Introduction: Saphira (Inheritance Cycle) Costume
I have loved the Inheritance Cycle to death ever since I read Eragon in 7th grade. So this year, I knew I had to pay homage to the books by making a costume inspired by Saphira herself for Halloween! The costume pulls details from the books, but has the aesthetic of a Dungeons and Dragons sorcerer (because of course she would be a sorcerer). Here, I’ll go over how we made the corset, the bracers, and the horns. Happy Halloween!!!
For the corset:
-2 yards of outer fabric (I used a lovely dark blue taffeta)
-2 yards of canvas or coutil for lining
-At least 2-3 spools of thread to match the outer fabric
-Boning of your choice (I used plastic)
-Eyelets and an eyelet tool
-Faux leather for binding
For the bracers:
-5mm EVA foam
-more boot laces
For the horns
-Crayola Model Magic or another air-dry clay
-Hot glue gun
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Corsetry!
This part of the costume was the most time-consuming by far (I’m talking several weeks), but also arguably the most rewarding. I mainly just wanted the corset because it looked cool, and it sure did! I am by no means an experienced corset maker, but the Internet was a HUGE help, specifically the corset drafting tutorial on the Foundations Revealed website (you can find it here: https://foundationsrevealed.com/index-of-articles/...
The drafting process was surprisingly straightforward, since I’d never drafted anything before. I did make a few tweaks to the pattern after testing it on some spare canvas (I’d made it way too tight in the waist), but other than that, it was perfect! From there, I cut out the pattern on both the outer taffeta and canvas. I did buy stretch taffeta by accident, which made my job much more difficult, so be sure to buy a woven fabric if you want to make a corset for yourself!
I basted the taffeta and canvas pieces together by hand, but doing it by machine would be much faster. With the pieces attached to their linings, I sewed the pieces together very carefully. After that, I pressed out the seam allowances and stitched two boning channels into the back pieces.
Then, I cut some plastic boning to fit in the seam allowances. The boning I used was 1/4” wide with a black casing, and I bought it at my local Joann’s. Stitching the casings into the seam allowances was tricky, but patience and judicious use of sewing pins made it much easier! For the few seams I didn’t use boning for, I topstitched on either side to match the rest of the corset
After that, I inserted the bones and bound the edges with strips of furniture leather, just like adding bias binding to a quilt. Finally, I added 14 eyelets on each back piece, and the corset was done!
Step 2: Elven Bracers!
These bracers are the most obviously Eragon-inspired pieces of the ensemble. The yawë symbol on the bracers represents Saphira and Eragon’s bond with the elves in the books!
The first step was to pattern out the bracers themselves. I wrapped my arm in a layer of cling wrap and a layer of duct tape, and then drew my pattern directly onto the duct tape before cutting it off. I used this pattern to cut two pieces of 5mm EVA foam. Then, I used my Xacto knife to carve a border and the yawë symbol onto each bracer, and used my heat gun to shape the foam, seal it, and open up the cuts I’d made. This helps it look a bit more like leather!
To get the full leather texture on the bracers, I crumpled and un-crumpled a ball of aluminum foil, then ironed it onto the unpainted bracers. Then, I painted the bracers with acrylic paint and sealed the paint job with a few layers of Mod Podge. If I were to do this again, I would definitely seal the bracers before painting them, because much of the paint soaked into the foam.
For attaching the bracers, I cut some little tabs of foam and hot glued them to form loops on the backsides of the bracers. Finally, I added some D-rings so that they could be laced onto my arm, and they were done!
Step 3: Horns!
Surprisingly enough, the horns only cost about $6 to make, because most of the things I needed were already in my house. Mine were based on both Saphira’s horns in the movie and dragons of folklore, but you can make them in almost any shape you want for other characters like tieflings and satyrs!
The first step was to make armatures, or foil skeletons, for the horns. This gives you a base to work on and prevents major breakage later on. I took sheets of aluminum foil and layered them to create an armature with a thin tip and thicker base, and curved them into the shape I wanted.
After that, I took a regular pack of grey Model Magic and carefully added it onto the armature. This was tricky, and it took quite a bit of work to make it smooth and fingerprint-free. One trick I found was using water to clean up fingerprints, because water dissolves the clay! However, this doesn’t need to be absolutely smooth and perfect, since we’ll be adding details later and nothing in nature is perfect anyway :)
Speaking of details... After letting the clay air dry overnight, I carved some grooves into the horns with a sewing pin. I wanted my horns to be reminiscent of deer antlers, and the grooves helped give them that texture.
Then, I let them dry for another 2 days, to ensure that they were completely dry. The clay was still a bit soft, but that’s OK. I added three layers of Mod Podge to stiffen and seal the clay, and then got to work on the paint job!
The paint is what really makes these horns look real. I painted a base layer of off-white acrylic paint, then watered down some dark brown paint once the base coat dried. There are tutorials on how to do weathering online, but what I did was to paint on some watered brown paint onto an area and immediately wipe it off. Most of the paint will come off, but some of it will remain in the grooves of the horns, which is exactly what we want!
Finally, I sealed the horns with a few more layers of Mod Podge and hot-glued them to a headband (make sure to use a stiff one if you want them to stay still). With that, the horns were complete!
Step 4: Finishing Touches!
The rest of the costume was fairly straightforward. The coat was adapted from McCall’s pattern M7644, with a slightly different collar and no sleeves. I already had the grey pants, and the boots came from Walmart (for under $20). As for the makeup, I had most of it on hand, but I did buy Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Squid Ink (it’s one of my favorites from my high school theatre days, and it was on sale!).
With that, the costume was complete! Hope y’all enjoyed this, and hopefully it helped you in some way!
Stay spooky, my friends... 🎃
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019