Leather is expensive. Before you make anything it’s always a good idea to make up a rough version first and only cut into the expensive fabric when you’re completely happy with it. My commissioner lives in another country so we couldn’t arrange a fitting in person. Instead I send this to them, they try it on and give me feedback on the fit.
Here’s some pictures of it on my mannequin. My commissioner is a guy with a flatter chest than this, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.
It’s made with white curtain lining which has a similar texture to leather. White also means that when it’s sent back to me it’s easy to draw all the lines of the interlocking pieces (like on the arms) and give them detailed labels. More labels= less confusing when you start sewing. All the seams are on the outside to make it easier to adjust if need be.
I’ve split the costume into 3 parts- trousers, tunic and coat. It’s technically a separate shirt and tunic, but to make it easier to get into I’m making them as one item with a zip up the back. The seam will be hidden by the coat and the hair and it helps keep the number of layers down. This looks like it will be a bit of a sweltering costume, so anything I can do to cool it down the better.
Next step is material tests and information on where I sourced all the supplies for this.
So, big project time. I was approached by a commissioner to do this costume and I just couldn’t resist. They wanted to see progress images and we agreed that it would be a nice idea to blog the progress so other people could see how the costume is made if they’re making their own.
The most important part of making a costume replica is having as many pictures as possible. The commissioner was really good at this one, though I did have to do a bit of research myself. Below is my reference folder for this costume, sourced from all over the internet.
I also found this image of a costume study By Meramor on deviant art. I’ve included the original and a slightly lightened version so you can see the lines in the back of the coat. It’s very accurate, the only thing I would say is different is that the left handed lapel needs to be smaller.
Now you know what the thing looks like- next step is patterning!