Nightingale Armour Skyrim (Full costume log 2014)

Way back in August of last year I made a brief post about my Nightingale Cosplay from The Elder Scrolls Skyrim.  That post can be found here.
The post basically acknowledged that I had made the costume but had no intention of updating on it to this blog. Nearly a year later I have changed my mind and will do a full post documenting the process. Luckily a lot of the process was documented on my Twitter account so it was easy finding these old images!
Nightingale Armour: The Elder Scrolls Skyrim
Game image
Before I get started I’d like to say that I followed the lovely Beebichu’s cosplay tutorial for this and that blog post can be found here. 

This was the first cosplay I made and it was a really fun experience and what lead me to pressue costume making as some sort of carer because I enjoyed it so much.
Once again Spotlight proves how useless it is and only had brown faux leather available when I wanted black. I think I bought 4 meters of this. As well as 3 meters of black medium weight cotton for the cape. And 1 meter of black vinyl.

I used simplicity 2355 as the base bodice. Pattern A.
Corset pattern 2355
As for the cape I used Simplicity 5794. Pattern C.
Simplicity 5794

I started off by making the corset which is the base for the bodice which the scales are sewn into. Because of this costume I now own a walking foot for my sewing machine as a normal foot wouldn’t sew the leather without eating it. 
Corset made and scales
The pattern for the corset was adapted so that the opening was at the back instead of the front. A zipper was then sewn in. No boning was used in the corset as I knew the whole costume would be very close fitting without them and they just weren’t necessary. I don’t have pictures of me wearing the corset but in the above picture you can see it with the scales below it.

The faux leather looked awful when pinned and I was a little concerned but once it was sewn down as you can see in the second picture it flattened out really well with no puckering at all.
Front scales sewn
It looked just as good when worn! I think the shape and style would have been quite fun to just wear on its own but alas I had a costume to finish.

Next the side scales were sewn on which can vaguely be seen in the left picture but a drew up a reasonably accurate design of what it looked like laid out flat. The collar was also sewn together but not attached to the bodice at this point. Seen in the red on the right.

The collar also needed the Nightingale emblem on it which was patterned on paper and cut from black vinyl. This was sewn on by hand.

The straps attached to the collar were then sewn to the main bodice. The collar is circular as show in the right picture. With the triangular flap that comes down over the bodice and the straps which are sewn to the bodice. The gape between the inner most circle and middle circle is to represent the standing collar which had a hook and eye set at the very top. The gap is represented by the red line which goes through the circular collar and the standing collar. The circular collar clips together with domes.
Skirt pinned
The ‘skirting’ was made up of three different pentagon shapes which were sewn to a home made belt. Home made because all of the belts in stores were far too think for me to sew the skirting pieces onto unless I hand sewed it. So I bought a belt buckle and used some grommet pliers and made myself a belt.
Bodice skirt finished
And finally it was all coming together!

My Bodysuit arrived around this time and couldn’t resist taking some pictures. I also got the mask made. The bodysuit I bought was from RiversEdge Dancewear in “Liquid Leather” which has a small collar too. Unfortunately RiversEdge is now out of business. But I am so very happy with my purchase and will and have used it for many cosplays since purchasing.
rivers edge danceware bodysuit
This was my first attempt and was made from the black vinyl, which hurt to wear after a while (and made my nose red) so it was later re-made with some black spandex I had laying around.
Cape made Full shot
mask and hood
I finished up the cape as well which I shortened to drape to just below my knee length.
After this my cosplay was complete!!
The brown faux leather was initially painted black with acrylic paint. This was really unsuccessful and the painted chipped or came off when manner-less children pushed past me in the halls at the convention.  But after a re-touched it for a shoot last year I “dyed” it black with liquid Kiwi shoe polish.
kiwi shoe polish
I recommend doing this rather than painting!!! The faux leather will take it much better than the paint. And it gives it a really nice sheen.

2015 Photo shoot

And I think that has covered everything! If I have missed anything I’m sure Beebichu’s tutorial will fill in any blanks.

That’s it for today’s post, thank you for reading


July Craft Haul

Today was a trip to Nelson to get the rest of my french hood and dress materials. I also bought a new hot glue gun as mine decided to self destruct and explode yesterday. It was a near death experience believe me!

On my list was

  • Meter of Black velvet
  • Half a meter of red flannel
  • 6 meter of white mock up fabric (top pop poplin)
  • Half a meter of white buckram
  • Half a meter of white cotton gauze
  • Bead divider box
  • Small and medium red glass pearls
  • Small and medium sea beads
  • Hot glue gun
  • Expanding foam
  • PlastiDip or NZ equivalent

First up was the hardware store where I bought a new glue gun, expanding foam and Plastidip.

I ended up getting two cans of the expanding foam which should be enough for the base of both should armour pieces on Demongaze. The ‘LeackSeal’ AKA PlastiDip will be used to coat my sword paired with Demongaze, multiple layer will be used but one can should be enough!

Next was Spotlight and not matter how many times I go there I still don’t know the full lay out of their fabrics section. (Though that may be down to Spotlights lack of organisation). So anyway I go in there with my list and decide to get the beads/pearls out of the way first as they would fit in the basket and I wouldn’t have to carry round fabric at that moment.
First I got the sea beads, the larger ones are for the bodice neckline embellishments and the the smaller and whats left of the larger ones are for the french hood.
Sea beads
I bought two packs of the larger beads and just the one of the smaller size.
Also! The Square buttons I ordered arrived a little smaller than I had imagined but will work all the same.

I also bought three packs of small and medium glass pearls for the neckline and french hood.
Glass pearls
And for all my future beading I bought a bead box with a bunch of dividers in it.
bead box

I always buy fabric last in stores if I can help it because I hate carrying around rolls/bolts, its almost impossible to carry more than three at a time and being my clumsy self I can guarantee I’d hit something… or someone.

First I bought one meter of Black Velvet this will be the veil of the hood, which was a lovely $45 a meter. Looking back at it now after looking at prices online wasn’t too bad but I was a little annoyed at the time.
The most boring purchase was 6 meters of Top Pop Poplin which is my go to for mock up making now at $5 a meter and less if I catch it on a sale or end of roll run off. This is for the gown mock up.
top pop poplin
I bought 3/4 of a meter of Cotton Sateen which will be used for the lining of the hood (not the veil).
cotton sateen
I wanted to buy 3/4 of a meter of Buckram for the base of the french hood but ‘apparently’ Spotlight doesn’t stock it. The staff member I asked was rather standoffish and pretty well useless at helping when I had questions about fabrics and their locations in the store.
So I improvised and bought the heaviest weight interfacing they had which I plan to double.
heavy interfacing
Lastly I bought the roll run off of some red flannel which will go along the top edge of the skirt to add some bulk to the cartridge pleats making them larger in the slightest.

I did forget to buy some black bias tape for the veil as well as lace for the french hood but I should be able to buy those in my local sewing store.

Also after playing around in MS paint I think I have a final beading design for the neckline of the bodice.
Final beading design
The gold and black squares are the buttons I bought. The red dots are the medium size sea beads. And the Silver dots are the medium glass pearls. The central gold and black square is covered on both sides with the read sea beads but this pattern stops with the next squares. This is because I wanted to make a feature of the central square.
From the research I have done this seams pretty accurate in a historical beading embellishment design but I’d love to hear feedback on this!

And that’s all for today post, I’m hoping to have the bodice fully embellished by the end of the week ready for school next Monday. I’ll likely work on that in the evenings and work on Demongaze and the gown mock up during the day.

As always, thank you for reading

Young Girl’s Loose Gown Bodice Construction Part 2

Finally some top layer fabric action!!

After inserting the quilt batting into the bust of the bodice I placed the top layer fabric out (Top facing down) and then placed the base bodice over that with the denim layer touching the wrong side of the top fabric. I then sewed a basting stitch 1/4 of and inch away from the raw edge of the base layer. This stitch attaches the base layer to the top layer and makes the next steps much easier. I don’t have photos of this step but it explains itself in the next photos.

Next I turned the bottom edge up by about half and inch and clipped the curves where necessary.
Basting bottom edge 1I then ran a whip stitch along the bottom edge securing the fabric in place. These stitches are to secure the fabrics together but the stitch should not poke through to the top layer. This took me a while to master and I had to check every stitch I made to make sure it didn’t poke through the top layer. I pretty good at it now!
I’d also like to mention that I later whip stitched the clipped edges down too as I missed them when I initially whip stitched the bottom edge into place. Yes, they would have been covered with lining later but they were annoying me and I had time to spare!

Next I sewed the neck and arm facings onto the bodice with a straight stitch on the sewing machine about 1/4 of an inch from the edge.
facing sew on
Okay I can’t remember what this technique is called so I’ll just describe it for now and hopefully I remember it layer! Basically the facing is flexed back into the position the neck facing is in seen above and then pined into place like so. Then a line of stitching is sewn just off the seam that was sewn attaching the facing and the bodice. This line of stitching is suppose to sew over the clipped curves which makes turning over the facing that little bit easier. Because my clipped curves on my bodice were half a centimeter wide as best in places I sewed this line about 3mm off the seam. Confused ?  Me too, but it worked! So lets move along…
basting stitch insideI then sewed down the facing with a basting stitch, this process is repeated with the arm opening facings as well.
I also did a mock fit test of the bodice and I really like the shape and the silhouette it makes. Have I mentions how proud of myself I am with this project for a first time complex historical costume!
Mock fit test

Fast forward to today. Its currently school holidays and my textiles teacher was having an open class day where her year 12 students could come in and work on their (now overdue) projects. I decided to come in too so that I could cut out my skirt panels and sew them together if I had time. Luckily I had a lot of time and got both of those things done.
Once my skirt patterns were cut out I sewed them together with french seams. This was my first time sewing french seams and a few times I found myself puzzled having to sew the fabric together with the wrong sides together.But it all worked out really well and I had now issues what so ever! I also made the decision that I will sew a waist band onto the skirt which will be whip stitched onto the bodice, I’ll go into more detail with this in the next post.
After today I am feeling so much more confident with this project, I am certain that I will have this finished by the 16th of September along with the french hood and gown.

In other news I have ordered some buttons to embellish the neckline of the bodice. I wanted to replicate the embellishment design seen on Queen Jane Seymour’s neckline in the well-known portrait by Hans Hoblein.
The simple design looked easy enough to replicate but I wanted a little more added to the design. Luckily I found the most amazing woman (who I unfortunately can’t source as all the images I have found of her are re-post images) who made a recreation of the dress seen in the painting and she took some artistic liberty with the design and added some square pendants into the embellish mix which I think is a great look.
QJS recreation
So I hopped online to Etsy and found these Square Rose gold+Blue/White/Black Rhinestones which obviously aren’t 100% historically accurate but they look the part!
Button comparrison
They look pretty similar right! I opted for the black version and bought 24 of them in total. I estimated I would need 18 but decided over buying was better than under buying. I only just hope that is enough!
Including shipping the whole package cost me just over $30 NZD.


And that’s all for this post! I’ll make a start on the gown mock up these holidays as well as drawing up the patterns for the french hood. I have so many projects going at the moment that I can’t really say what my next post will be about, hopefully it will be a little more lengthy than this one!

Thank you for reading