My husband and I both love the CW’s show Arrow. So for Halloween this year it was a no-brainer, he would be Oliver Queen (Arrow) and I would be Sarah Lance (Black Canary). But since the show is absolutely awesome, I decided the costumes had to be as close to the ones worn on the show as possible. I mean, who likes to constantly tell people who you are. :) I like to dabble in sewing as a hobby, and was really excited to get started, vowing to make most everything myself.
A Corset to Start: I had never worked with boning before, so this was a new experience. I used an inexpensive material that has the look of suede but is around 1/2 the cost. It took a lot of trial and error to get the seams where I wanted them and to attach the boning to give it support, but once I got it where I wanted it, the lining part was easy. Next, I hammered grommets into the back to lace it up. This was a lot easier than I expected too. And I am really happy with the finished product.
On to the Jacket: The jacket was essential to the costume, and I had no trouble finding costume pleather at my local fabric store and it’s way cheaper than real leather, which is a huge plus! I was concerned about having an unusually hot Halloween, and pleather is HOT! So I used a ribbed knit on the sleeves and just added the pleather on top as a detail. The body of the jacket is all pleather though.
I did have trouble with my machine getting stuck and not gliding over the pleather, but with a few quick internet searches, a trip to another local fabric store, I got a silicone presser foot that made it much easier. Not to mention better looking! Then to hide all my seams, I lined the jacket. I actually have worn the jacket in everyday wear and gotten a lot of compliments.
Next Came the Pants: I wasn’t so happy about making my own pants, but I said I was going to hand-make my whole costume. I again was concerned about using all pleather on the pants because it’s hot, but also about the pleather not ripping around the button. I decided to go with pleather on the back and then on the front I used a black polyester denim. This made putting in the snap and zipper much easier.
I think the pants are sturdier too. Then I used the pleather and ribbon to do the crisscross detailing down the front. I sewed it on top, just like on the sleeves of the jacket. I was a bit surprised by how comfortable they were. Not that I’ll be making my own jeans from now on, but I am proud of the finished product.
Identity Keeping Mask: Since the identity of Sarah is important, she wears a mask. I used left over pleather, and black elastic to make it, however, it was terribly uncomfortable, mainly because the nose bridge kept getting in the way, or sliding. So to remedy this, I took a twist tie (you know the ones from bread loafs or trash bags), and I hot glued a piece of it to the nose bridge. It was a quick easy fix and it made the mask look more contoured to my face. Much more comfortable too.
Finally the Gloves and Other Odds and Ends: In the show, Sarah wears gloves and wields a bow staff. I’m not sure if it’s to conceal her finger prints, or if wielding a bow staff requires it. :) To make my gloves, I used left over ribbed knit and traced my hand. Then cut and sewed. However, the first glove was a bit too tight to get my fingers in. So the next time, I added a bit to the fingers, making it look like a kids drawing with bubble fingers, but once sewn, it turned out nicely. I added pleather to the top edge for more detailing, since that’s how it is in the show.
As I mentioned before, Sarah wields a bow staff. I used a handle from an outdoor broom to achieve that, although hers is way more menacing. As I tried the costume on, I realized that because of the detailing on the pants, I didn’t do pockets, and the jacket is cropped, so I didn’t do pockets on that either. Where was I going to put my keys, wallet and cell phone? I didn’t remember seeing Black Canary with a purse!
As I went over the tons of pictures I found on Yahoo images from the show, I saw she had little pocket things on either side of her belt. I made some with the left over denim from the pants and added a snap to close it. It worked out pretty well too, I didn’t lose a thing. The only thing that I did not make were the belt, and the boots. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to take on making boots yet.
The Best Part….the Reactions: I learned a lot of new techniques and I worked with a lot of fabrics I had never used before. I am really proud of the costume I made and the reactions were great! Those that watch or have seen the show knew exactly who I was, which is always the point of having a really great costume.
The other fun thing was the reaction to the fact that I made the whole costume. I’m not a professional, so it was a great compliment and it really built my sewing confidence. Thanks for the opportunity to show off my work!