In this tutorial I will walk through how I made my Valkyrie cosplay from the movie Thor: Ragnarok. This is by no means the only way to make this garment, it is just how I created mine.
I start all of my cosplays with a full body sketch that I will use as my design reference and which I use to list all the parts and pieces I need for the costume.
With my almost 10 years of sewing knowledge under my belt, I am able to predict how most of my pattern pieces are going to look before actually patterning anything, so I usually include that in my sketch. Again, it helps me to see the big picture and all the small steps/work that need to be accomplished.
Focusing on the bodice, which seemed the most difficult and time consuming, I began patterning out the numerous seams on my dress form with masking tape. From this guide, I cut out the pattern for the front and back based on the taped sections on my form. Valkyrie was difficult because of the numerous amount of panels that are on her outfit.
I also made sure to plan (in advance) how I was going to put the costume on and take it off off. This resulted in manipulating my pattern to include an underarm zipper which is covered by a panel that connects to the back at my waist.
I began cutting out my pattern pieces in my final fabric. I found this amazing textured faux leather stretch fabric at a local fabric store, as well as the grey bias tubing I needed, and the blue fabric for her cape. Half of Valkyrie's waist panels are made of strips of fabric so, once the plain pattern pieces were cut, I sewed strips of the faux leather together and cut the remaining pattern pieces from that.
*Tips for sewing leather or faux leather*
- Place pins parallel to intended seam in seam allowance as holes from needles and pins are permanent in leather (its not self healing)
- Use a leather needle! Your sewing machine will thank you.
- Understand the weight/thickness of your fabric and adjust thread tension accordingly
- Just pray that the leather gods will bless you with easy to work with fabric
The hardest part of the this cosplay was sewing the bias tubing into each seam, and getting the sharp angles to remain. This took a lot of finagling, seam ripping, frustrated groans, and multiple packages of grey bias tubing.
Unfortunatley, I don't have a lot of WIP photos of Valkyrie. The first photo I have is the first attempt to put it on after hours of sewing (and with pins in both the sides and the shoulders). This first time trying Valkyrie on showed me that I had to take in my waist seams but that everything else fit like a glove.
I kept sewing bias tubing to seams, panels to the bodice, and finally attaching the zipper to the side seam, and I was done with the bodice. This photo is the bodice with all sewing completed (and a very dirty mirror).
Before putting my sewing machine away, I made sure to quickly sew bias tubing around a strip of fabric to be my belt and to create two thigh holsters for my daggers.
I then began work on my cape. The cape is just two squares of fabric that I distressed with watered down acrylic paint for color and rubbed it along concrete (using it like sandpaper) to thin the fabric and to create small weathered holes.
(My roommate can tell you I was in so much pain intentionally destroying such beautiful pieces of fabric like that. My heart wept.)
The cape is attatched at the corner under the the top shoulder pieces of the bodice.
In the first photo you can see clearly the distressing I did (to both the fabric and my mental sanity. The second shows how the cape was attached, and the third shows the beginning of the crafting stage.
The "metal bits" as I had come to refer to them were made out of of craft foam. I used puffy paint to create the raised look of the bolts then painted the pieces in acrylic paint. The "lines" were created by pressing down with a pen, which made the small divots in the foam. The arm bands and gauntlets had velcro super glued to them for easy wear.
*Disclaimer* I am a seamstress. I am confident with sewing and manipulating fabric but as soon as there is "crafting" involved, I am way out of my depth. I probably could have 3d printed the metal bits, or made them out of worbla or EVA foam but, I don't know how to do any of that nor do I have the materials and resources for that so... that's why I just use craft foam and acrylic paint.
The "metal bits" were then super glued to the bodice. (In hind sight, this was a bad decision. Learn from my mistakes friends. As important as it is to think about how you are going to get the costume on and off, it is equally important to think about how you are going to clean the costume.)
I then sewed fingerless gloves (which ended up being way too tight but, c'est la vie) with a black stretch spandex and hand stitched the hand metal bit to them.
The boots and leggings I already owned and I commissioned the Valkyrie daggers and sword.
I used my natural hair for this cosplay as I wanted a natural hairline for the pony tail. I did a french braid in the center of my head that turned into a bun at the crown. The rest of my hair was slicked back into a low ponytail. (Once I cut all my hair off, I used a ponytail wrap extension from Amazon to get the texture and length needed for Valkyrie.) The sides of my hair were gelled down to prevent fly aways.
I did a dark smoky eye makeup look with dark brown and black on my eyelid and blending out into the upper corner. I replaced my usual liquid liner with an angled brush and black eye shadow. I added falsies, strong brows, and some highlight before moving on to the face paint.
Both the white lines and the brown Valkyrie arm tattoo were painted with Mehron Paradise Paints.
I hope this helped anyone creating their own Valkyrie cosplay, or gave you some insight as to how I make my costumes. Thanks for the read. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!