SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
With the success of WandaVision, it was only a matter of time before a Wanda project kicked off in my little corner of the universe.

The starting point for the project was building a bodice mock-up that would fit the client, who was remote. As usual, I began in muslin, sent it off for a fitting, and then started sketching the details on the altered toile.

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With the details roughly sketched out and the pattern fit confirmed, the toile was cut apart and the base construction began.

This costume build is similar to the Captain Marvel suit - it has a layered, very structured front with a lot of detail and needs a foundation that can support that structure but still be light, thin, and flexible. So, to create this piece, I wanted to create a breastplate template that could be built in 2mm EVA foam backed with headliner for comfort and padding.

Once the breastplate was assembled, the detail pieces were made using Swedish tracing paper to create rough sketches to scale.

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To create the detail pieces for the bodice, I photographed the sketches on a board with set dimensions, imported the images into Inkscape, and then traced them to create full-scale, clean templates for the pieces.

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At the same time, I created the templates for the peplum and the headpiece in the same manner.

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In the meantime, the specialty fabrics were ordered. These are silicone printed spandex in burgundy and black from Parallel Life Studios in France.

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Once the fabrics arrived, I began by creating patterns for the breastplate for the areas to be covered with the fabric. I didn’t want to completely cover the breastplate with the printed fabrics for 2 reasons:
  1. The fabric is quite expensive and I have a limited amount, so I didn’t want to use it anywhere other than where it will be seen.
  2. When I glue the foam detail pieces to the breastplate, I want them to be glued directly to the breastplate and not to the fabric. That way, there’s not risk of the pieces pulling away from the base. Also, the foam detail pieces will lock the edges of the fabric down.
With the patterns made, the pieces were cut from the printed fabric, sprayed generously with Super77 and applied to the breastplate.

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In order to increase wearing ease and movement, I didn’t want the entire bodice made of foam. So, the sides and back of the bodice (again, like Captain Marvel) were made in the printed fabric backed with broadcloth. I created the patterns for those pieces using the altered toile and added the sides to the breastplate.

The finished bodice zips down the sides so, at this point, I needed to finish the edges at the arms and bottom. These edges were bound in a burgundy thin faux leather that matches the printed fabric.

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Next up: The back of the bodice and foam detail pieces get underway. Stay tuned!
 

SMP Designs

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Making some progress on this build! Picking up where I left of...

The back of the bodice was next. The back was cut out in sections - black faux leather and printed burgundy and then all pieces were backed with muslin for stability.

I created piping with thin black faux leather and elastic cord to edge the black sections and then stitched all the pieces together.

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I wanted to add more structure to the back of the bodice to balance it with the front but didn’t want to use foam, as I mentioned before. So, to give me the structure and shape I wanted and still allow movement and flexibility, I decided to create a corset back.

The corset back was made of 2 layers of muslin that extended from the bottom edge of the bodice to just under the shoulder blades. The layers were stitched together to form channels and the piece was boned with lightweight plastic boning.

This inner back was sewn down to the lower edge and the sides and will just float inside the shell. The top and bottom edges were then finished with thin faux leather binding.

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With the main bodice pieces assembled, I got started on the foam pieces: breastplate and stripes, peplum pieces, and crown.

I printed the templates that I’d created earlier and cut them out. I traced the template onto a piece of 3mm foam that will be used as the base for the piece. The paper template was then sprayed lightly with Super77 and tacked to another piece of 3mm foam. I then began cutting the paper/foam layer into its component parts using a Xacto knife.

When all of the pieces were cut out, I used contact cement to attached the segments that will form the raised layer using the pre-traced layer as a guide.

An important step here is to leave the paper on the upper layers. This helps to stabilize the thin piece and also retains the detail lines that will need to be cut into the top layer once all of the pieces are glued down.

After all of the pieces were assembled, the detail lines were carefully cut into the top layer using the paper as a guide. When cutting these lines, you need to be sure to only cut through about 2/3 of the top layer.

The paper was then carefully peeled away and a heat gun used to seal the foam and open up the detail lines. Finally, the entire piece was coated with Plasti-Dip. This process was used to create all of the other foam pieces.

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At this point, I want to point out a little difference about the crown. Since the crown has so many small edges and details, I didn’t want to try to cut them all out and glue them separately.

So, I cut out the paper template with a large amount of ‘flange’ around it which was adhered to a piece of 2mm foam with Super77. This piece will be the top layer of the finished crown. I then began cutting out all of the ‘negative space’ (the areas that will be recessed) making sure to leave the flange intact.

The flange and the paper held all of the pieces of the crown together and stabilize the thin foam. When all of the details were cut, the layer was then glued to 3mm foam with contact cement.

The crown was then cut out using the paper outline and coated with Plasti-Dip.

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Once all of the pieces were cut fully assembled, they were all coated with several coats of Plasti-Dip and ready for paint.

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The foam pieces were then painted before being attached to the bodice. All of the paints are acrylic and were applied with a combination of sponge applicators and angled brushes. There are 3 colors: a burgundy for the primary color, black, and a subtle purple with a slight metallic sheen that I mixed myself.

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The side stripes for the bodice were also painted and the three pieces were attached to the front of the bodice.

To attach the pieces, I pressed the pieces down and traced along the edges with a fine point sharpie to establish guide lines on the printed fabric. I then spread contact cement on the back of the foam pieces and on the bodice over the exposed foam and up to, but not past, the guide lines on the printed material.

When the pieces were glued down, the foam details are anchored to the exposed foam of the bodice and also lock the edges of the printed fabric under the detail pieces.

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Next up, the peplum is completed and the skirt and pants get underway. Stay tuned!
 

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