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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

Tutorial... Thursday?

Michael MacWolff

Ok so it's usually Tutorial Tuesday cause you get better alliteration that way but I was still working on constructing this thing on Tuesday to we're changing things up a tad. Deal with it.
Heck, at least there's actually a post this week, considering Ohayo starts tomorrow. Which on that note you can expect a flood of photos again once the weekend is over with. Now, on to what we're actually making.

So remember that Evangelion Unit 01 I made for my lovely husband for christmas? Well I was getting jealous so I put myself together a Unit 02 and took a bunch of photos so I could put together a tutorial. You all know how I am with those, so I apologize in advance. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, it's this:

So where to begin? My intention is for this to work well with helping you make any sort of similar ensemble, not just an Evangelion Unit. Also, the focus is going to be more on getting the designs on there and less about the actual construction of the garment. There are lots of other great tutorials out there to help with that part... and I didn't take pictures of half of the actual construction. Anyway, let's start with materials & tools; here's generally what you'll need:

  • Bases for your Pattern: Go to the thrift store and find a zip-up hoodie that fits the way you want them to. It doesn't matter what color they are or what's on them, as long as they fit the way you like, because we'll just be ripping them apart to make our pattern.
  • Fleece - I prefer anti-pill fleece to blizzard fleece, but they're pretty comparable, and sometimes you can only find the color you need in one or the other. As for how much, that's going to depend a lot on your sizing, but generally speaking you'll need about 1.5 yards for the hoodie. If you're going to make the pants too (which I'm not talking about much in this tutorial) you'll probable need about 1-1.5 yards more, depending on how tall you are. And don't forget to pick up the other colors you'll need for all of the designs/decorations. You'l have to estimate how much you'll need of those yourself, but thankfully Joann fabrics usually has a bunch of fleece remnants up to 1.5yds so you can usually pick up most of what you need for cheap!
  • Zipper - The one I used was about 22," and I actually used the zipper I pulled off of the pattern hoodie for Unit 01 cause it was a good color. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle!
  • Thread - You will need an assload of black thread for this. Buy the biggest spool you can find. Hell, maybe buy 2 or 3. I literally exhausted my supply of black thread on these two projects, I'm not just being facetious.
  • Scissors & Thread Snips - You'll want a good pair of scissors to cut fleece or you will end up giving yourself arthritis. You'll also want a pair of Microtip scissors, or a small pair that you can get into tight corners for when we're doing the applique portion.
  • Sewing Machine - That should be fairly obvious. You can try hand-sewing this if you want, let me know how it turns out in 40 years when you're finished.
  • Sharpie - I don't have any snarky comments for this one, sorry.
  • Reference pictures
  • Pins
  • Seam ripper (optional)

 

Ok, now that we have all that, it's time to get started! Step 1 is to pull apart your thrift store finds. Try to be careful as you're doing this because we'll be using the pieces to create our pattern. You can either carefully cut along the seams or rip all of the seams with your seam-riper/thread snips, cutting is faster but you're more likely to mess up your pattern.

These are (almost) all of the ipmortant bits from the hoodie. The sleeve, front panel, and back. You'll also want the hood, I just forgot to put it in the photo.

These are (almost) all of the ipmortant bits from the hoodie. The sleeve, front panel, and back. You'll also want the hood, I just forgot to put it in the photo.

Now we're going to lay out the pattern pieces on our fleece and trace around the outside with the sharpie, then cut around the shape, being sure to leave a decent amount of seam allowance.

Once you have your pattern pieces marked and cut, it's time to mark out your designs. Use your reference images to see where different parts should go and do your best to draw them on your pattern piece. For this step, we're only going to draw the designs on one of our two matching pieces. For example, we're only going to put the pattern on one of the two sleeve pieces, and one of the front panels instead of both. The reason for this is that I have a trick to help in duplicating the designs so it turns out a little more symmetrical. If you're good at free-handing your designs and copying your work onto both sides evenly, then be my guest, I bow to a skill far greater than my own.

Here's the sleeve for Unit 02 with all of the designs marked.

Here's the sleeve for Unit 02 with all of the designs marked.

Now comes the fun part, actually adding your designs! What you need to do is take a smaller piece of fleece that matches the color of the design you're adding, and pinning it to the opposite side from where your markings are. This can be tricky and you'll have to feel for it, but you want to make sure the piece is bigger than the area of the design, and that it is lined up directly with where the design is going to be; also, you need to make sure everything is flat or you'll get weird wrinkles in your design. Don't worry, after you've done it a few times you'll get a feel for it.

Here's what it looks like from the side you'll be working from. Notice how all of the pins are to the outside of the design, so we know there's plenty of extra fleece on the other side to have our design fully covered.

Here's what it looks like from the side you'll be working from. Notice how all of the pins are to the outside of the design, so we know there's plenty of extra fleece on the other side to have our design fully covered.

Here's that same piece from the other side.

Here's that same piece from the other side.

Now we're ready to start sewing! You'll be sewing directly on the sharpie lines you've marked, and you'll want to complete the shape all the way around. To sew, you'll be using a tight zig-zag stitch on your machine. You'll want your stitch length to be just above 0 and your width to be around 2 or 3 (this is for my machine, on other machines you might need to use a different width; hopefully you know your machine well enough to figure it out). If all is set properly, your stitching will go slowly because you're taking a lot of small stitches stacked next to each other as you go around. You'll have to be careful though, because with these settings you can easily catch your stitches from underneath and end up with a big ball of thread in the middle of your design, so you'll have to watch closely to make sure your fabric is still moving along, even though it'll only be moving a little bit at a time.

 Here you can see the bold line of stitching (sorry it's not super in focus). You'll also notice that when a design goes "off the edge" that is to say, it ends on a seam, you'll want to carry your stitches over the edge line and you can just use a longer straight stitch so you won't use up quite as much time and thread.

 Here you can see the bold line of stitching (sorry it's not super in focus). You'll also notice that when a design goes "off the edge" that is to say, it ends on a seam, you'll want to carry your stitches over the edge line and you can just use a longer straight stitch so you won't use up quite as much time and thread.

Now, you'll want to flip your piece over and use your small scissors to clip the extra fleece off around the outside of your design. You'll want to get as close to your stitches as possible, just be careful not to snip the thread itself!

Ok now it's not even the same part of the hoodie god I'm so bad a this.

Ok now it's not even the same part of the hoodie god I'm so bad a this.

Now rinse and repeat for the rest of the designs! Here's a progression on the hood:

2016-01-13 08.35.25.jpg

Now we have some awesome pattern pieces! Now we need to transfer out designs to the other side so that they're nice and symmetrical. First, take your finished piece and set it down with the right side (the side with all the stuff you just added) facing up. Now put your unmarked piece right-side down, so that the outline you drew of the pattern piece is facing up. Now we need to line up all of the edges. Start with the corners, and send a pin through right on the line of your as-yet unmarked piece, then find the same corner on the finished side such that is't sticking straight through the same spot. Once you line up all of the corners, you can add a few extra pins to make sure the edges are lined up properly too. Of course I'm a dummy and didn't take a photo of the pins, but hopefully that all made sense. The next part is making your designs on this side. You can feel the seems through the fabric with your fingers and follow them to essentially trace your designs onto the new piece.

Now you're ready to repeat the process for the other side! It's a time-consuming process, but it looks really cool when you're done! Once all of your pieces have their proper designs on them, it's time to construct your hoodie! I think you can probably handle that much if you were ambitious enough to try the rest of this, but if you need help with putting the pieces together, I'm sure you can find someone much better at tutorials than I am to help you with that.