Costumes and Performances by Tab Kimpton

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!


First, some delicious chain mail. Turns out this is made of sharp square satan and is a nightmare to work with. These pieces were all spray painted black and dry brushed gold. Then I cut black cotton to the right size then using spray glue attached the chainmail on both sides. Then cut the chainmail some more so bits flew everywhere. Bits which stick to the glue on my hands. To make them more secure for sewing I squeezed some zip stop tops on the ends.

Then let the hand sewing begin! I used a mix of pliers, a leather awl, thimble work and just plain old finger strength. I’ve got a big reel of upholstery thread that I use for this, I recommend not even trying with other threads. Upholstery thread is a) strong and b) rarely tangles. You have to figure out how to wiggle the needle through the holes in 2 layers of chain mail. I used an adjusted version of backstitch which on one side looks like unbroken stitches and on the other side looks a bit like this:

=  =  =  =



When you’re finished flip dat flap up.

The green is larger than the leather to allow for error. Now you need to go sew more!

Here’s a panel pinned to my ironing board. I used blind hem tape and a very hot iron to secure the green to the leather. Then it was all trimed down and I began the THE CRIMPING


Hundred of little zip top stops. I found I got best results with plain old pliers, but it helped to put them on a hammering mat first. Application techniques included putting them on the fabric first and crimping down, picking them up with the pliers and applying that way and/or praying to my impotent god.

Then approximately 2 days later you will make 4 more of them. Each panel worked out around 2.5 hours, getting quicker as I went along.

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8 Responses

  1. Mel

    Just wanted to say thank you for updating your progress as you work on this costume. I’m making one myself and it’s helpful to see how other people approach problems, details, and materials. Thank you! :)

    June 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

  2. katie

    hey, i am having real trouble finding any of those zip stops, i have tried almost every store i can think of that might sell them within a 15 mile radius of my house and i cant find any online either! where did you get yours from? or what brand are they etc?

    please help! thank you :)

    July 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    • Tab

      My material source list is over here:

      I ordered 65 packs of 30 and used about 50 of them, so around 1500. This costume was made for someone with a 34 inch chest and 5’8″ to give you an idea of size.

      July 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

  3. katie

    also, how many have you used so far? just roughly

    once again, thank you :)

    July 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

  4. Liberty

    Hi, I love this costume! Do you have any pictures of the final costume and what it looks like altogether?

    January 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

  5. Ally

    I’ve looking at this tutorial for days! *o* I’m woking on a Loki costume too X3 I’ve been having some questions with zip stops. What size are yours?? I don’t really know if there’s a size for them a the ones I’ve seen, looks very small

    January 11, 2014 at 5:18 am

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