Intro: X-Men Body Suit and Power Gauntlets
I recently re-designed my Surge cosplay from X-Men (Earth-616 series) and wanted to share some of my techniques. This character is not commonly represented in the comic or cosplay community and yet she played an integral part in helping the mutants of the X-Men series. So, taking a little bit of her old designs and a little bit of her new I came up with a plan to make the following:
• Black & Yellow Body Suit (Spandex obtained from Amazon)
• A pair of Power Gauntlets (made from EVA foam and Metallic Spandex)
• Yellow Leg Armor (Made from EVA Foam and Spandex)
• A yellow X-Men Belt (Made from EVA foam & Spandex)
Without further ado let's get started!
Step 1: Design
Since design was important for this costume I took a picture of myself and super-imposed a new costume onto the image. I used design elements from artists renderings all over the web and from numerous comic clips (the two clips above were some of my favorite design elements). What I came up with was an sleeveless body suit in the early 2000's style, a mixture of design elements for the power gauntlets and some traditional X-Men logo accessories.
With the design complete I was able to create my budget, my materials list and go on a cosplay shopping spree! (ok...it wasn't much of a spree...)
Step 2: Body Suit Creation
For the body suit I knew I needed the following...
• 4 Way Stretch Spandex in Black & Yellow (approximately 2 yards of each)
• A good Body Suit Pattern
• 1 Invisible Zipper in Yellow or Black
• Yellow and Black Thread
• A good stretch stitch setting on my sewing machine
• Tailor's Chalk
• Straight Pins
• Measuring Tape
For the spandex I purchased the 4-Way stretch from Payless Fabrics.
My Pattern is the Kwik Sew K3052 Unitard Sewing Pattern.
I purchased an invisible zipper from JoAnn's Fabrics (I would suggest bringing a swatch of your fabric if you want the color of the zipper to match) and I already had chalk, thread, straight pins and a stretch stitch setting on my sewing machine.
To begin measured myself twice and wrote down those measurements on a piece of paper (I like to use this TEMPLATE). I then traced the pattern onto some spare Pattern Ease and cut out the pattern giving a quarter inch seam allowance (you do not have to use Pattern Ease - you can cut the pattern directly if you only intend to use it for yourself). With the pattern cut out I then pinned it to my black spandex following the directions on the pattern sleeve and cut out the fabric.
Once you have the base black body suit cut out sew all of the edges (following the directions on the pattern sleeve) leaving the back of the suit open for fitting. Slip into the body suit and test the fit (I usually safety pin the back after I have it on to make sure everything feels right). If the fit feels correct take your Tailor's chalk and draw the V outline from the x-men body suit design onto the black (you may need some help with this). Remove the body suit and carefully cut out the middle of the body suit
Take the cut material and lay it on your yellow fabric. Cut the front and back sides of the body suit. Now sew the shoulders and crotch before pinning the middle back to the black base (I label my sides with tailor's chalk to remember what needa to be pinned where). Sew the new yellow middle to the original black base. Try it on again (I had to make some adjustments so ALWAYS fit before sewing on your collar and zipper).
Once you are certain all adjustments are complete sew on the collar then sew on the zipper. Try on the body suit one more time before hemming your arm holes and the ankles. Now you should have a complete body suit!
Step 3: Boot Covers
This was my first try at boot covers and I was quite pleased with the result. I went to a thrift store and picked up a pair of round toe, wedge heels (and shoew without laces will do). I removed the buckles from the shoes, placed them on my feet then began the tedious process of pinning my 4 way stretch yellow fabric over my leg.
With the spandex pinned I took a wash away fabric pen (Tailor's chalk works as well) and traced the outline of my leg. I then unpinned the cover and cut out the pattern. After testing the fit I traced two cuts of the same pattern onto my spandex, cut it out, sewed the back of each up then proceeded to glue the cover to my shoes.
WARNING: If you use a high temperature hot glue gun please wear gloves as the spandex is very thin and the glue is VERY hot.
Step 4: Leg Armor
For the leg armor I took 4 inch strips of 1/4 EVA foam and measured them to fit around the top and middle of my calf. I also created a foam logo using 1/4 and 1/6 inch EVA foam layered together for the knee pad. For the ankle I toom a 2 x 2 inch square of 1/4 EVA foam and created a little armor patch.
The knee pad is attached to elastic that slides over my foot and rests on the upper leg armor. The upper and middle leg armor is attached with snaps and velcro to the boot cover. The ankle guard is attached with elastic as well and a bit of velcro to keep it in place.
Step 5: Gauntlets and Gloves
I created a custom pattern for the gloves using my measuring tape and tracing my arm onto the fabric. Since I used 4 way stretch spandex this allowed for some forgiveness in the pattern. If you do not use spandex I would suggest wrapping your arm in saran wrap and masking tape then drawing the pattern onto it and carefully cutting the patter out (be sure to include about a 1/4 inch of seam allowance).
Since I have VERY small wrists I had to glue the hand portion of my glove to the arm portion. In the future I will likely hand sew it.
Once the glove was made I took 2 inch x 10 inch x 1/4 inch thick foam and wrapped it in metallic spandex. I sewed the ends together, glued on some blue tea lights (be careful not to glue the seam that allows you to turn them on/off) and added a few details around the tea lights. The metallic spandex is pretty "sticky" so I just slid the foam strips over my arm to complete the gauntlet look.
Step 6: Completion
Here is the completed look!
A lot of the knowledge I used for this I gained from friends, Google and sites like http://www.cosplaytutorial.com.
I hope this helps you with your future cosplay endeavors! Thanks for reading!