I’ve written an ode to capes. I’ve written a tutorial on making your very own Robin cape. Now it’s time to get down to the rest of the costume. Lest you be under the impression that I’m some sort of crafty goddess, let me disabuse you of that notion right now. With the exception of the cape, every other part of the costume was a fail-fail-fix type of endeavor.
The mask! I dislike the crappy plastic masks and wanted to make one more Robinesque and less Dollar Store Jester. I found tutorials online where people used those foam squares. I was afraid the regular thin stuff would tear. So I got industrial wide. 6mm thick. Great for any craft project. Except it doesn’t have any flexibility and shows each individual scissor cut. Stay away from this stuff!
Get the regular 2mm thick stuff instead. I ended up making my own template on graph paper because I’m rediculous. It turned out pretty well in my opinion. See, here’s half of it!
After I cut it out of the thin foam, I used a hair dryer on hot to semi-mold it to my face shape, especially around the nose. It worked… okay. Not great, not fail. I think something hotter would have probably worked better at molding it over my nose. But it was still fun to make. I used some thin black elastic to hold it onto my noggin.
The shorts and socks and armbands. Originally, I had the concept to dye white shorts and white tube socks a deep kelly green using RIT dye. I found some cheap 100% cotton shorts at WalMart and some men’s tube socks (mostly cotton). I envisioned using one pair of socks to cut off the toe-part and make some arm bands (to replace the gloves I didn’t want to wear because I like fussing with my iPod on runs and gloves don’t let you do that). I figured if I dyed 2 pairs of socks and the shorts all at the same time, I’d get a similar color.
Reality- I got a plastic bucket at the Dollar store and a spaghetti stirring spoon for the dye job. I don’t think it was big enough to let the garments really move. I used boiling water, stirring every 7 minutes for about an hour. After the rinse step, I could tell the socks would be a fail. They had about a 20% polyester and spandex component and didn’t take up the dye very well at all. The shorts looked okay before the wash step, but after, they had this weird splotchyness to them.
Final product- I was so glad I’d ordered some plain Soffee shorts in Kelly Green at the beginning of the week as a backup. I decided to go without tall socks or any sort of gloves.
Belt. HAHAHAHHAHA. Yeah, this was The Little Fail that Kept Going. I tried to find something that would mimic the Robin belt pockets that I could use to fit my cell phone. I was hoping for a race where I could keep my keys and cell phone with me without having to hold one or both of them in my hands. (Luckily Rogue’s husband is awesome and willing to hold the keys for me).
I found some Dollar Store Cell Phone holders that I was going to try to paint yellow. Except the more and more I looked at it, the less happy I was with the idea; they were this crappy kind of pleather that wouldn’t hold color well for spray painting and trying to put a fabric liner around it seemed like a lot of work. Then I tried to figure out a way to make it myself, using some of the super stiff Peltex interfacing to make the little belt pockets, but two stores, a Joann’s and a Hancock Fabrics were both out. All they had was the two-sided fusible, which was not helpful. So despite having excellent designed pockets, I didn’t have the means to make this bit.
Reality- I ended up going sans belt. What made this bit bad was that I had several parts to try, and I lost the receipt for the four Dollar Store crappy cell phone holders so I couldn’t return them. Sad face. Ultimately, I was okay without the belt, as the number for the race went over where the belt would have been, anyway. If I decide to revamp this, I may end up using my fun designed belt pockets.
The shirt. I found an online pattern for the stylized Robin R and printed it out so that it’d be approximately the right size. I decided to use scraps of the yellow and black cape fabric for the applique, so they’d match the cape! I used left over interfacing scraps behind both fabrics, sketched the backwards R on Wonder Under, ironed the Wonder Under onto the yellow-interfaced fabric, and then cut out the backwards R. I removed the paper backing from the Wonder Under and ironed it onto the interfaced black fabric.
I set up my sewing machine to satin stitch the edge of the yellow with a matching yellow thread. And boy did my sewing machine laugh at that— HAHAHA NO. It did NOT like the idea of doing such a tiny, delicate edging on the teeny edges and curvy lines. And then I decided to cheat. I repeated the previous steps to put the yellow R on the black fabric. I cut out the elliptical black shape using my eye. Instead of any sort of sewing to bind the R to the black, I used some Fray Check. I used that sucker around the edges of the yellow R and around the edges of the black shape. I then SLOWLY (sometimes even hand-turning) sewed the perimeter of the black to the red Goodwill shirt.
For the yellow center bars, I essentially used the yellow fabric to make double-fold (un)bias tape. I pinned the two bars on the shirt and sewed the first one down. Somehow, despite being pinned, the top bar developed a 30 degree downward tilt. I again cheated and used small squares of wonder under to adhere the bars to the shirt before stitching them down. Take that, weirdo stitching!
Reality- It turned out well, even if it was a bit of a roller-coaster trying to do this so it’d look well.
(Overexposed photo was sent to Rogue because I was proud!)
And some fellas that wanted a group photo!