June Challenge: Hello Bombshell!

Front view
Helloooooo Bombshell! 

Say hello to the last project I sewed up before moving! June was Indie Pattern Month, so I decided to go with an indie company that I’d never used before: Closet Case Files. I purchased the Bombshell pattern last summer, but never got around to it. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t, since I had no clue how to work with spandex last year. 

side view

The Basics: 

Pattern: Bombshell swimsuit, view A

Fabric: 1.5 yards of green spandex (leftover from my latest Rogue project), and 1 yard of white moleskin for the lining (leftover from my first attempt at Jupiter)

Alterations: Tapered from an 18 at the bust to a 16 for the rest of the pattern. Added 2″ of length.

Notions: Swimwear elastic.

Make it again?: Absolutely. I completely adore this pattern. I’d love to make both the halter and bikini versions! Now I just need to find friends with pools 😛 

Favorite parts: Uh, everything? The gathering was annoying to do, but it resulted in a very flattering finish. I love how it’s sexy even though it provides full coverage! I don’t feel like I’m going to have any kind of wardrobe malfunction. 

back view

Other thoughts: I am so, so glad that I waited on this swimsuit. It’s everything that I hoped it’d be. Working on my Ms. Marvel and Supergirl definitely gave me the skills I needed to be happy with the final result on this. I did use the sewalong for extra guidance.

no glasses

I made one major mistake early on, and it was such a rookie move. I didn’t look at the pattern pieces very well when I was assembling everything, so I wound up attaching the back side pieces together. After gathering them. Have I mentioned how much I hate seam ripping serger stitches? Re-stitching everything took a teeny bit too much seam allowance off of each side, so the suit is a tiny bit snugger than I’d like, but it’s not too bad. I just have to wiggle a bit to get it off and on. 

The gathering really was annoying. While I love the final result of gathers, the process of making them annoys the crap out of me. Has anyone tried gathering this on a serger before attaching the pieces together? I may try that with my next one. 

inside out

To provide a bit more support in the bust, I harvested some cups from an old bikini and added a bit of elastic under them to create a quasi-shelf bra. I don’t really notice the elastic, but the cups are a great help. They don’t provide a ton of support, but they do prevent nippage. 

I did mess with the front tab a bit. The pattern tells you to pull it down to where you sewed it on the front and stitch in the ditch. I tried it on and pinned it according to instructions, but it made my boobs look super weird. Instead, I sewed it to the top with the elastic. It was a weird process, but it looks much better on me. 

Close-up of the cups and the tab.

Overall, this suit fits beautifully. I had a tiny bit of gaping with the top elastic, so I’ll have to cut my next one down to 80% of the overall length as Heather suggests. 

Not bad for a stashbusting project! I think I spent a total of $4 for the elastic (an extra $11 if you count the pattern). Now I just need to convince the BF to go with me to New Braunfels for some tubing. 

Have you guys made this pattern yet? What are your thoughts?

P.S. Did you guys see that the Sewaholic Cambie is now a PDF pattern? Yeah, I think it’s time to make another Cambie dress.

Costume Notes: Bombshell Wonder Woman 2.0

When I first started Bombshell Wondie, I had no idea so many people would like her! It’s been one of my most popular and most worn costumes this con season (yay comfort :P). I’ve steadily made improvements for each con, so I thought I’d share some of those with you today!

Wig: My friend Mia recently told me about Gothic Lolita Wigs, which sells wigs with a pre-installed bump. Perfect for Bombshell Wondie! The company is based out of Houston and ships super fast. I ordered  the wig Tuesday before A-Kon and it was in on Friday. Mia was kind enough to trim my bangs before hitting the con floor on Saturday at A-Kon and she did a phenomenal job! I am absolutely in love with this wig.

Also known as the Gretchen Weiners wig. Left is out of the bag and right is after Mia cut my bangs. Thanks, Mia!

Belt: I mentioned in the original post that I got my belting at Jo-Ann’s. It was an okay solution, but didn’t hold up well and it was too skinny for my liking. I picked up some vinyl and drafted a wider belt to more accurately reflect the figure.

I took my waist measurement and added 6″ in length. For reference, that’s 35″ + 6″ for overlap in the back, leaving me with 41″. The belt itself is 3″ wide, so I added a 1/2″ on the top and bottom to fold over and topstitch using my teflon foot and a leather needle. Wondie has a small loop on her right side for her lasso, so I cut out a small chunk of vinyl (app. 3″x6″). I folded over the ends and topstitched the edges down. Once that was done, I sewed one edge of the lasso flap to the bottom of my belt. I used a small square of sticky-back Velcro to attach the other end of the vinyl flap.

I secured the belt buckle to the the middle of the belt with more Velcro. The only place the sticky-back Velcro didn’t work out is in the back. It worked temporarily, but kept wanting to roll in on itself and fall off. I plan to swap the Velcro out for snaps for the next con.

Nanananananana... Batgirl!
You can kind of see the detailing on the belt here if you look close.

Bracelets: I made my new bracelets out of Worbla (tutorial here). To get the engraved look, I sketched out the design I wanted on to sticky-back craft foam and placed the pieces on to another piece of foam cut to the size I wanted. From there, I sandwiched the foam bracelets with Worbla and molded them to the shape of my arm. After 10 layers of Gesso and more sanding than I ever want to do again, I sprayed the bracelets with a metalic silver spray paint. Once that was dry, I used a watered-down acrylic grey paint to make the “engraved” sections pop. When I was happy with my paint job, I sprayed it with a glossy sealer.

A little WIP collage. Top left: Figuring out placement. Bottom left: After sandwiching the Worbla. Right: After my first layer of silver paint.
A little WIP collage. Top left: Figuring out placement. Bottom left: After sandwiching the Worbla. Right: After my first layer of silver paint.

Boots: My final improvement to Wondie was painting the boots (tutorial here). These boots are a faux leather, and after much research, I picked up a few products from Angelus, which works great with both leather and faux leather. Shoes typically have a factory finish to protect them from wear, so you’ll need acetone or some other deglazer to strip that finish off before painting. I just used painter’s tape to keep the front and top stripes mostly neat. I printed off a star template and used a pencil to sketch it out on the boot before painting it in. Once my paint was dry, I rubbed a finisher all over the boots to seal them.

2014-06-05 11.28.45

I still have a few other touch-ups I’d like to make to this costume (like re-making the shorts and hair tie), but I’m finally happy with how it looks. I’m going to try to get a proper shoot set up at my next con!



Costume Notes: Bombshell Wonder Woman

Helloooooo Bombshell 🙂

Completed: March 2014

Debuted: All-Con 2014

Time Completed: I’m not 100% sure on exact hours, but I started it 2 weeks before the con.

Why This Costume: I love Wonder Woman. Love her about as much as I love Rogue. That said, I’ve really been intimidated in the past by her costumes. So many people have done Wonder Woman so well! I swooned over the Bombshell artwork by Ant Lucia last year and ordered the statue of Wondie the second it came out. I absolutely loved the design, so I decided to make it my first full-on Wondie cosplay.

How I made it: This was a pretty simple costume when all put together, but a bit time consuming.

The shirt was the Franken-baby of 3 patterns: Sewaholic’s Alma blouse (base), Gertie’s shirtdress (lapels, collar, and facing), and Colette Macaron (sleeves). I found a beautiful cotton sateen with 3% spandex from Jo-Ann’s of all places. I originally planned to just use Gertie’s shirtdress bodice as the base and lengthen it, but it wasn’t as form-fitting as I wanted. I stuck with the Alma as the base since the double darts on the front and back offered a bit more shaping. To modify, I just cut 2 of the front piece as opposed to cutting on the fold.

I treated the W as an applique. After tracing out the shape, I interfaced it and basted batting to the wrong side to get that mild puff that the statue has. I couldn’t find pre-made gold piping at my local stores, so I made some out of bias tape and cording I already had on hand. Once I stitched the piping into place, I machine stitched the lines of the W and hand stitched the edges to the base top. That took a solid evening of watching Hulu :P.

2014-02-26 21.21.08
Marking all the lines.

The zipper was an interesting monster. Even after taking pains to measure and make sure I was even, I still wound up being off by about 1″ between sides of my top. Oops. I used a white separating zipper and basted it in place. I then basted the facings in place over the zipper to check the fit. That took a couple of tries and fiddling, but it worked!

2014-03-03 21.17.13
Prior to the zipper.

The shorts were much simpler.  They’re Colette’s Iris short pattern in a cotton poplin with 3% spandex. These were a breeze to sew up and only took about 2.5 hours start to finish. My only issue was that I cut off a tiny bit too much length in the shorts, so now they’re super bootylicious 😛 I sewed some cute stars I found on etsy using the button placement on the pattern. I nixed the pockets since I didn’t want to have anything bulging while taking pictures.

The belt buckle is from Haus of Meta. I spray painted it gold and glued it on to some belting from Jo-Ann’s. The glue didn’t hold up very well, so I think I’m going to scrape it off and just go back to my default of using industrial strength velcro. Or just get the belt from Roxanna.

The wig was an interesting challenge. I used a cheap eBay wig that I had on hand and added some wefts from Epic Cosplay. To get a bit of extra volume, I added a Bumpit to the crown of the wig. The yellow headband is made of scrap fabric and is attached to a plastic headband so I didn’t have to worry about it falling off. I actually glued an extra strand of wefts on the bottom to cover up the Bumpit.

The boots were an amazing eBay find 1 week before the con! I had some suede ones on hand, but I wasn’t super happy with them and they have a 3″ heel. These are only 1″, which means my feet are much happier. I’m planning to paint the star and stripe on them for Dallas Comic Con.

My bracelets are a stand-in from Three Muses. One of my friends is making me some that are accurate to the statue out of sheet metal. I haven’t seen the final product yet, but last time I saw them they were gorgeous!

Hanging out with Glitzy Geek Girl. Doesn’t she make the cutest Jessie?

Thoughts on this costume: Wonder Woman! My nerdy heart is happy. I really, really like this design and how it looks on me. It’s also one of my most comfortable costumes! After running around in this for nearly 12 hours, I still felt pretty good.

I’m pretty happy with how this costume turned out. I definitely have some things I need to fix before I wear it to Dallas Comic Con like the boots and the belt. Still, I can’t wait to wear it again! You can see more pics on my Facebook page.

Photo by Nether Noir.