I’ve decided to chronicle my journey making Aloy’s costume from Horizon Zero Dawn.
Today, I’ll be going over how I made the base flaps for her skirt!
First of all, picking materials is quite a big step for this one. I wanted this costume to be as authentic as possible. In addition, I was eager for a chance to work with genuine hide. In the cosplay guide, Guerrilla Games specifies that her skirt is made from panels of hide that are embellished with simple fabrics.
I decided to go for suede. You can either buy pigskin or cow suede. I believe mine is made from cows (I forgot to ask when I bought it), simply because it’s a bit too thick and sturdy to be pigskin. I personally think using real hide gives you the best results, but I’ll list the pro’s and cons here for your reading pleasure. 😉
- It looks freaking great
- The added weight makes sure the flaps ‘hang’ believeably
- Fabric is most likely too thin to successfully emulate this look
- It’s harder to sew (cow hide is practically impossible to sew by hand without a hole puncher and steel robotic fingers)
- It’s harder to find a vegan / animal friendly option
- Cost (it’s more expensive)
Other materials used:
- dark blue linnen/cotton blend, light blue linnen/cotton blend
- A heavy duty sewing machine (if you use real, tough suede, this is a MUST). I used my mum’s old Lotus 1000 from the 60’s. Best machine ever. Sews through multiple layers of fabric and leather like it’s nothing.
- Thread (white, heavy duty blue, light blue)
- Patience (each flap took between 3,5 to 6 hours)
Okay, still with me? Don’t be scared, if I can do this, so can you! Here we go!
- Cut out the pigskin
Sounds easy enough, right? Measure your waist, around the point where you will be wearing the flaps. Then add a few cm’s on each side so the flaps will overlap for a fuller look. Measure from your belly button to just over your knee and add a few cm’s or inches as Aloy folds her flaps over in the front.
If you pay close attention, you will see the design is somewhat curved:
So, here we are! Looks pretty cool already, right? Let’s carry on!
2. Make the blue trim
Now, I wanted an authentic look for this costume, but I could not, for the life of me, discern any visible stitching on this bad boy! Aloy, girl, lend me those needles you’ve probably ripped from some amazing dino robot, because I need me one of those in my life!
First of all, place your hide on the blue fabric and trace along the outside with chalk.
Then, mark 5 cm’s towards the inside and then 6 cm’s towards the inside. The 5cm’s will show up on the outside, the extra cm is room for sewing.
You’ll end up with this (the colours are super dark because it was late 😉 Cosplaying and a full time job…)
I used chalk to mark the outlines because it’s easier to fix any mistakes.
Now, normally, I’d advise you to cut it out and iron the seams, but as your design may twist a bit and you need the wiggle room, I suggest you cut, pin and then just leave it for a while.
Cut out your pattern (leave some extra room if you like, just to be sure) and pin it to the hide using the seam allowance you created for yourself.
This is how you pin. Take the seam allowance, fold the 1cm inwards and pin the fabric ‘the wrong way up’ to the hide.
If you then fold the fabric back, it looks like this:
Don’t worry if the hide looks wrinkly. It just does this whenever you pin it. It’ll be invisible when you’re done.
This is exactly like how you attach bias tape, except you don’t fold the fabric over the edges. You can just leave the edges open, we’ll sew them on later when we attach the light blue fabric.
Pin the dark blue fabric to both sides, making sure to properly connect both sides to each other so you can just sew it all in one go. This is the most laborous part of the entire process. It will take some time to get this right, a lot of pins, some cursing and reshuffling. It’s okay if the dark blue isn’t 5cm’s wide on every side. After all, this is supposed to be a handmade skirt! Minor deviations will only add to the realism 🙂
Stitch both sides to the hide like so. BE CAREFUL THAT YOU FOLD THE FABRIC BACK ON BOTH SIDES! If you don’t, you’ll end up sewing the whole thing shut. (Trust me, I’d know)
Congrats! It’s time to move on to the light blue trim.
3) The light blue trim
For this, I made my own bias tape using a light blue fabric. Again, I did not iron the edges for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want a very clean edge as this is supposed to be handmade and 2) I needed some wiggle room.
I measured long strips of fabric. Mark at 1,5 cm, 4,5 cm and 5,5 cm.
Pin the dark blue fabric down, making sure it’s on nice and tight. (I keep hearing Breaking Bad’s Tuco in my head whenever I type this. “TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT!!!”)
Now pin the edges of the light blue trim down where you marked them and attach them to the flap as you did with the dark blue.
You can machine sew this on one side and then sew it on by hand on the other side. I used an invisible stitch to attach the light blue to the dark blue trim. This way I didn’t have to bust my fingers open (again) on the suede, but the trim would still be on tightly.
Make tiny stitches on the visible side and longer stitches underneath.
Use your favourite method to finish the corners and TADAAAAAAA!
(The scarf is not final btw. Stole this from my Edward Kenway cosplay)
Next step? Embroidering the skirt and making the top. As you can see, I already made the pants.
I hope this was useful to some of you! If you decide to make this costume, please let me know! I would love to see it!
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