Assembling a Costume: Step 2

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Hello again!

CONvergence is A WEEK away and I’m working away on my projects!  Now that I have most of the items ordered, I thought it was time for another installment of this series.

In case you missed it, step 1 was Research.



Once you’ve completed Step 1 and done your research, you should know what you need for the costume. Step 2 is the hunter-gatherer stage of development.


Queen Susan

For Queen Susan, I know I need: a red medieval-style dress with elbow-length sleeves, a chainmail hauberk with a velvet collar, a leather armor corset, the horn quiver, a bracer, a bow, and arrows.  One thing I forgot to mention was the Horn!  Queen Susan’s Horn!  It’s pretty important for this costume.

Carrying my marching orders, I hit the internet.  Hard.  Again.  I separated my list into categories: what I know I can handle, what I know I can’t handle, and “I wonder if I could just…”  I knew I could handle the dress, and I’ve been wanting to learn how to make a bracer, so we’re saving those for Step 3 (except for this sneak peek!).  I knew I couldn’t handle the Horn, the quiver, and the bow.  The in-between category ends up being the chainmail, the corset, and the arrows.

The corset proved to be the first thing I found, back in November.  I follow Corset-Story.com on Facebook, and when they posted their Steampunk Brocade Corset with Chain and Belt Detailing as a part of a Corset of the Day promotion, I ordered it without hesitation. It’s not *exactly* what the corset is from the movie, but it’s close and it’s wonderful.

Queen Susan’s Horn is important to this costume because, in Prince Caspian, it is the Horn that calls the Pevensies back to Narnia.  I know that my casting and carving skills are terrible at BEST, so I knew I had to order it.  Luckily enough, I found an online prop shop that makes cast replicas, and ordered from there!  The only downside is that it isn’t a working blowing horn, but that’s okay.

The quiver is something I knew I wanted to have, even if I didn’t carry a bow.  Conventions usually have strict weapons policies, and as far as I’m concerned, the quiver of arrows will have more visual impact than the bow.  For the quiver, I did a lot of research on horn carving and the different uses and constructions of different uses for horns – drinking horns, blowing horns, powder horns, etc.  I knew I wanted to order real horn for the costume, so I hit Etsy.  I found a lovely horn with a suitably adorable description.  The horn had already been cleaned out (a messy job, from what I understand) and is just shy of being the right size for what I need, but that gives me some flexibility.

And now the chainmail.  I thought, way back in the end of 2012, that I could make it myself.  At the time, I was working a dead-end temp job and wasn’t making enough money to buy beer, let alone jump rings, so I tabled the idea.  In April, I saw a beaded dress done in a chainmail-looking crochet pattern.  I briefly considered taking this route with it, but let that go by the wayside due to time constraints.  I found a chainmail hauberk online, and added a collar from an old shirt using a whip stitch.  Works perfectly!

I considered making the arrows.  I even bought dowels and feathers.  But then I remembered that I could save myself a lot of heartache with a little bit of floral foam and my good friend’s spare and broken arrows, which just happen to be red and black.


SHIELD Agent Maria Hill

For Hill, I’m following the instructions I found on Tumblr a little close.  So what I need to get/find is a navy blue jumpsuit with black detailing, black boots, a sidearm, an earpiece and a utility belt.

I ordered a catsuit from Milanoo.com that fits me like a GLOVE.  (Especially when I have a triathlon swim suit under it to smooth out all the lines.)  It’s seriously tempting to add Kiera Cameron from Continuum to the list so I can order another catsuit from them.  It’s that comfortable.

I had SHIELD patches custom made by anruiukimi on Etsy.  She was fantastic to work with!  I sent her this screencap of Hill’s rank insignia patch on her left shoulder, and she sent me a photo less than a day later of the custom designed replica.  If you need SHIELD patches, she’s the one to go to.

The sidearm was a coup d’etat.  I spent days – DAYS – trying to find a reasonably priced pistol replica, but here’s the thing.  They’re almost all firing.  They’re almost all metal.  And they’re almost all over $40.  I didn’t need that.  This has to be a non-firing costume replica of the proper weight.  That’s when I found training guns.  They are rubber, and specifically made for police officers and martial arts classes when you learn how to defend yourself against an armed assailant.  And they’re less than $10.  I’ll have to spray paint it, and it will likely stay in my holster for the run of the convention, but man is it perfect.

I found the PERFECT boots at a garage sale this year.

The holster and belt were an Amazon.com find, courtesy of my friend’s research for his Deadpool costume.

I have a few things left to do and get – I have to find/scrounge/improvise an earpiece – but I have every confidence in this costume.

That’s step 2, BUY ALL THE THINGS!

Stay tuned for step 3: Make it your own.

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