Quilted Cosplay Concepts
Good morning my lovely quilty friends and fellow dress up fans! Some of you know that I didn't start my sewing life in quilting. I started in costume creation and medieval combat re-enactment as well as small hand work project. I still love it when I get to create a fun outfit to wear to a special event.
So when my friend Toni over at Quiltoni invited me to join her at Dragon Con this year and demo free motion quilting idea that can easily apply to Cosplayers, I was super excited to get started on some fun ideas I've had in the back of my mind for a while.
In this blog, I'll be focusing on making a quilted circle skirt and a fun set of shoulder pauldrons that can be easily attached to almost any outfit.
For the skirt, start with a square of fabric that will give you the size of skirt you're looking for. The smaller the square, the shorter the skirt.
In my case, I started with 1 1/4 yard of the top fabric and of a coordinating fabric for the sandwich backing. After removing the selvages, I squared off the fabric to make a square ~ 42" x 42". As you can see in the first images I chose a fun Star Wars fabric and a really fun Dinosaur fabric for the focal fabrics and lined each one with a solidish batik fabric.
Once the fabric was squared (1), I folded the fabric in half (2) and in half again (3), so that I had a folded square of fabric.
Position a long ruler on one folded edge of the square created above. and begin to mark a semi-circle along the raw edge side of the folded square (1). Once you have a completely marked semi-circle, position a circle template in the folded corner of the square and mark for the waist hole (2). For my waist (~35") I used an 11" circle template.
Cut along the marked lines to create a large circle with a hole at the center (3). Repeat this process with the coordinating fabric you plan to line your skirt with.
Use a large batting scrap (my batting scrap was approximately 44" x 44"). Layer the top fabric with the batting scrap and use the circle you created as a template to cut out an identical circle of batting.
Layer the coordinating fabric circle beneath the two circles you have already cut out to create a quilting sandwich.
Baste your layers with your favorite basting method. I like to use #1 safety pins to baste my projects, but you could also baste with a spray baste product if you prefer. It's likely that your project won't be too heavily quilted, which makes a spray basting option a reasonable choice.
Quilt your circle skirt in the manner of your choosing. For the Dino fabric, I chose a simple Lo0p d Loop design. Here's a quick video to show you more about how I quilted the Dino skirt. Loop d Loop quilting.
This amazing Dino fabric depicts some of my favorite dinos as super heroes, sporting masks, armor, and even capes! The name of this line is Super Dinos and was designed by Liz Mytinger for Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. It was released in the Fall of 2020, but I'm still finding it available in some spots. I've ahd it sitting on my shelf for a few years and Dragon Con seemed like the perfect opportunity to make use of it.
Once my skirt was completely quilted, I used left over scrap binding from old projects and bound the based edge of my skirt in the same way as I would bind any quilt. I used my walking foot to attach a bias binding, using The Binding Tool to connect my tails.
Finish your binding on the machine or turn it over by hand, depending on your preferences. I always like to turn mine by hand using my blind applique stitch, but that's part of my "stay busy on the couch in the evenings" routine.
To complete my skirt, I added a wide piece of bias tape to the top of the skirt and run a draw string or a wide piece of elastic through the bias tape topper to be able to cinch or tighten the skirt. You are ready to party!
The pauldrons were a piece of quilted armor I've been imagining for a while. To print the templates that I created for both the pauldrons and vambraces visit my Download page and download the templates for free today!
For the Pauldron creation, I cut two matching pieces of fabric for the top (a white batik) approximately the same size as a sheet of printer paper (8 1/2" x 11"). I cut a similar sized piece of scrap batting and two similar sized pieces of backing fabric. You can make the backing fabric a totally different color in order to create reversible armor pieces that match a second outfit.
Layer your pieces and use the armor template to mark the outline of the pauldrons. Then use rulers and/or templates to mark any designs you would like to quilt on your armor pieces.
Begin your quilting process by quilting the outlines of the patterns you plan to quilt. You can use free motion for this part or attach your walking foot for the straight line elements.
In this illustration, you can see the order in which I completed the quilting on the pauldrons. I was aiming for high density fill designs to create additional stiffness in the project.
To make these even more stiff, you might choose to use Soft and Stable instead of batting.
For this project, I quilted the pieces with Aurifil 50 wt. thread. I used two shades of orange and a bright teal.
I made sure to quilt each pauldron a little past the line of the armor template to keep the armor stiff all the way to the edge.
With the pualdrons fully quilted, I cut them out on the line of the template shape.
Finish your pauldron edges with binding, bias tape, or a facing (if you're not concerned with them being reversible). If using a binding to finish this piece, consider a bias binding to help make the curves easy to get around.
With both of the pauldrons bound, I sprayed them liberally with water to block them and form them in the process.
I plan to attach these to my outfit by stitching a large button to the shoulders of my outfit.
Once the pauldrons are blocked and completely dry, I stitched the top of the V shape closed until the opening was just long enough to allow me to button them onto the top of my outfit at the shoulders.
Both of these fun pauldrons are now ready to wear!
I'll be demoing the quilting for these quilted armor pieces as well as the vambraces while I'm at Dragon Con and showing off my Amity quilting gloves that make all of my detail quilting so much easier to achieve with ease.
When you make your quilted cosplay be sure to tag @swanamity in your posts and show me your beautiful projects! Happy Stitching!