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For my Costume Crafts Final, I was tasked with designing a costume based upon a mythical creature of the English Isles. I chose the Wyvern of Mordiford.

 

I was the acting designer, draper, first hand, stitcher, and milliner.

 

Character: Anthropomorphized dragon based off of the Wyvern on Mordiford

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Progress Shots

Research Images

Research Image 1
Research Image 1

I knew I wanted to do a dragon because they have been my favorite mythical creature since I was a kid.

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Research Image 2
Research Image 2

I decided to do the Wyvern of Mordiford based off of its story. I found the research images secondarily.

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Research Image 13
Research Image 13

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Research Image 1
Research Image 1

I knew I wanted to do a dragon because they have been my favorite mythical creature since I was a kid.

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Design

I was really going hard on the first reference image with the greater nature detailing. I wanted to create something both aesthetic and practical for the stage. Lots of movement capability but also have plenty to visually communicate the aesthetic of a nature-based dragon.

*FINAL RENDERING IN PROGRESS*

Process: Supplies and Planning

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Next, I looked at how the fabric fell in my design and started looking at different types of fabrics that would mimic that behavior. Eventually, I decided on a cotton calico because I decided it would be the most breathable with just the tiniest amount of stretch. I used a stretch chiffon that I would later dye to allow for even more movement. After, I compiled full lists of the materials I would need to make each element of the costume with a budget.

The first part of my process was just a ton of math. I used a full body measurement sheet that my costume shop supervisor let me have and took all my measurements. Looking back, I think I did a couple incorrectly. I then took clothing from my closet that had a similar fit and style to the pieces of my design and made note of those measurements. I also began to plot and design my armor and its measurements.
 

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Armor

Design: To incorporate the nature of Mordiford, I took the wild service tree leaf from my research and decided to shape my shoulder armor in that manner.

Construction:

Armor pattern draft

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Traced the pattern onto 5mm EVA foam four times with a chalk pencil.

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Final paint job of wild service tree leaf shoulder armor which I sealed in a clear finish.

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Armor pattern draft

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Horns

Design: For my horns, I wanted them to look like tree bark; so I more closely followed the wild service tree bark patterns to model my horns after with some creative liberty

Construction:

I took a headband and painted it a blended brown.

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I cut the top and bottom off of a solo cup and used it as the base.

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Horns test fit.

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I took a headband and painted it a blended brown.

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Dye Work

I don’t’ have a ton of experience dyeing synthetics, and I wanted to use ipoly dye. I couldn’t manage to get my hands on any, so I used rit’s synthetics which worked just fine truthfully. 
I also did some brush dye work on the wings. 
I really wanted to experiment with color remover on the cotton calico, but I didn’t feel confident to do it in the time that I had left. 

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The at home set up

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Final Dye swatch against green

Brush Dyeing

During the brush dye process, I drew out leaves that were similar to the elder leaf from the elder tree which is also native to Mordiford. I poured the different color dyes into separate cups. Before I started brush dyeing, I went over the area with water, so that the dye would take to the fabric better. Then, I simply brushed and blended the leaves onto the tips of the wings and let it dry in sections.

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The Jumpsuit

I decided on a jumpsuit because a dragon’s body is unified and doesn’t have any obvious sections that I could imagine separating clothing at, ex: pants and shirt. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate the stretch chiffon for movement and to represent the different colors and parts of the dragon. The chiffon would also go on to be used as wings. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and fabric to incorporate all the intended detail on this piece. 

Pattern Drafting The Jumpsuit

I decided to cut up a shirt sleeve to create the base of the pattern because I didn’t really know how to do it otherwise.

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The sleeve I used had a cuff, so I had to go back and add the length of the cuff. I also decided to pattern on newspaper because it folded up really easily to store. This is where I started jury-rigging the pattern a bit. I wanted it to fit like a bell sleeve.

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The process for the other 6 patterns that I drafted went about the same until I realized that the project didn't actually require me to draft my own patterns, so I bought a jumpsuit pattern to cannibalize the pants from.

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I decided to cut up a shirt sleeve to create the base of the pattern because I didn’t really know how to do it otherwise.

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Constructing the Jumpsuit- Upper Body

Pinning
Pinning

After cutting out all the pieces using my patterns, it was time to begin assembly.

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Pinning
Pinning

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Full View of Attached Top to Midriff Panels
Full View of Attached Top to Midriff Panels

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Pinning
Pinning

After cutting out all the pieces using my patterns, it was time to begin assembly.

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Constructing the Jumpsuit- LowerBody

Using the cannibalized pattern for the lower section of the costume.

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Pinning
Pinning

Pinning the crotch(back) first

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Pinning
Pinning

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Using the cannibalized pattern for the lower section of the costume.

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Constructing the Jumpsuit- Union and Detail Work

I pinned the upper body piece to the lower piece at the midriff panels and lined up the seams.

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Pieces joined with a straight stitch sewn at 1/2 inch.

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In progress view of costume-wing extension

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I pinned the upper body piece to the lower piece at the midriff panels and lined up the seams.

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Final Notes

I did end up connecting the shoulder armor with velcro strips, and I closed up the back of the jumpsuit with 10 buttons as closures. I also evened out the length of the wings because one side was much longer than the other. I made small sleeves along the top of the wings toward my fingers and slid a small wooden stick inside, so that I could grab and fully extend my wings. Unfortunately due to time constraints, I did not get to finish my costume to the degree in which I had designed it. However, I still did very well and recieved a 95. Looking back, I wish I had made some more intelligent decisions regarding time and difficulty of execution; but overall, I am quit proud of what I made.

End Result

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