- Before we started creating the arm and leg casts, we made sure to put on any items of clothing that we’d be wearing underneath the armor. That way, we could be sure that the patterns left enough room to fit over them. For Kat, we put on our long black gloves.
- To start the casts, we wrapped the parts that we wanted to cover in armor with clear plastic wrap — so our forearms and shins. If you can’t reach or have trouble wrapping yourself, get a friend to help you. We made sure not to wrap the plastic too tight because that would make our armor too small.
- Then we went over our plastic wrap with a layer of white duct tape. We also made sure not to make this too tight. We prefer white duct tape because it’s easier to see marker lines on.
- Once the duct tape was on, we took a marker and started to sketch a rough outline of the base of our armor. Once the outer shape of the armor was on, we made sure to add lines for the seams where we wanted them. You can always get a friend to help you if you can’t reach to draw your lines.
- Once everything was sketched, we took scissors and cut along the seam lines of our duct tape and removed the casts. Then we cut out the outer shapes of the base patterns that we drew. We traced around those pieces on stiff construction paper and cut them out again to make our actual pattern pieces.
- We took our construction paper patterns and traced around them on the foam. We were especially careful with the curved pieces. Because our armor is supposed to curve away from the body, we added curved lines to our pattern. When we put together the curves in foam later, they would curl to their points because of the way foam behaves.
- When we were satisfied with our base shapes, we got ready to add on details. In order to make a plan for those, we lightly traced the base pieces we made onto more construction paper. Then we sketched the details we wanted to make on top of these shapes so we knew how they would fit. It’s always a good idea to draw these details a little bigger than you think you need because you can always cut them down later.
- Once we have those detail shapes, we traced them onto the foam. Once everything was traced, we started to cut everything out of the foam. We like to use a box cutter for this because the blades are easily replaced when they begin to dull.
STEP 2: Armor Assembly
With all of our armor pieces now cut out of our foam and ready, it was time to move on to the assembly stage. We cleared some space and got out our adhesive of choice at this stage: contact cement. Contact cement is a super-strong industrial adhesive that works great with foam and bonds permanently. However, contact cement is also incredibly toxic, and you don’t want to be breathing in those dangerous fumes while you’re working. As a reminder, contact cement should only be used if you’re wearing a mask or in a well-ventilated area for your safety. So, with our contact cement ready, we started assembling our armor.
- With our armor pieces lined up, we started to join them at the seams with contact cement. We painted both edges with the contact cement and a flat paintbrush. We waited 15 minutes for both pieces to get tacky. Then we guided the pieces together, which is easiest using your thumb. We repeated this with all of our base pieces that needed joined together.
- With the bases together, we started gluing the detail foam pieces on top using contact cement as well. We painted more contact cement onto the base pieces because it’s better for areas of constant stress, and the curved foam pieces would want to pull away. Contact cement would be strong enough to hold them together.
- We gave everything a few hours to dry while we started in on our jumpsuit.
STEP 3: Hemming Our Jumpsuit
In order to cut down a little on both time and sewing for this cosplay, we decided to use some regular clothing as a base for Kat’s outfit. This is an easy way to get around the bulk of sewing if that’s not one of your strongest suits. We found a long, black jumpsuit for a reasonable price on Amazon that we decided to use for Kat’s outfit. We just needed to shorten the legs into a romper style to match Kat’s outfit from the game. Thankfully, we were able to use Attach & Build adhesive to make new hems in the legs to avoid even more sewing. Here’s how we altered our jumpsuit into a style that looked more like Kat’s clothes.
- Elyse tried on the jumpsuit and looked in the mirror to figure out what length we wanted to cut the legs down to. Once we decided how short to make the legs, we cut them off with a pair of scissors.
- Then Elyse flipped the shortened jumpsuit inside out and put it back on. Because the rough cut of the scissors doesn’t make for a very nice-looking or strong hem, we knew we wanted to re-hem the bottom ourselves. So, while the jumpsuit was inside out, we turned up the fabric and pinned it so that the hem was where we wanted it.
- To make ti quicker and easier than sewing, we used Attach & Build to fasten the hem. First, we cut thin strips of Attach & Build. Then we peeled one side of the release paper and stuck it under the hem. We peeled off the other releases paper and stuck the fabric down to create the new hem.
- Finally, we went over the new hem with an iron. This got the adhesive to sink into the fabric and makes the hem really crisp and straight.