Hawke’s Finery Cosplay Tutorial!
Back in April of this year, I completed and wore my first cosplay to PAXEast. That totally makes me qualified to write a tutorial, right? Sure it does!
First of all, big, huge thanks to everyone running the BioWare Basecamp. You were all so sweet and amazing, and you made my first PAX way more fun than I ever could have expected. I basically lived there for the two days we were at the convention, and it was absolutely the best.
But, on to the costume!
I bought all the fabrics at a JoAnn’s. The red part of the top is a costume faux-suede, because a) I gravitate towards that for some reason and b) it’s perfect and affordable. The skirt is a bottomweight in a matching color, though the textures provide enough of a color difference to suite me. The purple is some home-dec fabric I found in the bargain bin, and the brown for the belt (not pictures) is some awful remnant that has to be from home-dec. Budgets, people!
I choose to start with a pattern, since I’m not super confident in my ability to create sleeves from nothing. I used the Simplicity 1461 pattern for tunics, since the sleeves looked close and the neckline on the B variant is perfect.
The tunic pattern is too long though, so I traced it over onto plain tracing paper, and held it up to myself to judge where to adjust it so that it ended at my natural waist. (Leave a little extra for seams, yo!) It turned out to be somewhere between 8 and 10 inches of length I trimmed off the pattern. I also chose to merge the back pattern into one whole piece, for reasons that will be obvious later.
I plotted out the bottom part in Illustrator, because that’s the only way I know how to think anymore. It took a lot of thinking and fussing, and this step REALLY deserves it’s own post with diagrams and arrows and better files if you’re interested in downloading them. But I took that junk up there and skewed it a little on an arc, to give it a rounder feel in real life.
Here’s my sad attempt at utilizing space to print the pattern. (It got better but apparently I didn’t save it. Good job, me!)
The monstrosity, taped together. Turns out that, while I patterned the pieces to correctly fit the circumference of the tunic bottom perfectly, I forgot to take in my own circumference, and it was a bit big around the middle. Womp womp!
The purple bits got some gold piping that I glued on with Liquid Stitch. Actual stitching on the machine crushed the trim, and this stuff really holds nicely. It takes a steadier hand than mine to get through without making a mess, but luckily it tried pretty clear and no one looked closely enough.
Here’s me testing the fit. You can see I’m wearing it easily over jeans, with room to spare. Oops! I took in the sides as much as I could later, but the skirt part is very bulky. As for constructing the skirt - again, maybe that deserves a detailed post? But for here, I’ll try to explain it like this: you start at the lowermost layer and go up. The seams are all where red and purple meet, and the under layers get stitched into those seams. That gives the purple edges some freedom, so they really are layered, but not all the way up. It’s like those shirts where the longer sleeves are stitched in at the shoulder, so it only mostly looks like you’re wearing two shirts.
Yeah, okay, maybe this needs a post.
I ironed some of the skirt fabric to some Pellon Fusible Wonder-Under, then printed a big version of this gorgeous Kirkwall vector by Nerdfitti to use as a pattern. That fusible backing fuses on both sides, so I made my own iron-on!
Which I then trimmed with, well, trimming. And more Liquid Stitch, which was trickier with this tiny stuff, and I made more of a mess for sure.
Well, not too bad yet.
I re-watched a LOT of Merlin during this process. Most of it was this back part. Yeesh!
I used a regular iron-on transfer to add the same logo to a bit of purple fabric, then made an iron-on out of that the same way as the back design and stuck it on the front. Trim that sucker in gold, and there you go!
(But seriously, if this becomes A Thing, I think I’ll be trawling Craigslist for an embroidery machine instead.)
e underskirt is kiiiiiind of garbage. I misjudged how much fabric I’d need, so there’s no shape to it. It’s a tube with an elastic top. I also didn’t think the design totally through, and it’s all just Liquid Stitched on. Luckily, most of its hidden, so it’s functional. If I cosplay this again, I think I’ll redo it.
The belt buckle is another first, and another please-don’t-look-too-close. It’s craft foam spray painted gold. (Coat your craft foam in something like Mod Podge, or the paint will soak into it FOREVER!) Something molded would look nicer, when I have half an idea how to do that.
And there you go! The boots are mine, just a brown leather pair I’ve had for a while and love a lot. The Mabari came in just in time for the convention, and his name is Mark. Because that’s ridiculous and perfect. Also, I decided against wig/makeup, because Hawke is totally customizable and I’m not ready to tackle fake hair yet.
To top it all off, I encountered these lovely, talented, PERFECT folks cosplaying together as Fenris, Varric and Anders. ALL THREE CUTIES AT ONCE?! Anyhow, they agreed to pose with me as a full party (I did not strike a cool pose because I’m an idiot baby) and that just made my day. If you’re out there, hello and thank you!
And thank you guys too! I hope this was helpful, at all. :D