Look: these boots are very, very simple. Actually sewing them together is no problem once you’ve got it drafted.
It is, essentially, a sock. A sock with a fancy cuff, with a sole glued to the bottom. It is also zipper-free. You are going to make a sock that fits over a shoe, and you are going to use a knife to peel off the edges of the sole, tuck the fabric under, and then glue the soles back in place so you have a nice, clean edge.
You will need:
- Spandex fabric in whatever color you need.
- Extra spandex fabric with the same amount of stretch for drafting your pattern.
- Pattern paper.
- A pair of ballet flats (or whatever shoe type you need.) Make sure you get the right “shape”; Supergirl’s boots, for example, have a pointed toe, and look out for sole color; we usually just go with black because anything else will get dirty/paint will chip. You also want to find one with an easily removed sole; as a general rule, the cheaper the shoe, the easier time you’ll have with it. We usually spend about $5 tops on our flats, haha. If you’re trying to do heels, be very, very cautious; if you damage the structural integrity of the shoe, you might be in some trouble when you need to walk on them. You also want to make sure they are as basic as possible; remove any bows and whatever possible.
- An exacto knife.
- Hot glue
- Usual sewing implements; pins, scissors, rulers, whatever.
You can draft it yourself easily: take your scrap fabric and wrap it around your leg as I’ve pictured above in the pink, and pin it along the back. You want to make it snug, but not so snug that you can’t get your foot out of it either. POINT YOUR TOE WHILE YOU DO THIS. Additionally, wear the shoe while you pin it around your foot; it’ll need to fit over the shoe in the end anyway. Don’t worry about the bottom of your foot; it’s easier if you make the curve under your heel snug, and the front of your toes, but you’re not going to be closing off the bottom.
When you have it pinned neatly and evenly, trim the edges down. Leave enough excess for seam allowance along the back, and enough for tucking on the bottom. (Tucking into the sole, that is.) Take it off your foot and you should have some weird shape (like a mirrored version of the pattern I have pictured above.)
Now: if you trace that onto pattern paper and smooth out any raggedness you may have made in cutting, you have your basic pattern. Then all you have to do is alter the top of the pattern: a /\ point for Wonder Woman, a V for Supergirl, etc. Because we’re making Supergirl, here, you’ll want it to be in two pieces, as shown in the pattern above. Wherever you cut to change the design, be sure that you add seam allowance (as you can see on our bottom pattern.) Also make sure that the top edge of your sock is snug enough to your calf that you won’t have to constantly bend to fix them.
I’ve taken pictures of my and Christine’s patterns. Obviously, if you don’t want a seam down the front, you need to cut the fabric on a fold. You will need four of the top cuff and two of the “sock”; the top cuff is two-layered so it’s got a clean top!
Sew all the cuffs: in the last picture, that’s what they should look like. First, sew them all at the back seam. Then layer them together to sew the top seam, so that when you fold them right-side out, you have finished cuffs as pictured. Topstitch whatever you want.
Sew the sock’s back seam.
Sew the cuff to the sock. Be very careful about the corners, so that they are sharp. Again, topstitch whatever works.
Use the exacto-knife to separate the shoe from the sole. Don’t take the whole sole off — you don’t want to pop it out of alignment, or compromise TOO much of the shoe’s integrity. You just need enough opened that you can tuck the bottom edge of your sock into the space between.
Once your whole sock is finished, it’s time for the crazy part: put it on, with your shoe. Then, with the help of a friend or with the acknowledgement that your spine will hurt trying to do it to yourself, start putting the bottom edge of the sock under the edge of the sole, and gluing in place. We have found hot glue works best because it hardens/sets fast: anything else and you may be stuck sitting there wearing your shoes for HOURS trying not to ruin your work.
Now you have boots.
Go kick some supervillain ass, girl.
maybe this could work for thigh-high boots at well? just use a bit of fashion tape to keep them up?
The problem with thigh-highs is that most people’s thighs continue to taper wider after the point where the thigh-highs stop, whereas the calf is typically wider than the spot just under the knee. The upper calf sort of acts as a natural narrowing point where the sock can cling to in order to avoid falling down… whereas the thigh can be a bit more difficult to fit :)
Fashion tape certainly works, but only if your fabric has enough vertical stretch (along your leg length-wise) to accommodate for the bend/flex of your knee. Building a thick elastic into the top of the boot tends to work better, but on some body types that can create a “muffin top” look on the thigh, so ymmv.
Alternately, my favourite thing to do is to just build the thigh highs into leggings with flesh-coloured mesh so that the whole thing is a set of tights. That’s how I’ll be doing Supergirl’s N52 boots, eventually.
Typically, I price costumes using the following formula:
Price of materials + (# of hours spent * $8-12) = Base price
That “$8-12” will depend on the complexity of the costume, i.e. how much effort and skill it required to make. (Less complex = $8, more complex=$12). If the costume has visible wear or has otherwise been worn a lot, I’ll deduct a reasonable charge from that. And if it’s particularly bulky or large, I’ll add a shipping/handling fee.
However, if I’m doing an eBay auction format or a sale, then I’ll price it low and pick a “staple” number, such as $20, $50, $75, etc. since my goal is to get the costume out of my work room ASAP to clear up storage space (or, in the case of last week’s sale, get rid of stuff so I don’t have to lug it across the country to California). Sometimes it hurts to let things go for less than it cost me to make, but at that point clearing up space is more important!
When I need super dramatic lashes, my first stop is Etsy! There are lots of gorgeous handmade lashes there, and while they’re a bit pricier than what you’ll see at Wal-Mart or Sally’s Beauty Supply, they’re much more unique and you can find a wide variety of styles!
I’m still waiting to get photos back for some of them - but the FAQ will hopefully be updated before the end of the month! I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and type anything up, let alone deal with the coding for each page. Your continued patience is appreciated!
It’s a matter of personal preference! Some people will spend hours studying the way their character moves and speaks in order to replicate that in-person; others will keep it to studying poses and expressions only. Some will spend the whole time they’re in costume without breaking character, others won’t act at all. It’s up to you what you want to do, which is one of the great things about cosplay!
If you are interested in acting the part, check out some basic acting guides for theater and film - the same principles apply! And if you really want to go the extra mile, you could even take a basic acting class at a local community college or theater group. But if you have more fun just wearing the outfit, that’s a-okay too - there’s no rule that says you need to perfectly mimic the way your characters speaks. Put as much or as little into it as you want!
It really depends on how busy my life is at the time I’m working on something. Most of my projects I whip together in about 1-3 weeks, depending on the complexity. A super simple costume like Fruit Maid Jupiter can be finished in a day or two at most. Ideally I’d love to have at least a month to work on each costume, but that rarely happens. :’D
The costume that took me the longest was definitely Princess Tutu’s Odette version. Kraehe took me 6 months of working on-and-off, but Tutu was 3 solid weeks of non-stop work so in the end it averaged out to more hours spent in total. Between the beading and the tutu construction (double hand-pleating is a form of masochistic torture), it took around 250 hours - and probably add a few more in there for the bodice construction and wig styling.
I’ve put all of the fabric painting tutorials into one big photo post.
Includes silk painting with resist (Elven Banner), free-hand painting on stretch fabrics (Jareth from Labyrinth), fake embroidery with puffy paint (Peter of Narnia), graphite transfer paper with fabric paint pens (Tali from Mass Effect) and regular Tulip fabric paint (TARDIS lab coat).
Maybe this format is better?