My little assassin

The girl has been reading the Sarah Maas series where the lead character is basically an assassin, though she becomes a leader.  (I think…she tends to get wordy and unfocused when she explains it all).

This year she wanted to be an assassin in going to the Renaissance Festival and for Halloween.  That works fine for me, but I had limited time.  I purchased a few types of black pleather and got to work on a costume for her.  I ended up sewing most of the day on Saturday, so we could make the last day of the festival on Sunday.

First up were pleather pants.  I could have cut them up to look more like patched leather pants (since leather hides are not sold by yardage, and have to be pieced), but…I was lazy.  I widened the 5 out of 4 leggings I use for her, since pleather generally doesn’t stretch as much, and used black supplex for the waistband for comfort.

The top is a mystery knit of some kind that I purchased many years back.  I added a strip of pleather to the front and at the neckband.  Unfortunately, the neckband did not play well with the vest, so I ended up cutting it down on the fly before leaving for the festival.  Oh well, I made the top first, so I didn’t think of how the two would work together.  This is the best picture I have of it right now…it’s lost somewhere in Mt. Laundry.

Next, I drafted a vest, and made it have a hood.  I knew she would likely want a hood.  Assassins have hoods to hide their features, don’t you know?

It was a little too small when I gave it the final fitting (urggggg!), so I added a square of fabric in between the two and had it all snap up together.  Still worked and looked neat, so we’ll just call it a spontaneous design feature. 😉

The corset is a larger version of the one I made last year for her.  I just added an inch to all the pieces, on top of doing some cut outs with a mesh fabric.  I didn’t add the boning, just to make it more comfortable to wear.  I still did all the top-stitching, though.  That is the most time consuming part of them.

I also made some simple gauntlets out of vegetable tanned leather.  I had to dye it black and I just punched holes in and added lacing.  She made it about half the day, and then wanted them off since they were hard leather and not overly comfortable to wear.

The accessories were from her Ciri costume last year.  I made a cape for it last year at Halloween for a little added warmth (it was needed at the festival, since it was a rainy, dreary day).  I also had made the belt and pouches for that cosplay costume, so they became used as accessories for this one.


The kids both got some nice compliments on their outfits during the day, which is always fun. We enjoyed several shows, some artisans at work, food and drink. We just had to wait out a small storm in a beer tent, which was not really a hardship. 😉

The day before was a beautiful, sunny fall day, and apparently overflowing with people.  It was one of their highest attendance days ever.  I will take the rain and mud over that much humanity!  We barely had to stand in line for anything.  Always pick the crappy day over the nice day, I say. 😉

Twig and Tale Tour: An easy upcycle

I was invited to participate in the Twig and Tale Tour for upcycling, and of course, I said yes.  Then I remembered I had tweens, and not cute little people that didn’t voice their opinion.  I love their Wild Things add-ons.  Talk about adorable!  I so wish I could have done that with this tour, but alas…tweens.

So…onward to a very simple upcycle.  Yes, I made a cape with a blanket.  Too hard, right??


You do kind of need a blanket in order to upcycle this garment.  I had a specific garment in mind, though.

the assassins blade

My daughter is obsessed with these books.  They are young adult geared books.  If your girl likes strong female leads with adventure and butt kicking…she may like these, as well.  My daughter wants me to make cosplay outfits of several of the book covers.

I used the Traveler’s Cape (disclosure: given to me for free for the tour) as the base for this garment. I should have lowered it a bit, but I was at the limit for the width on this blanket.

The cloak was the easy part.  The embellishments…not so much.  I drew out a sort of copy of the design (I didn’t really like their design), and then cut it out from upcycled suede pants.  I have been upcycling that pair for few years, so not much left at this point.

Next was hand-stitching it on.  The cape took about an hour to make, if that.  The leather took several hours to hand-sew onto the cape.  Glutton for punishment, I am.


The cloak fasteners were purchased from Pacific Trimmings online.


I get quite a lot of my hardware there, since they have so much variety. Many times I purchase with no plan in mind.  This is why I have this box here, which is not all of the hardware I have:


Creating Magic

So, photos.  I love doing composite photography, however, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do so.  I took this photo on my white backdrop, erased out the background, and made a new one with brushes.

Brush credit:

Clothes: Cape from Twig and Tale.  Shirt and leggings are self-drafted.

Decorative blades: From our collection.  We have several.


Different pose with more natural skin tone…





To follow along with the upcycling blog tour at Twig and Tale:

Blog tour overview at Twig and Tale

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Link up:

Day one: Sew Shelly SewHandmade BoyNap time CreationsBoevenbende
Day two: Stylin StacyThe CraftingfiendGaafmachineWhile she was sleeping
Day three: Huisje Boompje BoefjesLife in our busy householdThe Crazy TailorSew Sophie Lynn
Day four: Crafty like a RoxThe Wolf and the Tree NZ Green Buttons Vera Luna Paisley Roots

Guest post – Stylin’ Stacy – Cosplay Costumes

This is a guest post I did for Crafting Con.  Bringing it home for Halloween!


Hello!  I am Stacy and I blog at Stylin’ Stacy.  The costumes I tend to make these days are centered around cosplay characters.  They serve dual purposes as my kids wear them to a convention in the spring and then Halloween in the fall.  I usually have to add cloaks or some such to their fall wearing as Halloween here is rather chilly.

Here are a few of the costumes I have made and some links to more details on them.


Photo shoot

Accessories and dress – making of

Connor – Assassin’s Creed III

Photo shoot

Making of: Pants and vest, Jacket, beaded arm bands, vambraces, tomohawk and other accessories


Photo Shoot (not a great one for this!) and costume details

Wizard – Clash of Clans

Photos and Costume details

Ciri and Geralt – The Witcher III

Photo Shoot

Making of Ciri:  Corset, Shirt, pants and accessories

Making of Geralt: Costume

Then, here are some random Renaissance costumes I made for them:

These costumes take a lot of time, are expensive, but the kids feel absolutely awesome in them.  I spend months working on these costumes, and just trying to figure out how to make the different pieces.  There is nothing purchased on them, except their shoes.   I make everything, even their weapons.  There is nothing like going to a convention and having people stop them, compliment them and ask to take pictures of how awesome they are.  I get a thrill, too, as their creator!

Geralt – The Witcher – Costume Details

This costume has been an agony of time in getting it finished.  I have not had the time I would have liked to devote to all of the details in making it.  I feel bad that I didn’t get their swords done for the Geralt and Ciri costumes, but something’s gotta give, Man.  Momma works full time and clothes them in other awesomeness, so time for all of this is at a premium.

So, here are the details:


This was one of the hardest things to decide to do.  I didn’t figure the dude would want leather leggings, so I compromised with a pair of suede-cloth jeans.  The shirt is a thick knit, and I doubled up the sleeves in order to give it a more quilted look.  The shirt is supposed to be padded for the “armor”.


The jeans is my own pattern that I drafted and sized up from a pair of RTW jeans he owned.  The top is a heavily modified Ottobre pattern that I sized up.

The leather strapping:

Another thing that took forever.  I got these finished up in the spring.  They took me several days, several different types of leather and a metallic mesh.  Lots of buckles on this costume.  LOTS.


The chest plate:

This is made from vegetable tanned leather, which is a nice thick leather.  I wet it and formed it with some “molds”.  It took a day to dry.  Next it was dyed and formed again, since the dye makes it wet, too.  The straps are added last.

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The mid-section armor:

What do you call this?  An armored corset?  I made the chainmail for this part.  I didn’t do it on the shoulder pieces since I ran out of time.  Maybe I will redo them.  Not sure yet.  Chainmail is shifty and a pain to make.  I ordered the jump rings online, along with a jump ring separator and curved nose plyers.  It worked really well, it just, you know, took forever.


chainmail The chainmail was hand-stitched onto the heavy-weight upholstery fabric.

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Next I added the leather to the sides and I covered the back with corduroy.  I did a strip of leather across the top.




I used grommets and suede lacing at the side to bring the front and back together.  It was hard to see what they used in the game, so I improvised.

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When it was done the dang thing was too big.  Ughhhhhh!  I had to cut it at each side and redo the leather edge.  Doesn’t look too bad, though.

Clay wolfhead:

This was made out of Sculpty clay.  Several layers, a bit of time and some paint later…it’s a pretty cool wolf.



Gloves turned bracers:

I didn’t want to do gloves since I had never made them before.  Instead I just made some bracers.  This is several different leathers and then some D- rings.

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What didn’t get made:

  • Leg Wraps: I wasn’t sure I wanted to do these, since that is a lot of leather to go to waste.  Since he had the suede pants, we opted to forgo this piece.  They were a PITA to put on his Connor costume, so I think we were both okay with it.
  • Weapons:  I really wanted to make these out of wood and do some carving, but I just ran out of time.  If I had more free time I would have totally made it.  We’ll see.  I may yet.

It was a process and I am glad that it is done enough for Halloween.



Here is the outfit that I posted over on for their wearable Steampunk challenge.  I thought I had already put it up over here, but guess not!

I ended up using some pieces that I had previously made this year, along with some new multi-purpose pieces.

The first piece in her outfit is a skirt I made in the fall.  Bustled skirts really do seem to fit the Steampunk theme.  I will write up a tutorial on how to make this type of skirt.   Adding it to the long, long list that I don’t have time for right now.


Next piece is the leather corset, which is also part of her Ciri cosplay.  Corsets show up quite a bit in the steampunk pictures I looked at online.   I made a tutorial on how to make this, as well, which is here on my blog.


Underneath, there is a plain raglan sleeved peasant blouse in cream knit (which you can’t see, but was needed!).  I had made it a few years ago to go with her gypsy outfit for the Renaissance Faire.  It matched and still fit, so there you go.  It was an Ottobre pattern.

Now onto a piece I made specifically for this challenge, which is the steampunk jacket.  I drafted this jacket, and the first version was a bit too tight on her.  I needed to add some room to the princess seams and the armsyce.

20160403_6168I took pattern pieces I had drafted for a fitted top, and then added width to them, along with a larger opening for the arms.  The arm pattern was slashed and spread at the top for the fun puffed sleeve.  I drafted a collar and then the front had some snaps with leather to finish it off.

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She was pretty excited to wear it, and it turned out very Steampunk looking.  Just a really fun outfit to wear!


Ciri cosplay – Top and Pants

Another spring…another cosplay.  Today I am showing the pants and top for the Ciri cosplay.

This is Ciri from The Witcher 3.  She is a warrior.  She wears a lot of leather.


To start I made her pants out of a faux leather apparel fabric.  They are supposed to be leather and are cut in pieces, so I am try to keep to that aesthetic.  It also has little rivets in it.

The pleather was in a remnant pile at the fabric store.  I decided to use a basic leggings pattern that fits her, but added some ease to it. This fabric doesn’t have a ton of stretch, so I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be to tight for her.  It was a little too tight around the ankles.  I think I will definitely be having to make her another pair for the fall.


I cut the front in three pieces and added a generous seam allowance (1″).

20160310_6188 20160319_6184The theory was that the rivets would go within the seam allowance, doubling up the surface and giving it a bit more heft to hold the rivets.  I missed the seam allowance on the one side, and the rivets are loose.  The other side is much better.

20160319_6185I got the rivets from Pacific Trimmings, since they have some shallow ones.  They are 4mm, so still a little tall for this thin pleather, but better than the 10mm you will usually find.  They were a huge pain to put in.  I hole punched one side and then noticed the holes stretched a little, so some are bordering on falling out.  The other side, I just punched a hole with my exacto knife, and they held better.   I figured she would need to be a little careful with wearing these pants, and yep…some fell out.

So, yes.  I will need to make another pair for the fall.

Now on the shirt, the front is open because you must show cleavage on all women video game characters (that’s sarcasm, by the way).  I obviously wasn’t doing this for my daughters shirt.

Using a loose fitting shirt pattern, I cut the front in two pieces and made a closed placket.

20160325_6183The neck was cut a little wider than normal, then I measured the opening and drafted a curved piece for the collar.  The shorter curved edge attaches to the shirt and the wider edge gives it that outward appearance.  The collar is interfaced so it will stand up.

20160507_6682I added the ribbon on after sewing up the shirt.  It is an open channel, so I turned over the edges at the end of the placket and heat sealed the ends so it wouldn’t fray.  I used a parachute cording that I purchased at Michael’s and silver beads for the ends.

20160325_6180This is a stretch shirting, so probably part poly, part cotton.  I tea dyed it so it has less of a clean, pristine appearance.  It was pretty simple.  I just soaked it in some water that I had some tea bags in for a few hours.

There you go!  I probably won’t get pictures until I have the rest of the costume finished, which will probably be in the fall.  I will need to make some kind of cloak for my daughter, since the Renaissance Festival can be chilly.  That will be in a few months, though.  Have summer to work on now.


Ciri cosplay – the accessories

I knew that my daughter wanted to be Ciri for many, many months, but I was stumped on how to make a few of the items.  The metal belt that Ciri wears is one of them.

screenshot corset

I wasn’t sure how I would make it so that all of the pieces were the same.  I knew I had to make a template, but wasn’t sure what to use.  I first tried to make one out of wax, and that was a failure.  Next, I decided to make it out of clay, and that worked.

20160504_6760 20160504_6758 20160504_6759First, I drew out the template in pencil and then rubbed it onto the flattened clay.  Next, I cut out the pieces and then baked it.

20160504_6754 20160504_6755 20160504_6756Once it was baked, I let it cool and then used the pieces to push into the clay.

20160504_6761Using a straight edge, I cut the sides and angled the corners.

20160504_6762 20160504_6763The glass bead is something I found at Michael’s in their flower section.  You need to press it into the center so that it has a place to sit.

20160504_6764 20160504_6765To attach these to a belt, you need to have some holes in them.  I decided to attach them underneath the bead, so I made three holes.  Once done, I baked them.  For the two side pieces, I draped them over cannolli tubes so that they curved.  When they were cool, I sprayed them with silver spray paint.

I cut a piece of leather, and spaced out the tiles.  I attached them to the belt with wax thread.  Once that was done, I glued the glass beads over the top with E6000 glue.

20160504_6766 20160505_6742The other clay piece I did was the cat’s head.  I looked at pictures of it and then carved it with my clay tools.  Once done, I baked it and spray painted it.  I added the back ring with E6000 glue.  Not perfect, but good enough!

20160507_6737Next belt was the leather belt.  I bought a belt blank from Tandy Leather and then the cross stamp.  I used the swivel cutter for the rest of the cuts.

20160505_6747Next was dying it with leather dye, and then adding the hardware.

Other leather pieces I did were the arm straps and the pouches.

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Lastly was the knife and sheath.  I didn’t get any pictures of making it since it was last night, and I was running out of time!  The handle is a cut up wooden candle holder, the knife part is a small piece of wood, and the circles in the middle and the cap are made of clay.  The handle is wrapped in leather.


I think she turned out pretty close.  I am just missing her gloves and sword, which I will work on before the Renaissance here in the fall.  Plus, I have to get my son’s costume done, too.  I just ran out of time.  Story of my life!

ciri collageBetter pictures will come, too.  She rocked it at the con, though.  And she loved the scars (little wierdo).


Cosplay Corset DIY

In many female cosplay costumes, a corset is a integral part of the costume.  There are a lot of “period” (however fictitious the period may be) costumes, where corsets are the norm for the female characters.  Ciri’s corset is more of a protection.  It is made of leather.  From the pictures, it doesn’t appear to have lacing at the back, so it is fitted to her measurements.



I decided to not do lacing in the back, so instead I fit it exactly and put a zipper in the front.

Measurements and drafting:


Continue reading Cosplay Corset DIY

Let the cosplay costuming commence!

Well, it’s that time of year.  That time, when I pull my hair out and try to figure out how the heck I am going to finish these costumes in time!

The kids are going to be Geralt and Ciri from The Witcher 3.


So, to start I am going to detail what I have to make for each character.

Let’s begin, shall we?

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  • Leather corset
  • Leather pants with studs
  • Cream top with a satin ribbon
  • Leather arm cuffs
  • Leather gloves
  • Belt made out of clay and glass
  • Leather belt
  • 2 Leather pouches on the belt
  • Leather strap for her sword
  • Sword and scabbard
  • Cat medallion
  • Boots (She has a pair that she can use that are good enough)



  • Chainmail and leather corset
  • Leather chestplate
  • Quilted shirt
  • Quilted Leather pants
  • Gauntlets
  • Chainmail and leather pauldrons
  • Leather belt with trophy hook
  • 2!! Swords with leather sheaths
  • Cross bow?  Might be passing on this.
  • Leather boot coverings (he has some boots I can use to cover)
  • Wolf medallion

I have less than two months to get them done.  No big deal, right??

I have a lot of the fabrics and most of the leather/faux leather I need.  I will make the swords out of wood and paint them to look sword-like (in theory).

Her “metal” belt is going to be a huge pain.  I am thinking of making it in clay, but I want to make a mold for the pattern.  I need to go get something to carve for that.  I have the clay and the glass centers, so I am partway there.

For the chainmail, at first I was going to attempt to make it, but in the end I decided to purchase this from a seller on Etsy.  It will work good enough.

I know I still need to get up the details on my wardrobe capsule, and I will.  I also have a few other things to post.

It will give me a break from this insanity.