Metropolis Robot Costume
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I decided that I wanted to challenge myself this Halloween, so I choose to make a costume based off of the female robot from the 1927 film Metropolis. I realized that I had neither the budget, capacity or time to exactly replicate the wooden suit used in the film, so I decided to utilize materials that I had. I wanted a flexible and comfortable costume, so I decided to use leather. I had also read that you could soak leather and then mold it into stiffer shapes, but I didn’t have much luck with that technique, or the time to do it properly. I purchased an old long leather coat and found some scraps of another old leather coat. Next I drafted a pattern using the front pieces of the Simplicity pattern 5006, to which I added a long section at the bottom to transform it from a corset to a bodysuit. I wasn’t able to use any existing bodysuit patterns I had, since they all wanted you to use a stretch fabric like lycra and my leather suit would need to fit snuggly without any stretch. Using fabric I then draped my dress mannequin to make the top of the front of the bodysuit, and back of the suit. Once I was satisfied with my pattern mock up, I disassembled it and cut out the pieces from the leather. I liked the stitching design that was already on the back of the leather jacket, so I decided to keep that as one piece, and add stylistic elements as seen in the original costume. For ease in getting into the costume I added a side zipper, and small silver buckles to the top so I could tighten it around my neck once I had the costume on. Finally I added leather sleeves out of the last bit of leather scraps I had left over. I painted the entire leather bodysuit, as well as a tall pair of leather boots, with a silver spray paint. I then pronounced the seams with a darker grey paint and permanent marker. I traced my hand to make a glove pattern, then sewed gloves using liquid metal silver fabric. For cuffs I bought a silver purse, and cut and sewed it into the perfect armbands. Underneath my costume I wore purchased silver leggings and a silver long-sleeved shirt and made its sleeves fit me tightly. Using my remaining liquid silver fabric I wrapped my neck and made a headband to cover my ears. The costume ended up being very comfortable actually.
Step One: Pattern made with cloth onto a dress mannequin.
Step Two: Using the pattern I created, I cut up two leather jackets to create the leather bodysuit. This is how it looked before painting.