It's been a while since I went all out on a Halloween costume, but David talked me into trying out Wonder Woman this year. Of course, this involved figuring out how to make my own custom-made armor, because why do anything the sensible, easy way?
This tutorial about how to make Wonderflex armor was invaluable in this process.
So, I started with the idea. After looking through hundreds of photos of Wonder Woman online, I sketched my own concept based on what I liked the best.
Now, it was time to shop for boots and the corset. We got one corset, and it was too small. I wanted the corset lacing to either meet, or to have a panel, and it probably had a six inch gap with no panel. The peril of ordering on the internet. So, we tried a different style. This time it was too big. Of course. So, I ended up just taking it in.
I also looked at probably hundreds of pairs of boots. I could have got the classic Wonder Woman boots, but I thought it would be more fun to go with something a little more realistic looking, to match the mood of the costume, and so I could wear them after Halloween too. I love the pair I got. When they came in the mail, I put them on and told David I was never taking them off.
Once we had the corset sorted, we started patterning the armor. It didn't seem like much, but there were a ton of different pieces to pattern, and then the problem of how to actually attach everything so it could come on and off my body had to be worked out before we made pieces.
I wish I had taken more photos of patterning, but I didn't start until we started molding. We used mostly Wonderflex backed with craft foam to make the pieces. I wouldn't do that again. The craft foam did not like sticking to the Wonderflex and it was a pain in the butt. I think several layers of Wonderflex is a much better option.
So, here's the front belt piece after the first mold, and then with the layers on top to add dimension.
I can't believe I don't have more in progress shots of the breastplate. Urg! It was the most challenging, because it had more complicated curves and levels. I did put in one little dart and that helped mold the curves a bit.
There you can see I'm building up the levels.
You can see at this point, there are still a lot of waves and bumps.
We ended up covering a lot of it with Apoxie Sculpt, which was another giant pain. I don't think I mixed it correctly, so it was sticky, and impossible to get where I wanted it. And then it dries to concrete. You can sand it, and I spend hours sanding it.
We also made the stars out of Apoxie Sculpt. The stars were also a pain in the rear. I would do them differently now. I knew I wanted that shape and type of star, but how to get the very sticky stuff in the mold (which took us AGES to find--we were even going to make our own mold at one point), and then out again without destroying the star? We end up using olive oil. Which was ok. But, I would have lined it with cling wrap and then coated the inside with olive oil. I bet they would have come out so nicely.
The red you see up there isn't the Apoxie Sculpt, it's filler. Which then had to be sanded. Again.
First coat of paint! I actually ended up painting them three times. I wanted a slightly aged look, but couldn't figure out the right balance. Eventually, did a mix of two spray paints, and then mixed gold acrylic paint with browns, yellows, blacks and whites to age the top, and then ever so slightly misted that with spray paint. And then a top coat of polyurethane.
The bracers were actually done with a sheet of ABS plastic, craft foam and a touch of Wonderflex. Same with the tiara. It was a lot harder to heat to mold--but we were using my embossing gun from my stamping days. With an actual heat gun, it might have been a bit easier.
The basic bracer with a layer of craft foam, and then another layer for the dimension. (On the right is one of the paper pattern pieces.)
Adding the stars. I had to sand them down for ages to get them to curve. I wish I had figured out a better way to mold them so I could have just stuck down the clay when wet and avoided that whole mess. Next time!
The pieces to make the recesses traced and ready to cut out.
The tiara ready for paint. You can see the black ABS plastic (Wonderflex is white).
The chainmail was all handmade from washers and jump rings.
We found the red belt on the back at a thrift store and attached it to the armor with screws. The belt also comes apart in the front with overall hooks. Yes, the kind of overalls that are currently coming back into style. I found the hooks at JoAnn Fabrics.
The skirt I sewed from suede fabric. The star on the front is hand-stitched, and the other stars are metal--those things that you stick into fabric with the prongs that bend to attach. Studs, maybe? The bottom metal looking things on the end of each flap is wonderflex again, painted, with metal spike studs on each end.
The skirt is all attached to the belt. The back piece velcros so the belt still can unbuckle in the back. I got a swimsuit bikini bottom to wear under the whole thing.