18th November 2011: Crying Beauty: How I’d always planned to make this to wear inside the Beast Suit. When I saw Odangochan’s Laughing Octopus I just had to ask if she would be interested in a photo shoot at some point once both cosplays were complete. I was extremely pleased when she agreed and it turned out she was also interested in making a Beauty version of her Beast. Well if we were already having a photoshoot why not match the suits for maximum awesomeness?
Fabric: We both hunted high and low for fabric. We’d agreed that wet look lycra was the way to go, but it doesn’t come in the greatest colour range. Odangochan found black and silver/grey wet look lycra in a shop on Goldhawk lane in London and she sent me a metre of each. After extensive further hunting on both our parts and multiple fabric samples, Odangochan then experimented with dying the silver wet look lycra with iDye. We both had our fingers crossed. Synthetic fabrics are notorious for dying poorly. But success! And we had our fabric.
Pattern: Odangochan very kindly sent me a pattern for 4 panel bodysuit which she’d made by cutting up a catsuit she had lying around. After making a mock up with some cheap lycra, I used Kwik sew pattern 3052 to cut Odangochan’s pattern down to my size.
I drew up a seam breakdown using multiple in game images. In this I included all the wording and bar codes that were located in various places on the suits. To get them I replayed the game with the help of an indulgent friend who played paparazzi in the boss beauty and the Beast battles. I couldn’t have added this element of accuracy without him. After discussion, Odangochan and I decided which seams we would do, and which were simply illogical as well as how we were going to put the suits together.
To start with I made a sleeveless short legged silver body suit. Initially I’d intended to add dark grey arms and legs and then stitch the black bands over the top, but in the end I did inset these black panels. All the panelling on the main body, however, was stitched on top of the short body suit before the arms and legs were added.
There was a clear black zip in the back of the suit in the reference images which was helpful however it was hard to tell whether the black strip at the front of the chest was a tab or a zip. In the end we voted for zip as this could more easily be centralised.
I drew out the patterns for the main body panels by measuring out the correct positions on the short suit whilst I was wearing it and then transferring these measurements to the paper pattern. As the number differed between the sections of the suit I then had to adlib a little. Thankfully, lycra is forgiving.
For the collar, we sandwiched black wet look lycra between silver wet look lycra.
For my gloves I used this tutorial: http://nomynomes.deviantart.com/favourites/#/d286c5z
For the socks (which I love), I used this tutorial: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf36786850.tip.html
Cabling: As Odangochan dyed the fabric, I worked on the cabling. Using genuine cabling would have limited flexibility, so I substituted elastic. Circular elastic made up the cables on the chest, forearms, ears, and ankles. Boot lace ferrules took the place of jack plugs. The time consuming one was the scart cabling. I used 25mm flat black elastic and then painstakingly drew five parallel lines with 3D fabric paint onto 10 metres of the stuff. Five metres was more than I needed in the end, but I wanted to make sure we had enough.
I glued black wet look lycra to the ends of the scart cabling and then wrote out the wording exactly as it appears on the suit using a paintbrush, white acrylic paint and a lot of patience. Some of the wording had to be painted directly onto the suit and I did worry that the stretch would later warp the writing. I couldn’t paint carefully enough whilst wearing the suit though, so I decided to chance it.
To attach all the elastic I used Hi tack glue as recommended by Odangochan. It worked really well in the sense that it cope with the stretch of the fabric and didn’t unstuck despite ending and stretching. On the downside, it did mark the fabric in places where I let the fabric slip during drying. I had to glue the elastic to the bodysuit whilst I was wearing it and use a hairdryer to help it dry as I went along. The staining could have been avoided with the help of a second pair of hands but with Expo a couple of days away at this point I didn’t have the time.
I think we were both extremely pleased with the results. Odangochan was a pleasure to work with and by the time I actually met her at Expo it certainly felt odd that I was only meeting for the first time someone I’d come to know rather well. It was lovely to make a new cosplay friend and spend the day with her. Thanks to her, I also got to take an up close and personal look at a Eurocosplay costume which for me, as a relative cosplay novice, was a big highlight of the weekend.
Thank you Odangochan for teaching me about lycra and for being such a great help to somone you’d, technically, only just met! :P