Shin Bionic Soldier

Cosplayer: Mighty Odango

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

Judge's Award for Immaculate Stitching- Amecon 2012, Hall Costume Award - Loncon 3

Showcased 1st August 2019

Amecon 2012

10th August 2012: Hm... Essentially finished, though there are improvements that I could make. I'm really not happy with the hand sections of the gloves at all, and I'm iffy about the collar of the shirt, but there isn't time to fix that right now.

Also bought a ton of new makeup as I discovered the lipstick I had planned to use has become very hard and cakey - it's years old so should probably be chucked anyway!

7th August 2012: ... The outfit is pretty much together now and I'm starting to hate everything about it ;_____;

Tried to put in the lining, discovered I'd cut it wrong. Make new lining, put it in, it hangs wrong. UNPICK LINING, HANG IT ON MANNEQUIN, SPEND HOURS TACKING IT ON, STILL HANGS SKEWY FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

But it hangs OK when the ruffle shirt is under it, which I guess is what matters. Got to redo the bias on that and then the cutouts.

I also very nearly irreparably screwed up one of the gloves. It's salvaged. I hope.

Hate the shirt collar, going to tweak it again.

Coat makes me look fat.

Not sure I have the requisite ribbon for the side and arm lacing.

... I like the trousers? What's the betting that my thighs have levelled up too much for them to fit...

To do: decorate & sew fingers, sew gloves, sew fingers to gloves
Bias on coat & cutouts
Fix shirt collar
More layers of paint on the shoes
Jabot fasteners

3rd August 2012: bleh Sleeves are in, done as much beading as I can stand (everything visible on the design is done, and have done some on the back to make sure it's in keeping), now it's lining time.

I tried the "invisible stitching" method but it was just too difficult to do it with such slippery satin. Instead I am going for the tiniest, evenest slipstitching I can manage. It's unnoticeable enough to satisfy me.

2nd August 2012: The finish line is in sight So it turns out I didn't need to order that extra thread >_< but I did need the beads. If I add up the stuff I bought but haven't used, like overbuying the satin (closer inspection showed black lining, so I have spare bronze), bondaweb and thread, it makes the costume about £30 cheaper, but I still spent that money... guess the stuff will get used elsewhere though!

I was fretting about the applique on the lapels. It's on the lining/facing, and since I'm putting in the lining by using the bias binding, and the applique is ON TOP of the bias binding, it was going to be incredibly awkward to attempt to applique that part-way through adding the lining. It's already been hard enough trying to applique stuff on to the coat because there's so much fabric involved.

But! I had a stroke of inspiration yesterday. Instead of trying all that faff, I decided to applique the circles onto a scrap of black satin, ironed bondaweb to the scrap, and carefully cut out the circles. I can then iron these on top of the lining/bias, with some hand-stitching to keep it fully in place. Hopefully it will be convincing, and it allowed me to get much neater applique this way too.

Final beading today and tomorrow, plus putting in the sleeves, then it's lining (+ buttons), fasteners, lacing, jabot, gloves and shoes. All handwork except the sleeves.

30th July 2012: Keep on keepin' on... Still plenty to do, but it's the home straight now! Need to finish the beading (for which I have to wait for more beads to be delivered as the local shop was out), finish off the applique - the last bits of which are going to be REALLY AWKWARD as they're on the lining (I may have thought of a way to cheat on this though) - and the buttons, put in the sleeves, put in the lining, do the lacing sections, sort out the fastenings and then do the shoes and gloves. And make another costume, ho ho ho.

Kind of love my sleeves... they're very Blackadder.

26th July 2012: Sleeves bro... Beading bro...

23rd July 2012: Ruffles, ruffles everywhere Have finished the shirt, for now. I'm not 100% happy with the collar yet so if there's time I may rework that. I've put wire into it so that it stands better but I'm a bit iffy about the front.

Weighed the shirt again. 3.5kg. If I am grumpy when wearing this costume it's because it weighs a bloody ton!

I'm a bit behind, I meant to get the coat sleeves done this weekend but had to go out on Saturday. Will have to work extra hard during the week, particularly since I spotted a couple of bits of applique I'd missed on the coat.

18th July 2012: Better start weight training... I weighed the shirt last night after pinning on the 4th ruffle layer. It weighs 2 kilograms. That's before the final layer, the collar and cuffs.

And that's just the SHIRT.

16th July 2012: Ugh Used half a can of spray starch on the collar and it's had virtually no effect. I'm not impressed :(

The collar of the coat will hold up the shirt collar to a certain extent, but it still looks a touch floppy for my taste, so I'm probably going to put some concealed wire in there. Not ideal, but hey.

16th July 2012: THORES you giant troll I was working on the sleeves last night and... the design doesn't physically make sense without bizarre curves and holes and... just no. Basically, the dude's arms bend and twist in ways that human beings don't, even hypermobile human beings like me (trust me, I spent about half an hour doing crazy things with my elbow that would make most people wince, and it just didn't work).

So I am sacrificing some small points of accuracy in order to make the design actually make sense on a human body.

Completed the applique on the coat, needs beads, buttons and embroidery now. You can see bits of sleeve in the background too. I've actually put toy stuffing in the puff sleeves to make them stand out, now they are fun and squidgy XD

11th July 2012: My poor debit card ;________; This costume is eating thread like there's no tomorrow, and the thread I'm using for the coat only comes on 100m rolls. I just had to order 10 of them...

11th July 2012: I can't be trusted with hot things Spent about 4 hours making bias binding yesterday. Burned myself with the iron again. FML

I have discovered that I may actually have enough of the bronze satin to line the coat; I thought I'd use up a lot more of it for the bias than I did. So that might knock the final cost down - I'll use the black stuff for other projects :3 I always wanted to line it in bronze but I ended up buying the shop completely out of the bronze satin and they can't get any more in that shade. Hopefully there's enough!

10th July 2012: The imprecision of ruffling mathematics As it turns out, my calculations for the strips to ruffle were far too generous and have left me with strips double the length. On the downside, it means I wasted time on some of the hemming. On the upside, it means I don't have to bother with ruffling the final strip as I easily have enough with what I've already done! And I'll have a few ruffles kicking about spare if I fancy putting them on an original design somewhere :3

Now on to sewing the ruffle strips onto the shirt. I'm doing this by hand due to the thicknesses of fabric involved, so it's a lunchbreak job!

9th July 2012: Let's ruffling Rolled all my hems, now I'm ruffling them. Due to LFCC this past weekend (going one day, being wiped out from it the next, yay M.E.) I haven't managed to ruffle all the strips as planned, but I've done 3 of the 5 and ironed out the 4th. Because the ruffles are double-layered I'm doing it by folding the fabric in half, but this means pressing the whole strip in half so it's a) neat and b) obvious where the centre is so I can feed it into the ruffler foot properly.

That said, I am SO pleased with how the ruffles are coming out. Using vast quantities of fabric was the right way to go, even if it did cost a fortune and take an age to hem. It will mean that it's probably the heaviest single item of clothing I've ever worn, that much fabric weighs quite a bit...

The collar and cuff ruffles are also done. I still need to work out how to make the collar stand up best. I've ordered spray starch to try that and I'm really hoping it will work nicely.

3rd July 2012: Oh hell How did this costume get so freaking expensive?! OK, I guess a fair chunk of it was on the shoes, but still ;_________;

Bought more crepe for ruffles, black satin to line. I'm really hoping that's the last of the expenses now save probably some more thread.

I'm still rolling those hems. It seems to take about an hour to do one strip of fabric, have done three so far out of the total five (and a half, counting collars and cuffs). Honestly though, the most annoying part has been folding and cutting the fabric to get strips that length and reasonably even. Ugh!

2nd July 2012: I don't like maths. Spent a fair amount of time yesterday doing maths to work out exactly how much fabric I needed to cut to make the appropriate amount of ruffles. Maths is far from my favourite thing to do :( Especially when it means ending up having to cut 13m strips of fabric.

On a related note, everyone mocked me for buying 20m of fabric for the ruffles, saying it was excessive. Well ya know what? IT ISN'T ENOUGH. I'm double layering the ruffles, and putting them on both the front and back of the shirt, for fullness, and I only had enough fabric to cut the strips for 3 layers when I need 5. That's me going to buy another 15m of fabric then. This costume is more expensive than Laughing Octopus!

I also wish to note that rolling the hems on 13m strips of fabric is beyond tedious, as is cutting 13m strips of fabric for that matter. I'm starting to miss applique - good job there's a load more of that to do. And cutting and ironing bias.

Why did I pick this costume again? Oh yeah, because it's so damn pretty...

30th June 2012: Shirt 'n' shizz Done a couple of things today, firstly spray-painting the buttons so they're a closer match to the satin, and secondly making up the base shirt for the ruffles.

The shirt is constructed from the same pattern as the coat, using the white crepe, but rather than the tailcoat shape I cut the coat into I've left the pattern the same except for cutting the front panels to waist length. This leaves me with a half/three-quarter "skirt" onto which I'll sew the ruffles.
Because the crepe frays quite badly, it was necessary to seal off the edges of each piece somehow to keep it from unravelling too much. I had a choice of methods - our sewing machine has an overcasting stitch, and I also had the rolled-hem foot that I purchased for hemming the ends of the ruffles. I chose to roll the edges in preference to overcasting, because it uses less thread, takes less time and I also wanted to get more practice in using the foot before using it for the ruffle edges, which will be visible (unlike the inner seams). Each edge of the white shirt now has a tidy rolled hem which will keep it from fraying!

The shirt is all sewn up save for the cuffs and collar, which will be ruffled, the ruffles on the skirt section, and the front fastening. I'm not sure what kind of fastening to use on the front yet. As it won't be visible I can use pretty much anything, but I want something that's both comfortable and will lie quite flat. Poppers seem a sensible choice so I may go with those.

I also measured the length of the fabric before and after ruffling, so I can cut the strips to the right length.

25th June 2012: Aw damn Broke £250. Oh well.

I used up an entire 1000m roll of thread on the applique for the trousers alone, so I was forced to buy more thread. It's not a 100% match, though it's very close, and Cosplex has offered to send me her roll which is a match. I had sewn up the trousers before realising I'd forgotten 2 lines of satin stitching (d'oh) so was forced to take them apart and redo it, with the new thread - however once I get the thread from Lex I am likely to redo those lines once again just so it's a perfect match all over.

Trousers need the waistband facing stitching in and hemming, which I plan to do with bias binding once I've made it all, then are pretty much complete save a few buttons & beads.

Grabbed some seed beads and embroidery floss along with the thread, which will be added somewhere for a touch of extra bling.

Coat base cut and sewn up, still the sleeves to finish patterning and make.

19th June 2012: Buttons & beads Making use of my lunchbreaks at work again to do some hand-sewing. At the moment I'm sewing the beads onto the completed trouser leg, but have encountered a snag with the buttons - they're just too disparate in colour from the trim. If I hadn't done so much applique already I'd consider buying more fabric in a less red-toned bronze and more of an old gold colour, but it's too late for that now - will be spray-painting the buttons to a more bronze colour instead.

18th June 2012: Trousers I've completed the applique on one trouser leg and made a start on the second. Stupidly I ironed all the pieces onto the second leg before remembering that I'd done some parts in layers on the first... *facepalm* it's not an insurmountable problem, it just requires a lot more care on those sections as I attempt to retain the illusion of layering.

Trying to get things symmetrical has been the hardest part, mostly with regard to the natural taper of the leg but also because of seam placement. I can't applique onto the fully sewn-up trouser because when it's sewn up it's impossible to put through the machine correctly, so as a compromise I've half-sewn the legs and will have a seam on the inside. Trying to make sure everything lines up for this seam has been nightmarish.

The large band across the thigh is also removing all stretch from that area, so I need to make sure my thighs don't get any bigger >_<

11th June 2012: Applying Applique I decided to pause on patterning the coat for a bit because I have some new ideas about length and style at the back. Instead I've been working on the trousers as if I can get them finished fairly soon I'll have a complete piece of the costume, which is always a good inspiration to get cracking on the rest.

There is SO MUCH applique on this costume it's mad. I did a test piece to check what stitch settings I wanted for the satin stitching, tweaked them until I was happy, and then began...

Whilst I've done applique before, it was generally either simpler or somewhat rushed. As this is a competition entry I wanted to take my time and get it nice and neat. Unfortunately I chose a costume that involves a lot of small circle designs D: These take ages to get tidy and there's at least 40 to do. However, I am quite pleased with how it's come out.

Of course, some of the straight lines, which should be easy, have come out less well... but I can redo those if necessary.

About 50% done on one trouser leg, depending on how I design the back.

7th May 2012: Every day I'm rufflin' Decided to stick up a few updates in slightly less formal language than the articles :3

The instructions that came with the ruffler foot were not exactly comprehensive (missing out one fairly vital instruction in particular), and this was compounded by the fact that they were written in mild Engrish and made reference to "the blue part" when nothing on the foot is blue. Helpful.

However, via trial, error, and a lot of sitting at the sewing machine going "HOW DOES IT WOOOOOOOOOORK" I eventually managed to figure it out. I made ruffles! This is just a test shot of the arcane torture instrument and its results. Yay ruffles. I think I'm probably going to have to have several single layers of ruffles in each row to get really good fullness, so it's going to see a lot of work.

I also mocked up the coat and trousers. When I did the trousers I was moaning about the lack of movement they allowed - cigarette pants are not known for their mobility - but when I started cutting the velvet I realised I'd inadvertently (or possibly by design... my memory is that bad that I can't remember) bought velvet with a 2-way stretch. Gets! I'll be able to bend my knees more than a 120 degree angle!

10th April 2012: Updates For anyone who's keeping an eye on this costume and hoping for updates - I may not be using the journal function as I'm hopefully going to be tracking my progress via a series of articles available elsewhere. I might do a few, and do a series of backdated entries when the costume is finished.

6th January 2012: MOAR FABRIC 26m of fabric was insufficient. Now that I have the patterns (they shipped from America so took a while) I realise that I didn't have nearly enough velvet, and I also reconsidered the quantity of bronze satin I'd need since I am making my own bias tape for this costume as well as the other details.
I therefore bought more of each.

At some point soonish I will need to attempt to sketch out the costume as I plan to make it - since this is the only reference image that exists I need to decide on a number of the details as well as draw out a plan for the back of the costume. Leaving it plain would look ridiculous in comparison to the detail on the front but it needs to fit with the rest of the design. It's also a chance to possibly employ some techniques like embroidery.

The more I look at it, the more it seems like the ruffles are actually part of a kind of long-backed shirt worn beneath the coat :/ that would mean lining the coat as well as making the shirt... lots of layers. Still, it's an excuse to finally get around to doing a set of properly lined cuffs.

The shoes should also be arriving today. Those who follow me on Twitter will know I ummed and aahed about these. I found them on eBay and they match the style of the costume perfectly, are the right style and shape to give me a bit of extra leg length/slimness, and are just generally fabulous. However, they were a little expensive (even more so with the customs charge ;_;) and this is a competition costume, so really I want details to be stuff that I've done. But on looking further for another suitable pair, I just couldn't find anything I liked, so I decided to get them and will make some modifications to make them match exactly.

18th November 2011: Supplies I have been sourcing all of the supplies I need to make this costume. I decided as soon as I chose to make it that it was going to end up being expensive because it's so lush, but I've actually managed to find a couple of bargains that have dropped the price a little.

First of all, the fabrics. I bought no less than 26m of fabric. This has shocked many, but there's reasoning behind it!
4m of black cotton velvet for the coat and trousers. I would have preferred something with a touch of stretch as the trousers are drainpipe style and very tight. Unfortunately, the only fabric I found that I liked, a stretch moleskin that was incredibly soft, only had 2m left on the roll - not nearly enough and I didn't want to use different fabrics for each. So I will just have to make do. I chose cotton velvet as it has the plush texture without being too deep a pile to applique on, and it also doesn't fray like a motherbitch the way silk velvet does. I also wanted something more matt than silk velvet. Velveteen was not an option as I absolutely, utterly hate the way it feels, and have also found that it gums up sewing machine needles.
20m white crepe for the ruffles. I'm aware that this is a vast amount - even the guy in the shop raised his eyebrows - but there's a few reasons behind it. There's a LOT of ruffles on this costume - many layers in the skirt, as well as more ruffles in the sleeves and neck. I have never really done ruffles before so whilst I'm aware that they use a lot of fabric, I don't know precisely how much, and wanted to make absolutely sure I had enough. Since I bought so much, the price was discounted from £2.75p/m to £2.50p/m, meaning that I'm not too bothered about wastage, and I can always use whatever's left over on future projects or as mockup fabric. It's versatile especially as it's white :)
2m bronze coloured satin for the trims and applique. I'll probably need more of it though, but I remember which shop it's from. I'll be making my own bias binding since I want to make sure it all matches exactly. This was very cheap - £2p/m. However it doesn't have quite the obscene shininess of acetate satin, and has quite a nice silky feel. Since it's just for trim and detail, I thought I could get away with satin, and it will also be a nice textural contrast to the velvet.

The image is of the buttons I've ordered. I did a quick count up and from the buttons that are visible, as well as having enough to detail the back so it doesn't look plain in comparison, I'll need quite a lot, so I've bought 250. They're pretty so any spares can be used on other projects.

I've also bought some bronze-coloured freshwater pearls that will end up somewhere on the costume, because I love me some beads and they will add to the lushness and beauty of the costume.

I'm not including the costs of the bias makers in the total as they'll be used for many other projects.

The next step will be to sketch out exactly how I think it all goes together. I'm currently pondering whether to attach the ruffles directly to the coat or to have them on a kind of half-skirted dress worn beneath the coat.

Nomes avatar

Nomes - 21st November 2011
This is so very very pretty. I can't wait to see your progress.

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 13th February 2012
I am so looking forward to seeing this. I love the design and I think it you would look fantastic. Thores artwork is brilliant, there needs to be more love.

gaming_goddess avatar

gaming_goddess - 10th April 2012
This artwork looks gorgeous :D And I'm loving the amount of ruffles in one cosplay :D Looking forward t seeing the progress :D

InfiniteJester avatar

InfiniteJester - 10th April 2012
This looks super pretty!

Cosplex avatar

Cosplex - 9th May 2012
I have that ruffler! Let me know if you want me to copy the instructions for you.

Sounds great so far, keep posting progress.

KhaosKreator avatar

KhaosKreator - 11th June 2012
Unf, this design pleases me.

Mighty Odango avatar

Mighty Odango - 11th June 2012
It is the sex, is it not?

Unknown member avatar

Anonymous - 12th June 2012
I remember when you showed me this - I thought it was stunning back then and I still think it is now. You will look amazing.

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 1st July 2012
The progress is looking amazing. Really looking forward to seeing this.

Neverforever avatar

Neverforever - 2nd July 2012
Oh wow this desgin looks very pretty, cant wait to see photos ^^

Nomes avatar

Nomes - 16th July 2012
*picks up jaw from floor* Please teach me to sew!

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 3rd August 2012
The details and beading are looking amazing. Loving this and its coming together so well. Can't wait to see it.

Amy-Lou avatar

Amy-Lou - 15th August 2012
So many beautiful ruffles! The details are wonderful :)

j_mercuryuk avatar

j_mercuryuk - 15th August 2012
This was a stunning cosplay. The details were amazing. It looks so rich.

Angelphie avatar

Angelphie - 15th August 2012
This really is so impressive and I love your photos in Keele Hall. Endless ruffles, endless hems, endless applique all impeccably done - definitely something to be proud of!

SherlockHulmes avatar

SherlockHulmes - 18th August 2012
Amazeballs awesome.

gaming_goddess avatar

gaming_goddess - 19th August 2012
I can't believe how many ruffles. Seeing this complete has taken it to a whole knew level! It's absolutely terrific and everything about it is gorgeous! :D I wouldn't even know where to begin with something like this - it isn't a cosplay - it's a work of Art! :D

DarkElf avatar

DarkElf - 28th August 2012
(Though I had no doubt at all that it wouldn't be) this costume is stunning. Amazing job! Your hard work was really worth it. I'm always in awe of your costumes and your skills. Love it <3 wish I could've seen it in person. Love the photoshoot too.

Mighty Odango avatar

Mighty Odango - 29th August 2012
Thanks everyone :) you're all very kind! I spent too much time (AND MONEY) on this costume to only wear it once so it'll pop up here and there with some improvements.

Nomes avatar

Nomes - 29th August 2012
This is absolutely stunning. Your fabric choice is luscious, your stitshing is impeccable and the setting is as rich and lustrous as the costume.

Sephirayne avatar

Sephirayne - 7th September 2012
This looked absolutely amazing. So loved seeing it up close. You looked so stunning and I love the Keele Hall shoot pics.