Costumes and Performances by Tab Kimpton


How to make a loki costume part 13- Armour attatchments

Had an awesome time in Norway at BANZAICON! (despite missing our flight and having to take an emergency ferry!) Over there I did a panel on how I built the loki costume which reminded me to get finishing on this tutorial!

Sometimes the hardest part of making armour is figuring out how to attach it to yourself. Here’s what I did with mine:



How to make a loki costume part 12- Dat Coat



Here’s how the coat came together step by step:


How to make a loki costume part 11- Tunic (aka the chronicles of hand sewing)

Long post is long-  Here’s the breakdown of how I made the tunic for Loki.

Lokiprogress76 Lokiprogress75



How to make a Plugsuit part 5- Lycra armour

Lyrcra armour is very simple, all you need is lycra, scissors, some glue and a breather so the glue doesn’t kill you.




How to make a plugsuit part 4- legs and arms made of hundreds of squares arrrg

Poll results are in! Time to make some plug suit : D


Here are the previous tutorials in this series

How to make a plug suit part 3- F**king shoes
How to make a Plugsuit Side tutorial- Skin tight gloves
How to make a plug suit Part 2- Armour/Plugs
How to make a Plug Suit Part 1- Mock Up

Here’s how I made these beautiful skin tight legs.



Path to Princedom 7- Shoes and Final finishing touches!

Sexy shoe time!




The Path to Princedom Part 6- The Chronicles of Coat.


And now the most complex part of the costume broken down- the COAT.


The Path to Princedom 4- Authentic Shirt


Sexy shirt time!


The Path to Princedom part 3- Fantastic Waistcoat!

Longest tutorial ever- The full construction of a heavily embroidered and beaded georgian waistcoat, 68 pictures of glory.




The Path to Princedom Part 2- Enormous Trousers

While Christian made his shirt for Blackadder, I started work on a vital, but also easiest parts of the costume, the trousers.


I bought 2m of cream taffeta which is rather see through, so I knew I’d have to self line these.

I’ve never made flap fronted trousers so I pretty much followed the instructions to the T. I drew the pattern out on the fabric with a blue chalk, then measured the size I needed for where the embroidery would go.


I have a template in photoshop for the embroidery hoop size, the challenge is making something that tessellates nicely and will fit in the border and also be able to be used in the corners of the work.



Here’s the pattern in PE design. I actually bought my machine because it came with this software for free, embroidery software can cost up to £1000. PE design is a bit of an idiot to work with, if I had a choice I would use instead.





The pattern instructions here are surprisingly very good! I took the embroidered parts of fabric and completed steps 1, 12 and 14 to create a pair of trousers so I could fully line them before proceeding with the front flap steps. Lining trousers is a real head fuck, but I got there in the end!


I made up a pattern for some buttons. The reference images for this costume are way too blurry to make out so I’ve got a folder of embroidery inspiration that I’ve been using for ideas.


Here you can see the fail rate on machine embroidery and why large projects are terrifying to put in a machine.


Sexy buttons.



The first little clusters of pearls!




I did the stupid thing of not trying something on until I was completely finished and the trousers were WAY too big. But in the bad way where they wrinkle at the crotch and look a bit like strange genitals. I took about 4 inches out on the sides, crotch and back seam, and the result is what you see here.

They’re still slightly see through even though they’ve been lined. I’m going to have to buy a pair of beige pants.

9 hours work, 2 bobbins worth of embroidery thread.

Total hours: 19



The Path to Princedom Part 1- References and Materials

Once every year I save a commission slot for a personal costume. This is because I love getting up and doing skits with friends- that’s where my cosplay career started and where I hope to stay for many years to come. But just because something is a skit costume doesn’t mean I want it to be simple- this is my chance to try out new techniques and really push myself to do things I wouldn’t dare with commission work.

Enter Prince George:



And the best thing about this costume? That my long term buddy Christian R Allan is the perfect compliment to the look.


(The one on the left…)

There are THREE things a costume must be before I consider it for a personal costume:

1) It must be a new challenge. (I’ve made so much armour that all I want to do now is sew. SEW I TELL YOU)

2) It must cost less than £200 in materials to make (Because anything more and my costume business is a farce)

3) I must have the ability to have FUN in it. (I.E. Can I sit down/move about/ spend the day not having to pull a bitch face)

We have a winner!

I’m going to go spent hundreds of hours beading a coat, then get smashed with Christian and possibly wreck it.  Tally Ho!

Materials and research info under the cut!


How to make a Loki costume part 7- Chest and wrist armour

I have a secret about sculpting.


…I hate clay.


I mean REALLY hate it.


I hate it so much that I avoid it as much as possible. It seems that clay and I will never get along, so much so that I avoid costumes that I know I’ll have to do any sculpting in clay for.


I have lived in envy of other people who find sculpting in clay *fun* and produce these beautiful finger print free pieces. I am not one of those people.


So here’s how I made the sculpts for the loki armour with the LEAST amount of clay work possible.



How to make a Loki costume part 6- Trousers



How to make a loki costume part 4- Begin the flaps.


So, this is how you make something beautiful like this. During this project I would sew/add zip tops until my hands hurt too much then go off and sculpt armour until my hands hurt too much in a different way, then swap back. This is a costume to be paced- it’s physically impossible to last minute this!



Fantastic Friday Finds!

I’m working hard on my loki commission and noticed that one of the hems was especially weird. Luckily for me the internet has a solution to everything, and here’s a fantastic tutorial you should look at, especially if you’re making a vest!

Click me!

Also found a great PDF if you want ideas for how to finish off the bottom of skirts that isn’t just roll hemming:

How to make a plug suit part 3- F**king shoes

So, I made a plug suit. A plug suit which has shoes that look like this:


I decided I wanted to sew all the seams, which did look awesome and I don’t regret doing, but I sure as hell hated myself while I was doing it.

Image heavy tutorial under the cut!



How to make a Plugsuit Side tutorial- Skin tight gloves

I hate gloves. Every costume maker does, they’re fiddily and a bad fitting glove will show up far more than a bad fitting jacket will.

Here’s how I make lycra gloves, with a helping hand from my friend- freezer paper!



How to make a Plug Suit Part 1- Mock Up

Yet more boring stuff that no one cares about reading- the meticulous pre-planning behind a costume.

I’m currently making a plug suit for a client, which looks like this:

She lent me the model for reference which is wonderful, nothing better than a mini 3D version of what you want to make.

The client provided me with a duct tape dummy which is vital to making a costume like this. They made it using this guide. Using the dummy I drafted up a pattern in some scrap lycra I had knocking about. It’s a raglan sleeve to reduce restriction on the shoulder and uses a swimsuit line on the legs for the same reason.


It hangs on the back of my workroom door so I can scare myself when I forget it’s not there.

The commissioner lives locally to me so I invited her over to test the fit and draw on all the patterns and seams with a chalk marker.


Any parts that were too large were taken in on the spot with a stapler. I now have something I know fits, and it’s time to start work on the final project!

Sima Yi Costume Post!

Source: Dynasty Warriors 7

Worn to:  Amecon 2012

Awards: Amecon 2nd Place

I like sewing, so I made a costume with lots of sewing in it :P This was made to be worn for the Amecon Omake. I don’t even play Dynasty Warriors, it was just pretty.

Click my face to read how I made it!

Amazing Chiffon Hemming tutorial!

Chiffon. It’s a light weight semi transparent fabric that if you’ve ever sewn, you’ll know the pain of 100 suns.

Here’s a fantastic tutorial by Eggie’s Red Dres which produces seams that look this good:

Click through to read more!

Tutorial: Sewing on a button

This is a really quick tutorial of how to sew on buttons in a way that’s both strong and neat. I’m experimenting with webcam tutorials, so if you want more videos please let me know. Only issue is that it has to be short and my camera isn’t very high quality. Any ideas please let me know and I’ll try to record myself doing it!

Carmillia Commission Project

I was approached to make this commission by a lovely woman from France. It’s not often I get a chance to make big dresses even though I have the skills to make them, so this was a lovely change for me.

The costume uses 24 metres of triple velvet and the train is 9m long. (About the length of a double decker bus!). The corset is steel boned to give as much support as possible and to make it comfortable to wear. The train is actually part of the sleeves, so it can be removed and the wearer can move about more easily. Everything is lined for comfort and durability.

The wig is made from 2 punky XL wigs in a custom colour ordered from Coscraft, built over fosshape, so it’s worn like a hat.

All the jewellery was sculpted and cast in resin so it’s stronger than using Fimo.

Check out the Gallery for more pictures!

Tutorial- Steel boning for Corsets

steel boning4

Now this is something I get asked about a lot- how do you bone your corsets? I use flat steel boning, which you can buy from Vena Cava. I use the 13mm stuff because it’s a easy measurement to make 15mm boning cases on my machine, and it’s heavy duty without being too hard to work with.

So first off, why steel boning? Well, most people don’t realise that with corsets it’s actually the fabric that does all the cinching in. The boning is there to push the fabric out so it doesn’t rumple and hurt you. The more boning and the stronger the boning the more comfortable a corset actually is. Steel boning is actually easier to use than you think, and works out just as cheap as many other alternative methods out there.

The issue with steel boning is that you have to finish the tips, otherwise it will just poke its way out of the corset over time. This tutorial will show you the method I use to make my tips safe, so without further ado, here are the materials you need!


You will need:

  • A Dremel/Rotary tool. You can use a metal file, if you want to do this forever. A grinder will also work wonders.
  • Tin snips to cut the steel
  • PTFE tape. Used by plumbers for radiators. Get some cheap on ebay or a hardware store.
  • Continuous steel boning. This is 13mm from Vena Cava.

You will also need the corset you’ll be boning so you can take the measurements.


Tutorial- Perfect Machine Bias Binding with Mitred Corners

Whew- this tutorial is a mouth full!

I’m covering two hated things here- bias binding and it’s fancy little square corners. This is how to make something like this:

See it’s beautiful corners and the way it’s great on either side? Yeah, if you want to know how to do it, walk this way….