I started with the fabric clothing. I borrowed a mannequin from the Long Beach Playhouse, got a large cheap piece of muslin, scissors and pins. This was my first time working on a mannequin and I fell in LOVE! So much easier than trying to pin it on myself. And a lot less pokes. The pattern was not pretty. There were many sections pinned together and folded. But it was cut out to fit my body and to match the pieces I saw in the original picture. I bought fabric that matched as close as possible to the original picture, with out being custom made. I bought plenty extra just in case I messed up. I used my pattern to cut out the final fabric, then pinned it all together to make sure it still worked and hung right. This was my final chance to make it fit or lay any different. Notice the pieces overlay each other instead of the normal “front to front” sewing. This is required for the next step. Satele’s outfit has yellow/gold lines around it. For this I used tri fold bias tape. Matching the color as best I could. The tricky part about the sewing was wrapping the bias tape around the edge of one piece, and over lay the first piece with the 2nd piece. That way I only needed one seam to hold it all together. This made it cleaner looking. I used the same color thread as the bias tape. The white piece around the hip was created the same way as the other pieces. The bottom of the white is not sewn on to anything. This helped look like things were layered instead of all one piece. It also helped my legs move better. I did not take a good picture, but the front has a zipper that I built in, to make it easier to get on and off. There is a front piece that goes over my shoulders and down my front. That will hide the zipper.
The armor is all made out of sheets of foam, the stuff you can buy at Michael’s Craft Store, and an amazing invention called Wonderflex. We will get to that in a minute. I looked at all the armor pieces in the Satele picture. These should be thicker and non bendable. But I didn’t want to weigh 100lbs either. SD Comic Con is in the spring/summer time. I used different thicknesses of the foam and plain white glue to hold them together. Not all of the pieces I made are exactly like the picture because my body is not the same. So I could not get as many lines on the shins or straps around my arms. I focused more on the spacing and look, and not every line. Make sure the gaps you leave between the pieces are larger than you think they need to be. This will be important when you work with the Wonderflex.
Wonderflex! The next best thing to the manaquin. This stuff is a thin piece of plastic that become very bendable (like fabric) as a fairly low temperature. It will mold around anything. Once it cools it is as hard as any other plastic. It can be reheated as many times as you need. Cuts with a knife or scissors. Can be sanded and painted. One side of the sheet is a little more rough than the other. This is the sticky side. It helps adhere to whatever you put it on, especially itself. Cut out 2 pieces of the Wonderflex to be slightly larger than you need for the foam pieces you have created. Heat it up using a heat gun. These look like hair dryers that you can find at a hardware store for under $20. Lay the foam piece on top of the Wonderflex and press down. Make sure you wear gloves! I have burnt my fingers a new times. Next warm up the other piece and put it on top. Work from the middle out to make sure you can bend it and get in all the gaps and shapes. Then press it down all around the edge. Not just to iteself, but also to the foam. This will take some time to get use to, since it takes a lot of reheating and messing with. Once you are happy, set it aside and wait for it to cool. It takes maybe 5 minutes. Then use scissors to cit around as close as you can to the foam. It will leave a little edge around the foam piece. Again, warm up the Wonderflex and smooth out that piece. Makeing sure it is all pressed together and sealed around the foam. In the end, it will just look like a solid piece of plastic. Now you can shape the piece. To do this, I made sure I had pant, or a shirt on that I didn’t mind would get a little messed up from the Wonderflex. I warmed up the piece, on both sides, and formed it around the body part it would be on. Using my hands to hold it there till it cooled.