Hannah Alexander Megara Cosplay Tutorial (Part 4 - Belt and Chains)
In this tutorial, I will walk through how I made my Hannah Alexander design art nouveau Megara cosplay from Disney's Hercules. This is by no means the only way to make this garment, it is just how I created mine.
Check out Part 1 to see how I patterned this design and ombré dyed the fabric, Part 2 to learn how I sewed the fabric pieces, and Part 3 to learn how I styled the wig and made the worbla armor pieces.
Making the Belt
Like I said before, I decided not to make the belt out of worbla for fear of breakage but instead bought two trims, a flat gold 1” trim and an iron-on leaf trim that I sewed together for the belt. It connects in the back with a small sewn-on snap.
To connect the medallion to the belt, I super glued a scrap circle of fabric with a snap sew in the middle to the center back of the medallion and sewed the corresponding snap to the center front of the belt. This way, I could just snap the medallion on and off.
Adding Belt Chains
I used gold jewelry chain in two different sizes. One with very small loops and another with about ¼” loops. Using the original Hannah Alexander design as a reference, I marked on the wrong side of the fabric belt where the different chain loops would stop and start. I altered between the large chain and the small one depending on the design.
I tested the look before cutting any chains by safety pinning the loops according to my markings and seeing if I wanted the loops lower, higher, shifted over, smaller, etc. With the chains still safety pinned. I “cut” the chains by using my jewelry pliers to open a loop, disconnecting it from the larger chain. Once all the chains were cut, I checked their positions in the mirror once again, and then just sewed the chains onto the gold trim of the belt, making sure the thread was not visible on the right side of the belt.
Adding Shoulder Chains
Connecting the chains to the pauldron and shoulder sash was much more difficult but essentially used the same technique.
I had already thought ahead about the chains connecting to the pauldron so while I was still working with the hot worbla (before painting) I pressed and sandwiched small eyes (from hooks and eyes) along the edges of the pauldron according to the original design. I also had, at this point already sewn a small jewelry clasp to the shoulder of shoulder sash.
I started by focusing on the chains that connect the pauldron to the opposite shoulder. The plan was to make each chain loop merge into one jewelry clasp so, I could connect the clasp on the chain to the one sewn on the shoulder sash in one easy step.
I did the same safety pinning, checking, cutting, checking technique as I did with the belt. To connect all the chains into one origin point, I had to use the large chain loops to connect all the individual chains. Make sure at this point that your chains are not tangled and lay in order you want them to before connecting all of them. Once connected, end the single chain in a jewelry clasp and connect their opposite ends to the eyes on the pauldron and you are good to go!
I then moved on to the chain loops that just connect to different parts of the pauldron. I did the exact same thing as twice before – pinned, checked, cut, checked, and attached to the eyes. Depending of the size of the eyes, you may have to use the small rings to connect to the chains like I did, as the larger rings were too thick.
Unfortunately I don't really have any photos of the progress or showing what I did so, I hope my explanation makes some sort of sense. You can see in this photo of everything worn together how the chains across my chest all originate from one starting shoulder point (the jewelry clasp). And you can better see the eyes on the pauldron and the varying thickness of chains.
All the belt and chain work took about 4 hours. To connect the pauldron to my shoulder, I superglued two loops of nude ¼” elastic in the center and top of the pauldron. The pauldron did slide down from time to time but, for photoshoots, and for a majority of the time it was fine. After a full day of wear, I did notice discomfort from the tightness around my armpit but, the pain was gone the next day.
The last step (Part 5) was putting the costume all together with accessories, hair, makeup, dress, and armor!