By BeyondBelieving on 6 June 2016 5 Comments
Over the last few days I’ve had quite a few questions about my Lexa costume, so writing a little blog about it seems like a good plan. I’ve been working on this costume for a while and have really taken my time on it. I’ve started collecting references and props, fabric and additional parts for Lexa since June 2015, when I also did my first make-up test and finished it in May 2016. Meaning… All in all it took me about 9 months all together. I’ve definitely not been working on it all this time, I did some other costumes, left it for a little bit while still looking for certain items. I really liked working this way and not having to rush anything. So let’s split it up in a few different sections:
– the coat
– the corset
– additional accessoires
Let’s go through some of the materials I used first, there is literally items from everywhere in this costume. I got chains from Poundland, made the shoulder pad from EVA foam, real silver leather for the corset, horse riding chaps for the boot covers, a leather and wool glove, beads, a “skull” bracelet from eBay and props made from balsa wood. Anyway, I basically got stuff from everywhere.
The first thing I did for this costume was make a Pinterest board, which is what I do most of the time for a costume. (or I save photos in a folder on my laptop) You can find the Pinterest over here.
The coat (and cape)
This is the first item I bought for this costume, my base coat is bought. I found a really good fit for 15 pounds and decided I probably couldn’t buy the fabric for this. I had to cut it up anyway and there won’t be much left from the original coat. In the image above you can see what it originally looked like. It being to short was never a problem for me, the model is wearing heels, I’m 5″3, it was never going to be that length on me.
For the next few steps I cut up most of the arm to make the holes in the sleeves. Trying not to do to much with scissors and rip it so it would look more natural. Her coat has a fur on the edge, which I sewed on. Added some chains to the shoulders, and get started on the weathering. I used a mix of acrylics, weathering sprays, baby powder, chalk and a blow torch which one of my friends had and gave a cool effect on the coat. Because why the hell not? Just put on as much as you want, after wearing it once it probably needs some touching up. I am however really happy with how comfortable and easy to wear this costume was. A little heavy but it definitely doesn’t compare to the chainmail I had to wear for Lagertha.
On to the cape which made from a velvet/cotton 2 meter strip of fabric. One of the sides of the fabric wasn’t exactly the colour I wanted it to be so I lined it with both “right sides” together and attached the top so it would stay on my shoulder without being attached to anything. PLUS if someone stepped on my cape (which definitely happened) it would just come of my shoulder and not rip a part of my costume off.
The corset it one of those items I would’ve loved to have screen accurate. (link) However I thought 113 pounds was a little pricey, but it was still available at the time I started this costume. Anyway, I decided to make it myself. One of my friends had silver leather left over from a costume he made before and sold it on to me. It stayed in my fabric box for a good 6 months until I made a pattern for it.
Starting the good old way, wrap yourself in foil and masking tape. I got a friend to help me out on where it should end and have the buckles attach on the front. Cut it off and start patterning out. You can see in the photo above how my pattern looked at that point, a lot of squares to cut out and panels to add. When cut out of the leather I noticed that the belt would fold over quite easily when wearing it, so I added 4 boning panels for it to stay up more properly. Add buckles, weather it and voila!
Lexa changes props quite a bit throughout the 2nd and even 3rd season. She wears a dagger, a machette like sword, a ceremonial sword and even ends up with 2 swords. I decided to make her dagger and machette… For now that is. Both props are made from balsa wood. A very light and fairly cheap material that needs a lot of sanding but will turn out looking amazing.
The dagger was shaped out of a block of balsa, of which I got some help of a friend’s dad. (power tools I do not own and were super useful) Followed by a lot of sanding, which took a while as I wanted to get the shape right. More sanding, shaping, more sanding. This went on for a while until The wood texture stayed so I covered the dagger in polly filler to once again, sand it more. When that was all done I added some of the details on the handle with some Worbla left overs I still had. Priming, painting and dagger all done!
I went with the same progress for the sword, I skipped the poly filler parts for this and went to priming and painting straight away. Make a sheath/holster from a pleather or leather and the job is done. I used a black pleather for the machette/sword and a brown leather for the dagger. And props done!
Lexa has a lot more going on in her outfit. Leg straps, boot covers, gloves, a shoulder pad, a small symbol in between her eyes, complicated hair styles and so on. I won’t get into this to much but her eye piece is a little clog I found on eBay which I then attached with pro-saide, which hold it up the entire day! A friend however gave me a replica from the show she found later on, which I am very grateful for. Her shoulder pads was made from EVA foam, a dremel which I then painted and attached to my belt with screws, which were also painted to look more rusty. Gloves were heavily modified, weathered and cut in to. My wig is originally from Wigisfashion where I get most of my lacefronts.
If you want to know anything more about this, just drop me a message or leave a comment. But I hope most of the explanations and photos illustrate how I went along with all of this. Hope this helps and hopefully this time I won’t take another 7 months to write a new blog post.
And obviously the final costume. Here you go!
“Jus drein jus drain.”