A Dr. Strange costume brought to life with spells using microcontrollers, LEDs and sensors!
Behold, the Sorcerer Supreme!
With the film coming soon, a friend of mine said my next costume should be Dr. Strange... I don't think he meant me to take him seriously though. However tackling an entire costume from scratch of the Sorcerer Supreme seemed like a supreme challenge, so naturally, I decided to make it.
I'll spare you his backstory, Marvel is much better at telling it than me. While the character is still rather esoteric (heck, he was the psychedelic pulp icon of the 60's and 70's), he has been brought to life by quite a few amazing cosplayers. With the bar set high, I knew I needed to incorporate some amazing effects.
I figured microcontrollers would be the best way to bring the effects to life but my experience with them is almost nil. So, this is not only my first project using microcontrollers, but also my first version of this costume that I hope to refine over time and coincidentally my first cosplay.
Step 1: Materials
- 2 yds of Blue Microfiber (Cotton would be better)
- 1 yd of Light Blue Microfiber (Satin would be better)
- Blue Thread
- 1 yd of Elastic
Cloak of Levitation:
- 3 yds of Red Fabric
- 1 yd of Yellow/Gold Satin
- Black Fabric Paint
- 2 yds of Semi-Stiff Batting
- Red Thread
- Yellow/Gold Thread
- Masking Tape (Optional)
- 12 gauge or 14 gauge armature wire
- Florist wire (to secure the armature wire with)
- Yellow Opera Gloves
- 2 Adafruit Gemmas
- 10 RGB NeoPixels
- Yellow Silicon Wire
- 2 FLORA Accelerometer/Compass Sensor - LSM303
- 2 Rare Earth Magnets
- Yellow Thread
- Black Semi-Stretchy Fabric (optional)
- Black Permanent Marker (recommended)
Please also reference the Eye of Agamotto instructable on how to create the last piece of this costume.
I obtained the unlinked items from a local fabric store; for the tunic you want fabric with a little stretch to it but not too much. Microfiber is a sort of classification of fabrics, not really a type, but the store I went to couldn't really elaborate and I'm not familiar enough with fabrics to know the difference. I would not recommend using microfiber for this project since it is notoriously hard to work with (which I found out midway through).
Step 2: Tools
Tools are pretty standard:
- Sewing Machine
- Straight Pins
- Ironing Board
- Well-Fitting Long-Sleeved Shirt
- Tailor's chalk
- Seam glue (optional)
- Wire cutters (for armature wire)
You'll want a sturdy sewing machine, the one pictured broke barely 24 hours out of the box. Obviously the magic of Dr. Strange was too much for it... watch out Dormammu!
Step 3: Prep
This costume took me a solid week after receiving all of the materials. Without good prep work, it will take twice as long. Iron all of your fabrics with the appropriate setting on your iron and press all seams made (mostly on the trim and collar).
Double measure all cuts and use a paper template if needed. I found using contrasting thread made it easier to draw long straight lines (like for the cloak) in lack of a yard stick or long ruler.
Also, when working with different fabrics, sew a test swatch first. Different fabrics shift, bunch and sew differently, which leads me to my last prep tip.
Use pins judiciously. After sewing your test swatches you should be able to judge how many pins to use for each fabric combination and where to put them.
Dr. Strange didn't make it to Sorcerer Supreme by cutting corners, nor should you.
Step 4: Cutting the Tunic
For the tunic, I mostly followed this wonderful tutorial at Dagorhir. It's the same basic style as Dr. Strange's and, if done correctly, it saves you a lot of cutting and sewing.
A short synopsis of the steps:
- Fold the blue fabric length-wise in half
- Fold the blue fabric width-wise in half
- Fold your long-sleeved shirt length-wise so the front faces out
- Lay the folded shirt onto the blue fabric so that the center line lines up with the edge with two exposed folds, the collar lines up with the edge with one large fold, the bottom and sleeves will point toward exposed ragged edges
- With the chalk, draw around the bottom and side of the shirt as well as the end of the sleeves (but not the top of the sleeves) leaving at least a half-inch for seam allowance (preferably more).
- Mark where the collar ends on the "top" fold (the one, large fold)
- Mark where the front collar ends on the "center-line" fold of the top half of blue fabric
- Mark where the back collar ends on the "center-line" fold of the bottom half of blue fabric
- Pin the layers of blue fabric together inside the chalk line
- Cut along the chalk line for everything but the collar
- Free-hand draw a line to connect the front collar marks
- Cut along the line you just made for the front collar
- Unpin and open up one fold of fabric so that the fabric is still folded length-wise
- Free-hand draw a line to connect the back collar mark with the end of the cut made last
- Cut along the line you just made for the back collar (save this piece)
- Unfold, you're done!
You can see I added another half-length to the bottom of the shirt and flared out the bottom. I also rounded the area for the underarms.
Step 5: Cutting the Applique
If making a tunic wasn't hard enough, Dr. Strange has this demon/bat thing on his tunic in light blue. This little devil (pun intented) has to be cut out of another material and sewn onto the tunic.
The steps to design and cut the applique:
- Obtain (or make) a piece of paper longer than the length of the tunic
- Fold the neck hole from the tunic along the center line and position near the top of the paper with the fold edge at one end of the paper
- Draw a line around the neck hole, then again 2 inches around the line you just made
- Draw a line parallel to the edge of the paper from the highest point in the arc of the line you just drew to the end of the paper (I used red to differentiate it from my pattern lines)
- Sketch out the design of the applique, keep in mind this is only half of the applique and keep all design work inside the parallel line you drew and roughly 5.5 inches from the collar line (make your design an inch longer than the tunic)
- Cut the design out, this is your template
- Fold and pin the light blue fabric and place the template "center" along the folded edge of the fabric
- Trace the template onto the fabric with chalk, you may need to pin the template to the fabric
- Cut along the lines you just made
- Unpin and unfold, your applique is cut out!
Step 6: Stitch the Inside Collar
The basic units of the tunic are ready to be sewn! We'll start with the collar:
- Open up your tunic fabric, if the fabric is "sided", put the "right side" of the fabric facing down
- Test out the neck hole now to make sure it is just large enough for your head with minimal or no stretching
- Lay your applique fabric on your tunic fabric, if the fabric is "sided", put the "right side" of the fabric facing down
- Line up the neck hole edges and center your applique along the length of the tunic using a ruler
- Pin around the inside edge of the collar only
- Draw out your stitch line with anywhere from 0.25" to 0.5" stitch allowance (this will vary depending on fabric and preference)
- Stitch the entire way around this line using a blind hem or similar "stretch stitch", the "blind hem" stitch (the "V") should point away from the neck hole
- Unpin and cut slits or notches just a little short of your stitch line from the neck hole
- Push your applique fabric through the neck hole and fold out along your tunic
- Hand-flatten the applique around the collar and center the applique design, pin and press the collar
Tip: Check out these tips at Craftsy for sewing curves
Step 7: Stitch the Applique
Now comes the fun part (sarcasm intended), stitching the applique takes some patience and control with the sewing machine. Sure, you could glue it on, but you won't get the same finished quality.
Here's how to stitch the applique:
- Set your sewing machine to a tight zig-zag (aka applique stitch) at the widest setting (if you're experienced, you can adjust the width lower) with the blue colored thread.
- With your collar applique portion pinned, begin sewing at either the center of the back collar or the center of the front collar and work towards the shoulder. You should have a thick line of parallel stitches now joining the edge of the applique to the tunic material.
- Once done with that quarter of the collar, move on to the adjacent exposed portion of the collar on the same side as what you started.
- Once finished, move on to the opposite side (i.e. if you started on the back, move to the front and vise versa).
- Once your collar is stitched, position and center the rest of the applique on the front of the tunic material and pin.
- Continue stitching the applique down to the bottom of the tunic, it helps if you do it in sections.
This step is challenging since not only is applique stitching something this large difficult, it also causes the fabric to bunch. Pausing to release fabric tension periodically (remember to have the pin in the fabric when lifting the presser foot) is a good way to keep things flat. Also, using more manageable fabrics like cotton (not microfiber!) helps.
Also, as if this step isn't difficult enough, many machines don't do well with applique stitching and end up missing stitches. This is why a good quality sewing machine is imperative.
Step 8: Stitch the Tunic
You applique is finished, time to breath a sigh of relief. Now comes the easy part!
To stitch and finish the tunic:
- Flip your material inside out, line up the edges and pin.
- Sew the same blind hem stitch you did for the inner collar from the bottom of one sleeve hole to the bottom of the tunic (remember the "V" should point toward the edge of the fabric).
- Sew the opposite side as you just did in the previous stem.
- Hem the bottom of the tunic by flipping about 1" of fabric up, pinning it, then sewing it with whatever stitch you prefer. Unless you do an actual blind hem stitch here, you will see the stitching.
- Do the same around both arm holes stopping about a half inch from the seam along the bottom of the arm.
- Take a length of elastic and wrap it around your forearm to a tightness that is snug, but still comfortable, allow a little extra for overlap.
- Cut the length you just measured then an additional piece for the other arm.
- Using something long and semi-flexible (I used a length of floral wire rounded at both ends), secure one end of the elastic with thread and fish it through the hole in the hem at the arm seam.
- Fish the elastic through until both ends are visible again, it helps to hold or pin one end so it doesn't slip through.
- Overlap the elastic and sew several lines of zig-zag or elastic stitches to secure both ends.
- Allow the elastic to completely fall within the arm hole hem then repeat for the other arm.
- Flip your tunic inside out and you're finished!
Step 9: Cut the Cloak
So now you have a tunic, you're starting to look like Dr. Strange, but really no costume is complete without the Cloak of Levitation. No really, this thing is so important it even has it's own Wikipedia page! It's basically like a wearable flying carpet but oh so much more stylish.
To start the cloak:
- Fold the red fabric in half, open it, then drape it around your shoulders.
- Test out how it drapes and mark the points on the opposing edges you would like for the neck hole to start. You can even get a friend to mark along the center line where the neck hole should fall on the back of your neck.
- Clear out a large portion of your floor and lay the red fabric down, folded in half with the neck hole marks matched up.
- Draw an arc connecting the mark at the edge of the fabric to the mark on the center line (the back of your neck/cloak) or estimate where that point may be by test fitting the cloak again and pinching that section.
- Lay down on the fabric to approximate the length you would like and make a semicircle to that length. My semicircle ended so that my final cloak makes a little more than a third of a revolution around the circle (i.e. a wedge with a central angle of a little more than 120°). The wider the wedge, the larger and more billowy the cloak.
- Pin along the cut lines.
- Cut along the lines of your cloak, unpin and unfold.
- With a large sheet of paper or stock, trace out collar ideas, cut and model them in a mirror with your cut cloak as a guide. My collar ended up being about 12" high and shaped like an elongated daffodil if viewed from the side.
- Pin and trace your collar template, I refined mine a little further, folded it in half and traced two matching swatches.
- Cut about 1" outside the lines traced for your collar.
After modeling my cloak I decided to crop the shoulders a little bit to allow it to sit more naturally. If you decide to do this, have a friend pin the portions you would like cropped (they typically stick up as little "tents" from your shoulders) before templating your collar. You want the base of your collar to form a nice curve to help it stand up, cropping the shoulders may affect the template you trace for the collar.
Step 10: Cut the Trim
The trim is a little tricky to explain, so I'm including a cartoon along with the pictures to explain cutting the curved sections.
- Lay your yellow/gold trim material on the ground, "right side" down.
- Fold your cloak in half lengthwise with the "outside" of the cloak facing out and lay it along the long edge of the trim material with the opening in the cloak material facing right.
- Trace along the bottom edge of the cloak from corner to center line.
- Calculate your bottom trim cut width by taking your final trim width (in my case 2.5") and adding 1" (0.5" for folding over on the top and bottom; total equals 3.5").
- Mark out the calculated width from the line you just drew then move the cloak edge down to match it; trace along the cloak edge.
- Trace the edges of the cloak that run perpendicular in between the two lines you just drew.
- Label this piece of trim "Outside Left" for the outside left piece of trim.
- Measure your trim width again from the last line you drew, move the cloak down to this point and trace again.
- Label this piece of trim "Inside Right".
- Add about 1-2" to each end of the trim pieces (hashed out rectangles in the cartoon).
- Flip the folded cloak over so the opening faces left and repeat the above steps.
- You will end up with additional pieces labeled "Outside Right" and "Inside Left".
It is important to note that you cannot just do steps 1 through 9 four times (or similarly flip the cloak and continue measuring from the "Inside Right" piece) because the curves will most likely not line up correctly.
The collar trim is simpler (see cartoon as well):
- Open up your cloak and lay it flat with the outside material facing down.
- Trace along the entire edge of the collar (it may not be a neat arc if you cropped the shoulders).
- Measure your trim width plus 0.5" (for fold allowance; in my case a total width of 3") from this line towards the cloak body.
- Draw along the measurements you just made then lay the cloak back down with the collar lined up and draw lines at the edges of the cloak (you will have a closed shape at this point).
- Center your collar template (remember your daffodil drawing from the last section) on the collar and mark where the collar meets the trim.
- Measure out the trim pieces on either side of these marks (the flaps in the cartoon collar trim piece) to the width you calculated above.
The trim for the vertical edges of the cloak (where the cloak opens) is easiest:
- Line the vertical edge of the cloak up with the edge of your fabric and mark 1-2" above and below where the cloak ends.
- Calculate your cut width by multiplying your trim width by 2 then add a 1" fold allowance (0.5" for both the inside and outside), so in my case
(2 x 2.5") + 1" = 6"
- Measure out your cut width and trace it.
- Measure out your cut width once again from the line you just drew and trace it.
- These two long rectangles are your vertical cloak trim.
Double check all of your cut lines then cut each piece out.
Step 11: Join the Collar
Prior to adding the trim, you want to add the collar to the cloak so that the trim can hide the seam. To do this:
- Match up your two collar pieces with the "wrong side" facing out and pin.
- Sew along your traced line leaving the bottom open.
- Trim about a quarter of an inch around the stitches.
- Cut notches and slits into corners where needed (refer back to the link in the collar stitching step if needed).
- Before turning inside out, create a solid support out of the batting by either taping or sewing strips together and cutting a quarter inch inside the stitch profile.
- Turn the collar inside out and push out the corners (you may need a tool for this).
- Insert the batting.
- Line the collar up with the inside of your cloak and pin.
- With multiple wide zig-zag (not applique) stitches, attach the collar to the cloak.
I would recommend adding a trapezoid of armature wire to the inside of the collar before stitching it shut (do this along with step 7 above), just make it the same as the general profile of the batting (no need to do the tight corners though). I did this after the fact once I found out that after a day of wearing this the collar began to droop.
Step 12: Add the Trim
Once the collar is attached you can add the trim. You'll want to add the trim to the top and bottom first so that the vertical edge trim can give you a nice finished line. I did a simple overlap and stitch at the corners, but if you want to get fancy feel free to mitre them (just remember that when stitching).
Adding the bottom trim is the most time intensive:
- Start by matching up the corresponding outside trim pieces, laying them stacked with the "right sides" facing each other.
- Align along the line for the center line (the back of the cloak), pin and stitch with a straight stitch.
- Unfold the trim and iron flat.
- Do the same for the inside trim pieces.
- On the "wrong side" of each joined trim piece, draw a line 0.5" from the top of the trim and then another 0.5" from the bottom. The area between the top line and the top edge is your fold allowance, the area between the bottom line and the bottom edge is your seam allowance.
- Stack the inside and outside joined trim pieces together with their "right side" facing in and pin along the fold allowance.
- With a straight stitch, stitch the line drawn towards the bottom edge of the stacked pieces of trim.
- Cut any excess trim from the seam allowance to within 0.25-0.33" of your seam.
- Cut in any notches or slits to make flipping the fold easier and less bulky.
- Flip the trim so that the "right side" of the fabric faces out.
- Press the seam to create a crisp line.
- Envelope the bottom edge of your cloak fabric within the newly joined and pressed trim making sure to align the center lines.
- Pin the fabrics together along the bottom edge every 8-12" or so, this will help a lot in the next step.
- To create a neat fold edge (see images too):
- Starting from one end with the trim piece closest to the table/ground, fold the exposed edge of the trim in toward the cloak fabric along the fold allowance.
- Through the cloak fabric, push that folded piece into the surface below from the top with the tops of your fingers (anatomically, the intermediate/middle phalanges, see image so this makes more sense).
- With your "free" finger tips and thumbs, fold the top facing trim piece in along the fold line.
- Pin through the fold allowance for both sides (a little difficult, but it gets easier as it goes along).
- Repeat every 6" along the length of the bottom of the cloak.
- Go back and pin again every 3".
Attaching the top trim is much less intensive, but requires some forethought:
- With the cloak lying inside down, position the center of the top trim to the center of the neck of the cloak.
- As above, fold your fold allowance in 0.5" and pin. You'll want to make sure that the trim covers the seam between the collar and the cloak, but only enough to hide it.
- Repeat the pinning of the fold allowance with the bottom of the trim.
- The ends of the top trim fold over the top of the cloak to trim a small section of the inside, fold these over and pin as you did with the bottom trim (pressing these folds before or after pinning helps).
- Sew the trim along the fold allowance.
Attaching the opening edge (vertical) trim is the easiest and ties the whole cloak together:
- Fold the two vertical trim pieces along their vertical lines, "right side" facing out, and press.
- Optionally, fold the vertical trim pieces along their fold allowance so that their cut edges face inward towards the inside crease you just made.
- Trim any excess from the top and bottom trim so that it is flush with the cloak fabric.
- Position the vertical trim along the vertical, opening edge, of the cloak and pin as you did for the bottom trim (a few pins towards the inside of the trim then along the fold allowance).
- Fold the ends of the vertical trim to create the corners you would like, I went with a fold that bisects the corner angle (i.e. a 45° angle where the corner is at 90°).
- Sew the trim along the fold allowance.
Viola! Your cloak now looks like a cloak!
Step 13: Embellish the Cloak
Embellishing the cloak is fun and easy! Dr. Strange's Cloak of Levitation has these fun swirls along the trim reminiscent of a psychedelic topographical map. Turn your brain off for awhile and doodle away with the fabric paint, creating swirling lines, concentric circles and nonsensical patterns. You'll need to do this in several phases, since the paint takes awhile to dry and you need to do the inside and out. For bonus points, try to connect the lines from the trim from one side of the edge to the other (i.e. from inside to outside or vise versa). You can use the "puff" paint for this, as I did, just don't steam the paint to keep it flat.
Before, after, or in between painting you'll need to add some type of closure to the cloak. You have three options, it's up to personal preference and how the cloak fits to choose which one.
- This is the option I picked. On the top corner of the cloak, sew a large button on the inside of the trim corner (see pictures). In the corresponding area of the opposite cloak corner, draw out a line the diameter of your button plus ⅛" (so if your button is an inch in diameter, the line will be 1.125" long). Sew a tight vertical stitch on either side of the line and at the ends, or use your machine's button hole setting, to stitch the button hole. Cut along the line with a razor/hobby knife towards the center of the hole from each.
- The easiest option is to sew two chords into the inside of the cloak so that they may be tied to keep the cloak closed. It looks more finished if you sew them inside, along the edge of the trim, so that they end within 3" of the corner so when they are tied you cannot see the knot. If your cloak doesn't wrap all the way around, however, you can just sew them up to the corner of the cloak. The stitch you use to attach with depends on your cord, a flat cord matching your trim secured with 3"+ of a wide vertical stitch is best.
- This option is the most advanced and finished, however it's a little more complicated. I designed the Eye of Agamotto so that it may be used as a clasp for the cloak. Simply stitch two button holes as instructed above at 1.125" (28.5mm) at the top corners of the cloak. The Eye of Agamotto can now be used as the enclosure for the cloak; however you should also add a chain as a backup cloak closure so that any quick pull off the cloak doesn't damage the Eye.
Step 14: Make a Sash
As if Dr. Strange wasn't a walking fashion statement to begin with, his bright yellow sash ties the whole ensemble together. Not one for fashion faux pas, he knows to match his belt with his shoes and his gloves with his sash. So, if you have any extra trim material, stitch it together to make a sash that cinches the waist of your tunic.
If you're short on trim, like I was, I just cut four rectangular swaths of fabric from a yellow tee shirt and stitched them together lengthwise. For a little extra finish, I sewed them into a long tube then turned them inside out to hide the seams. This isn't necessary though, since it's hard to distinguish the edges of the fabric when tied around the waist.
Step 15: Wire for the Gloves
As if building a super hero costume from scratch isn't difficult enough, we have to add electronics to it. But what's a Sorcerer Supreme without a little magic? If you would like, though, you can skip this step and keep things simple (as if!!!).
The wiring of the gloves is relatively straight forward and true to the instructions at Adafruit for NeoPixels. However, given the arrangement within the glove and how tight everything is, we cannot use conductive thread. Since conductive thread isn't an option, the next best thing for something flexible like a glove is silicone wire. Braided silicone wire allows for much better flexibility over standard wire and added resilience over solid core wire.
You'll want to plan ahead and cut all of your wires to length, strip the last ⅛" - ¼", then bundle and label them. Measurements are specific to your hand (with added allowance for flexing and fit), but you can use my measurements below to estimate and find out how many pieces to cut:
- Power lines to/from microcontroller (x4): 27"
- Power lines to/from NeoPixels (x16): 5"
- Info line to pinky (x2): 22"
- Info line, pinky to ring finger (x2): 8"
- Info line, ring to middle finger (x2): 11"
- Info line, middle to index finger (x2): 10"
- Info line, index finger to thumb (x2): 9"
- SCL, SDA and power lines from microcontroller to sensor (x8): 2"
Follow the pictured wiring diagram that I made in fritzing v.0.9.2 to connect everything. Using helping hands and triple checking all connections is extremely helpful. Solder your connections just like you would if this wasn't a wearable. I added yellow shrink wrap tubing at every solder point, this isn't completely necessary, but it may save your fingers from some scratches and protect your gloves.
I found it easiest to first wire the info lines in series then the negative then power lines in parallel. The power lines running from the microcontroller terminate at the "thumb" NeoPixel, which is why you only need 16 instead of 20. Then you want to use those "thumb" power lines to run all of your other NeoPixel power lines off of to minimize the amount of wires within the glove. I simply made two slits along the circumference of the wire at the base of the pinky/ring fingers and middle/index fingers then soldered the two corresponding finger's wires there (see corresponding diagram). I then covered these solder points with shrink wrap (remember to put it on before soldering), if you don't use shrink wrap use some other covering to avoid shorting the circuit.
After adding the LSM303 sensor upload the sketch Dr_StrangeGlove by visiting the linked github page and test by rotating the sensor around in space. Be sure to read the Introduction to Gemma prior to doing any of this (of course) and if you're having issues, make sure your Gemma is in bootloader mode when reading/writing (mine did time out every once and awhile). Once uploaded, your NeoPixels should flash in random patterns and colors which is very mesmerizing (and dare I say magical).
Pro tip: I wrote the code so that you could change the sensitivity of the motion used to activate the gloves. The code as written is set to activate once your hands go higher than parallel to the ground. You can write it so that it activates only when you really fling your arms up by changing the code at line 42 to "y < -X" (replace "X" with your lsm.accelData.y reading when you fling your arms up, I found it to be some where between -1600 and -1000). Or you can have it activate when you raise your arms above your head a certain amount then keep them above a certain height by editing line 42 to "y > X" (replace "X" your lsm.accelData.y reading, I found to be between 0 and 1000). Just note, however, you will need to edit the code to be compatible with an Arduino or other Serial-capable board so that you can see the corresponding sensor readings.
Also, the rate at which the fingers change color, or cycle, is based on tenths of a second (i.e. every 100ms the code is rerun). You can make this faster/slower by changing the cycle delay at line 61.
Of course, if you're looking for a simpler version of all of this, replace the LSM303 sensor with a simple tilt ball switch. For an even simpler version that doesn't even use a microcontroller, use some fast flashing RGB LEDs coupled with the aforementioned tilt ball switch. I didn't go this route so that I could randomize the colors/flashing and allow for future improvements.
Step 16: Embellish the Gloves
You're almost done! Just one more step until you can embody Dr. Strange and all of his supreme sorcery.
My initial build of the gloves had minimal stitching and embellishing so that I could premier the costume at New York Comic Con. During the course of the day I found that this was sufficient but not optimal, so I'm going to detail both ways and let you decide how much work you're willing to do.
First though, you're going to want to take the two rare earth magnets and determine which side is South (see my Eye of Agamotto 'ible to see why). Then turn both gloves inside out and sew the South side of the magnets into the tip of each middle finger so that the South side faces the glove material. I used scrap material from the sash to do this, but any yellow fabric (including your trim fabric) will do.
Next, sort out the NeoPixels so that they are spaced and positioned correctly. Use the serial info line to easily figure out how to go from microcontroler > pinky > ring > middle > index > thumb. You will be sewing these on with the pixel side facing the fabric, so arrange accordingly. I started sewing these one with one hand in the glove and the other one holding the needle to account for stretch; not only is this cumbersome but I also unnecessary, so I stitched the rest with the glove empty.
For minimal but sufficient stitching, hand sew several loops of yellow thread through the hole in the NeoPixel where the wire is (if there is room around the solder joint) or around the base of the wire at two opposing points (i.e. the "+" and "-" wires or the info "in" and "out" wires). You'll be sewing so that the NeoPixel is at the pad of each finger or slightly above, to do this I positioned each so that the top of the NeoPixel aligned with the stitch at the top of each finger.
For maximum strength and ease of wear, stitch as directed above but at all four contact points around each NeoPixel. Then, secure the wires to the sides of the fingers by looping some thread from the seams around the wires, a few semi-loose strands should be sufficient. Finally, sew the long power and info lines at a few places. Either way, the wires are barely perceptible under the glove, but this way makes it easier to get your hand in and out.
Next you'll want to secure the microcontroller (Gemma) and sensor to the glove. The minimalist way to do this is fold the excess glove into a cuff (to be hidden by the tunic sleeve) and tack with a few stitches. You can then tuck the microcontroller, sensor and battery into this. A lot of movement, however, may shake them free or change the sensor's positioning.
The better way to do this is to either sew them into the inside or outside of the glove. To sew them into the inside, make sure the top of the microcontroller is facing away from the arm (and into the glove material) and stitch like the NeoPixels or using an envelope of yellow material like the magnets. You can also sew it to the outside of the glove using black circular envelopes of fabric, though you may need to lengthen the wires. Either way, make sure you can still access the power switch on the microcontroller and the battery port. Also, put some tape around the solder points to avoid pulling the glove fabric or scratching your skin. Whichever way you choose, however, it is imperative that you attach the sensor so that the Y-axis arrow (the arrow coming out of the circle with the Y next to it) points toward your fingers.
Finally, cut out black circles and stitch them to the glove or color in black circles using a permanent marker. I would recommend using the permanent marker since the color doesn't bleed too much and it's a lot easier to do.
Step 17: Finished!
By the Bolts of Balthakk, behold, Dr. Strange the Sorcerer Supreme!
You're now dressed to impress! All you really need to do now is attain the Eye of Agamotto through my other instructable and maybe have a cup of tea (or other celebratory liquid) in celebration.
I've attached and/or linked a few pictures of me in costume from the New York Comic Con 2015 and a video filmed by the talented Miss Sara. I received many compliments on the costume and how it looked and ended up in a ton of pictures. As my first cosplay, I take this as a big compliment. What really wowed the crowd (especially at night) were the spells cast from the gloves.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and that it inspired you to create this or another costume. If so, please let me know by commenting and/or posting your own costume!
Cheers and happy creating!
Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I've started a list of improvements for version two of the costume that may (or may not) happen. I've already acquired the components, but I may not have the energy until next year! They are:
- Add hall effect sensors into the palms of both hands to make the magnets functional to the costume (now they only operate in conjunction with the Eye).
- Connect the function of one hall effect sensor to switch on a solenoid that presses the valve of a can of fog spray to summon the Mists of Munnopor (or Morpheus).
- Connect the other hall effect sensor to a POV arm mounted on a track in my sleeve. When the sensor is dropped, the POV arm would come out and spin forming the iconic circular spell images.
- Upgrade from Gemmas to Floras to make the above possible, or use a MiniMoto Breakout to take advantage of the chainable I2C from the sensor. There may or may not be enough room on the Gemma to support such a sketch though.
Here's just a few links featuring the costume:
Joe at bleedingcool (above link) was supercool, sorry I missed your signing!