Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A "Loki" costume, learning to sew faux leather

It is Spirit Week at my daughter's high school this week.  For those unfamiliar with this idea, it is basically a week of silliness to promote better relationships between students and school pride.   It culminates, at the end of the week, in a whole school assembly, (her school goes from pre-school through high school) and every grade takes part in some way.  Everyday has a different theme and dressing up is encouraged.  Monday was 'western" day, today was "mismatched" day and tomorrow is "superhero" day.  "I'd like to be Loki" says my daughter.  With the seasonal opening of some of the Halloween stores, I thought for sure I'd be able to find a Loki costume but  it seems that Loki is not represented this year!  Thor? yes. Ironman? yes. Captain America? of course!  But Loki? absolutely not!  So Monday morning found me trawling our local craft and fabric stores for a pattern and fabric.  Only of course no-one is making a Loki pattern either, so I had to improvise.  

Wait, did I hear someone say "Who is LOKI?"  Loki is a Marvel character and brother to Thor.  According to my daughter, who is a serious Loki fangirl,  he is not evil, just seriously misunderstood.  And in the second Thor movie, he does help save the world, so I guess he counts as a superhero!  Anyway, here he is and please note his outfit, because it's important!

Right, so it's Monday morning and superhero day is Wednesday, there is not a Loki costume to be had and no pattern either.  Time to get creative.  This is my kind of project, only usually I like a bit more time.  This has consumed me for the last two days and I finished just before dinner today.  I wasn't able to make his helmet which I'm a bit sad about but maybe I'll make one before Halloween.  I found a pattern for a coat similar to Loki's so that was my starting point.  I made it sleeveless and added darts to give it more shape and I embellished it, yes I did and it was FUN.  Loki's outfit has a kind of tunic with a coat over the top.  There are a ton of details.  I scored at the fabric store with some thin faux leather with a pebbly texture.  I also found a super cool textured faux leather which I just knew I had to use somehow.  I played with some scraps to work out the tension and stitch size but was happily surprised at how well my normally finicky sewing machine handled the weird fabrics.  

The sleeveless coat has a green lined collar and lapels.  There is a partial green lining.  For the shoulder armor, some details and the gauntlets I used the textured pleather.  Before I sewed it, I cut out the shapes and then rubbed it with a lovely gold acrylic paint which really brought out the texture and totally looks like tooled leather.  

For the inner tunic, I cheated a bit and used a t-shirt as my base.  I cut 2inch wide strips of the pleather and sewed each onto the t-shirt overlapping them as I went.  You can see this in the photo of my daughter wearing the costume.  This took a long time and it was a little tricky to keep the t-shirt from bunching up as I sewed it.  I can't believe I got this done in time.  I am so happy with the result!  It has the feel of Loki's costume and best of all, my daughter is so excited to wear it tomorrow.  She added black leggings and some Timberland biker boots which she already had.

Here you can see the pleather strips, shoulder armor and green lining.  You can see I trimmed the edges of the lapels with a deconstructed zipper which is just like Loki's actual jacket except he has more zippers.  I was worried it might tear the pleather if it caught on the zippers so just did the lapels!


Ok, take a look at the finished costume and then scroll back to the top and check out the real Loki.  Not bad, though I do say it myself!

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