Introduction: Aveline Costume - Assassin's Creed

About: I'm a maker with a penchant for art and a love of sculpting the unsettling. I also appreciate the history of deep craft traditions and would be a good part of any post apocalypse survival team.
Being a video game character from a lesser known game always comes with it's challenges, so I had to come up with three responses to the question, "So what are you?"

1. When a major Assassin's Creed fan asks: "I'm Aveline de Grandpré from Liberation. Yup, the Vita game." 
2. When a gamer in general asks: "An Assassin from Assassin's Creed. They actually made a game with a chick. Yeah, nobody played it." 
3. To almost everyone else: "A pirate."

I was totally stoked last year when the Assassin's Creed franchise decided to make a game with a rad lady hero. I wasn't so stoked when it was only on the PS Vita, but none the less wanted to be her for Halloween. I made a two costumes, one for myself and an ACIII Connor costume for my S.O. Unfortunately, I didn't take many process shots, and the few I did take were lost on a phone that fell into a toilet bowl a months back. You know how that goes. Given that, this isn't so much a how to as a show and tell, but hopefully it has some helpful hints anyway.

There are a lot of pieces and parts (and leather) to this costume, but I was able to keep it under $100. Mostly because some very large man died and I found his leather trench coat at Goodwill. It was the equivalent of a small cow hide for $30. I supplemented with another coat for $12. If you look closely, the leg bracers are the sleeves, the collar is from the collar and the lapels are the the front of jacket turned upside down. The only new leather was a 1'x1' scrap on the brown arm bracer. The other $ savings was finding a couple of studded belts for all the metal details. However, I did kill my fingers taking all those darn studs on and off.

Craft/Fabric Store
2 yards of mid weight brown material (coat)
Half a yard of red material (waist scarf)
1 yard of thick lace trim (gauntlets)
15 yards of tan lacing/cord (coat trim)
6 large, aged pewter-like buttons (coat)

Thrift Store/Goodwill
Two leather coats
2 studded belts
2 silky neckties (waist and neck scarves)
2 skinny black belts (leg bracers)
1 black double buckle belt (collar)
1 large white linen shirt
1 Red velvet scarf (button holes and trim)

Already had
1 braided leather belt
4 small buckles (leg bracers)
2 beat up brown belts (for the waist and over the shoulder)
4 yards of off white cotton cord (shirt)

I got an old pistol replica for $15 from this place.

Regular Stuff (that won't get messed up)
A pair of black pants or leggings
Black boots
Fingerless black gloves

Step 1: Pilgrim Collar

This is the most unique part of the outfit and potentially the most complicated. Or rather, I made it the most complicated. I waited until the end and had to piece it all together with the remaining leather scraps. I wanted to have a lines and sections, but it would have been far easier to just cut one of the coats into this shape. At the end I took some sand paper to it to age the corners of the leather and take some of the shin off the studs.

Studs - The studs are from a really hideous rhinestone and silver belt from Goodwill that I had to snake from a lady with white jeans and heels.

Straps and Buckles - The leather straps and buckles came off of a another women's belt from Goodwill. I actually came across several belts that had two or three buckles on the front, so apparently it was a trend at one point.

- Leather coat
- Studs
- Two buckle belt
- Hook and eye

Step 2: Waistcoat

The coat is pretty much just traditional sewing. 

I had a pattern for a coat from another costume and just lengthened it and skipped on the sleeves and modified the collar and added the front leather lapels.

The lapels are actually just two parts of the Goodwill jacket stitched on. The bottom half is the lapel and the top half is the left and right side of the jacket. Okay, so I started with a pattern and then just threw it out the window.

Button holes
I created large bound button holes in velvet, which was a major pain in the butt. If I did it again, I'd just stitch on rectangles of red and sew on the buttons. I do like that the buttons actually serve a purpose though. I used the same material to creat piping for the collar. Again, I should have just purchased piping to make my life easier, but I really liked the look of the velvet.

I got some tan cord from the craft store and an upholstery needle to sew on the detail.

It took a while to find the right buttons, since so many were just super shiny or tacky looking. I think these were $2.50 each, which was one thing I was willing to splurge on.

2 yards brown fabric (I used corduroy)
Black leather jacket
1/4 yard Red velvet (scarf from goodwill)
6 buttons
3 hook and eyes
Tan cord for trim

Step 3: Left Gauntlet

So many gauntlets...

Brown Leather Bracer
For this, I cut out the shape from scrap leather and then used a new piece of heavy leather for the pear shaped design. I wanted to do actual leather tooling, but with downstairs neighbors, hours of hammering would have brought some major ire. I cheated it by wetting the leather a little bit and using a small flat head screw driver and an awl to just compress the leather by hand and scrape some of the top layer away. Good enough. I then used a leather hole maker and stitched the thick piece onto the bracer, added the belt buckles and voila.

Black Bracer under the Brown Bracer
Since we weren't going to see much of this one, I focused on the cuff and just used a thin leather on a fusible interfacing for the rest of it.

Step 4: Right Gauntlet

This was the first piece I made since it's pretty exciting. Well, to me anyway.

The leather I had was pretty thin and wouldn't stand up without slouching on the arm, so I lined it with the heaviest fabric I had which was from an old wool blanket. It worked well to give it structure without losing to softness of the leather. I didn't use the fusible interfacing because it can create that 'dog wearing a cone' look.

Also, sandpaper and scuffs and such at the end.

Leather from those darned Goodwill coats
Heavy wool
Belt buckle

Step 5: Leg Bracers

For these, I started out with the sleeves from the coat, added a second M shaped piece at the top, straps and buckles and oh so many studs. To keep the top rigid, I used a super heavy fusible interfacing so it wouldn't flop over.

Step 6: Shirt

This was a cheap white linen shirt from Goodwill that I split the sleeves, hemmed and laced. I started out with a tea stain that amplified the aged look by using coffee around the seams and edges.

Step 7: Belts

Assassin Belt - The belt with the assassin symbol is just that. I just superglued the thing right on there. Here's my Instructable on casting the assassin symbols I used on this and Connor's costumes. I added loops to the braided leather so it would just slip onto this belt.

The cross body belt with the blow darts (yes, that's what those are supposed to be) is just a very long brown belt with the bits superglued on. I created the plastic pieces in a similar fashion to the assassin symbols I mentioned above, but instead of a silicon mold, I just used polymer clay. Much cheaper and reusable, but less precise. Then paint and fin.

Step 8: Scarves

Red Scarf
Just a strip of lightweight red fabric that I fringed bottom. My personal preference is to always knot fringe or it just looks like a paper shredder accident.

Neck Scarf
I made the neck scarf from a men's silk neck tie. I couldn't afford silk any other way and it only took 30 minutes or so to take it apart and put it back together.

Step 9: Gun

I got an old pistol replica for $10 from this place, sanded it and applied a bit of olive oil so it didn't look dusty.

Step 10: Hat

In what world is it a good idea to make your own tricorner hat? Not this one. I have a new found respect for milliners, the few that are still left in the world. This hat was the bane of my existence for as long as it took to make it and it still turned out pretty terrible, but I think it works from a distance. From here on to forever I will always purchase hats and I recommend you do the same.
Halloween Costume Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest