Captain America Heater Shield Build from Worbla and Craft Foam

I wanted to make a easy to carry, lightweight shield for my WWII Captain America costume. I have seen several of these done using a metal medieval shield as a base, and that was going to be too big and heavy to carry around all night. So I made one from craft foam and Worbla.

WWII Captain America Costume with Shield

Materials needed:

  1. Large sheet of Worbla, which I sell in my shop: http://3musesboutique.com/collections/worbla
  2. One large sheet of craft foam, which you can find at any craft store. I used black and about 3/4 inch thick. I wanted something substantial enough to hold the straps.
  3. Elastic, needle and thread for straps
  4. Glue
  5. Heat Gun for Worbla
  6. Large sheet of paper
  7. Some kind of primer, either spray or Gesso
  8. Sandpaper
  9. Red, White and Blue spray paint
  10. Painters tape
  11. Scissors
  12. Utility Knife

Steps:

  1. Draw your design out on paper and cut it out, same with the craft foam but use a utility knife

2) Next up create holes and add the elastic straps, then cover with paper.

3) Now time to trace, cut and apply the Worbla

4) Next comes the long boring process of preparing the Worbla surface. I used several layers of Gesso and a sander. I applied the coats with a big paint brush until I couldn’t see the Worbla texture anymore, then went at it with the sander until smooth. I then repeated the process until I had a nice smooth even surface.

Apply Gesso to Worbla

5) Once your surface is ready then it’s time to paint! I started with a white base and then added the blue and then the red.

6) Peel off all the tape and you should have something that looks like this!

Captain America Heater Shield

Easy Tutorial for 3-D Tattoos, Scars, Tears and Skin Art

Cry for Dawn cosplay

Cry for Dawn

Super easy tutorial for 3-D designs you can apply to skin.
I wanted to tears for my Dawn costume to really stand out, so I made them with dimensional paint! You can also make 3-D tattoos, scars and any kind of skin art this way.
1) All you need is saran wrap, Tulip dimensional paint and your design printed out if you aren’t doing it freehand
2) If you are doing an intricate design, tape your printed or drawn design on something like a small box or piece of cardboard then cover it with the plastic wrap
3) Trace your design with the dimensional paint. Go slow and make sure your lines are nice and thick. You can use any color as long as the bottle says “dimensional.” I always use Tulip brand, which can be found almost anywhere- JoAnn’s, Michaels, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, etc.
4) Let dry overnight and peel off when ready to use
5) Apply to skin with spirit gum and just peel off when you are done! Design can be reused if you stick it back on any kind of plastic surface

10 Ideas for Maternity Costumes from a Pregnant Cosplayer

I have a file folder of ideas and references for future costumes. One folder has Amidala’s pregnancy costumes in it. I was saving those for if I ever became pregnant. So here I am, at 8 months with a big belly and no Star Wars costume in sight. I don’t know if it was pregnancy hormones or what, but as I was looking through the costumes I felt like that was the last thing I wanted to make since it seemed like everyone did those. So that started my search for maternity-friendly costume options.

Costuming while pregnant comes with several challenges, the top two being “If I make or buy this today, will it fit my ever-expanding shape when I plan to wear it?” And “will I be able to take this off to pee every 30 min?” I have made and purchased several costumes over the course of this pregnancy and would like to share what I’ve found as far as options go for pregnant cosplay.

  1. As I mentioned, there is always the Star Wars angle. Padme Amidala is pregnant with the twins and has a few maternity costuming options including a blue nightgown looking outfit and a sporty pregnant Jedi.
  1. For me Halloween came in my first trimester, while I was pretty miserable with morning (afternoon and evening) sickness. So I stayed home and handed out candy while wearing the easiest of all maternity costumes- the humorous t-shirt. pregnant halloween shirt
  2. For the more creative and larger bellied costumer, there is always the “belly as accessory” option.
  1. If your belly isn’t quite big enough to be the focus of the outfit, but is too big for you to wear your regular costumes, choose a costume that disguises the belly. I went with Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure time. I figured she’s lumpy and so am I. I got a lot of use out of this outfit from 2-6 months along because it was so comfy and stretchy! All I did was sew some tulle onto a purple cotton dress.
  1. Halloween, horror fests and zombie walks are the perfect time for the gross zombie baby belly
  1. There’s always the packaged pregnant costume in a bag. I tried the Maternity Fairy costume from CostumeSuperCenter.com. I think most of these kind of costumes are really just plus size costumes repackaged. This one ran pretty small, though it had plenty of belly room. The arms were tight enough to fit a child. There aren’t many good manufactured maternity costumes that are worth getting so I would not really recommend the packaged options. You can just as easily look for something in a plus size.
  1. Anything with an empire waist can be a pregnancy costume. I dressed as a pirate for the medieval fair. My top is just an empire waist dress over stretchy pleather leggings. I wore the Burgundy High Low Gauze Peasant Dress by Leg Avenue, which I wouldn’t actually recommend because it ripped THREE times before I even left the house. I had to sew it back together and pray it didn’t just rip right off. The gauze material is pretty delicate. My pants were black liquid leggings by Elegant Moments. They were comfy and low waisted so they fit right under my belly. Whenever someone commented on my pregnant status I just told them “Blackbeard did it.”pregnant pirate
  2. Find obscure characters. A pregnant friend of mine went to MegaCon as Most Fruitful Yuki. She wasn’t far enough along for Yuki’s big belly so she wore a deflated beach ball over her small bump.
  1. There are several pregnant characters in pop culture besides Amidala. Juno is one of the most comfortable costumes to do and the bonus is your partner can go as Bleeker. juno

    Lord_Snow_Irri_Dany_pregnantThere’s also Daenerys Targaryen, although if you watch GOT, you know that didn’t end well. I’m actually working on a Daenerys dress right now, but it’s her wedding dress outfit, not actually one of her maternity styles. The dress just looked really well suited to a pregnant shape. Which leads me to the final section-

  1. Any character can be pregnant! When you are far enough along, flaunt the bump, don’t hide it. For New Year’s Eve I wanted to be something pretty and elegant so I went as the White Queen to an Alice in Wonderland themed event. I made a flowy white empire waist dress. It was like wearing a nightgown, but I felt dressed up and it was obvious by then I was really pregnant and not just lumpy.

The difference between so-called latex corsets and steel boned corsetry

The first time someone asked for a latex corset, I assumed they meant a real corset made of latex. Then someone asked about a workout corset and I just thought they were weird. Well the requests kept coming so I asked Brema to do a little research on the matter and we discovered there was a whole waist training movement going on that has nothing to do with the pretty Victorian garments we are used to wearing and more to do with sweaty rubber girdles. I’ll now let Brema take over as Guest Blogger today to explain:

Latex Girdles vs. Steel boned corsetry

Latex Girdles vs. Steel boned corsetry

Lately Candy and I have been getting a lot of women coming into Three Muses Clothing asking about latex corsets. So we decided to do some research to help people differentiate between the latex corsets and steel boned corsets.

First of all what is a latex corset ? A latex corset is not actually a corset, but kind of like a fancy pair of Spanx with several sets of hook and eyes down the center. It has a latex core with a cotton exterior and interior lining. Some also come with plastic boning down the sides to act as anchors that keep the corset from rolling up.  They either come in a waist cincher style or a vest and can be called “waist training corset vest” or a “workout corset.”  The theory behind the workout corsets is that they work by stimulating thermal activity and ramp up perspiration, which supposedly helps eliminate localized and stored fat.  Much like getting a wrap at the spa or what the wrestlers wore in high school to quickly meet weight limits.  The vests are supposed to reposition fat and water weight so that eventually you cannot store fat in your abdomen any more.

So what are steel boned waist training corsets? They are corsets that go around the waist, under the bust and have steel front busks and lace in the back. The key to their shaping power is steel boning. The steel allows the corsets to be cinched in while also keeping their shape. The point of steel boned waist training is that as you slowly tighten the laces, it contorts your ribcage to the shape of the corset.

So what’s the difference between the two types? First off the latex corset is not a real corset. It’s a fancy new name for an old fashioned girdle made of latex. A true corset has boning and laces in the back. Secondly, there is no proof that the latex corsets actually cause a permanent change in your shape like the steel boned corsets. The steel boned corset moves your free-floating ribs and changes your actuall physical shape over time. They both give you an instant slimmer shape, but the latex corsets can still give you bulges in the back and side because the fabric and boning are not sturdy enough to hold you all in. When it comes to fat displacement I have seen it happen while wearing a corset both on clients and myself. With the latex corsets I can see the same thing happening because when I got liposuction back in high school (I was on a dance team where we constantly wore spandex) I had to get something similar to keep my skin against my body and to keep the leftover fat smooth. Another difference is that they have latex corsets for working out while it is usually recommended to workout with out your corset on so you can strengthen the abdomen muscles which are not used as much due to the steel boning supporting you.

I hope this has helped you decide which type of waist training you would be interested in. I personally love steel boned waist training because it helps my posture, cuts down on the amount I can eat, and is super sexy 😉 – Brema Ebbing

Halloween costumes – Thinking outside the package

It’s that time of year again, when we have an influx of first time customers who are often expecting a normal costume store. They come in with a photo of a packaged costume and want the whole thing just like the picture from the hat to the same stockings.

Can we do that? Yes.  Do we like to? Not really.

I don’t understand the fun of taking something out of a bag and then trying to look like the photo on the front. The stuff never looks like that anyway! Package costume catalog photos are incredibly deceiving. And who wants to spend all that money just to look like five other girls at the party? We encourage originality, inspiration and creativity. Think of that packaged costume as a starting point and go from there. Don’t be stuck in the same old costume rut! Make it your own.

Need some ideas of how this is done? It’s all about layers, accessories and make-up. Here’s four examples of costumes that started in the bag and became much more. The photo on the left is the catalog photo. The photo on the right shows where you can take it with a little imagination. And yes, we sell all these bits and pieces in the store. That’s what makes it a different kind of costume shop!

PolkaDotty

PolkaDotty

This costume is Polka Dotty by Leg Avenue. It’s cute on it’s own, but I had to do something different! I added the split tone wig, Harry Herbert monster kit, purple waist cincher, blue and purple tutu, neon green fishnets and teal blue fuzzy leg warmers.

Pirate Vixen

Pirate Vixen

Here we have Leg Avenue’s Vixen Pirate Wench and swashbuckler hat. I was pretty excited to get this costume at first. This was before I had a store! The costume arrived and it was too big in the waist. It just sort of hung off me and looked sad. So I took off the front lacing and attached it to a real corset. Fit problem solved!  I also added a striped skirt to the bottom and a pirate belt and pouch.

Miss Krueger

Miss Krueger

This one is the Miss Krueger costume by Secret Wishes. I don’t even sell it in the store anymore because it was so terrible right out of the package! The dress was incredibly ill fitting, like a scratchy turtle neck. And the glove fell apart the first time I put it on. I had to go through and wire each finger piece back on and reattach the top part to the glove. The hat it comes with is a really stiff felt fedora, like something you might get at a party store, so I got a nice real hat that fit better. The other one kept falling off my head. I also slashed up the dress and attached it to a bra to make it a more customized fit. Of course the thing that really sets this one apart is the make-up! I used 3-D gel to create a burned appearance on one side and FX blood in the dark color.

Miss Wonderland

Miss Wonderland

This is another Leg Avenue outfit that is actually cute right out of the package, but I had to spruce it up just a little! This one shows just a few accessories can make the difference. I started with Miss Wonderland and just added a black leather waspie cincher and lace leg warmers. So don’t be afraid to start with something in a bag, but try and think of it as an inspiration and see where you can go with it!

 

First try using Worbla to make a DC Bombshell Supergirl “S” Plate

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl

Last month I made a costume based on the new DC Bombshell Supergirl statue. My first attempt at the “S” plate was made with craft foam, but riveting it to the leather belt proved to be too much and the corners got crushed. I needed a stronger material so I figured this would be a good time to test out Worbla. I’d been hearing great things about this thermoplastic and seeing some amazing creations, so I order a large sheet online, but we now also sell it in the shop: Three Muses Worbla

Supergirl plate first attempt

Supergirl plate first attempt

The Worbla comes rolled up and is a little hard to work with in that state, so first I lightly heated it to make it flat. At this point I was using a hair dryer for heating. It seemed to be taking WAY longer than those easy breezy tutorials I had watched. Also, my dryer kept shutting itself off when it got too hot. I finally managed to get it flat enough to trace my pattern and then cut it out with an Exacto knife and scissors.

Tracing pattern

Tracing pattern

Cutting out pieces
Cutting out pieces

The curve in it actually worked for my design because I needed it to curve against my body when on. But you can see it didn’t exactly get flat with a hair dryer. Since I was moving on to the heating portion of things, it was time to bring in the big guns. The heat gun to be exact.

I first tried it on a test piece, which is the weird wobbly looking thing to the right of the plate. It started getting wiggly looking if it got too hot. But it stuck to the other piece really easily with a secure hold. Heating it up slowly and steadily seemed to be the best method to make it pliable without warping it too much. I didn’t really get the hang of seeing the color “change from caramel to light brown” like the tutorial on the website says. There was a lot of guessing involved. But attaching it was really easy, smooth and quick.

Worbla attached to form plate

Worbla attached to form plate, test piece on right

Next up I started sanding to make it smooth. So I sanded, and sanded, and sanded my little heart out with fine grade sand paper and it still looked rough. I read about covering it with gesso and then sanding it smooth, but all I had handy was resin and I’m impatient. Resin it is! I did 3 coats of resin, letting each one dry for a couple hours and decided a bit of texture was just fine with me. I was tired of sanding and ready to get started painting.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

All the tutorials recommend using acrylics, but I just had spray paint and fabric paint so I was determined to make that work. The gold parts were done with spray paint in a cup, which happens to be a favorite technique of mine for getting a nice metallic appearance. The dark part is the first coat of paint, which is Tulip fabric paint in red and black mixed together. It took about 3 layers of paint to get it nice and solid.

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

I am happy to say that the Worbla held up really well when riveted to the belt and was much more solid than the attempt with the craft foam. I was doing a pretty easy piece, but it still was not as easy to work with as I thought it would be. My next project after this was a full chestplate and that required a lot of heating, messing up and re-doing.  It is a material that definitely requires a lot of practice to get just right. The good thing is that is can be reheated when you mess up. I saved every little scrap for future projects and hope to get the hang of it a little better. The Supergirl belt was a success and I’m glad I went the extra step and made it out of something solid and long lasting.

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl

The secret to costume shopping at Three Muses Inspired Clothing

Most people come in with an idea. If they are stuck on a particular packaged outfit, then I recommend the two conventional costume shops down the road, both of which have a large selection where you can just grab a bag and go. But if they are open to the idea of creating a unique look, then the whirwind starts.

Harley Quinn Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum inspired Harley Quinn costume

We start with an idea or character and build it based on what we have in the shop and can mix with what the customer already has or can easily find at Target or even Goodwill. We assemble bits and pieces from around the shop, sometimes using parts of bagged costumes or quickly alterring pieces to work with the idea. I have stuff stashed everywhere, in boxes, in the closet, behind racks, etc, that isn’t on the shelf and will often be running around pulling out odd-n-ends as the character comes to life and needs fine tuning.

This is a great example of making the most of the unique way we do things- Ted came in an needed a last minute costume for Joy. He asked what DC villians we had. I had a packaged Ivy and Catwoman. Ted has a higher costume standard than that, and knew it would take a lot of to fix those up, so he asked what about doing a Harley Quinn. So I started pointing out red and black pieces. There was an idea forming, and he was leaning toward on original version of Arkham Asylum Harley. So we went to red and purple. It took us under 20 min. and all she had to add was a white top and bra:

Joy is wearing the Purple leather mask:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1938/Purple-leather-eye-mask/Detail With a red steel boned underbust corset: (we’ll be getting more sizes in stock soon)http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1939/red-vinyl-corset-waistcincher/Detail And white pleated skirt by Leg Avenue:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-1539/pleated-mini-skirt-black/Detail Plus one red/black thigh and one purple/black:http://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-569/Red-Black-stripe-stockings/Detailhttp://www.threemusesclothing.com/servlet/the-548/purple-black-stripe-stockings/Detail

She got the last pair of purple gloves, which were hiding behind a pile of black ones and then I found a spare nurse hat to top everything off. Then she just had to add a white button-up and purple bra.

And that’s how we make costume magic happen at Three Muses 🙂