Friday, March 13, 2009

X-Men's Rogue v. 2.0

My very first superhero costume was a Rogue suit which I had commissioned. It was okay but I had hoped for better. It wasn't exactly the right shades of green or yellow that I wanted and the color blocking was done in a way that looked like it been pieced together with scraps or at best, used as little yardage as possible. I use a lot of fabric for a suit my size because I would rather have larger pieces cut on the fold than a bunch of seams from small pieces stitched together; just my preference for the best looking suit possible.

The jacket - I spent the past couple of years slowly gathering the items to make the Rogue suit that I wanted. I got very lucky in finding what I feel is the perfect brown jacket at Burlington Coat Factory for only $17 and it's made from polyurethane not leather or cotton. I made my own X patches for the shoulders and attached them with a combination of gorilla glue and instant vinyl glue.

The wig came from one of my shopping binges online at Best Wig Outlet. It's by Sepia, called "Ebony."

The boots are faux leather and I picked them up a long time ago at Famous Footwear. I happen to prefer the more practical brown knee highs which I can wear in normal everyday life rather than the thigh-high plastic yellow boots with green strappy things.

The gloves were an amazing find at a thrift store in their vintage room! They were only $4 because they were considered "lightly soiled." I knew patience would pay off by shopping for pieces over time and waiting for just the right thing. I hate making gloves!

The belt is just something from my closet. This particular buckle design is just two layers of foamies; one in black, one in red - giving it the embossed "X" look. The backing is a strip of black spandex for the belt to weave through. I've just ordered a nice fancy X buckle from TheWrapofCons but I'll need to paint it.

When it came to making the bodysuit, I started with the Kwik Sew #3052 activewear pattern which has been the staple base for all my full length suits. I had transferred it to muslin for my size and marked up my color blocking. Then I transferred those pattern pieces to paper (because that's what I had and was out of muslin) in order to get all the pieces I needed for this design. Let me express how much I hate sewing on curves! I have a couple of spots that are little too pinched or gathered but it's actually pretty good overall.

Fabric - The spandex is Milliskin Shiny Tricot 4-way Stretch which I ordered through and it arrived THE NEXT DAY. I think the color codes I ordered were #46 (green) and #11 (yellow).

The collar's stitching is actually a bit of a mess for getting that black bias tape in place. Luckily most of the problem stitching is on the inside. I also decided to put the zipper in the front which has two functions, one practical and one for kicks: the practical element is that a front zipper is easier to get out of; the other reason is because it can be unzipped enough for a sexier look.

I also ran into some problems that worked themselves out when I embroidered the chest logo directly onto the suit; the other option would be to make a patch and glue it on like I did for the jacket. By putting the spandex through the embroidery, it began to make folds as it progressed but it's not even noticeable in the final product. I also decided to make a full X logo using a black background and yellow "X" and circled edge; oftentimes Rogue's logo is really just the black spaces and no "X" at all. I went for something cleaner looking plus adding an original touch.

This suit will debut at Free Comic Book Day at Comic Fusion in Flemington, NJ (May 2nd)!


The Nerdy Bird said...

Oh man! I want one now!! :)

Great job!

Aimi said...

Wow, it looks reallly cool!

I wanted to dress up as Rogue for a fancy dress party but didn't have any luck finding one or possessing the skills to make one myself.

Great effort, it turned out really well! :)

Stacey said...

First off, it looks amazing! Great job!

Secondly, thank you for explaining your process and where you got your fabric, etc. I'm into costuming and eventutally want to do a classic Rogue and this will help me SO much. (I'm working on a Zero Suit Samus currently and your pattern and fabric info were exactly the resources I needed!)

Keep up the amazing work!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a "real job" or do you only cater to the very warped and unrealistic world of the "middle aged" gamer crowd? It's nice to know that since I last saw you at Comic Fusion (this past March) your talents have not progressed much past being a bad seamstress and attempting to seduce my husband. Please stick to what you know...continue to flaunt your generous amount of cellulite, and find a man that is single. Thanks so very much!
And I will be more than happy to leave my name.

Alecia K. Thomas
Raritan Boro

rjguadagno said...

For those of us that know you, and know your love for comics - this was so well done!

My favorite will be your Sue Storm, or the Firestar (I saw at NYCC). Vicki (my wife) and I see your love of the comics industry with each new costume you make - and you only add to it more with your amazing personality - which is why we love you so much!

We only wish we could steal you away from Stacey more often for our store!

Our love for you always!

Robert & Vicki Guadagno
New Moon Comics, LLC
Little Falls, NJ

Amber Love said...

Dear Mrs.Thomas of Raritan Boro,
I actually let your words hurt me this morning. I showed them to all my friends as I considered retiring from costuming. Then they knocked some sense into me.

A) If you have trust issues with your husband, that's your problem. I'm happily married and have been so for 5 years.

B) I don't think I have the best body in the world but I'm not auditioning for the catwalk. I wear my suits to comic shops, conventions and charity events where I have helped raise thousands of dollars for SAFE in Hunterdon among others.

C) Since your husband was in Comic Fusion then I guess he is part of our warped middle aged gamer society and there's not a damn thing wrong with that. You are not only insulting me and your husband, but also the shop owners and all of our customers who contribute to our commerce and American folklore.

D) Yes, I do have a "real job" - I work at a comic shop and I'm a journalist for the comics industry.

E) Anyone who claims that she's not anonymous because she writes a name but doesn't leave any contact information, isn't one to put much stock into.

Nicholas said...

You better not retire!!

People who are gonna hate on you just desire to have the attention that you yourself recieve.

Let them hate or should i put it...let them be jealous!

You are smokin'!

End scene.

sharbearj said...

Amber Love,
Your costumes are amazing, as are your sewing skills. (and btw, you've got a rockin bod) any person so miserable as to write nasty, untrue comments about you (in an attempt to avoid acknowledging their own insecurities and obviously horrible marriage) should be ignored for you a better person. The great work you do donating your time to local business owners and the community should be commended.
And, to "Anonymous" - I don't know you or your husband, but Amber Love's husband is as amazing as she is and they are very happy. She doesn't need your sloppy seconds. Get some therapy.

Christina said...

I was just wondering how you made your X patches? I am not crafty AT ALL, but I'm willing to take a shot!

Amber Love said...

My sewing machine has an embroidery component with designing software so that's how I did it. You could also make some out of craft foam sheets which is how I did my original buckle (the rectangle one). I've seen patches sold at NY Comic Con at a booth but the place didn't have any website. Stylin' Online has one that's not exactly right but it might be enough depending on the look you want - - they also have the blue Xavier's School one. Patch Geeks is another place for the red or blue Xavier's School patches -

Vanilla Vic said...

Hey Amber!!

I'm Vic, from Brazil, and me and my friends loved a lot your Rogue costume! Congratulations!

I love Rogue very very my country she is known as "Vampira", and I love her! Please, Amber, I have all the costume but I'm not happy with my leather jacket... Do you think I can buy one like yours going to



Amber Love said...

Hi, Vic
Thanks for writing. I've never checked out the website before because I live so close to the store. You should be able to find a lot of online shops that carry ones similar. Just search for "brown PU jacket" - the "PU" is "polyurethane" or you can try "faux leather". I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amber! All your costumes are so cute! I was wondering how much spandex is needed to create the look. My sister is amazing seamstress and she said she would make this for me!

Amber Love said...

Hello, Anonymous
I'm 5'2" and it takes 2.5 yards of spandex to make a full bodysuit with a minimum of patching pieces together (color blocking) so that there aren't a ton of seams.

jaayblake said...

any ideas on how i can pull of a storm costume?
i just need a bodysuit/catsuit for a good price, then i can do the rest...
any suggestions?

love your costume.


Amber Love said...

A lot of people just order their spandex bases from ebay but with caution because not all of them are reputable (look at their feedback rating).

You can also search for dancewear, like Rivers Edge dancewear. That should get you started.

Anonymous said...

I completely adore this- I'm planning on dressing as Rogue for a friends birthday party but using red/black. How long did it take to make?


Amber Love said...

Hi, Lauren,

It takes me about 1-2 weeks to make a suit like this depending on my schedule. Straight hours, that's something like 25 hours.


Jess said...

Hi Amber,
I came upon this page trying to find info on making a Rogue costume. I think your suit is Awesome & have taken your advice on the pattern selection. Also, I am looking into getting my fabric at as well. I'm just not sure how to go about altering the pattern to get the yellow in there. Also, not sure if you can help here or not, but I'm 5'5" 125 lbs, about how much of the yellow fabric would you suggest I need.Any advice is appreciated!
Thanks, Jess =)

Amber Love said...

Hey, Jess - I always shop conservatively and over buy fabric. If I need 2 1/2 yds for a full suit, I buy 2 1/2 of each color. Better to have leftovers than not enough.

Jenna said...

I love your costume awesome work
your tips are wonderful & your so a big fat ass( hope you note I'm being a smart ass) i've always found it funny when someone comments on something they know noting about
if that woman ever opend an x-men comic would notice that rogue is not a stick witch is why she is one of my favs
but really your body works well with that costume

spuffyromyfan said...

Oh yeah your so fat & out of shape ( note I'm being a smartass) but really you look awesome here your body type really works well with this costume
i find it funny when someone finds the time to trash others cuz their husbands look at other woman but whatever you look killer & you did an awesome job on this it's much beter then my rogue

Unknown said...

Hi Amber,
Your suit is amazing and I really want to make one!! The link for the pattern that you posted isn't working anymore, and I was wondering if you have a more recent one?
Thanks, Jessica

Amber Love said...

The link still goes to Kwik Sew which is a good thing. Just enter the number of the patter #3052 and their search will take you there.