List of materials used:
- Leather (I’m not exactly sure how much, I had a lot of small pieces of maybe 40x40cm)
- Green stretchy fabric
- Craft foam in a lighter brown colour
- Same nylon fabric used for the other parts of the costume for leaves.
- Ice cube tray
- 1 LED
- Nail polish
- Bits of thin cable
- 1 switch
- 1 button battery holder with battery (CR 2032)
- An old bra
- A LOT of superglue
How I did it:
At first, I thought for months and months how to sew a leather bra. I read tutorials, googled endlessly. No solution in sight. In the end, I thought – why sew it? Why not use a bra that is already there and cover it with leather! And so, that’s what I did.
I used an old bra that I had worn out. It’s so stretched from use, so it’s a little too big in circumference, which is good, since I’ll be wearing other clothes underneath it.
I glued the leather to the bra with fabric glue.
I cut off excess leather, then made the back part of the leather-bra.
I made a straight piece in each side about 20 cms long. I cut it to fit the rounding where the cup is attached in the side, and glued it on – but only right next to the rounding. Then I cut the back part out like in the model-view and attached with velcro and lots of superglue.
Looking a bit less scary! I also sewed the middle part together and I sewed the shoulder/strap parts on. I broke a few needles in the process.
Then I used same technique as belt – trial and error – to cover the edges with the craft foam. Yeah, isn’t exactly like the model, but I needed some way to deal with the uneven edges without too much sewing. And then, because I am impatient and want to see progress, I tried on all of the outfit so far. Here’s how it looked at this point:
As you can see, the belt and the top are already very close now, which is not good, since I will add more to the top. So I took the belt apart, cut off some of the height of the front-part and made the belt a bit larger, so it would sit further down on my hips.
The next thing I did was take a piece of paper and draw the contour of the lower front of the leather-bra, and then make a pattern for the bit that sits under it. I just drew the shape as I thought it looked in the reference and cut it out in paper so I could sort of try it on. It looked fine, so I cut two pieces of leather, added the border like previous parts and glued it onto the leather-bra.
Victoria (the mannequin) is a bit shorter than me, and as you can see, the top and belt touch each other in this picture, but later you’ll see how I made the belt less tall and sit further down.
I made leaves with the same method as I did with the skirt and added these at the back and at the edge around the shoulder. I also made three that I added in the middle of the bra.
I found some ice cube trays online (from China) that had a fitting shape for my gem, so I ordered them.
I used casting resin with the ice cube tray/mold to make the gems. A word of caution: If you cast your own gems, do not do it in a room that you spend a lot of time in… Do it somewhere where you can close the door and air out a LOT. This stuff smells. And also don’t forget to wear gloves and preferably breathing protection.
I first added the resin to the mold, waited a while (I heard for others it takes 10 minutes, but for me it took almost an hour – there’s a big difference between the resins). When the resin was starting to harden, but still a bit elastic, I added the LEDs and let it harden overnight.
The LEDs I used:
I tried to paint the LEDs (purple), but it wasn’t quite purple enough, so I added purple nail polish of different shades and some with glitter to the bottom of the gem and added silver foil to further reflect the light from the LED. This method is explained well by Kamui Cosplay.
The next step was to attach the gem to the bra-top.
I used the gem with the led, some cable, a switch and a button-battery (CR3032) holder.
Diagram of how the cables were connected (curtesy of a fellow cosplayer from Animanga):