Hey guys! I'm from Turkey and I'm gonna show you how I made my Xena the Warrior Princess costume for this halloween.
First of all, I must say that I decided to be Xena only a month ago. So there was no enough time to buy and prepare all the things Xena have. But I worked for 15 days (non-stop) to be ready on time.
First I started with the most challenging part- the dress. It was so hard to prepare the parts of the skirt, I have to cut approximately 200 tiny pieces of leather, then join them with rivets. Then I did the armor and the accessories.
Hope you like, enjoy! :)
-1.5 x 2 meters dark brown leather
-1 x 1.5 meters brown plush fabric
-Approximately 150 silver rivets
-Sheet Copper (about 2 meters)
-Black or brown craft foam (2 A3 Paper size)
-Hot glue gun - silicones (about 20-25)
-4x D or O shape rings
-Silver Spray Paint
-Pitch (which is used for crafting)
-Trace Paper for patterns
-Eyelets (about 20)
Step 1: Patterns
First of all, make sure you did the suitable patterns for your size. I didn't know how to make these but thank god my mom is a fashion design teacher so she helped me a lot. :) I spent hours to examine the original dress which Xena wears, I don't want to use the patterns of cosplayers because most of them do their own- which are easier to sew- but they are slightly different from the original one. But as I said before, I have my mom :D
I made the patterns with trace paper but you can use whatever you want, it's up to you. You can directly use the leather if you want.
I bought 1.5 x 2 Meters of dark brown leather (fake), then applied the patterns to the leather. The important thing you should know that you must cut the leather 1-1.5cm outside from the line of the pattern. (But you should also draw the patterns' lines.) You use these extra parts while you are sewing :)
Step 2: Sewing
This part is the hardest one actually. I haven't use sewing machine before, so it was hard at first. But if you are new at this like me, try to sew some different fabric, practise a bit and try to get use to it before you sew your actual dress.
It takes time to learn which part you should sew first, because if you did it in the wrong order, you may have a disaster in your hands. :( First, sew the lower parts and leave the breast parts to the last. Sew the right pieces and left pieces seperately, then join them. After sewing all the parts add breast pieces.
Tip: If you do backstitch before you sew, you can sew easier.
Step 3: Skirt
Making the skirt is a bit exhausting, tiny parts of leathers and rivets drive me crazy :D I bended the needles of rivets first because they could hurt my skin while wearing. Later, I measured my hip and divide the number in 12, and decided the length of the skirt . Then according to this numbers I cut the leather. For example, my hip is 95, (95/12) and I take the length 35 cm (so the pieces are 8cm x 35 cm). But there are two layers of these pieces so you should cut 24 of them.
After that, I cut the little pieces. (Every long piece has 10 of them, so totally there are 120 little pieces) These part of the skirt must be applied over the strips we've cut before. So it must be a bit thinner than the first one. -Mine are 4cm(width) x 8cm(length)- Before sewing these, you must join these little pieces with each other with using rivets. And then fix them with hot glue from the back (apply on needles)
Then sew all these pieces in the right order (you can see in the pictures) with using backstitch again.
Again with using your hip measurement and the length you decide, cut the plush fabric and sew the edges. (It must be like a normal skirt, not like the leather one)
Final step is joining the leather skirt and the plush fabric skirt together. Sew them with machine from the hip part.
Step 4: Sewing the Skirt and Corset
After sewing these parts seperately, join them together. But be careful on this part, because fake leather can be easily damaged so don't sew them tight. Try different sewing modes on your machine and use the most appropriate one.
Tip: If you can't apply the eyelets to back of your corset, you can get help from a shoe maker/repairman.
Step 5: Armor
I used sheet copper for making the armor. First draw a pattern onto a trace paper. I drew only the half of the pattern and flip over it to draw the other part. Then put the trace paper onto the sheet and started to draw with a ball-point pen. After that, cut the sheet copper from the trace. Then used the relief technique to make them 3 dimensional.
Tip: Do the bump parts from the back of the sheet, and dent parts from the front. To avoid the damage, fill the armor's back with hot glue when it's done.
When you done with the front piece and the back piece of armor, apply pitch with using a brush, then wipe the bump parts so the pitch stays on the dent parts. This process makes the armor looks like old and used. Also Xena's armor looks darker so with using pitch you can get this look.
I used leather strips to join them from shoulders but, for the sides I used a brown belt. Cut the belt's tips and glue them inside of the armor. (one tip to front, one tip to back). For the other side, just cut a little piece of belt and fix it again.
Step 6: Shoulder, Arm and Wrist Parts
I drew the patterns onto craft foam first, and cut them. Later, traced them onto leather, drew the lines, and again left some space-about 2cm and draw an outer line. Then cut the pieces from outer lines. Covered the craft foams with leather. (You can do patterns with sheet copper but if you don't fix them well, they may cut your skin later.) I made the patterns with hot glue gun. I squeeze the silicones according to the patterns. Then painted them with copper-colored metallic paint. At first I made them with sheet copper, and they hurt my skin so I changed. I think the second one with the hot glue is much better.
Again I used leather strips to tie them. I made some holes onto the pieces with using punch.
Step 7: Chakram and Sword
At this one I was a bit lucky, because my boyfriend found these frisbees which really look like chakram. :) I just bought two of them, and painted in silver. I cut a piece of cardboard, and painted in gold. Then glue them together.
I don't have a real sword (wish I had one!) so I had to do it myself. I couldn't find an adult size so I bought a children-size sword from a toy-store, and take the blade part off and used the handle part. I made the blade part with balsa. (I carved it,of course) Then painted it with silver spray paint. Lastly, glued it between the handle parts.
I made the scabbard with styrofoam. Then covered with leather and made some tassels and decorations with hot glue.(Paint the glue parts copper-colored metallic paint) And added some rivets.
Step 8: And Here We Are!
Boots are the only thing I didn't do. I bought them online, I didn't buy new ones because I wanted them to seem like old and also they are cheaper than the new ones :D
Actually on Xena's outfit, there are knee parts but i couldn't make them because I didn't have much time. But you can add them if you want. (Make them with craft foam like arm and wrist pieces.)
Also you can make a little purse with the same technique and hang it to your waist with a leather strip. So you can carry your stuff (mobile phone, money etc.)
I really enjoyed being Xena and everybody liked my costume. Most of them didn't believe that I made it haha :)
Thank you all !!