ALIEN Ellen Ripley Costume Tutorial (Flight Suit, Shirt & EVA Flamethrower)

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by wetcelery, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Hello! First off, I'll need to admit that I'm completely new to sewing, let alone costume making but I have taken a great interest in it recently, after pretty much completing my Ellen Ripley costume within a week (28th June 2015 - 5th July 2015). I took up sewing just at the start of this summer, having procrastinated for a few years and found that making quilts wasn't quite enough for me, and wanted to move onto clothes. As for where Ripley came in to play, well, needless to say that Alien Isolation and recent news about the upcoming Alien 5 has really sparked up interest in the franchise again; and seeing as her flight suit doesn't looks like it requires seriously advanced technical skill (unlike other costumes such as Loki for example) I thought I'd give it a bash and use this as another project in my journey on learning how to sew! Again like previous costume makers before me, I've chosen to alter a pre-existing boiler suit, instead of making one from scratch as I mentioned before, I'm very much a newbie to sewing and I've definitely not reached a point where I can make a pair of shorts, let alone a boiler/flight suit from nothing.

    I think I've done some pretty extensive research on the Ellen Ripley flight suit and I've not seen anyone post much information or in detail as to how her suit can be made so I thought I'd share my take on the costume for other newbies like myself out there, and for feedback on how I could have improved it - or even corrections. So I'll be using this thread to share the process I went through.

    Comments, advice, suggestions, all definitely very much welcomed! ��

    - Karlie


    INDEX
    Thought it would be handy to have this! Probably best to view it in this order if you're following this as a guide. Posting order is more how I worked and it's a little bit all over the place.


    NOSTROMO SHIRT, A WEE EXTRA & FLAMETHROWER BUILD (I, II, III, IV, V, VI)

    FLIGHT SUIT

    1. References
    i. Cosplay Inspiration
    ii. Film Sources
    iii. Personal Notes
    2. Patches & Badge
    i. Patches
    ii. Warrant Officer Badge
    3. Watch
    4. Base
    i. Jumpsuit
    ii. Clean Slate
    iii. Planning
    iv. Waist Panels
    5. Pockets
    i. Measurements
    ii. Part One
    iii. Part Two
    iv. Pull Tabs
    6. Taking the Hem Up, Arm Panels and Extender Zip
    i. Making the Extending Fabric.
    ii. Attaching the Extendable Zips
    7. Inner Leg Zip
    8. Back

    i. Measurements and First Attempt
    ii. Panel Measurements
    iii. Second and more Screen Accurate Attempt
    iv. Cord
    9. Finished Base
    10. Dyeing
    i. First Attempt
    ii. Brainstorming for a Solution
    iii. Rit Dye Color Remover
    iv. Second Dye Attempt
    v. Final Wash
    11. Finishing Off
    12. Hindsight is 20/20
    13. Comparison
    14. Summary


    COMPLETE COSTUME POST
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
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  2. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Cosplay Inspiration

    I think it's super important to give credit to the other costume makers/cosplayers before me who have posted tutorials online which I referred to and took inspiration from before making my own. So here are the links to those I looked at and images I studied to try and get some hints and tips to make my costume as accurate as possible - and a feeling of what it could be like. Many thanks to:

    bargainbeautiful
    10566165134_55e4e536ce_o.jpg

    sadiethesewingmachine

    dsc04353.jpg

    Star Kat Cosplay
    10914872_1540872606185615_1517445174071884373_o.jpg 10498304_1543011482638394_1378638289280317397_o.jpg

    Moe Hunt
    10474225_835828679784258_4256860371430541757_n.jpg 10653773_837717402928719_5823255173002574455_n.jpg

    And various other unnamed cosplayers found on Google:
    tumblr_nml4grJDR41sawt2do1_500.jpg 860509_10203086917867277_7731874206995171880_o.jpg 762863.jpg
     
  3. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Source Images from the Film

    And here is the collection of images which I near enough religiously studied to try and ensure 100% accuracy, or to ensure that I didn't sacrifice major detail for the sake of 'artistic freedom' aka the limits of my technical sewing know-how. All found after hours of trawling through the internet and screen capping the hell out of the film.

    FULL BODY
    51d5c400496bfa693ee7d753745a91b0.jpg 7d22dd5b09fa1cdc5b275781a6123cef.jpg alien_04-500x500.jpg

    TORSO
    18892821.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx.jpg 7294705224_5832905e3c_b.jpg alien4.jpg alien-1979-011-sigourney-weaver-in-publicity-still-00m-gx5.jpg 254cc9dc5b34c2467f2282c20b2d6758.jpg

    MISCELLANEOUS CLOSE UP VIEWS
    tumblr_n7qjlewwTn1qd479ro1_1280.jpg 6745f5bd08d6afbce19aae4553324b7c.jpg women_sigourney_weaver_alien_e_2008x3010_wallpapername.com.jpg alien-sigourney-weaver-ripley-jones.jpg is.jpg vlcsnap-2015-06-30-18h00m26s310.png ripleyjumpsuitbackjy1.jpg vlcsnap-2015-06-30-18h05m12s482.png

    51d5c400496bfa693ee7d753745a91b0.jpg

    7d22dd5b09fa1cdc5b275781a6123cef.jpg

    alien_04-500x500.jpg

    18892821.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx.jpg

    7294705224_5832905e3c_b.jpg

    alien-1979-011-sigourney-weaver-in-publicity-still-00m-gx5.jpg

    alien4.jpg

    254cc9dc5b34c2467f2282c20b2d6758.jpg

    6745f5bd08d6afbce19aae4553324b7c.jpg

    tumblr_n7qjlewwTn1qd479ro1_1280.jpg

    women_sigourney_weaver_alien_e_2008x3010_wallpapername.com.jpg

    alien-sigourney-weaver-ripley-jones.jpg

    is.jpg

    vlcsnap-2015-06-30-18h00m26s310.png

    ripleyjumpsuitbackjy1.jpg

    vlcsnap-2015-06-30-18h05m12s482.png
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  4. alienscollection.com

    alienscollection.com Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Detailed Study / Personal Notes

    With so many images, and so much information scattered across them, I needed to collate everything into the one and make it clearer for myself so that I could plan what steps were needed at each stage in a more straightforward manner. Hope these help to make the costume a little easier to study!

    ripley_bodysketch.jpg ripley_torsosketch.jpg ripley_legdetail.jpg ripley_legdetail2.jpg ripley_backnotes.jpg

    Here's HI-RES links for each image:
    1. http://i.imgur.com/u2QvqKE.jpg
    2. http://i.imgur.com/ERgLZGR.jpg
    3. http://i.imgur.com/Ea7cyjm.jpg
    4. http://i.imgur.com/mCzUssz.jpg
    5. http://i.imgur.com/TDK0zM0.jpg



    ---

    Was I the only one who didn't notice those long inner leg zips at first? I've not seen many costumes with it either... Took me a while hence why I've stressed it to myself so many times, haha. And the back lacing was rather difficult to work out (screen caps weren't great either) but I figure 10 loops seem about right... from what I can make out.
     
  6. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Ah yes, the G-4B Flight Suit (found item for the movie)...always difficult to find and when you do, it'll go for a minimum of $ 400.00 a pop. Good luck into the recreation of this suit:)
     
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  7. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Yes, even harder when you're only at 5ft 2"! Hoping to share what I've done as a sort of guide to recreate the flight suit without having to fork out so much at the beginning! And to tailor it to the individual!
     
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  8. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    BASE

    Following on from the examples of others, I needed a base to work from as the G-4B Flight Suit (just mentioned by joberg!) is extremely hard to come by - and even if you find it, extremely pricey. Being from Britain as well, our surplus military gear doesn't really look the part, and isn't the easiest thing to alter either; and anything from the States would cost quite a bit for postage too. Furthermore, I'm quite a small girl, only at 5ft 2" so found it extremely difficult to find anything that wouldn't envelop me completely. Even then, suitable vintage boiler suits were still difficult to find because most of the ones I came across were sizes 12 and over (I'm an 8), better suited to taller people, and usually didn't have the right 'look' of material to them.

    Thankfully, I got super lucky when I had a wee browse at H&M one day and found this in the sale section for just £7. Whether I was going to make a costume or not, I'd have still bought it because I've always wanted a khaki jump suit.

    3wq4cb3.png

    So a pretty good start: a decent 100% cotton twill jumpsuit that looks the part and is certainly blank enough (only two front chest pockets, decorative zip, two bum pockets, and discreet side pockets) to make it an easy alteration job - and more importantly, one that fit me too! All for under a tenner!

    In case the product is removed (reckon it's now "last season"), here's some images I saved of it. You can still find it on eBay under "H&M Twill Jumpsuit" for about £25.

    hmprod (1).jpg $_57.jpg

    EDIT (27.8.2015):
    Here's a visually informative comparison thread on the G-4B and G-4A flight suit. Also kristenhenry70's detailed photographs!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  9. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Well, if you ever see one wetcelery, being 5ft 2" is actually better to fit into those (it seems that fighter pilots are on the small size;)) I was lucky to discover a suit being 6ft 2" that suited me at the time...
     
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  10. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Great research! I love seeing a costume broken down like this. :)
     
  11. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Boiler Suit

    Really? Ah, pity I never came across any sort of flight suit around that size... all the ones I found at the time were all 5ft 7" and above... would have been nice to have gotten a proper one (if I didn't have a small budget too)!

    Thanks! I hope it's clear enough and could be useful to others?! :)





    JUST A WEE NOTE...

    Anyway, before I carry on, just going to stress that this is my first costume and I have to admit, did rush it a bit (attempted to do it within the week for a mini-convention the following weekend. I state now that I never succeeded but I'm certainly close to it, just need a few tweaks here and there but I feel that I've got 80%-90% done, as of today). Didn't plan on going 100% accuracy to begin with because I doubt my limited sewing ability allowed for that, nor do I have the much admired knowledge base of other Alien veterans. :) However, now that I've done most of it, and did more reading and research after (such as reading near enough every post here) I'm even more enthusiastic to try and aim for 100% (to the point of transforming the spare jumpsuit and starting all over haha). And in hindsight, I realise where my mistakes are and how I can correct them and I would really like to refine it as much as I can for the MCM Scotland Comic Con in September.

    So treat this as a really basic guide to making an 80% screen accurate costume from a newbie and still as a progress thread for my piece?!
     
  12. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    CLEAN SLATE (DAY 1)

    So first off, I used some masking tape to mark where everything was going to be just to set my mind straight on what needed to be done.

    IMG_5261.JPG IMG_5263.JPG IMG_5262.JPG

    ( sale sticker = proof of my bargain hahaha)

    Throughout this entire process, my friend's mum (Neet) gave me tips on how to achieve what I wanted. And being a fairly skilled costume maker, creating outfits as accurate as she possibly can with basic items around the house or
    in shops (even if it's not 100% her pieces certainly look it) I gladly took on all of her advice.

    So here, we consider re-using the existing chest pockets and plan to just unpick a part of it to just turn it in on itself.

    IMG_5264.JPG

    Flaps have been removed. Will probably come in handy later.

    IMG_5265.JPG IMG_5266.JPG IMG_5269.JPG

    Trialling this look of reusing the pockets.

    Unpicked the bum pockets to be moved onto the front for the thigh pockets. At this point in time, I wanted to try and use as much of what was there already before going out and buying fabric. My mentality was: "75% accuracy is good enough, budget is around £2-£30 including the jumpsuit." lul. Hence why I've not unpicked that extra zip as it didn't bother me too much and I wasn't fussed about the drawstring at the waist (and frankly, I didn't realise there were those extra little waist panels).

    IMG_5273.JPG

    Don't have a photo for this next one but when I looked at the piece overall, and saw where the pockets came to, I decided reusing the existing pockets was a dumb idea because it would mean having a mixture of cotton twill and some other similar material - which I worried would be visibly obvious. Furthermore the size of the pockets weren't right either, which is pretty central to the entire outfit seeing as it's almost pockets everywhere. So, saving the pockets as material for other things in the future, such as the cloth pull tabs for the zips!
     
  13. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Looking good so far. Yep, lots of pockets on that flight suit. The lacing is also key for that one (paracrodgalaxy.com) is the one you want for parachute cords (for the lacing) and for the patches, Merliner is the one to contact.
     
  14. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    MORE PLANNING (DAY 2)

    Having worked out that I needed a number of things to really start my costume making, I duly headed out to a fabric wholesales in Glasgow, Texcraft.

    12 zips in total:

    • 2 Chest
    • 2 Thighs
    • 2 Lower Legs
    • 2 Inner Legs
    • 2 Extenders
    • 2 Back
    1m of cotton twill or like material
    Chord
    Other bits and bobs like straps and swivel clips that I needed to help with kit bashing my flamethrower at a later date.


    IMG_5309.JPG

    I ended up buying:

    • 100m Round White Elastic at 1.5mm (£7.68)
    • 10 6” Greyish Navy Blue nylon zips (£2.70)
    • 10 12” Greyish Navy Blue nylon zips (£3.20)
    • 100m Cotton Twill Stone (£2.95)
    • (Ribbon was my own)

    Total spend of this trip was £24.78

    Not bad at the time as it meant I was ready to power through with this costume, and I was pretty hyped that I got everything I needed and was super looking forward to getting it done.
    However, in hindsight, there are a few things I would have liked to have corrected (which will be proven by the actions/mistakes I make in the following posts). I’ll quickly jot a note of why I bought some items and what I should have done instead of being too eager to make a start:

    • I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and bought the elastic so quickly. However, choices were limited at Texcraft (which admittedly was a bit disappointing considering it was supposed to be a massive wholesale. I was probably better off getting the rest of my stuff, save for the zips, at Mandors - a large store that was more convenient as it was located in the city centre) and other chord options were all on the more nylon/plastic-y side (think of fake white rope used for toys and the like) that I knew wouldn’t dye well. I thought I’d take my chances with the elastic, despite knowing full well it definitely isn’t as thick as the lacing used at the back of Ripley’s flight suit. But beginner's mistake I suppose.
    • If it weren’t for the fact that I had to buy zips in bulks of 10, I would have liked to have gotten my hands on a pair of 24” zips that they had available. This would have really neaten things (and maybe an accuracy point?!) but I doubted I would ever need the 8 left over so I had practicality and money dictate my decisions. Zip lengths I will also explain later with my pocket measurements. Again, thinking back, it was fairly cheap anyway so I probably should have just bought a bulk of 24".
    • Again, if I wasn’t so eager to start, I should have bought different fabric elsewhere. For a wholesale, they seemed to only have canvas and this dense cotton twill that supposedly matched my jumpsuit. I should have gone to Mandors where there was more choice at a slightly extra cost. But enthusiasm didn’t allow me to think sensibly at times, ha.

    In any case, I was still super chuffed with my purchase and set to work with more planning.

    IMG_5302.JPG IMG_5305.JPG IMG_5307.JPG

    (You can see my wee drawing plans ha. May upload my messy notes later.)
    Only then did I realise that there are extra side panels on the flyer suit and found that one existing pocket is enough material to make two panels! Which meant that I could easily remove the drawstring and hide the holes (accuracy point +1)! Again, another bonus here because the drawstring could provide a template and reused for the cloth pull tabs! Hurrah!



    IMG_5309.JPG

    IMG_5302.JPG

    IMG_5305.JPG

    IMG_5307.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  15. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Thanks! Yeah, will be looking at something similar to paracord, which I will mention later on. But for convenience and budget wise, I may try and find something similar looking instead - currently considering round, woven shoe laces? Desperate for something that will dye easily after a 'dyelemma' that happened... again, will write about that soon enough.
     
  16. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    SOME SMALL THINGS (REMOVING THE EXTRA ZIP & SIDE PANELS) (DAY 2 CONT.)

    Thought I'd make this a quick post before I go do another long one about my pocket measurements.

    I figured that if I could remove the extra zip, it would mean I could bring the Weyland-Yutani wings down a little more and it wouldn't bother me so much as it started to. Plus, the wings seemed like the right size to cover/hide the alteration anyway. Even then, in my opinion it still looks like those wee slots you see on military blazers/uniform etc. where one can pin their extra badges, so it's not too out of place. Proved to be quite an easy job, just lots of unpicking.

    IMG_5349.JPG IMG_5363.JPG

    End result isn't too noticeable, and the dye job at the very end should make it discreet.


    As I mentioned before, the removed chest pockets were conveniently the right size to make the side panelling seen at the waist.

    IMG_5346.JPG IMG_5361.JPG

    The original pocket was about 6 1/2" wide and 6 3/4" long (excluding the seam allowances). The part folded out was originally stitched behind the pocket to thicken the opening end for support and design. This gave me an extra 1.5cm added to the length of my tabs, which was perfect.
    So after my I cut the pocket in half, I did an overedge stitch (seeing as I don't actually have an overedge foot I just did a tight zigzag... haha) all the way round, then a top stitch to hold the shape in place. Will be sewing this on later once I finish all the pockets and work out the exact placements of them in relation to the chest pockets.

    IMG_5348.JPG IMG_5347.JPG

    The end result for the tabs when ironed out and straightened are 7 1/4" in length and 2 1/4" in width.
    And you can see that it neatly hides the scrunched up fabric from previously having housed the elastic, and the hole for the drawstring. Here I've already removed the draw string; I pulled it all the way out and cut where the elastic joined the cloth draw string. This will be used for the cloth pull tabs later.

    IMG_5346.JPG

    IMG_5347.JPG

    IMG_5348.JPG

    IMG_5349.JPG

    IMG_5361.JPG

    IMG_5363.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  17. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Looking good so far. I admire your courage for those transformations are not easy to do (zippers...I hate them:angry) Keep up the good work!
     
  18. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    PATCHES

    Nearly forgot to do this vital detail! Thought I'd write about this first before more humungous posts!

    So having done some research into the patches, all the cosplayers before me had recommended me this seller from eBay. They have a fair range of patches for the Alien franchise and sets for Dallas, Kane, Brett and Ripley. They also sell their patches separately which can be quite handy if you need just one extra.
    For Ripley, they have THREE different sets.

    1. ALIEN / ALIENS Nostromo Officer Patch Set (RIPLEY) - Set of 5 Shirt Patches NEW £11.99


    $_1.JPG

    2. ALIEN / ALIENS Nostromo Officer Patch Set (RIPLEY) 4 Jacket Patches + Badge NEW £12.95

    $_1.JPG

    3. ALIEN / ALIENS Nostromo Officer Patch Set (RIPLEY) 4 Jacket Patches + Badge NEW £12.95

    $_1.JPG

    (Be wary of Set 3, though this is the main photograph, the other photographs seem to have the varieties for Set 2 - Seller mistake? Probably ask the seller to double check)

    Now, bear in mind that I am writing this thread 2 weeks after pretty much finishing most of my costume, and one and a half month since starting this project (i.e. purchasing the patches and the main component that is the jumpsuit). Annoyingly, back in May, I'm pretty sure they only sold Set 1, which is the one I've now got. Now that I'm looking through their selling list again, they seem to have added two more: Set 2 with the Nostromo DARK background and blue W-Y wings for the white shirts the entire crew wear; and Set 3 which is basically what you want because it actually includes a pin badge.

    To be fair, Set 1 isn't all too bad, h
    ere are some photos of them in person:

    IMG_5533.JPG IMG_5534.JPG IMG_5536.JPG IMG_5537.JPG

    I’m pretty chuffed with these. They’re not 100% screen accurate as the green colouring and yellow band of the planets are not exactly in line; and they have a blue band at the bottom (here’s a great patch comparison thread) but I’m really pleased nonetheless. Of course the minor details count but I’m happy as it is.

    Therefore in my opinion the only fault is the Warrant Officer badge. It’s a noticeably larger than what it should be, and you can see this when you place it on the suit and see it in relation to the other patches and the rest of the outfit.

    IMG_5535.JPG IMG_5362.JPG

    Of course, I kind of saw it coming, considering the listing does state that it's 4cm in diameter. This didn’t bother me at first but the more I look at it, and the more time I’m spending on my costume, I’m feeling a little less than satisfied. Luckily, they are also selling the badges separately (again, new listing judging from the numbers sold, which may explain the introduction of the new sets) and it's not too expensive at £3.50 (which brings my total spend on the patches and badge up to £15.50, £2.50 more than what I could have paid for if I got Set 3 but oh well). So I think I'll just get that as soon as. I will post an update about that when it arrives.

    You can also see that I'm thinking of using the cover previously on the chest pockets as the other extra tab on Ripley's flyer suit.

    $_1.JPG

    $_1.JPG

    $_1.JPG

    IMG_5533.JPG

    IMG_5534.JPG

    IMG_5536.JPG

    IMG_5537.JPG

    IMG_5535.JPG

    IMG_5362.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  19. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    I bought a US Air Force surplus jumpsuit a few years ago for my Ghostbusters costume (not super accurate, but I didn't care too much) and the one thing no one has mentioned is that those suits are made of synthetic, fireproof fabric and they are very hot. I think you'll enjoy wearing your cotton jumpsuit a lot more than a real one.

    Why did they feel compelled to put the name tape in there? That's not on any of the crew costumes, is it?

    This is fascinating. It's like they just needed more work for the costume dept. to do: add more zippers! And pockets! And laces!

    I did a half-assed Kane for Halloween last year, and just picked an off-the-shelf blue-gray shirt with epaulettes without doing any real research.... Add two shoulder patches, the winged sun, and a stuffed chestburster and no one was the wiser.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Fair point. I thought material might have been a slight issue too - I was definitely concerned that it would be a little heavy for me or it wouldn't dye as well, so I'm also quite glad to have a cotton one instead.

    No idea why the name tape is included either - perhaps for those who want to be clearly identified?? However, it's not without it's use if you're going for a Nostromo inspired character, or a slightly inaccurate Amanda Ripley from Alien Isolation? She has a label... or even Ellen in the DLCs. In any case, the answer for that one escapes me too. ��

    Initially I wasn't too fussed about the accuracy either but as I've said, the more time I spend on it, the more I love it and the more I want to really perfect it.

    Well I believe that for the flyer suit, it was a basically unaltered 1950s US G-4B Anti-Gravity Flight Suit so the costume department wouldn't have done anything but sew on the patches and wings, dye job and maybe some tailoring to Weaver's figure.

    mc651591.jpg mc651591_a.jpg

    From a costume-making point, it's certainly a pain! It's a little tedious making multiples of the same thing. Having finished everything, this feels more like a big alteration project that making something from scratch; which for me I found useful though as a newbie learning how to sew, and doing this costume has definitely taught and given me practise on a lot of basic things I needed to know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  21. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    POCKET MEASUREMENTS (DAY 2)

    After some brainstorming and messy note making...

    P6qUA4C.jpg j3vZc9S.jpg

    Here are the measurements I figured out. Most likely to NOT be 100% accurate but it’s the best I could do from working out by eye form my source material and more importantly, what looked best on my costume in relative to my size of person. At the end of the day, I thought if I’m wearing it, it needs to look right on me, rather than having the ‘correct’ size and it might end up looking far too large and out of proportion and even less ‘accurate’. So I think a point to take from here is that my measurements are what worked for me. I would suggest deciding for yourself in relative to your costume and person what your sizes your pockets should be. If my measurements are good for you too then that's fab! In fact, do let me know what you think on the sizes I made up! Also, it may take a wee while fiddling around with them to get the shape desired as I certainly did.

    T8vDynD.jpg

    Here's another hand-drawn sketch I made and referred to when I started my costume, pictured in a few posts before:

    upsoIEw.jpg

    T8vDynD.jpg

    P6qUA4C.jpg

    j3vZc9S.jpg

    upsoIEw.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  22. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    You're right about the G-4B seen in the movie. Not a lot was done on that suit from the costume dept. Since Sigourney is quite tall, I'm sure they had the same size as mine (6"2)
    But even then, your pant leg is just at your ankle...hence the high top shoes (Flyers) that completed the look.
    The only G-4B that was transformed was for Ash: lacing on the sleeves were added for effect. Don't forget, this suit is in fact two in one. Inside you have another suit and pant legs with lacing to tighten and combat the G forces (specially the waist and legs).
     
  23. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    POCKETS (DAY 2 & 3)

    And with the above measurements, here's some progress photographs of the pockets being made from the one metre of dense cotton twill I bought.

    IMG_5316.JPG

    Fabric comparison between the two. Not sure if you can see the difference in weight here...

    IMG_5317.JPG

    Over-edge stitching to prevent the fabric from fraying...

    IMG_5319.JPG IMG_5320.JPG
    IMG_5322.JPG IMG_5323.JPG

    Working out for definite the pocket sizes and placement of the zips.
    Pictures shown are of the THIGH pockets.

    HOWEVER, having made one test pocket and placed it on the suit, I felt that the material I used wasn't quite appropriate:
    - I couldn't get over the fact that it felt a little too heavy in comparison to the rest of the suit, and worried that if I were to have 6 of these extra pockets it might add a bit of weight
    - Weight being a concern as it might make the suit baggy
    - Weight also making it obvious that the pockets are a different material
    - Density being a concern that it might not take the dye as well as the rest of the suit.

    So in the end, I opted to use a lightweight calico instead that I had planned to use for a different project (a calico kimono).

    IMG_5367.JPG IMG_5370.JPG IMG_5368.JPG IMG_5369.JPG

    And I think it definitely works better than the cotton twill. Sure it's a bit on the light side, and may not be very good pockets that can hold a lot but I never did plan on using the pockets much in the first place, other than storing bits of paper (convention tickets, cards/money etc.). So in my opinion, I think it'll do just fine. You can see that it's a bit thin (the khaki of the jumpsuit shows through) but once this is dyed and sewn, it shouldn't be an issue. I'll probably just need to be aware of how much I store in these pockets.

    IMG_5365.JPG

    Working out the chest pocket placement in relation to the side panels and patches! You can see here the noticeable size difference of the Engineer Badge patch on the overall suit.
     
  24. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    POCKETS (DAY 2 & 3) CONT.

    Confirming pocket placements and marking it out with heaps of masking tape:

    IMG_5372.JPG IMG_5376.JPG IMG_5377.JPG IMG_5378.JPG

    Finishing off all pockets:

    IMG_5386.JPG IMG_5390.JPG IMG_5387.JPG IMG_5388.JPG

    And onto the suit itself...!

    IMG_5391.JPG

    HOWEVER, at this point in time, I have only sewn the chest pockets, as I need to take in the trousers of the suit, and add the inner leg and extender zips; and therefore sewing the thigh and leg pockets now might risk them being in the wrong position after my nipping and tucking. So bear in mind to leave these pockets last after your legs are sorted otherwise you might have some seriously squeggy pockets!
     
  25. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    BACK LACING AND ZIP PANELS (DAY 3 & 4)

    Writing in hindsight, I realise that I actually made this job a lot harder than I needed to. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wouldn't have learned any of this if I didn't make this mistake! In any case, you can see this as an alternative method of doing the back lacing, or just a newbie's mistake!

    At this point, I clearly didn't do enough research (most likely due to me trying to rush this project) as I wasn't aware that Ripley's flight suit was a basically unaltered US Anti-Gravity G-4B. And I most definitely was not aware that there were images of the back lacing in detail supplied on the Nostromo costume thread here on RPF!

    g4b3.jpg img2224.jpg

    So I had to pretty much guess from looking at this screen cap what the back lacing could be:

    ripley_backnotes.jpg

    My friend Neet suggested that from her previous corsetry experience, this could be achieved through making loops. And me not knowing any better, decided that it was the best route to go. So here's my process of making the back lacing with the 1.5mm round elastic chord I bought in a looped style. Here are my notes I worked out and followed:

    Notes3.jpg

    Having studied the screen cap for quite a while, I worked out that there was about 10 - 12 loops but I was unsure. Figuring that this should match my figure and 12 might look a little too long, I went for 10 instead. If you look at the original G-4B lacing, turns out I WAS right and it was 12 loops!


    IMG_5350.JPG IMG_5352.JPG IMG_5353.JPG

    I've made the loops about 1" apart and 1.5cm long, which made the entire lacing length about 7" - which was also so close to the original 8"!! This was a massive pain to do because it was so fiddly pinning them in place before I could sew them. I think it must have taken me about an hour to pin them first time round and another hour or more to sew. Gradually I got quicker as I got used to it but still so massively time consuming.

    IMG_5354.JPG

    Seeing how it looks in relation to the zips.

    IMG_5356.JPG IMG_5357.JPG

    All pinned and used the machine to do a basic stitch all along. Massive fail. Held the elastic VERY loosely. I then realised that I would be much better of sewing and securing it by hand. So back to pinning them in place, AGAIN.

    IMG_5358.JPG IMG_5359.JPG

    Right the hand sew.

    Now from the screen caps, the strip down the sides of these loops looks a bit shiny/reflective, so we thought ribbon might help achieve that effect. And figuring it would all be dyed, colour shouldn't have been an issue...

    IMG_1062.jpg

    Baste one side of the ribbon, to then fold over and top stitch...

    IMG_1060.jpg

    Then you sew over the fold to secure. And fold the ends underneath so that fraying ribbon is tucked away.

    IMG_1061.jpg

    Now for the back zips, I decided to use the 12" ones because these are noticeably longer than the other ones on the suit and also need to be larger than the lacing (and guess what, the original zip length is 11", another close call with my guesses!). Judging from screen caps and what looked best in person, in relation to my lacing and the suit and how it would look once I wore it, I decided that I wanted an extra 1" at the top of the zip and 1.5" at the bottom, because you can see that it flips up. So the fabric (calico again) dimensions I used were: 13.5" x 2.5" excluding seam allowances.

    IMG_1063.jpg IMG_1064.jpg

    Over-edge stitching and top stitching the fold in place.

    IMG_1067.jpg IMG_1068.jpg

    Adding the zips and finishing off.

    And here's how it looks in relation to the lacing.

    IMG_1069.jpg

    I then did the other one and I was done with the back!
     
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  26. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    As you have seen, the loops are all flat and square (basically a rectangle folded in two and sewed to the long main band). The back of the zippers are reinforced by oval pieces (I remember that those pieces were very stiff...don't know what kind of "stuffing" they used).
    Good work so far:)
     
  27. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    Yes, I have recently started to redo the lacing (yesterday) so will post about it when I come to it on this thread :) Definitely a lot easier than what I initially did!

    As for the oval panel inside the zips, I just left it; I thought it would have just been the gather of the suit base so didn't bother with adding any extra material. Didn't want it to bulk too much. Plus, no one would see it when it's zipped... Hahaha

    And thanks for your continued support! :D
     
  28. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    BACK ZIP PANEL SKETCH

    Thought I'd sketch it out to make my dimensions a little clearer.

    backzip_panel.jpg

    Despite writing that you should leave an extra 3" to fold back, I completely forgot about it, ahaha. Now mine looks a little flimsy and you can see underneath my stitching and zip... but oh well. Another mistake someone else can learn from and avoid!
     
  29. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    TAKING THE HEM UP, ARM PANELLING AND EXTENDER ZIPS (DAY 4)

    Firstly, as I am quite a short person, I wanted to take the trousers up a little as the extra length made it a bit too baggy at my legs. Plus, the flight suit ends just before Ripley's ankles so it needed to be done anyway. And easy enough, I just unpicked all the way round the already turned-up legs.

    IMG_5392.JPG IMG_1027.jpg IMG_1028.jpg

    Again, stupidly, in my rush to get this completed, I forgot I needed to take it up as high as my ankles so that you can see the hi-tops; so here's another mistake to avoid! To be fair, it's not a drastic difference, you can see the result later in my posts but it's just a little thing to nitpick. Although, I could also justify this with the fact that if it weren't the length I left them at, I would have struggled to add the zips due to a lack of space as I don't know how to take the crotch further up... so there's benefits to both. Suppose you could call this artistic freedom in times of need?!

    And having unpicked the hem and turned it up about 3" (I folded it twice, hence why it's 1 1/2"), turns out the cuff was an extra bit of fabric sewn on. Unravel it and it became another handy piece of material (2 1/2" wide, 12" in length), which I used for the arm panelling.

    IMG_1071.jpg IMG_1070.jpg

    It's not as long as the sleeve but I think it's long enough. The suit is mainly worn with the sleeves rolled up anyway, so no one would know that it doesn't reach the end. It does the trick for added accuracy in my opinion.

    For the extenders, you need some extra fabric, and since I didn't have enough excess from the suit, I used the calico again. It's pretty much been decided the suit will be primarily cotton twill with calico to make up any extra parts. Open up the zip and make sure it's straight, and work out how much excess you want the legs to have. 4" was good for me:

    IMG_5379.JPG

    Cut out 2 pieces and sew your zips on!

    IMG_5381.JPG IMG_5385.JPG

    Look at it work!

    IMG_5383.JPG

    Make sure you turn up the ends to neaten it off and this will be the end of the trouser.

    IMG_5393.JPG IMG_5395.JPG

    And that's it ready to be sewn onto the legs!

    IMG_5396.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  30. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    ATTACHING EXTENDER ZIPS (DAY 5/6)

    With the two extender zips done, now you need to attach it onto the trousers of the suit. You'll need to first unpick the entire leg. Next, over edge stitch one side, the one that covers the front of your leg. Top stitch it as well to hold a neat fold in place.

    IMG_1026.jpg

    Pin and sew your zip behind it.

    IMG_1029.jpg IMG_1030.jpg

    Next (and I'm not sure if my explanation will be very good, as it took me a while to get my head round this at 5am and even know what I was doing so hope the photographs help!) wear it inside out and pull the unsewn leg trouser over the CLOSED zip to work out how much of the leg you want to take in and therefore where the zip should be placed. Open the zip to release yourself from the trousers and be careful not to stab yourself with the pins!

    IMG_1031.jpg IMG_1032.jpg IMG_1033.jpg IMG_1034.jpg

    You can double check the amount you've taken in by pinning it really securely and wearing it the right way round. Unzip again to release yourself. I recommend triple checking before sewing! Cut off the excess fabric, leaving an inch or so to over-edge, then top stitch a neat fold to make it easier for yourself to attach the zip.

    IMG_1036.jpg IMG_1035.jpg IMG_1037.jpg IMG_1039.jpg

    Sew as close as you can to the zip. I also added another stitch 5mm apart as my entire suit features two rows of stitching, which you can see in some close up shots of Ripley's suit. Aside from that, I quite fancied that utilitarian look.

    IMG_5400.JPG IMG_5399.JPG IMG_5397.JPG IMG_5402.JPG

    Overall, this entire process took me about 3-4 hours to do. I really don't think it should take that long but it will probably have been because it was my first time attempting something like this, and more importantly, it was 4/5am and I had been awake for 16/17 hours hahaha. But it's definitely a bit fiddly and could have benefited from a little help from somebody to at least pin the fabric in place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  31. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    INNER LEG ZIPS (DAY 6/7)

    Now as time drew closer to my deadline (Sunday, and here I am on Saturday night), I started getting a little desperate and this is where I usually employed "artistic freedom".

    You'll probably have noticed earlier that I just added an extender zip to the lower leg and left it at that, unlike the actual suit Ripley wears which features a pocket, extender zip and long inner zip on her legs.

    ripley_legdetail2.jpg

    Reason being, I wasn't sure how to attach the two zips together with some of the suit fabric to conceal it (especially not sleep deprived at 5am); and I didn't have time. In any case, I am happy as it is, with the extender doubling to look as if it's the long inner zip too. Even if I had indeed added an extra one, it would have only served for aesthetic purposes because I didn't have a single long zip but would have needed to build one with two 12". Therefore, it wouldn't have acted as a long zip anyway. If anything, it would have been more bulk on the legs and I didn't think I had enough material on the trousers to work with. In any case, moving on...

    Over-edge stitch down one side (front again) and topstitch a fold.

    IMG_1041.jpg IMG_1042.jpg

    Pin to this side of the fabric and work out where the ends of this upper zip should meet the extender, making sure the top of the zip (where the tab is) is placed at the crotch.

    IMG_1046.jpg IMG_1045.jpg

    Check out my shoddy newb stitching. Luckily this isn't very noticeable unless you go and look for it. Once the zips are attached, carry on sewing it to the actual leg of the suit.

    IMG_1043.jpg IMG_1047.jpg

    Once again, wear the suit and work out how much you want to take in. Make sure it's not too baggy but comfortable enough that it's not tight. Lots of pinning, unpinning, checking, securing before sewing for certain. You can cut off the excess AFTER when everything turns out the way you want it too.

    IMG_1050.jpg IMG_1054.jpg IMG_1055.jpg IMG_1056.jpg IMG_1053.jpg IMG_1052.jpg

    When you're sure, sew!

    IMG_1057.jpg IMG_1058.jpg

    Once attached, turn the trouser legs inside out and cut off the excess fabric. Sew the ends together, over-edge as well, to prevent it from further fraying.

    Now that the trousers are finished, you can sew on your remaining thigh and lower leg pockets! This will now be easier to place in relation to the zips.
    After that, use any excess and the draw string for the pull tabs! Then that's all the sewing done! Hoorah!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  32. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    FINISHED BASE (DAY 7)

    After an intense week of sewing, from about 12pm-4/5am almost every day, including one all nighter (Day 6/7) during the most humid week and probably the only week of summer in Glasgow, I finally got it finished. However, not in time for the convention sadly. Nevertheless, seeing as I must have spent about 60 hours on it, I just wanted it finished. So the only job remaining was to dye it. Before I write a post about that, here's images of the finished base. Must have been 8am at this point.

    IMG_5415.JPG IMG_5419.JPG IMG_5418.JPG IMG_5417.JPG IMG_5416.JPG
    IMG_5420.JPG IMG_5421.JPG

    To sum up, I managed this in about 6 intense days, using only the pre-existing jumpsuit, calico, 12 zips, elastic chord and ribbon. But with the correct research and know-how, you could have skipped the chord and ribbon (which I will also write about later in my revision of the back) and definitely saved time. Overall cost of the materials used (up to this point) as follows:
    Jumpsuit (£7)
    100m Round White Elastic at 1.5mm (£7.68)
    Zips (£5.90)
    1m of lightweight Calico (£1.99)
    Patches (£11.99)
    Dylon Antique Grey and Denim Blue (£7.99)

    = £42.55. Not too bad for a week-long costume at a budget?

    IMG_5415.JPG

    IMG_5419.JPG

    IMG_5418.JPG

    IMG_5417.JPG

    IMG_5416.JPG

    IMG_5421.JPG

    IMG_5420.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  33. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    DYEING PROCESS (DAY 7)

    Despite being so successful up to this point, from here on out it goes downhill; and it's still something I need to fix today.

    Definitely not the smartest decision I've ever made but desperation drove me to it. So after an all nighter, being severely sleep deprived, I thought it would be a good idea to just call an end to the journey and dye it at 9am. I just really really wanted to get the patches on and see it done and dusted.

    IMG_5422.JPG IMG_5424.JPG

    Suit thoroughly drenched with warm water, it was time to mix the dye. Major, major facepalm moment ahead, so never, ever dye something when you've not prior dyeing experience, on top of not having had any sleep and can't think straight.

    A bit of research and colour-theory brainstorming, I thought Dylon's Denim Blue and Antique Grey, when mixed, should give me a colour similar to Ripley's flyer suit - I wanted a faded greyish navy, not khaki or olive or green that seems to be the other popular choice.

    254cc9dc5b34c2467f2282c20b2d6758.jpg

    Stupid, desperate, sleep deprived me thought it would be a good idea to tip all of the blue into the mixing box. Of all the colours I should have tipped all of should have been grey, and I could have gradually added denim and changed it. But once I had all the blue, I panicked and tipped all the grey. Hopefully it would help level it out?!

    IMG_5425.JPG

    Of course it didn't. Even sleepy me knew that wouldn't change anything. So the next thing I was considering was time. Perhaps only leaving it in for 15-30mins rather than the recommended 45-60mins? Well...

    IMG_5430.JPG
    IMG_5428.JPG

    Disaster. If it looked this dark when wet, I highly doubted it would be any better. At this point I lost all hope and just wanted to sleep. Before heading off to bed, I hung it to dry anyway and kept the dye aside in case.

    IMG_5432.JPG IMG_5433.JPG

    The next thing I could hope to do was to wash it as much as I could to get as much dye out as possible. For the mean time, when it's dry it doesn't actually look that bad. Upon closer look, you can actually see that I've dyed the colour very close to what the nylon zips were. I quite like the denim look but of course, for what we're going for here, it's much too dark, and the pockets stand out too much. If this weren't a costume, I'd probably have left it as it is.

    IMG_5435.JPG IMG_5436.JPG IMG_5532.JPG

    And disappointingly, the thread (to be honest, I don't mind too much. I think it's quite nice the grey thread stands out), elastic (which I sort of saw it coming) and ribbon (this I did not see) did not take any of the dye. To solve this, I considered using fabric paints, felts tips or even acrylic paint. But that was the least of my matters.

    How am I to fix this dye job?!
     
  34. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit

    A BREAK

    I took a week break to catch up on sleep, life and to try and come up with some solutions to my dye-lemma. I realised that because my suit was originally khaki, it took the dye and turned out a lot darker than it would have done if it were undyed, which you can see that the calico actually comes out in the correct shade (albeit more blue).

    So, did a bit more research into the dyeing process and found out about Rit Dye's colour remover product.



    (You can actually see that I've left a desperate comment on that video, hahaha).

    So my theory is to drop the suit in the colour remover, strip some of the dye and hopefully it'll come out a bit lighter. If all goes wrong, I could just strip it of dye completely and do a redye. Luckily, Rit Dye also provides a handy sample of colours that can be mixed and guides on how to do so. Therefore I'm considering Country Blue from their Archives section, which requires Teal, Royal Blue and Pearl Grey.

    However, before I do that, I also did a bit more research into the costume, to see how accurate I was. And that's when I found out about the G-4B and images of the back lacing on RPF. So there was another job, to redo the back lacing.

    So the to-do list now became:
    - Redo the back
    - Source chord or like material
    - Colour Remover / ReDye
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  35. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    REDOING THE LACING (18-19/07/2015)

    Judging from the photographs, the rectangular tabs only look about 1cm-1.5cm wide and 2cm long. I cut some calico and chucked it in the previous dye kept aside overnight. Annoyingly, after sitting unused for about a week and a half, now the fabric turns the desired blue grey tone! Maybe I could just reuse the dye for the entire suit...


    IMG_5538.JPG IMG_5540.JPG

    12 tabs down each side so 48 strips of fabric in total. Mine measured about 2cm wide and 3cm long so I could fold it back and form loops. Again, top stitched.

    IMG_5543.JPG

    Working out the placement...

    IMG_5541.JPG IMG_1072.jpg

    ... and realising that 1.5cm is too wide, so I folded it again to make it 1cm wide.

    IMG_5546.JPG IMG_5547.JPG

    The strips only measure about 1cm or so, as it looks similar in thickness to the tabs; so I cut a strip of 2cm wide fabric, enough to topstitch back. Again, following the technique of sewing down on side first, folding it back; sewing and securing all tabs; then another stitch down the folded side.

    IMG_5549.JPG IMG_5550.JPG

    Cut enough off the ends to fold back and sew. Repeat for the next rows of tabs left.

    IMG_5554.JPG IMG_5555.JPG

    And that's the back redone!

    Will edit this post later to include a photo of the finished, redone back.
     
  36. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    That lacing is looking wwaaayyy much better. As for the colour, it's a mix of grey/green hue. It's getting there for sure.:)
     
  37. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    LACING REDONE

    Here's a clearer image of the lacing redone:

    IMG_5559.JPG

    (You may or may not have noticed that I stupidly forgot one tab on the middle right, so I ended up having to make the entire right side 1 tab shorter than it was supposed to. I didn't keep a strict tally of how many I'd sewn, and when I came to where the end roughly needed to stop I realised too late that I forgot one... Stupid, careless error but what's done is done.)

    And before I go onto fixing the colour, here are better images of the suit in its current state. Photos are relatively true to the colour in person.

    IMG_5558.JPG IMG_5557.JPG

    Now, onto fixing the colour...
     
  38. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Good luck!
     
  39. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Now you're talkin'!
     
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  40. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    RIT DYE COLOUR REMOVER (20/7/2015)

    As the title states, for this part, I used Rit Dye's Colour Remover. I checked whether Dylon produced anything of the like as it's easier for me to buy Dylon living in the UK but since they don't, I just ordered it off eBay. It's not too pricey at about £3.40.

    So the instructions suggest to follow the 'stove-top' method using a stainless steel pot as it's easier to monitor how much dye is removed but since I didn't have one large enough to hold my jumpsuit, I just used a basin and filled it with simmering water.

    I must have spent the first half an hour or so testing how the color remover would affect the different fabrics on my jumpsuit, and more importantly, what would happen to my dye. The results were very much varied, unsurprisingly given the materials and colour. The calico's dye (for the back tabs) was stripped almost immediately, reverting back to a yellowy colour with hints of purple left over from the dye. The calico for the pockets, went a little greyer. The cotton twill from the jumpsuit turned a slightly purpley shade of grey. If it was left for longer, it would also go a greyish tone. Sadly, I found that there wasn't a chance that I could gently strip the dye to lighten the nice navy colour. Seeing as it could go grey though, I thought it might be a better idea to just work from light to dark.

    IMG_5565.JPG IMG_5566.JPG IMG_5567.JPG

    At this point, I am considering buying another box of colour remover and trying to strip as much off as I can across the entire suit to try and get an even blank to do a complete re-dye. But since the pockets are made from a different material, I think I just have to accept the fact that the pockets will never be the same colour as the suit. Unless I take off the pockets, dye it separately and then resew... and I'm not sure whether I want to do that when the extenders would then be different as I couldn't take that out...

    IMG_5897.JPG IMG_5898.JPG

    Once dry, however, it wasn't so bad? It's a little bit back to its khaki colour but definitely more on the grey spectrum. Perhaps slightly lighter pockets won't be too bad...? I'm at the point of just wanting to get it all finished and it doesn't look like this is something that can really be changed.


    This is the most up to date post of my costume's progress, and I'm looking for some suggestions on where to go next.

    Do I buy another box of Rit Dye's Color Remover and try to strip more dye?
    Or do I just gradually start dyeing the suit towards the grey blue of Ripley's suit?
     
  41. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    I think the second option is the best one. As you said, since the pockets are not of the same fabric, it'll be tricky to match them with the rest of the suit.
    Saying that, there's always alternative to try to match the fabric (paint comes to mind) but you got to be lucky to achieve the matching and, frankly, I think that the suit will be fine, even with the two-tone effect. ;)
     
  42. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Yeah, you're probably right on that one. Well, we'll just have to see how it goes when I start dyeing it, which will hopefully be tomorrow!
     
  43. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Sometimes mistakes turn out better than the original intention. By the time you've gone through dying it, stripping it, and re-dying it the material could take on more of a "worn" look. I wonder if there's any way you could mask the pockets and apply some kind of topical dye (or hell maybe even paint markers) to make them darker like the jumpsuit material, and then dye it all twords blue in one go. Either way I think you've done a heck of a job.
     
  44. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Fair point, I do hope the constant dyeing weathers the material a little. That would be nice after all the kerfuffle! Now that you mention darkening the pockets, I wonder if it might be possible to paint a wash of grey dye onto just the pockets before I, as you say, do a final dye towards the colour I'm aiming for... Think that would work...?

    And thank you, thank you, thank you. Pleased to hear my first attempt at a costume isn't too awful!!
     
  45. Grey

    Grey Sr Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Yeah that's what I was thinking. Darken them up to look more like the greyish-tan color that the suit has on it now, and then do the final dye on the whole thing. It should look more consistent that way.
     
  46. Pocko

    Pocko Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    This is a great thread, I bet you're learning loads about altering/sewing. I'm having a go at my own Alien: Isolation inspired costume, but have gone with an unaltered surplus flight suit (nomex, possibly US?).

    Just something worth mentioning about the eBay seller. I ordered the set with the pale blue Nostromo patches (apparently the correct ones for "outerwear"), but received the black ones. Wasn't the end of the world, so I didn't make a fuss, but it's worth double-checking/specifying.
     
  47. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Right-o, shall try that. Fingers crossed it works to some degree!

    Thank you! You're definitely right on that one, learning more than I probably would have if I stuck to tote bags and cushions in my beginners' sewing book, haha! That's great, I love hearing about new Alien Isolation costumes being made, especially since it's still so recent! Will you make a thread on your progress? Would love to see what you're doing.

    Sorry to hear that. I've had a pretty good experience from buying from them but accidents happen I guess. I also notice you're from the UK too, so you could easily return the item if the seller has made a mistake and you're still within the returns period?
     
  48. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    THE WATCH

    I realised I haven't written about this vital part of the costume yet, and I figured we needed a break from my dyelemma (I'll never tire of that pun).

    004.jpg ripleycostume5bls6.jpg joneswatchlo7.jpg 8c9adb9ae1c526fd76b5ccd2925dde9fdbcdc505_l.jpg

    As you probably know, Ripley's (and Dallas's) watch is probably the hardest part to find or make. It's constructed from two Casio F-100 faces, connected together to form two parts and an underlying orange band that connects the two. (See Xenopedia’s article). Other than the obvious reason for it being so rare because us costumers/cosplayers and fans have bought twice as many as the average person would just to recreate our own replica props but also because of it's own importance in watch aesthetics. I won't bother to go into detail as it's all written here by other more knowledgable and eloquent folks. Naturally it’s become incredibly rare and at a price too (see this previous listing on eBay. Pretty sure it’s even higher now).

    Now, first off, I fully appreciate prop making, the process of them and you talented people on this board that are detail eagles and make 100% screen accurate replicas. However, I'm not at a stage of collecting and shelling out vast amounts of money to have one. Nor do I have basic prop-making skills either or knowledge, so there wasn't a chance I could even attempt a fair one (and definitely not in the time bracket I originally set for myself). So I initially thought of just buying the more common (and cheap too, usually only sold for £10 or less on eBay) Casio F-91W or just omitting it entirely. I was happy enough with the costume.

    Back in April/May when I was still researching into the franchise, the costume and pondering as to whether I really wanted to try my hand at a costume, I found this incredible blog. Other-Worlds had fully documented their process in making the original version, as well as an alternative Alien Isolation version; and better yet, it was only written a few months ago. The fact that this was written so recently made it even more exciting. Having read that, I felt really inspired but equally lost as to how I could even make an attempt to try something near it. So, on the verge of just admiring from a far and dreaming that I could one day in the far future make one, I hit a stroke of luck.

    It turns out they recently started to sell them (1979 and AI). The usual few questions came to mind: do I really need it (Yes, if I'm going to make the costume), do I really want it (Yes, regardless of the costume) and obviously, could I afford it. The question of money hit hard because having read through the blog, seen how other prop-makers have shown off their copies and the prices they have charged for them, I was seriously worried it would be heading into the £50-80 price bracket, an amount I really didn't want to spend (as an art student, oil paint tends to away at your wallet). However, when I read more into it, I think my eyes popped out when I saw the price: £25 for the watch itself and with £5 P+P fees it took the total to £30. Never have I made a decision so quickly before.

    An affordable, replica prop good enough for cosplay and even every day wear. Perfect.

    Having emailed Tom, the incredibly talented individual behind this, a few times back and forth about which one suited me best, I opted for Amanda's version as it was better ergonomically* due to the velcro strap (as a petite female I have rather small wrists at just 6"!). Of course there are differences between the original but very very marginal (all detailed on the blog posts). Plus I may or may not be considering making Amanda’s costume next... In any case, I don’t think I could praise Tom enough for his generosity and help when I was buying and even afterwards, as he really inspired me to go ahead with making Ripley’s flight suit, and even provided me with a lot of help in seeking out the details too. Furthermore, he’s just been so kind in sharing his process, answering some of my other nosey questions and just being an all round star. So a massive shout out to you Tom!

    And the part we've all been waiting for: the watch.

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    I absolutely love the attention to detail, down to an instruction manual being included, for after all, it is a working piece.

    kHpYJAS.jpg

    And the watch itself, wrapped in delicate tissue paper that teases you with a few glimpses of whats inside.

    CbNzsGH.jpg

    And here’s some photographs of it alone and sitting on my wrist. I don’t have a macros lens so it’s the best I could get with my Olympus 50mm and digital Fuji lens.

    QcGsUN6.jpg SAE6ZRL.jpg RUUrkBl.jpg gTZxqYK.jpg 2iLmGtD.jpg
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    All in all, if you’re looking for an affordable replica, that actually functions as a watch too (that beeps, has an alarm setting, lap timer) and looks the part and is comfortable to wear and completes your costume, I highly recommend Other-Worlds’ Samani E-125 watches.


    Tom is still working tirelessly to further improve it and hopes to launch a deluxe Ellen Ripley version for collectors in the near future. So keep an eye out. For now, he’s just posted this a week ago (at my request lool). He's also got other Alien/Aliens/Alien Isolation products for sale. Check it all out at their store.

    Now I'm just desperate to finish my costume off.

    ---
    EDIT:
    *the original double Casios did not fit snugly on the casts' wrist. Notice how it's swivelled all the way over on Sigourney's wrist:
    alien14.jpg
    You can see this was a common problem due to the large straps they came with.

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    kHpYJAS.jpg

    CbNzsGH.jpg

    QcGsUN6.jpg

    SAE6ZRL.jpg

    RUUrkBl.jpg

    gTZxqYK.jpg

    2iLmGtD.jpg

    JGPkvcD.jpg

    kigY4Lz.jpg

    utKm4wn.jpg

    004.jpg

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
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  49. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Wow, that watch is an awesome replica. I can't believe it works, too! Man, I wish that was my day job : /

    So, uh, this occurred to me a while ago: could you remove the pockets from the exterior of the suit and sew them to the interior so that the new stitching still shows the shape of the pocket on the exterior? The more I think about it the more it seems like it would take a lot of time...


    -MJ
     
  50. wetcelery

    wetcelery Active Member

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    Re: ALIEN Ellen Ripley Flight Suit: 90% DYE HELP?

    Yeah, it's fairly decent! Though because it's just for show after all, I wouldn't depend too heavily on it but it's certainly good enough!

    I've considered that before but it would mean having to cut the original suit itself, and I'm not really confident with that. I've not even made a button hole before so I'm not really prepared to make a large opening. Plus, if I did that, there would be no going back as it will have been cut open; whereas if I made more pockets from different material, it wouldn't be too drastic a change. Additionally, it would mean sacrificing some of the detail (I really like the two rows of top stitching around zips and pockets) and it would be even less screen accurate, compared to having slightly two tone pockets. And generally, I don't think it would look as well because the pockets would be too discreet and weirdly inverted... And of course, there's time. It seems like a lot of effort and sacrifice in detail just to try and achieve one uniform colour...

    To be honest, I think I've pretty much accepted the fact it will never be uniform because of the difference in material but I'm happy to try and make it less evident by following Grey's suggestion of giving the pockets a wash of dye before doing a full suit dye.
     

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