Or further tips for the thrifty costumed caperer.
Lord Baron Von Partyfoul and The League of Evil
I survived my weekend of villainy, only to be struck down by an unknown malady. Curses! Now that I seem to have made a recovery, I shall continue this tale.
Armed with my concepts I set about formulating the plan of attack. I typically break the down process down into three main categories:
What do I already own?
What can I make myself?
What do I have to buy?
After gleaning what I could from my rather considerable stash (who would have guessed it would be so useful for villainy?), I proceeded to the fabric store to for further resource acquisition. This is always the most dangerous part for me, both for my budget and the space in my apartment. With practice I have gotten better at navigating its pitfalls and emerging mostly unscathed. I try to keep these things in mind and usually end up alright:
- Start at the remnant bin. Best way to get small pieces of expensive fabrics.
- (Almost) Always go for the cheaper option. You are making costumes, not high fashion.
- Stay out of the “special occasion” fabrics. Again, costumes, not ball gowns. Unless you are some sort of diabolical debutante…
- Am I going to want to set my machine on fire attempting to sew this? Pleather and slinky knits can do wonderful things, but are tricky to sew. Just keep that in mind.
And as I learned this time, beware the trim aisle! This is where I got in trouble. That big fancy chain on Lord Baron? Twenty bucks a yard. Fortunately I only got one yard, and had a half-price coupon to mitigate the damage.
He knocks the cups out of the hands of society!
Materials acquired, I set to work. I made all the lovely armour first. I have become quite adept at cereal box armour. It’s amazing what you can do with some beer boxes and some spray paint.
Next I did all the sewing. Most of it was pretty simple and went smoothly. There were only minor altercations with the sewing machine. A plumbing leak and subsequent emergency rearrangement left my good sewing machine trapped behind my bed, so I had to make do with my mediocre machine. We had a few disagreements. It realllllly wanted to eat the fantastic silver fabric I bought for traffic safety. I realllllly wanted it not to do that. We somehow muddled through it without mutual destruction.
All told I ended up making:
- 1 helmet
- 2 sets of shoulder armour
- 3 capes
- 2 pairs silver under/over pants
- 1 pair pleather spats
- 1 pair fancy arm guards
- 1 set epaulets
- 4 hench hoods
- 4 traffic safety sashes
- 1 faux fur wrap
And assorted costume assistance for my villainous compatriots. Inevitably I change my designs as I go along, and some elements get left by the wayside. I didn’t do a fancy collar, and I didn’t make boot thingies for my henchmen. I was also too cheap to shell out for red gloves for them. I spraypainted kitchen gloves instead (with mixed results). I did however make a nice fur wrap for myself to keep off the spring chill. I may be a cold-hearted villainess, but I hate being cold.
The lovely Lady MacDeath and I
The only things we ended up buying pre-made were some black leggings, a black shirt, rubber dish gloves, and the ridiculously awesome henchmen goggles.
The Lead Hench also got fancy epaulets…and a balloon.
I ended up spending about $70 on fabric (without coupons it was over a hundred bucks). Goggles and extras probably brought the total for supplies up to around $100. That seems like a lot (and I did splurge a bit and ignore my own advice on a couple of items), but that was enough to make costumes for me, Mister, and four henchmen. Pretty good for budget villainry! I bet would could have afforded some more henchmen. Because you can never have too many henchmen.
I’m pretty sure they’re conspiring to get health benefits.
(And many thanks to Henchman Frank, Miss Demeanor, and Lady MacDeath for some of the excellent pictures.)