April O'Neil - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


If you know me at all, you'll know that three of my major loves in life are Disney, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've been a TMNT nerd since I was tiny, growing up watching the cartoons and movies, playing the video games and attempting to keep up with the comics (although with modern technology it's a lot easier these days to purchase them for re-reading). I met the TMNT once in Disney MGM Studios and it was probably one of the greatest days of my childhood life. True story.

The 80s version of April O'Neil is a costume that I actually attempted to make about two years into my cosplay hobby back in 2008. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out - still being somewhat of a newbie at sewing, paired with cheap fabric choices and the stupid decision to dive straight in instead of making test pieces ended up with a huge mess that in the end, got binned. Now that I have several more years of dressmaking know-how (paired with the fact that 2014 saw the release of a new TMNT movie that I adore), I decided that it was finally time to give April another try.

Before going anywhere near my proper fabric, I decided to make a mock-up out of calico. I knew that I absolutely wanted to include all of the seams and lines that April's jumpsuit has, so I worked those into my mock-up then cut everything apart and used it as a pattern for my final version. I chose to use some really nice yellow gaberchino fabric, which is a medium-weight polyester/cotton mix and achieved the 'boiler suit' look without being too heavy to wear or work with. I used piping to make the lines in the front and back of the legs stand out, while I made most of the other seams look like flat-felled seams (the technique I used wasn't the correct one, but it's one that I am happy with!).

The shoes came next; I bought a pair of black, knee-high boots that I chopped down to the length I wanted. I was quite fussy about the height of the boots because April doesn't wear knee-high ones - they only sit at about mid-calf length. Pairing that with the fact that I have big feet, I knew I would never find the right shoes and so would have to edit a pair myself. After cutting the boots and making sure I could still get into them with the zips being glued closed, I made boot covers out of white lycra that I glued and sewed down.

The belt, watch and microphone were bought. I bought the wig from Coscraft and trimmed the fringe to the length that I wanted. I love the colour - it's exactly what I hoped for and was true to the photo.

I'm so unbelievably happy to finally cosplay as April O'Neil and show my love for TMNT through cosplay! I'VE NEVER HAD SO MANY POCKETS IN MY LIFE

Dax79 posted on 8 October, 2014 - 20:47
The BEST April! I look forward to your finished product!

TheStarlightFairy posted on 28 November, 2014 - 22:03
You finally completed it <3 Can't wait for our epic mismatched group on Sunday <3

Amy-Lou posted on 12 April, 2015 - 12:10
Brilliant April! You've done a great job and the piping work stands out well.

26th October 2014


Last time I attempted April (which must have been in 2008/2009, I think), I went about it the completely wrong way - I used cheap fabrics, and instead of making a mock-up I dove in and ended up with a mess that in the end, I had enough of and chucked away. Now that I've got several more years of sewing experience under my belt, I'm ready to give April another try. This time, I'm making a mock-up out of calico. I've got some lovely bright yellow gaberchino fabric to use for my final version, which I'm looking forward to using! I've also received my wig in the post (the fringe needs trimming), and my boots are on order. I'll have to make boot-covers, but I've done that before so that shouldn't be a problem.

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