Costume Gallery

Sandraider costume

I can hardly remember how the idea for this costume was born, but this is the coloured sketch I made. It's done sloppily in the GIMP, but it sure conveys what I wanted to build. All the notes say things like "This is all Jen Thompson's fault" -- I'm still a fan of her costumes and she made a beautiful Zouave Steampunk outfit that was an inspiration for this costume.
I also decided it was time to start learning how to do scalemail. The scales used are a very unique shade of pinkish white.

The first layer really isn't flattering at all. It consists of very wide, striped cotton pants and a loose linen blouse. It's supposed to be bulky because in the desert you'd want to have air between you and the outside world to insulate you from the heat.
The trousers are stuffed into the boots to keep the sand out. The collar and cuffs are tight for the same reason.
The second layer is a long brown linen coat with off-white accents. I use this shape of panels often, and the contrast is very nice. I had to use double layers of off-white or the brown would shine through too much.
The coat is a very simple, very straight-forward pattern. It's not too wide in the shoulders but tapers out from the armline. The neckline is finished with facing. The sleeves and hems are hand-hemmed to avoid quilted lines (because of the extra layer of off-white linen).
The brown contrast on top of the off-white linen is brown twill tape. Why make your own tape if you can just use twill tape, after all? On the sleeves it's folded in half so it would match better. There are 20 big gold-toned buttons on the bottom part of the coat.
The leather layer, as I like to call it, goes over all of the other layers. The armour is crafted from two different colours of leather. The caramel leather was really very sturdy, whereas the deep brown leather is more pliable.
The caramel leather is used as a 'spine' in the back and to connect the sides and shoulders. The armour opens at the front with four buckles.
The scalemail was created to resemble the shape of a sleeve and attached with two RVS rings per scale at the top edge.

The bracers are layered just like the armour. As it's impossible to get into the armour while I'm already wearing the bracers, I put these on just before the hijab.

Image thanks to and © Tineke Bolleman.

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August 2009; © Jane Starz.