Lady Mechanika

So this was my first full character cosplay that I made.  Whew! It took A LOT of time, and blood, sweat and tears. I’d still like to redo the skirt to be more ruffly, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.  I got full sclera contacts to wear with it, but they were too big and were INSANELY uncomfortable, so I need to get red circle contacts if I decide to wear it again.

Lady Mechanika is a character from Aspen Comics created by Joe Benitez after he came to DragonCon one year and saw all the steampunk cosplay!  Here’s the costume version of her I decided to cosplay:

Lady_Mechanika_Ad_by_joebenitez

There were a lot of pieces to this costume, including a blouse with detached sleeves, under a white vest edged in black and gold, under a harness.  Then a high-low skirt, goggles, and some awesome thigh-high stockings/boots.  I made every piece of the outfit myself, aside from the goggles and stockings.

I started out with the blouse, using a corset-type top pattern as a base, adding boning into the seams, and making some basic arm band-like sleeves to match.  This was the easy part.

IMG_4629

Next I tackled the vest.  I used a basic vest pattern, added a collar, and made it out of plain white linen.  The hard part?  The edging!  It was a BEAST!  I couldn’t find gold-edged black grommet edging to use, so I had to add the gold edging to the basic black grommet strip I got from Joann’s.

How did I do this, you ask?  Well, I didn’t have an embroidery machine at the time, or anything else I could use that I was satisfied with the look of.  So I used the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, with metallic gold thread.  And back-stitched.  A LOT.  Over and over, going an INCH AT A TIME around BOTH SIDES of that darn strip of black grommet edging.  The thread was so fine and delicate, that it broke.  Often.  It took several hours to do this, and I was pulling my hair out by the end.  But I am so happy with the result!  I’m sure there was a much better way to get the same result, but this was the only thing I could think of at the time.  And here’s a view of the vest and a detail shot!

IMG_4633

Next came the harness.  Much easier, but I ended up free-hand designing this pattern myself, so I was super proud of it.  I used heavy black denim cloth and cut pieces of brown faux-leather belting to it, and added some metal brads and fasteners.

Here’s the finished product – I ended up being asked to enter the Aspen costume contest at DragonCon that year by Peter Steigerwald, and won judge’s mention!  

Lady Mechanika 1

It was fun, but I don’t do well getting up in front of a crowd, so I was a nervous wreck. Here’s Peter and me with the print I won!

Me & Peter

I didn’t have time to finish all the details before the con, unfortunately.  I need to go back and make some thigh-high boot covers to get that black-and-gold boots she has, and make the strappy leather arm guards and the holsters for the guns I found (which unfortunately I didn’t get a pic holding, lol), to add to my leather utility belt!  Whenever I finish these last details, I’ll post them here!  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to wear this costume again!

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