Monday, September 21, 2015

Creating Elektra

Creating Elektra

This instructional set is for a costume that I will be debuting and modeling at New York Comic Con in 2015. These instructions are for the character named Elektra from Daredevil, and are not for the weak of heart. Costumes require a lot of practice, patience, and passion. Although this is an easy costume for me, it may not be an easy costume for you and it’s not something that can be bought because it is custom made to me and my measurements.

My Background

I have been cosplaying for over 10 years now. I have created over 30 costumes, including a multitude of comic book characters. I have over 5,000 fans on social media, as well as a multitude of other accounts with more followers (i.e., Deviant Art, Cosplay amino). I have been around the cosplay block metaphorically, so I made Elektra in a couple of days, however as a newbie in the cosplay world, it may take you or someone else a lot longer to figure things out and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

This instructional set is not for beginners, and just describes the basics of putting together a costume to debut for a convention

Looking at the artwork

I find that with comic book characters one of the most important parts is finding a cover with the version of the character that you like and then sticking to it. Every artist of the comic book will draw subtle details differently, and even if a comic book artist stays the same through the life of the comic, he may begin to drop little details out of the panels. I find that the easiest thing to use as a reference is a piece of cover art, because it’s usually the most polished. For Elektra I’m using this version. This is the teaser for Heroes for Hire volume one. The artist was Harvey Toibao (Penciller).

After you find a cover that you like, you need to break down all the parts to the costume and decide what things that you need to get ordered before the con. Specialty fabrics like spandex and vinyl need to be ordered weeks in advance and there’s really no rushing things like that.

Here are all the pieces to this costume:
-        - Boots (Ordered)
-        - Glove Wraps
-        - Headband
-        - Dress (Fabric needs to be ordered)
-        - Belt
-        - Boot Wraps
-        - Sais (Ordered)

Buying spandex

There are many places that a cosplayer can get spandex. I prefer because there you can get free samples. First you order samples, receive them within 3-4 days. You then compare the reference pictures with the color that is actually physically in your hand. This prevents discoloration from computer screens or pictures. After you decide on a color, you have to physically call the man in charge of ordering (his name is Ed), to place your order.

On this image, the spandex I chose as well as the sample request button is noted.  


I change patterns and adjust them to my costumes. There are pattern makers and pattern changers. For this costume in particular I used the B4343 Pattern (pictured above). Using the sizing chart on the back, I made a dress that was 2-3 sizes down what I would normally wear. The pattern itself is not made for stretch fabrics, and I want it to be skin tight.

I made the dress according to the pattern otherwise, and cut two large circles out of the skirt to create Elektra’s signature butt cape. Remember when using stretch fabrics to always use a zig zag or stretch stitch, consult your sewing machines guide book for the best stitch to use on a stretch fabric. I used this extra fabric for her headband and the belt across her waist.
I finished off all of my seems with a zig zag stitch, and cut long belts out of the fabric for Glove and boot wraps, and finished the seams off on them also.


For boots I tend to prefer boots with low heels and low shine. and tend to be one of the better places to buy boots because you can usually get them for pretty cheap. I found this pair, and intend to alter them when they get here with some leather paint and sand paper to dull the shine.

Keep in mind that when shopping for cheap shoes, they could come out of China or Korea and shipping can take 1-2 months.


The most important part about weapons is to check the conventions weapon policy prior to deciding on a weapon. A lot of cons ban large weapons, weapons that look too realistic, live steel, etc.

This is a screen cap of NYCC’s weapon policy. The piece that is highlighted in red is the piece that pertains to this costume. However, having prior knowledge of NYCC, I know that they tend to be on the harsher end when it comes to their weapon policy, so I opted for some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sais instead, because I know that they’ll look fake enough that I won’t be bothered while enjoying my convention.