Introduction: Harley Quinn Birds of Prey Costume
This is a diy guide to making Harley Quinn's iconic Caution Tape outfit from the Birds of Prey movie. It's quite a long process but the results are worth it, and the materials are all very affordable. It's a fun and creative alternative to purchasing expensive and often poorly made Halloween costumes. You can even use some items that you already own, such as old jean shorts, plastic bags, spare fabrics etc.
For the Jacket:
- Hot pink, blue, green, yellow pom-poms/tassels. (If you can't find those, plastic bags or tablecloths of the same colours will do, cut into rows of thin ribbons.)
-Caution tape, again cut into rows of thin ribbons (optional)
-Transparent plastic tablecloth 150x150cm
-1 meter of any fabric (for the sleeves)
-Black plastic tape
-Needle & Thread
For the Shorts:
-1 pair of ripped jean shorts (preferably lightwash for the paint to show up well)
-Black fabric paint or fabric marker
-Red fabric paint or fabric marker
-Hot pink sports bra or cropped tank top
-Bright orange suspenders
-Pale or white tights
-Blue and pink hairspray or clip-on extentions
-Many silver rings
Step 1: Cut the Pieces
The first thing you should do is cut the jacket pieces. You will need 3 pieces cut from the plastic tablecloth, which will serve as the back (1) and front (2) pieces of your jacket. And 2 pieces cut from the fabric, which will serve as the sleeves. For this process I recommend using a jacket you already own and fits you well to measure the size of your pieces. A leather or denim jacket should do. Lay the jacket on a flat surface, and trace the outline of the pieces on the tablecloth and fabric respectively. The shapes of the pieces should be the same as those on the drawing, but cut to your size. Remember to cut the front in two pieces bit the back in one.
Step 2: Creating the Tassels
If you have found ready made tassels or pom-poms, you only need to cut the caution tape into roughly 0,5cm wide and 10-15cm long strips. I recommend cutting the tape into your desired length, and then cutting the strips almost all the way, leaving about 1,5cm at the top in order to create a row of strips, which will be easier to attach to the sleeves than individual strips. If you haven't found ready made tassels, repeat the same process with pieces cut out of plastic bags or plastic tablecloths. You will need many tassels, depending on the size of your sleeves.
Step 3: Assembling the Jacket
This step is split into three parts. First, assembling the sleeves.
To assemble the sleeves, take the sleeve pieces, and start sewing on the tassels, beginning on the lower part of the sleeve, and working your way up. Once you feel you have attached sufficient tassels to completely hide the fabric, you should sew the two opposing sides of the sleeve piece (sides a&b) together, as shown in the drawing, to create each sleeve.
Once the sleeves are ready, you should assemble the vest. Sew the sides c and d of the back and front pieces together, and then go over them with the black tape to secure them and add the black details. You should also add black tape to the neck and front edges of the plastic. Once you've done these, you should have the vest completed.
Lastly, you need to attach the sleeves to the vest. To avoid the plastic tearing with the weight of the sleeves, you should also add tape around the sleeve holes of the vest. This will help reinforce it and keep the sleeves in place. Once you have done this, sew the sleeves onto the taped part of the sleeve holes. This should complete the jacket process.
Step 4: The Shorts
To create the shorts, you should either have black and red fabric paint, or black and red fabric markers.
Paint red stars over the right pocket, and along the waistband until you reach the left pocket. The stars should be mismatched in shapes and sizes. Then, paint vertical black lines over the remainder of the shorts, both front and back. If you are using paint, you should put cardboard between the two layers of the shorts, to avoid it seeping through. Follow the instructions on your fabric paint or markers. Some may need to be ironed in order to set.
Step 5: Putting Together the Outfit.
Top: Hot pink crop top or sports bra - neon orange suspenders - Jacket.
Bottom: Pale or white tights with Harley Quinn's tattoos drawn on with a black marker - Shorts.
Accessories: Silver chain necklace, silver geometrical earings, lots of silver rings. If you want to pay extra attention to detail, use a small piece of sequin fabric, enough to go around your ankles, and sew it on the top of an old pair of socks, and have it peeking out of your shoes.
Hair&Makeup: Put your hair into high pigtails, and spray the ends pink and blue respectively. Alternatively, buy some clip in extentions of those colours and clip them to their respective sides. For the makeup, use a very light concealer, foundation or powder to make your skin very pale (Harley Quinn's skin was permanently bleached when the Joker threw her in a vat of chemicals), draw on her tattoos with black eyeliner, wear red lipstick and do a messy eyeliner.
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