COSTUME-MAKING TIPS>>>>>

Discussion in 'Denver, CO' started by kitarusapien, Feb 12, 2002.

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  1. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    I want everyone in costume, but I totally understand the seemingly insurmountable odds to getting it done! Therefore, I would like to give some tips, and open the floodgates for others to input here as well as on the costuming board. First, mind over matter!!!! No matter how daunting the task may seem, it can be done("Do or do not, there is no try!") Make a concrete decision as to what you want, the level of realism needed, or the uniqueness of the piece. Stage two....get lots of pics of existing pieces, or if yours is a one-off, make your own graphics and/or rough cut-outs(in cardboard/cloth)to get some perception as to how you'd like it to end up.
    At this point, concentrate on vague outlines....do not trouble yourself with details! Thirdly, once a basic shape takes hold, start with the biggest piece and form it to you using layered cardboard/balsa wood(armor)or cloth(Jedi)or cloth-backed latex material/foam for skin-forms. If you buy as needed, you won't suffer from sticker-shock, and the job will progress without money concerns because you'll have spread out the burden over three months(if you start now!) LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD!!!! The fact that you all are into SW means that everyone of you has the witherall to do this, and make it look good! Start with the big pieces, and work your way down to the little pieces in the end, so that your initial energy is used on the major stuff, and as your fervor wains, you'll only have to work on the little stuff and details. If you must buy components, buy the cheapest and add detail to make it appear to be better than it is! Remember that functionality for our purposes is the look and feel, not anything else. Keep in mind comfort and durability; these are personal preferences. Some cheap materials available are white matress foam, cardboard, balsa, thin plastic sheeting, plastic-wrap, ornamental chain/wire(Home Depot), inexpensive boots, leather scraps from Tandy, old belts, hats, old clothing you wouldn't be caught dead in, and the myriad items at stores like Cloth World, Micheals, and hobby stores. Work on each piece as it's the only piece you have to do....take a couple days off between the larger pieces to recoup your fervor, and be persistent!!!! Ask questions, take hints from others no matter what they are working on, and apply that to your work. Refer back to images often to keep focused, or doodle to give yourself more inspiration and to work out details.

    We'll see ya'll on the 24th....BE THERE!!!!
  2. Obey Wann Former RMFF CR & SW Region RSA

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2000
    star 6
    Great post, kit.

    Here's my first costume, and it was done for no more than $30 out of pocket.

    It's a Luke ROTJ jedi costume. I used black pants that I had, a black collarless shirt, and a black leather vest. I had all of these things.

    Then, I purchased 2 yards of felt and made the tabbards. Cakewalk.

    Then I bought the black "goose stepper" boots from the Sportsman's guide. Price shipped: <$17.00 Cakewalk. And the boots make the costume.


    Then, I had my Qui-Gonn Jinn lightsaber. Basic costume complete.

    Now I can make others. :D
  3. Jedi_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 4
    Here's one. If you need to make insignia patches and can't find anywhere to buy them use inkjet T-shirt transfer paper(dark) and an inkjet printer. Take the image of your insignia and print it out on the transfer paper and then iron it to a piece of cotton canvas material. Cut it out of the canvas leaving a little edge for sewing and sew to your costume. I did this for last Starcon with some BattleTech insignia.
  4. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    SEE!!? It's just that easy, and there's tons more ideas floatin' around out there! The Net is a veritable treasure-trove of info and ideas, so get out there and make it happen....remember too, that the cameras will be flashin', and I fully seek to get the TV stations out to film us whether the UP event happens or not. We still should show our Rocky Mountain FanForce spirit!!!!!
  5. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Another way to get a fast costume. Go to your local thrift shop and look for a Karate Ge. Instant Luke Skywalker, that and some serious blow drying of the hair.

    -Jennifer
  6. SilverDragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2001
    star 2
    I've got a black karate gi and a off-white judo gi...neither of which look very starwarsish...they also both a little big (I always wore mine loose).
  7. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    If they are a side-stitch variety, just open the stitches up to under the arms and restitch with more overlap to take it in to your size...by the way, one set of the Qui Gon & Obi collectible dolls have almost perfect martial arts tops on, so it would look more SWish than you think...and you've already got them!!!!
  8. SilverDragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2001
    star 2
    know of anywhere offhand that I could look @ pictures of what you're talkn 'bout?
  9. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    Now use your imagination, and think of using some kind of materials for the panels, ect....

    http://www.collectstarwars.com/POTJ/POTJquigonarmor1.jpg
  10. Jedi Girl of Corellia Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 6
    Pictures??? Once I get to my computer I can e-mail you a handy dandy little package of 'em. :) Or if I have a chance I can put them up on the net...

    so far I have Imperial officer pics up for you all to take a gander at.

    Click here

    Maybe I'll get more up. BTW, I wuz thinking about buying my own domain name, does anybody know what price they are going for now?

    ED: fixed link
  11. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    $7.95/mo. and up depending on traffic....but watch it, if you get more traffic than what you've payed for, the additional fees can bankrupt ya!!!!! My rhino conservation site, DragonRidge, which was the largest of it's kind with 150 links, had to be pulled since I was getting 5GB worth of hits daily, and I could not EVEN afford the rate hikes!
  12. BroodMcEto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 4
    First, Hello from Waco....

    Thought I'd drop in and take a look around.

    I have a few tips for costumes also. I've done a jedi, Boba Fett and working on Jango now. They're on my site

    Jumpsuits/jedi-sith garb/vests/etc...
    First, learn to sew, or find someone who will sew for you. Very very important.
    Next, find a pattern close to what you want. Simplicity 8944 is a good one to start with for the Jedi Cloak.
    Next, take close measurements of your body, because the best costumes are the ones that fit you, not one that fits Ewan McGregor.
    Then go to Wal-Mart or any fabric shop. I guarantee you that they will have at least some type of fabric that will work, and chances are it's less than $3/yd. Amidala Starkiller got some really nice sith cloak fabric for $1/yd. My jumpsuits have cost less than $5 apiece. Granted vinyls are more expensive, but usually about $5/yd. Pleather is fairly cheap too....

    Armor
    The best stuff to use is PVC board. It's like those plumbing pipes, but in sheets. 1/8" thick is the one to get. I'm sure in Denver there are many plastics places to get them from. There's only one in Waco and it was $40 for a 4x8 sheet. (this is enough for 2 boba fetts sans jetpacks.)
    Why PVC board (aka sintra)? Because you can cut it to shape, shape it after boiling it, and paint it with little or no primer. This stuff rocks!
    Lastly, DO NOT use velcro. This stuff is inexact and crappy at best. My recommendation is sew-on snaps or no-sew snaps. Superglue one side to the plastic and sew/attach the other snap to the clothing. Yes, it is harder to put in the right place, but guess what? Once it's there, it stays there and doesn't move. Once it's exact, it stays exact. I learned this at a costume party. Boba Fett looks dumb when his velcroed armor falls off. Yeah...

    Finally, don't be afraid to experiment. No one likes to waste money on a bad idea, but that doesn't mean you have to settle on a poor costume. My Boba Fett jumpsuit is far from perfect, but because of that, my Jango Fett jumpsuit will be much better, and fit better too!

    I have more tips, but that should suffice for now.

    Oh, and if ya got links to your costumes, I wanna see!!


  13. kitarusapien Former RMFF CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 6
    OOorah, Brood! That's for stoppin' by, and laying down some more good scoop....nice pics!!!
  14. Jedi Girl of Corellia Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 6
    Ooo...

    Ok here's a little bit

    Sewing Machines for Dummies

    Tips!
    1. Read the manual several times! You never know what little secrets that machine may be hiding! Or you may have beeng doing something wrong from the begining.

    2. Make sure that you clean and oil your machine regularly. This can make a big difference with the quality of the stuff you put out.

    3. Always pay attention to what kind of fabrics you're using. Different fabric calls for different sized needles and special thread. (A general rule of thumb is the finer the fabric the smaller the needle) And when sewing knits use a ballpoint needle.

    4. Pin your fabric together with pins perpendicular to the seam. Having them parallel with it can get you poked or they might get stuck in the machine. And always remove them before you sew over them, unless you're using the hand wheel and going very slowly.

    5. If you machine is making a funny noise, don't ignore it. Something is wrong! Dive for cover before it explodes (J/K :D ) Actually try and find the source of the clicking, usually the manual has a trouble shooting guide.

    6. And if you don't have a clue what's wrong, I can try and answer your preguntas.
  15. BroodMcEto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 4
    Back again...

    Just because you want to have a realistic/authentic costume/prop, doesn't mean you have to pay big bucks for it.

    Granted, certain things you have to buy. You could try to make your own Vader helmet, but realistically, you'll never be able to cheaply. That's why you gotta know what's cost effective.

    Need a leather tunic? Yeah, do that. Or just get some vinyl for about $5/yd (see above.) There are many alternatives to the real deal when it comes to fabric. Shop around, look, and give yourself time. Yes, we all want to be Darth Maul and Boba Fett, but if you give yourself time, you'll find exactly what you need at a price that won't leave you broke.

    Keep an open mind, as someone said above. Just because everyone uses velcro doesn't mean it's good. Look through the junk you've been hording over the years. That old beat up curling iron you or your sister or mom threw out might just be/have the part you need for a light saber or a blaster. Look at everyday items differently. Stop by craft stores and hobby shops. A lot of times certain items work well for props/costumes. Ya just gotta look.
  16. Jedi Girl of Corellia Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 6
    And don't forget to go through flea markets and secondhand stores! They have tons of hidden treasures!
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