Let’s Do This!

My goal for this weekend is to knock out as many costume pieces as possible. To that end, I made a quick stop at JoAnn’s today after work. I picked up some yellow broadcloth for my SciFi Janitor costume, some extra spools of white thread (I always seem to run out of white before everything else), and some cream-colored canvas webbing for the pouch I was working on. I also picked up some beautiful purply plaid fabric that had been languishing in the red tag section of the store, but that’s for an unrelated project.

What has it gots in its pocket-ses, Precious?

The front pouch for my Rebecca Chambers costume is almost completely finished. All that remains to be done is paint the red cross on the front. I’ve got tons of fabric medium and paint in my stash downstairs, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the proper shade of red, so I’m hoping to have that last little bit knocked out tonight. I just couldn’t wait to put up a new post. (Trying to keep to Robot Guy’s suggestion of making a chronicle of the costume-making process in a “99 days to Dragon*Con” miniblog, here on the site)

The pouch went together over the course of two days. It could’ve been completed in one day, if I had been able to devote more time to it the other night. So far, the entire thing has taken about four hours.

With the box glued and taped together, and the inner lining attached, it was time to address the outer covering of the pouch. I had managed to find a wonderful cream-colored remnant at JoAnn’s a few months ago, when I first started gathering my materials for the Rebecca Chambers costume (which, from now on, will be referred to as “RC” for the sake of brevity. The front pouch needs to match the color of the canvas used on the lower belt, which the remnant did. It’s also got a nice texture to it, which is always a plus in my book.

In my opinion, utilizing different textures in one’s costuming is one of the best ways to make your piece feel “real.” You can make a costume cheaply out of broadcloth and it might be accurate, color-wise, but in real life, the pieces we wear have different feels to them. Our t-shirts are different from our jeans, which are different from the materials of our shoes, which are different from the bags we carry and the belts that hold our pants up and so on and so forth. Perhaps this is something I will delve into deeper in another post.

Anyhoo, I cut a long strip out of the remnant that was a sufficient length to wrap completely around the front, bottom, back and top of the pouch, with some extra overlap to form the front flap. I made sure the long strip was wider than the width of the pouch by at least an inch on either side. Then I folded the extra in, creating an even edge along both sides that wouldn’t fray. I cut additional strips for the two sides of the pouch, creating a small hem along the top of each. Again, this was to keep the material at the top of the pouch from fraying. I hotglued the smaller pieces onto the sides of the pouch.

I took the longer piece and marked where I needed to sew small strips of canvas webbing on the back, for the belt to go through. Think reverse belt loops…instead of being on a pair of pants, they are on a removable piece. I made a miscalculation when sewing on the loops, though, so the spacing is wide enough for the canvas webbing of my belt, but not wide enough to let the larger plastic parachute buckle fit through. This isn’t that big of a problem…it just means have to attach the pouch to the belt before I feed the webbing through the adjustable side of the belt. I actually prefer this, as it means the pouch will fit snugly on the belt, keeping the belt from sagging the way one of my canvas Jedi belts tends to when I’ve got my lightsaber on it.

After sewing the canvas strips onto the back of the main section of the pouch fabric, I carefully lined the edges up with the sides of the inner pouch and started glueing the outer canvas cover down. I added a small parachute buckle to the ends of a thin strip of canvas webbing. This will be what keeps the pouch closed. Even though the glue is enough to hold the outer cover to the body of the pouch, I went ahead and stitched the sides together as well. It makes the pouch a little more secure and gives it a more finished look than it originally had with just the glue.

I’m pretty happy with the way the front pouch turned out. I tried it on with the belt and it fits comfortably at my hip. I’m not sure what I’ll be keeping in it when I take the costume to the convention, but I like knowing I won’t have to ruin the overall look of a costume by carrying around my usual con bag. I’ll  be able to store the majority of my stuff in the front and back pouches. Plus, the RC costume includes BDUs with a bunch of pockets. I’ll be set!

I’ll be spending at least the first part of tomorrow out at a friend’s house, teaching them to use their machine, so I’m not sure how much additional work on the other RC accessories I’ll get done tomorrow. Like I said earlier, my goal for this three-day weekend (which doesn’t really apply to me, since I don’t usually work Mondays in the first place) is to knock out as many pieces as possible. Hopefully, this means I’ll be able to complete the back pouch, the vest, and the body of my SciFi Janitor costume. I’ll do my best to update here when I have a free minute, as well.

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