I wanted to make to go with this cosplay. Of course, the bow I used also happens to be pretty crazy looking so that's for another post. (It's also something I have plotted out and done some work on already so I can post this up at a later date.) Rather then make this too text heavy however, I will end this post and start my first progress one and walk through my thoughts. 1, so anyone who wants to can read it. 2, so I can keep track of everything and feel more in control of this build. I'd like to say I want this to be ready by October, but you know what? This year is probably going to be just as hard as last years, so I'm going to have fun with it and not put too much pressure on myself. Cheers for reading! - Charlotte