Last Updated: 06-17-2013
Easily the hardest costume I have ever tackled- there really wasn't any part of this that didn't nearly reduce me AND my boyfriend to tears of frustration and repeating "THEY had a 10 million dollar budget, I'm doing this for less than a thousand". But I ROCKED this badass outfit. (And yes, Quorra is awesome. Which is why I chose to cosplay her.)
So, the costume is;
Wig- A Coscom wisp in black. Needs to be done again, because I lopped off one piece too short/on the wrong side and as a result the wig doesn't look as good as I'd like.
Undershirt- Made of a stretch suiting knit I bought at Fabricland. I couldn't afford to spring for the extra hexagon print when I sewed it, so that's a "Put in in a future revamp" plan. For now, it's solid black. I used no pattern at all! Drafted a form-fitting shirt, the assymetrical skirt with some trial and error (much later with a derp moment I realized the assymetrical skirt is part of the main armour, but it's wayyy too late to change that now and I don't think I could anyway), and I figured out the construction of the detached sleeves by sewing normal ones on, then cutting them off at the shoulder and tweaking from there.
Gloves- Bought stretchy black opera gloves from a costume shop. May make my own pair in a revamp with the ability to flip back the fingertips, because I hate having no ability to use my phone in them (and a spool of conductive thread for a single pair of gloves is a bit much) and they're not easy to take off and put back on again.
Arm armour- Remade after Con-G; Made from black stretch vinyl glued over craft foam, with velcro attaching them to the gloves as per the eva foam and stretch pleather tutorial on this site. They still don't sit as fantastically well-attached as in the movie, but seriously, I've given up on trying to get it exactly right, because they clearly had some kind of multi-million dollar technology at work on those arms....
Tights- Bought from Ardene, sewed some pleather on the right thigh where the light sits to stitch it on without straining the fabric.
Boots- Bought wedge-heeled boots from a thrift shop, and altered pretty heavily. I cut panels for the sides to make the raised sides and "flaps" on each side of her boots, sewed them on (sides with the zipper are shut with snaps on one end), punched the little holes, and since putting lights in boot heels and hard toetips is a bit too advanced for even an advanced cosplayer to usually tackle, the glowing parts are glow paint painted onto cloth, glued to the area. The centre-top "dots" of light are coin-cell LEDS, done by poking small holes in the boot, sticking the prongs through and electrical-taping the coin-cell battery to them and then in place on the underside of the boot.
Disk- Done by boyfriend; he modded a deluxe identity disk as per the famous instructables tutorial (alter wiring to make the lights stay constant, add rare-earth magnets, use packaging for holder to keep it on your back). Sam Flynn's disk, to be specific. APPARENTLY they make Quorra's, but I've never been able to find one).
Torso armour- THIS was a trial. Since no pattern is remotely close to what I could make her torso armour out of, it took me months to draft this to a semi-accurate state. Eventually, several mockup yards, a new dressform, some crying and a lot of trial and error later, it was made as a princess-seamed vest of sorts, made from black vinyl in the back and chest centre, and stretch pleather for the sides to hug my body and shape the cutaway parts of her armour. It still wouldn't do as deep a cutaway as I hoped, but I'm happy enough that I managed to get the proper two cutaways under the arm as it is. The left side fastens with velcro- getting it on involves putting an arm and my head in, then fastening up the right side. The neck/collar is a bit modified from the original, as I couldn't figure out the extended seams to make a "seamless" collar like hers. So I just sewed a normal one on. The front detailing is neoprene, and the extra leather piece at the collar edge is detachable with the aid of snaps. The collar opens at the back with a velcro-fastened sort of flap to let me get my head through it. And I'm making it again, more accurate, when I can.
Circuitry/lighting- I didn't want to use EL wire due to its fragility, so my boyfriend and I tried a rather radically different technique for the costume- flexible RGB LED strips. Most of the lighting attachment was his work, as he's the electronics buff, not me. It took about six metres of strips to light the entire costume, which involved toning down the brightness to less than half the original, and adding in an adjusting knob so I could adjust depending on the light level around me, and "fixing" the colour to the blue-white glow using an Arduino micro (these things are intended for use in things like car underlighting and countertop backlighting. HOLY MOFO THEY ARE SO BRIGHT at full strength). The strips run in four circuits on the costume- two on the torso and down the leg and boot, and one for each arm. So I can get in and out of the costume and wash parts of it, bridge connectors were soldered on the left hip, two on my right leg (boots to pants and pants to shirt), and one on each arm. The battery pack (eight AA's, for about two hours of power) is velcroed to my back, and the wiring and controllers are hidden inside the disk dock. The light strips themselves are tacked down with thread to the costume, covered with a semi-opaque white vinyl from a shower curtain, to diffuse the glow into the lightsuit's proper lines.
....and because it's too dotty and broke like crazy along my hip joints, next attempt will be lightpipe.
This got great reception in the halls at Con-G, but sadly my leg circuit broke mere minutes before going onstage in the masquerade, which resulted in me being upset enough to botch my entire walkon and thus, no award whatsoever for stage or workmanship. Also proved very popular at Anime North.... well, time to make it better for the 2014 season!
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