Introduction: Altaïr Costume
There are lots of pictures of Assassin's Creed costumes, but not too many construction details or patterns. This instructable seeks to rectify that problem.
This is a work in progress and more pieces will get added as I complete the costume.
Step 1: Belt
The belt consists of three layers. One large bottom layer, and two smaller middle/top layers. Looking closely at the game textures, the material appears to be thick leather that has been embossed. Right next to the "hills" formed by the embossing you can see parallel lines of stitching.
Since I do not do leather work, I opted to forego the embossing part and instead do stitching only. The material I used is dark heavily textured pleather, and 30yd of very heavy topstitching thread. Using a size 16 universal needle and a rolling foot it is extremely easy to do the topstitching. However, I ran into massive problems trying to edgestitch folded pleather. This is not due to the thickness of the material, since sewing multiple layers with right sides together works fine, but wrong sides together is just asking for trouble. Also make sure you use the longest stitch setting, a slightly raised upper tension, and do not try to backstitch.
The provided PDF files are scaled for a 38" waist and do not include seam allowances at the end. Use Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader to scale the PDF files to your size, then print all three PDFs in tiled mode. Cut out the pleather, and trace the most prominent lines on top. I only trace the center lines of each segments, but you could of course try to do the full heat embossing and parallel stitching along the sides. For marking I used a Sharpie Micro pen which worked really well.
Once you are done top stitching the traced lines, secure them on the bottom with some glue or adhesive tape. For a more finished edge you can fold over the long edges and glue them together (I used heat activated adhesive tape for this).
Step 2: Hood
The most distinctive attribute of the AC protagonists is their eagle-shaped hood. Replicating the exact look is going to be very difficult, in part because the artists were cheating. Looking at the model, Altair has about 2" worth of hair at the top and back of his neck, but not at the front. Parts of the hood are draped softly around the head while others have sharp corners. It is possible to use stiff interfacing for the beak, but that does not help with the A shaped front opening.
One approach then is to cheat as well: use thin wire (coat hanger works, but is a bit thick) and thread it in your hems. This way you can shape the A in front and tilt the beak to your liking.
The provided PDF is for a medium/large head. Make sure to add seam allowances around everything. Follow the instructions for cutting and stitching the pieces together. Join the top and beak pieces. Then add the front pieces to the sides, so you have a "+" - shaped piece. Sew it to one side of the hood, then sew it to the other side of the hood. The last step is joining the back of the hood. After stitching seams, press them open. Then using top stitching, do a parallel stitch/cover stitch along the seam.
IMPORTANT: If you have 2" hair like Altair, the pattern should fit. For all others you might have to adjust the neck seam until it fits. I was using very stiff canvas as my fabric and had to take in 1 3/4" of the neck / back seam to create a close fit!
Step 3: Step 3: Blade
Breaking with authenticity I decided to go with the Assassin's Creed Unity Phantom Blade instead of the simpler version of AC1. For around $30 you get a very nice looking gauntlet / hidden blade / crossbow combo.
The only thing that was disappointing is the triggering of the hidden blade: it requires a button press at the far end of the gauntlet- way too cumbersome for any assassination attempt. I did a modification that allows the blade to extend when the wrist is flicked upwards. Here is how you do it:
Unscrew all six bottom screws and remove the outer shell. Unscrew the remaining two screws and carefully remove the blade mechanism without losing any springs! The final layer does not need to be disassembled. Just loosen one screw at the bottom that is holding the L-shaped trigger in place. Now take a close look at the blade mechanism. It has a U shaped opening at the bottom on one side. We want this opening to go all the way through instead. (In the photo you can see that I used a large drill to extend the U-shaped cutout. This is not the best way to go about it. A smaller hole right above the trigger screw would work better so that you can pull it directly upwards)
Once you have a hole in place, extend this hole to the outer shell as well. Use a file to make sure there are no rough edges around the holes! Now use a sturdy string (e.g. Kevlar line or heavy duty jeans thread) and feed it through the drilled holes. Tie the string to the bottom screw of the L-shaped trigger, and carefully reassemble the whole gadget.
As you pull on the string it pulls the trigger button upwards and the blade extends. Simply tie the string to a ring, making sure it is very taut and then flex your wrist for some aerial assassinations.
Step 4: Shoulder Strap
Based on scans from the art book I created a 3D model of the shoulder strap. You can find it on thingiverse or use the tinkercad link to modify it for your purposes. The model comes in two sizes- one adult, one kid's size. Both use the same D-Rings for attaching leather straps.
I printed the straps using PLA filament on a 3D printer. Because PLA is very heat sensitive I was able to warp the flat print by waving it in front of a heat gun. Applying light pressure allowed me to curve the strap a bit so it better conforms to the body.
Then 3 or 4 coats of black satin spray paint were applied in quick succession. Next I used silver Rub'n'Buff (can be purchased at Michael's) to paint the edges silver. Because Rub'n'buff has a terrible smell and is hard to seal via buffing, I simply added a spray on glossy clear coat on top.
For the straps fake thick leatherette (Jo-Ann's) was folded in half. The Super 77 adhesive did a good job of softening the leather and holding it in place. I did have to do touch ups with hot glue in some spots where the 77 did not adhere too well though. For the rivets I used one half of standard silver snaps.