Sunday, April 14, 2013

Past Projects: Harley Quinn Times Two

I'm still getting over whatever sickness struck me down this past week, so sewing progress has been pretty much non-existent. So instead of a new project I bring you another entry to the series of past projects; Harley Quinn done two ways! For those of you not as nerd-savvy, Harley Quinn is a Batman villain most often seen as the Joker's lead lady. Her name of course is a play on harlequin as is her costume.

Harley's original costume

As it is with most comic book characters, her costume has been re-imagined many times for different series and different medias. Last year in the fall I had a video-game themed costume party to attend and was having a hard time coming up with a costume. A lot of video game ladies have costumes that show off a bit more skin than I'm frankly comfortable with, and the other choices like Princess Peach didn't really resonate with me either. I was already planning my own interpretation of Harley for a halloween party a month or so later, so I looked up what Harley's costumes looked like in the newer Batman games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The Arkham Asylum costume was just awful and not something I wanted to wear, but the Arkham City costume had great potential. It was sexy and just a little revealing without being ridiculously over the top.

Harley in Batman: Arkham City

Of course by the time I had finally settled on what costume to make I had precious little time left before the party. I whipped up a red corset using one of my victorian patterns cut down to be an under-bust corset. If I ever have a little extra time I would like to go back and make one with the straps that Harley's has, but the one I made was passable. Most of the costume was pretty easy, I had an old pair of black skinny jeans hanging around that got one leg painted red, and a pair of knee high boots got the same treatment. The first tank top I made for the party was made from a red and a black tank top I had laying around, cut in half and sewn back together. The red of the tank top didn't match though, so I made a new one for the next use of the costume.

Completed Arkham City costume

Shortly after the video game party I went to a convention with Frightful Acts. One of my co-workers is a huge superhero fan and has several of his own Batman and Superman costumes, so I brought along the Harley costume as well. It was impressive enough that I got interviewed by the Boston Phoenix for a small online article about costumes at the convention!

After the convention was over I had just one or two very short weeks to complete my plans for Halloween. I had decided months before I even thought of the video game Harley Quinn costume that I wanted to make a more Victorian inspired version of Harley. I had been thinking I could use the same corset as the first costume, but I really wanted to do a full party-colored outfit. I tried out a new corset pattern for the second costume that ended up really flattering the look well.

My own version of Harley

The bolero top has a few issues, but the corset and skirt came out perfect. There were even a few girls drooling over this costume at the next convention I went to! Unfortunately I didn't get to do a proper photoshoot with either of these costumes, but at least there's a little photographic evidence.

 Hopefully my next update will be progress on the victorian bathing costume I'm planning. I've got the pattern and should get a chance to buy the cloth tonight.

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