I know the vests/jackets/non-thriftable parts of class costumes can be the hardest parts to figure out, so I though I'd extend some help to anyone who'd like it.
Got questions on anything related to TF2 cosplay construction, from sewing on a patch to making a class vest? Ask your resident seamstress slave! I've made costumes for five out of the nine classes to date, and Medic three times. Whoo fashion degree! Look at where you've got me!
Oh nice! I've been thinking about trying to make a Medic costume but I'm not sure where to start on the coat. Since you've made three of them, do you have any suggestions or patterns for that?
I will be watching this thread closely. please do go on. (I'd like to make a medic coat, too, and a spy suit if I can. so far I've managed to make a decent sniper vest but that's the end of my experience)
I'm thinking something like a diagram or a pattern would be very helpful, just to get an idea of what sorts of shapes to start with.
The Medic coat is definitely the most unique when it comes to patterns, but there are a lot of retail patterns out there that can easily be modified to look a lot like his. The "Captain Hook" coat in Simplicity 2333 is the best I've found so far - the collar isn't exactly right, but everything else is very similar to his original design. Since the sleeves are just going into gloves, as well, you can completely omit the cuffs, which is super convenient since for the most part cuffs can be a pretty big hassle, especially if you're new to sewing.
If you can't find that specific pattern locally, though, the key is to look for something double breasted - with the buttons aligned not in the center but rather to the left or right. Don't worry about the length - if you find a perfect pattern but it only goes down to the hip rather than the calf, you can lengthen it super easily.
Give me a couple of hours and I'll get a tutorial up and running on how to do your own basic pattern drafting!
I have a feeling this is going to become my favorite thread on the chan.
Ask and you shall receive! Okay, let's start with the basic shape of the front...
NOTE: I'm going to refer to everything by "left" and "right" to make it a bit easier to understand, but I mean VIEWER'S LEFT. So if I say the left piece, I mean the piece that would be on the left if you were to hold the garment out in front of you, not the piece that would be on the left if you were to wear it. Confusing, I know, but necessary.
So the front of the coat is made up of two pieces, as most coats are. The only difference is that most coats line up perfectly on the center front in patternmaking - I've put the CF on all of the diagrams I've made so you can see - but since this is going to be a double breasted coat that won't be the case. As you can see from this diagram, the left side of the coat will actually extend out well past the CF - exactly how much depends on your measurements, but we'll get to that later.
Buttttt, one part of the coat -will- actually fall on the CF, and that's the right side. That makes it easier for you to put the coat on and keep it neat and tidy when you're wearing it. If you were to extend this bottom portion out past the CF as well, when you're wearing the coat it'll actually ride down and stick out from underneath lap of the left piece. Also, you'll get a lot of nasty bunching and you'd have to constantly fidget to get it to stay straight. So in a word, keep it short and sweet.
So separately, the pieces should look a little something like this...
As for the back, it's pretty simple. As far as I can tell it's a straight cut, so really the only thing special about the back is the bottom hem & the "vent". The bottom hem actually arches up, making it rise higher than the hem of the front, and right in the dead center of this is the vent. (Otherwise known as that little triangular notch in the middle) There are "proper" ways to do the vent, complete with fancy technical words like topstitching and staystitches, but since Medic's is just a little notch I wouldn't get too fancy and instead just literally cut out a triangle in your pattern.
And I think that's everything when it comes to the basic shape of the Medic coat. Any questions?
Fabulous! Thank you!
Any advice on different sort of stitches? Every time I sew it's pretty slapdash. I know there are different kinds of stitches but I'll be damned if I know anything. If you know of any good online reference sources I'd love to know!
I love this thread already
So uhm... a alway loved theme about this and i believe could use a thread for itself.
Teambadges. How can i do it myself? (handsewing.)
Generally speaking, for cosplay there are only two kinds of stitches that you need to know: lockstitching (a.k.a. your regular old straight stitch) and merrowing (also known as serging). The straight stitch is what you'll use the most and when it comes to costumes I wouldn't worry about getting too fancy - straight stitch as much as you possibly can. Believe it or not, Wikipedia can tell you all the basics that you need to know about straight stitching right here, especially on their little guide to tension: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockstitch
Now merrowing is a little more complicated - okay, a lot more complicated - but if you're really dedicated to a clean garment I would definitely recommend investing in a serger machine. They're no more expensive than a regular sewing machine and they make your garments more stable and completely pristine inside and out. Basically, a merrow stitch is the encasing stitch that holds the extra seam allowance of your seams together and keeps it from fraying after you've sewn two pieces of fabric together. If you go into your closet and turn absolutely any of your t-shirts, skirts, etc., inside out you'll see merrow stitches on all of the seams. Now, if you're just trying to put a simple costume together and you're just focused on keeping it together rather than making it professional grade, you can actually zig-zag stitch instead of merrowing. What you do is sew a straight stitch leaving about a 1/2'' seam allowance, and then change the setting on your sewing machine to zig zag. Line up the needle right on the edge of the fabric so that it just goes over the edge when it makes a stitch, and sew all the way down. I would recommend doing either a merrow stitch or a zig zag stitch to ALL of the seams you sew - leaving them unfinished makes them sloppy, fray way more than you'd like, and sometimes they can be super itchy.
Again, Wikipedia knows its stuff when it comes to stitches, and here's what it has to say about merrowing & zig zags: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overlock
Oh, and I found this little guide, which is really helpful too. It shows all of the basic seam finishes you can do without a merrow machine:
I am currently making a Pyro costume and I was wondering what the best way to sew a jumpsuit would be? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you very much