WIP: October 2015

Lulu: 50% complete

I also finished up the corset! Couldn't resist trying everything on :)
I also finished up the corset! Couldn’t resist trying everything on ūüôā

I’m finally making some decent progress on Lulu! One of my big tasks for this month was knocking out her base skirt and sleeves. I debated on how to do this. There’s some discussion among cosplayers as to what Lulu’s skirt and sleeves are supposed to be: separate pieces or a dress with an extremely low cut back. I opted for multiple pieces for easier cleaning and repairs. These pieces are made with a material that was advertised as cow leather, but definitely does not feel like real leather. Regardless, it’s still a nice fabric with a great drape, weight, and sheen.

I used Kwik-Sew 3400 up to the waist to create a base for the skirt. I blended out the princess seams in the front and back of View B and chopped off the front pieces at my desired length. From there, I used the sewn front and back to create a facing with the knit side facing my stomach for comfort.

To create the sleeves, I took one of my basic sleeve templates and slashed and spread it to create the bell effect, using my French curve to create the drop in the sleeves. It’s held up with elastic backed with silicone, so it’ll (hopefully) grip my arm a little better than straight up elastic casings.


For both the sleeves and skirt, I opted to finish off the seams with a bound bias finish. Leather and pleather don’t *technically* need a finish since they won’t unravel, but since this is a competition piece, I wanted to have a nice, clean interior for craftsmanship judging. I topstitched the remaining seam allowances down to match the game art.


My other big project on Lulu was creating ALL THE LACE. I painted all the Venetian lace I purchased over the last few months by hand, which took several weeks of Netflix and evening painting.


I created several more pieces by using lace embroidery pieces available from emblibrary.com. This is such a cool technique. You “embroider” the lace pieces on water soluble stabilizer, then drop the finished piece in a basin of water. Once the stabilizer has dissolved, you iron the final piece and are left with a gorgeous lace flower. These are intended as coasters and Christmas ornaments, but they work perfectly as filler pieces for Lulu.


I’m about 2 weeks away from the¬†con, so I’m definitely in crunch mode! My final to-dos are styling the wig, finishing the moogle, gluing all the lace and belts on, and creating a bit of flame magic. Wish me luck!

She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk: 100% complete

Not much to say here that I didn’t say in my She-Hulks post. Body painting was one heck of a learning experience, but I’m glad I went through it! I’m looking forward to brainstorming our next mother-daughter build.

Photo by Mehreen Rizvi Photography.
Photo by Mehreen Rizvi Photography.

What’s on your craft table right now?¬†

Costume Notes: She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk

Photo by Alan Tijernia.
Photo by Alan Tijernia.

Completed: October 2015

Hours Spent: Approximately 10 hours

Debuted: Dallas Comic Con Fan Days

Why This Costume:¬†I’ve been interested in making Jennifer’s classic suit for a while, but the final push for this costume came from my mom. Apparently the cosplay bug bit her¬†after going with me to Dallas Comic Con last year as Supergirl, and she wanted to team up with me for another costume. When she mentioned that she liked She-Hulk, I knew we had to team up as She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk!

Photo from David on FB.
Photo from David on FB.

How I made it: All in all, this is a pretty simple build with the exception of body paint. Aside from the leotards, most of the pieces were purchased.

Purchased pieces:


As I mentioned in my review of M7217, Yaya Han‘s Ultimate Bodysuit pattern is pretty straight forward. For regular She-Hulk, I underlined all the white portions with white spandex scraps from other projects. My outer layer of white is moleskin from SpandexWorld. The black on Red She-Hulk was leftover scraps from Callula Cosplay‘s Huntress.

Red She-Hulk joined the Dark Side of the Force!

I wanted to give both of the Shulkie leotards a bit of pop for more visual appeal. To do that, I made the purple portions on both She-Hulks with milliskin from SpandexWorld overlaid with purple jersey cut from a pair of men’s basketball shorts. There was a bit of stretch to the jersey, so I cut the width of the pattern on the stretchiest part of the fabric. I attempted to dye the shorts, but I didn’t notice any real change in color.


On regular She-Hulk, I also added a strip of grey piping to between the white and purple sections. Check out this tutorial for detailed instructions on adding piping to spandex. It’s somewhat¬†time consuming, but the results are so pretty!

Finally, I ditched the pattern instructions for a centered zipper and used an exposed zipper, as mentioned in the M7217 sewalong on the Cosplay by McCall’s blog. Such a simple detail, but it really makes the suit stand out!


I knew right away that I didn’t want to paint my entire body for this costume (just painting my face and doing makeup took about 2.5 hours), so I turned to We Love Colors for tights that I could use for the arms and legs of these costumes. For regular She-Hulk, I used olive¬†as a base layer, and covered them with a pair of emerald tights I got off of eBay. I plan to swap those out with emerald tights from We Love Colors next time I wear this costume. My mom wore a double layer of scarlet red for the legs and a single layer in the same color for the arms. We both double layered for the legs due to opacity issues. I would highly recommend ordering a smaller size for your arms!


To make the tights work for the arms, I¬†cut a hole out of the crotch and sewed a strip of 3/8″ elastic around the crotch hole to keep it from stretching out. I didn’t have time to do this on Red She-Hulk, and oh man, it makes a big difference as the day went¬†on. Once the hole was in place, we wore the tights as a crop top, with the butt side in the front to accommodate the bust. After that, we used embroidery scissors to snip holes for the fingers and used Fray Check to keep them from running too much.


Body painting was definitely my biggest challenge with these costumes. I’d never painted¬†myself before, and it was a much bigger undertaking than I expected. I’m so glad I did a makeup test in advance! I was pretty pleased with the coverage I got from Mehron’s Paradise collection. Definitely, definitely, definitely let your paint dry between layers and seal it! Also, take allergy medication if necessary. My allergies are bugging the crap out of me right now, so I kept having to touch up the inner corners of my eyes and my nose.

Derping it up with Callula Cosplay.

My makeup lasted quite well throughout the day, though I did get some on my costume by the sheer nature of it being white. Here are a few tutorials I found helpful for body painting:

Photo by Scott Vanz.
Photo by Scott Vanz.

Thoughts on this costume: I had so much fun wearing this! Jennifer is such a bad-ass babe, and it was awesome to embrace that. My mom and I are both trained in martial arts, so posing for our photoshoot was a lot of fun. Our photographer asked us to do a little sparring match for a video, which was one of the highlights of the day. I can’t wait to come up with our next mother/daughter costume!

Have you ever done a costume that required body paint? What did you think of it? 

Pattern Review: M7217

12115489_785108354948606_6219879557741383976_nThe Basics: 

Pattern: McCall’s M7127 (a.k.a. the Yaya Han bodysuit pattern)

Total Hours: About 4 hours for the first suit and 6 hours for the 2nd one

Fabric: Approximately 1 yard of 4 way stretch pleather for Red She-Hulk and a half-yard of purple milliskin. Approximately 2 yards of heavy white moleskin for She-Hulk, a half-yard of purple milliskin, and scraps of grey for piping. The purple milliskin on both suits is covered with fabric from men’s basketball shorts.

Alterations: Added 2″ of length at the bodice cut line. In hindsight, I probably should have also added a half inch to the crotch cut line. I also ditched the sleeves and made my suits with an exposed zipper, as detailed in the Cosplay by McCall’s blog.

Notions: Thread, zippers, knit interfacing, clear elastic, 3/8″ elastic, stretch cord (regular She-Hulk)


Did it look like the pattern illustration?: Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: Overall, yes, though some of the directions weren’t really the norm for spandex suits.

Make it again?: Absolutely. Hoping to make a new Rogue with this pattern soon!


Other thoughts: My main thought when I first saw this pattern was, “How useful is this really going to be for superhero suits?” While this suit is great in a lot of ways, it will still require a lot of alterations for most superheroes, especially any superheroes that have crazy seam lines (looking at you, Carol) or seamlines that don’t match up to this pattern.

That said, if you want a suit that will be a great resource for a tailored fit, this pattern is fantastic. I’ve never had a suit fit me quite this well, especially under the bust. I’m adding that feature on ALL my suits from now on. If I get around to remaking my Batwoman suit, I’m definitely going to use this pattern.

So now that the pre-amble is out of the way, here are a few tips to make your process go a little bit smoother than mine. In order to give this pattern a fair review, I tried to stick with the design as is for the most part.


So first up: directions. For the most part, these are pretty straight forward. But there are a few steps that made me shake my head a little. My main complaint was that the instructions call for a casing in the leg holes. While you *can* do this, it’s suuuuuuuuuuper annoying. Instead, I sewed the elastic directly to the leg holes, which is far more common for swimsuits and is a staple in Kwik-Sew spandex instructions. While I didn’t include arms on this leotard, I did take a look at the instructions and again shook my head. You’re instructed to set the sleeves here as you would a woven garment. Again, nothing technically *wrong* with this, but I almost ALWAYS take the RTW sleeve setting approach in spandex suits.

Next up: fit. I don’t know about y’all, but this suit had way more ease built in than I was used to, especially compared to Kwik-Sew. I wound up cutting the sides a size smaller than my pattern measurements, and I also took out a full 2″ at the waist of the front princess seams. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, no pattern will fit every body perfectly right out of the envelope, and lots of seam lines means you have flexibility with tailoring. Still, I’m very glad I made a mock-up with my go-to spandex undergarments.

Finally, difficulty. I would honestly hesitate to recommend this pattern to a complete spandex novice. My suits each had 13 pattern pieces (double that on Jen since everything is double-layered), which is a bit overwhelming for a newbie spandex sewer. Kwik-Sew’s basic catsuits by comparison have 5 pieces. Pattern matching is a big deal here as well, especially at all the bust points, and that can be tricky for folks not accustomed to sewing with stretchy fabrics. I highly recommend basting before you commit to¬† your final stitches.


Have any of you used this pattern yet? What did you think of it?