My Liono cosplay construction has not been going according to plan. It has just been error after error, problem after problem, fix after fix. And there are only 17 days left until Megacon. Since I am not even done with the sewing part of this costume, I just don’t know if I should continue planning on it for MegaCon – I might decide to throw in the towel, at least temporarily. :/ I have been thinking about bringing Hades as a backup anyway, in case I chicken out of wearing the costume that shows so much of the body I am uncomfortable in. Regardless, let me tell you about how Liono has been going.
The patterning went okay. At least I thought it did. Turns out, I had a few problems there, plus some additional problems.
1.) The back piece of the bodysuit was not long enough. As you can see below in the picture on the left, if I were to line up the dark blue belt pieces, there would be no fabric on my back below my shoulder blades to help hold the front part of the costume on. Fail. So I redid the entire top part of the bodysuit, with the back piece longer this time (seen on the right of the photo below).
2.) The center arch-like cut out in the bodysuit was too wide. When I put the body suit on, all the pulling that the spandex was doing left it looking terrible. Since I had to redo the back piece anyway, I also redid the front middle piece – I made it a single piece of fabric and the arch much narrower. It helped, but I wound up deciding to add some darts as well. Below is a shot of the first attempt, then a shot of the dart markings with pins, and a shot of the second version after darts. You might also notice that I did a tighter gather at the center bust line in the second version. I liked this look a lot better.
3.) I anticipated having problems with the skirt. All the rest of the bodysuit was meant to stretch a lot, but it seemed like the skirt would lay funny if I stretched it. I also decided last minute to add in some underwear-like bottoms beneath the skirt, mostly for modesty, and to help keep tension along the vertical lines of the bodysuit. Dealing with the skirt being slightly larger in circumference than the belt, this happened. The middle part of the photo shows how I pulled too much during the stitching the first time. I cut that seam off, and tried again on the right. Still not perfect, but much better. With spandex a little bit of wave in your seams appears okay because it stretches enough when it is on you that you have no idea the seams are wavy.
4.) The skirt is too long and pulls across my thighs, and I’m not sure if I can fix it due to the way it is stitched. Because I sewed the bottoms into the waistline of the skirt, and then connected this to the belt piece, there isn’t a clear way to fix it without undoing a lot. I find that if I fold under about two inches of skirt, it lays closer to the way I want it to lay on my hips. I may decide to take the plunge and undo the bottom belt seam. Alternatively, I think the pulling issue might disappear if I cut the skirt to match the dark blue bottoms, and wear the bodysuit more like a bathing suit, even closer to Liono’s real costume. But I like my take on the design, and this costume is already a pretty big leap for me in terms of comfort and showing skin. Let me know if you have thoughts or ideas on how to fix this. The image below left is the yucky skirt that is too long with the pulling lines in the center of my thighs. The image on the right is after some folding (which causes most of the lines you are seeing), and the skirt takes a bit more flare off my hips, giving the costume a better shape.
One other thing I learned is that double layering spandex (basically underlining every piece of the bodysuit) is a bit of a two-faced technique. I think maybe when I did my patterning and measured the stretch of the fabric, that I should have doubled up for that measuring process. Because it seems like adding a layer reduces the stretch, or if not reduces, just adds so much tension that you may want to plan for it. Honestly, I can still get into the costume, and it actually feels very structured and comfortable while it’s on. But I’m not certain I would do the double layering again, and if I did, I would try to plan more appropriately for it during patterning.
If I do continue with this project, once the skirt fits the way I want it to, the only sewing that is left is covering the hem lines with the dark blue spandex in a bias tape like format. And I have to make boot covers. But I still have a lot of prop making to do as well – a glove and the sword of omens – and I’m not even going to start that unless I think the costume is in wearable shape. I’m very torn because the project has me fairly discouraged, but I’m still excited about the idea of it if I can pull it off – the belt piece, the wig, the makeup, the contacts, the props … but I don’t want to do it and have it be 80% of what I want. Decisions, decisions – if I decide to drop this costume from my Megacon lineup, I will probably attempt to finish it up for DragonCon in September.