Dragon Con 2018

  1. DragonCon 2018! 

This year Abels Innovations made our first cosplay commission! I learned so much during this project! 

Last year at Dragon Con I spent quite a while talking with a friend about costuming, sewing, and the Captain Marvel flight suit I was wearing. By the end of the conversation I was offering to commission him an entire cosplay! He decided he wanted to be Darius from League of legends, in his basketball jersey. I wasn’t familiar with the character but Google is a girl’s best friend. So I downloaded some images and made some initial sketches and we agreed to go ahead and do this thing! 

Darius from League of Legends. This is the reference image I used throughout this project.
My initial sketch of the back of the jersey

I haven’t made many clothes for men but a tank top and shorts are pretty simple. I decided instead of reinventing the wheel I’d start with a pre-made pattern. I bought both patterns from Patterns for pirates using sizes based on measurements. Sizing gave me much anxiety throughout this whole process because we did not live near each other to have fittings. This was my first project working only from measurements. 

I wanted the athletic wear to be legit. He would be wearing this in Atlanta in September and that’s HOT! I ordered mesh athletic fabric from Mood Fabrics because they had such a good variety! Thank you Mood! When it came in I realized it needed a lining otherwise it’d be a very risqué Darius. So I got A LOT of black athletic wicking fabric. 

I made the shorts first as sizing is adjustable with elastic and I’m comfortable with men’s shorts patterns. I drew the designs I wanted on the pre-purchased patterns and cut them out and added back in seam allowance. My inner perfectionist forced me to make a muslin first before cutting anything. The muslin looked great so I proceeded with caution. The shorts have an orange stripe design on them, I ended up cutting out the shape after adding seam allowance to it and using hem tape to turn over the edges. This was very tedious but it gave great results! 

Voila! The shorts were awesome! 

Finished Darius shorts. Grey and black athletic mesh lined with athletic wicking jersey. The orange stripe is also athletic mesh.

I spent a few months thinking about the tank top before starting it. I knew I needed the design aspects of it first before the actual construction. I decided I’d do the white piping details the same way as the orange stripe on the shorts, which worked out mostly well. The first thing I needed to do though were the white designs on the front and back of the jersey. They were so detailed! My first thought was appliqué but I didn’t think it would look as great as details printed on a jersey. Then I had an epiphany!! Could I just print them on there myself!?!?!? 

After a LONG dive into Pinterest I bought a Speedball screen-printing kit and some white ink and started practicing. This is when that muslin I made came in handy! The kit was very complete and the instructions were very simple. If you want to try screen-printing I would definitely recommend this kit. The photo emulsion print was what I used because it could give the most detail. I used Inkscape to make a black image of the front and back of the jersey, printed it onto transparency paper, and prepped my screen. I only bought one screen and cleaned it between uses. The printed images came out so well!! I did cure them with the iron and do a practice wash with one of the muslin tests to make sure they wouldn’t wash out. 

Black and white image for the back of Darius jersey
Photo emulsion screen prepped for the front of Darius jersey
Final screen print of the back of Darius jersey

Now I was ready to assemble the shirt. I did the same thing as the shorts using the pre-purchased pattern as a guide for cutting out detailed pattern pieces. I used the hem tape on the white details to turn over the edges. This took FOREVER, I was so slow and meticulous because I wanted it to be perfect and it was pretty damn good. Under close scrutiny though there are some mistakes. I won’t point them out… I used basting spray to help attach the details temporarily so I wouldn’t need pins while sewing. I definitely recommend basting spray for sewing stretch on stretch fabrics. 

Using basting spray to attach the white details to the back of Darius jersey

Ta-da! Just like that I was almost done. I cut arm and neck hole linings and ran my serger over all the seams so they would look finished. I did also make the grey arm sleeve, it was a single piece of mesh fabric with elastic and I used measurements to make the pattern. All the sudden this project that had consumed my mental space for an entire winter and my sewing desk for an entire spring and the beginning of summer was finished! I shipped it off and waited impatiently to get the report about how well it fit. 

Final finished front of Darius jersey and shorts.
Final finished back of Darius jersey and shorts

My friend was so happy with it, I got a selfie from him and was so relived it fit! The last thing I needed to complete the project was picture of the two of us at Dragon Con! Seeing this outfit in action was the highlight of my Con this year! 

Me and Gabe as Darius at Dragon con. Check out the henna Darius arm Tattoo!!