This Halloween I created my first couples costumes! When my boyfriend and I first met this year we bonded over our love of video games. Together, we would play the villains and superheroes fighting game “Injustice.” After playing for a while we realized that he looked like the Joker! So, we came up with the perfect costumes for us! He will be the Joker and I will be his partner in crime, Harley Quinn from the video game! I was so excited to have an awesome boyfriend that was just as excited, as I was to dress up! Since I know how to sew, pattern and design costumes I decided to take on the challenge of making both of the costumes from scratch. We talked about it for a few months and then I committed to buying all the materials and fabric. I started mid September working almost every day after work until October when we had our first costume party. The first party was way sooner than I thought so I had to rush to make the costumes wearable the first weekend in October! After that I took my time finishing up all the details.

For the Joker I first tired to find a purple suit to modify, but I could not find anything exact enough, so I decided to make his entire suit. Because of this, took a lot longer to make than I planed! I also created the patterns for all pieces of the costume. But, I will admit I did not make the shirt or suspenders, I bought them. I used heavy purple and black striped wool for the entire suit. The vest was made with nylon duck cloth and pleather for the belts. The tie was silk and I painted the flower to make it look grungy. The sewing process went pretty smoothly once I remembered how to make a suit; it had been a few years since I made my first one. Making the pattern required a lot of measurements to get the proportions right. The problem with re-crating an animated character’s costume is that the character is not quite proportionate to a human. I need to figure out how to adjust the costume to my boyfriend’s normal height and proportions. I had a challenge with the pattern for the vest because not much of it is visible in the image of the character. My boyfriend analyzed it and helped me crate a pattern that looked like a bullet proof vest. The rest was pretty simple!

My Harley Quinn costume was a bit simpler to make, once I made the pattern. It was a challenge to get it to fit properly. Again, the body of Harley Quinn the animated character is oddly proportioned! I had to adjust some things to make it fit my body. One of the biggest challenges with my costume was to find the strongest fabric tape to hold myself in! The costume is drawn on the character in such a way that it is impossible not to tape yourself in. I ended up using “permanent” upholstery fabric tape, it held so well I could barley take it off! I used heavy wool for the vest part to give it a good texture and some stability. The stockings were made with cotton jersey and black lace. I cut the mask from thin rubber. I found my awesome shoes after a long day of hunting in the Los Angeles fashion district. Not exact but VERY Harley Quinn! My choker and arm bracelet were made with think leather trim and I made the joker card necklace from the joker in a deck of cards attached to a necklace chain. The belts and gloves were made from pleather.

My main goal in making both of the costumes was to make them as exact as I could. I will always continue to improve them as I find more exact things for the details but I am thrilled at how both costumes turned out! We went to as many local parties as we could and we even went to Las Vegas the weekend before Halloween and wore them around the Vegas Strip for two days. It was hard to walk more than a few feet because people kept asking for pictures! We even won a few contests! Every time we dressed up we used a full can of hair spray of each color to get our hair right and used tons of makeup to make the Joker look perfect. It would take us over an hour to get ready. We enjoyed every time dressing up and making people smile! The reactions from people were from awe to excitement. I must say I did get a lot of double takes and evil eyes from girls ;) I was disappointed that people thought that the Joker costume was from Dark Knight, there are so many other versions of the Joker! I was also surprised how ay people didn’t know who Harley Quinn was! Overall it was a great experience and we are so happy with our costumes! We had a great time wearing our couples costumes!