Hello and welcome to another costuming instructable! 2016 has been the year of costume exploration for me. I have made costumes for myself and others using techniques that I never before considered. This time around I was asked to create a costume that resembled a new Dragonball Z character: God King Zamasu.
This creation was incredibly difficult as images for the characters were not readily available during the costume's creation. Despite that restriction I was able to create an AWESOME cosplay for one very lucky person. Here are the tools I used for this job:
- Brother Sewing Machine
- Sewing needles (machine and regular)
- Measuring Tape
- Dress Form (so I could test fit the costume)
- Fabric Scissors
- Fabric Markers and Tailor's Chalk
Here are the materials you will need to make this costume...
- Elastic (for the waistband and boot covers)
- Several yards of Purple Spandex (for the shirt)
- Several yards of Medium Blue Spandex (for the pants)
- 1 1/2 yards of Light Blue Spandex (for the belt)
- Several yards of high quality Black bridal satin or polyester (for the jacket)
- Several yards of high quality Yellow bridal satin or polyester (for inside the jacket)
- Yellow bias OR hem tape (for the trim)
- 1 Gold button
- 1 snap button (for under the gold button)
- VERY STIFF Interfacing (for the protruding sleeves)
- White Spandex OR Stretch Pleather (for the boot covers)
- Industrial Strength Sew On Velcro (for the belt and boot covers)
- Thread (black, yellow, purple, blue and white)
- Optional: Black Bias tape (to clean up inside edges of jacket)
Let's get started!
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Step 1: Shirt and Pants
I have made body suits, shirts and leggings using high quality spandex so I have some experience with form fitting garments. That being said this was still a challenging part of the costume. I used THIS pattern as a base to develop my custom designs off of (this pattern calls for knit or cotton fabric with less give than a high quality spandex or stretch polyester). If you use the pattern in the link please understand that you will need to have some knowledge of adjusting size based on how much stretch your fabric has. If you do not have ANY experience with stretch fabric please use the fabric suggested on the patterns to avoid error.
I used a 4 way stretch spandex blend with a high sheen to give this costume the surreal effect found in animation. I started with the shirt and made it longer than the pattern called for so I could adjust the torso length based on my customer's preference. I used a dress form to help me keep the measurements as close to real life as possible (if you do not have a dress form make sure to measure constantly and keep in mind the stretch to no stretch difference in the measurements).
I used a zig zag stitch to sew the shirt and pants (this allows the fabric to stretch without ripping the seams). (Here is an EXAMPLE zig zag stitching)
For the pants I follow the pattern in the Simplicity break down for the legs. For the waist I created a rectangle whose length matched the circumference of my client's waist and whose height was 5" (so 30" by 5" roughly for this build). I then folded the waist band over some elastic that was 30" by 2" roughly and sewed the seams together (do NOT sew on the elastic). I attached the sewn seam to the top of the legs (where the waist band sits in the pattern layout) then I sewed the two ends together for a completed waist.
To achieve a harem look I asked for my client's calf circumference and lower leg length. I measured from the bottom of the pant up to where the knee was located and cut off the bottoms of the pants. I then took in the pants to match the circumference of my client's calf. Once narrowed, I re-attached at the knee (sewing this is tricky as there will be A LOT more fabric on the top than the bottom, please look up how to pleat and/or ruche fabric as this will help keep your seams clean).
Step 2: Jacket
To pattern the jacket I took several steps...
- Step 1 was to use THIS Cheongsam dress shirt as a base pattern. I used this knowing I would have to add length, width, remove the sleeves and create darting in the chest for a more pristine shape. It was a good base and helped me learn how to adjust form based on measurements.
- Step 2 was taking that basic shape and adding to it. I lengthened the back, altered the front by creating a dual curve, create darts near the chest to accommodate muscle curvature and deepened the c-curve of the neck line. This was done using spare fabric and muslin I had in my fabric bins. I STRONGLY suggest using spare fabric when creating patterns that is either IDENTICAL or CLOSE to the same fabric you are using for the actual costume. I always have scraps about and it's a great way to recycle excess fabric.
- Step 3 involved separating the created pattern into 3 parts: the back and both side (right and left).
- Step 4 was the creation of the spiky sleeves. That was actually fairly simple as they are just elongated triangles. I took a ruler and measure the length then I took my fabric measuring tape and measured the arm cicumference. From their I drew a pattern on some paper and tested the fit to ensure the proportions were accurate.
For the jacket I used a heavy weight bridal satin and a heavy weight liner. I copied my patterns onto them then sewed the lining and outer fabric together. I used some heavy weight bias tape with a thick, double fold for the trim on the jacket.
Once the jacket was put together I copied the sleeve patterns onto my fabric and onto some heavy weight paper mesh (you can find this at most fabric stores). I layered the sleeves (black layer on top, mesh, then yellow lining) and sewed them together. I sewed the sleeves to the jacket then added the trim using the same heavy weight bias tape from the jacket's base.
The last step was grabbing a large, gold button and sewing it on then adding the snap underneath that secured the top of the jacket.
NOTE: The fabric mesh, while it strengthens/stiffens the fabric, it is NOT machine washable. You MUST use dry cleaning to clean any fabric using this method. An alternative method (that is machine washable) would be to use wire OR boning to stiffen the sleeves. Also check on the fabric itself (Satin does better with dry cleaning anyways so the mesh method was acceptable for this build).
Step 3: Belt and Accesories
The belt was SO confusing for me. I made two of them before I felt comfortable with delivering a final product to my client. My most successful belt was built using 4 way stretch fabric that I cut into a large triange then ruched/pleated the tips and added velcro to the ends of. With the back triangle complete I then created a front square and loosely pleated it then added a piece of velcro to the top corners. Finally I created a small rectangle. Here is how the belt goes together...
- Large Triangle wraps around waist and velcros together.
- Front rectangle vecros to underside of triangle front tips.
- Small rectangle wraps around the triangle tips and over the front rectangle then velcros together at the belly button.
For the boots I used THIS tutorial and some 2 way stretch pleather.
Step 4: Quick Tips and Lessons Learned
Now we have a God King Zamasu costume! Here are some things I learned along the way...
- Change your needles OFTEN: When switching between stretch/non-stretch fabrics CHANGE YOUR NEEDLE!
- Use 4 way stretch: TEST YOUR FABRIC! The original fabric I purchased for the shirt began to rip when I stretched it horizontally but DID NOT rip when stretch vertically. That meant the fabric was NOT 4 way and it was poorly made (it also started to dust and fall apart...really weird for me). Always check your fabric before buying (reviews help OR in person testing at a store).
- Use INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH Sew On Velcro...enough said. Just trust me on this one.
- Bias tape is your friend: I MUCH prefer bias tape over ribbon or spare fabric for trim. It's uniform, comes in a double fold (which fits grooves nicely) and is often offered in an array of colors.
- If you can't make it then BUY it OR Commission another costumer: Seriously, don't be afraid to ask for help or look for alternative solutions.