I have never sewn before, never taken Home Ec classes, so I had to spend a lot of time just visualizing how I would put things together and make them work. I also found I began to draw on my memories of my Grandmother measuring us against a pattern when she would make oh-so-many articles of clothing for us. I was learning then.
I started out buying a bolt of this gorgeous grey polyester cloth. I had bought some green for my kitchen windows a few years back and it hung and draped so beautifully, I knew that the grey would fit my needs wonderfully when I decided to do Novice. If they had a grey that would work. They did.
We also bought a Brother sewing machine through Costco, boy that made it really fun!! :)
Above is the bib, made to measure according to my proportions. Longer in the front than the back. Double layered with Fusible Fleece sandwiched inside. The collar sewn to stand up. The back closure is well-finished and closes using the Braza flash tape. That worked well!
In the left and center pics, you can see the final shape of the balaclava, with the finished cuts for the shoulders, and the shaped opening for my head. All closed with Braza tape. The right pic shows the inside of the face, with the thicker wire used to curve the nose, and all the tape placement. That tape stays, it won't be removed without possible damage to the face inside. As it isn't worn daily, I'm not worried about thickness, I'll address it if it ever gets to that point.
The face/balaclava combo. Center pic is a simple beanie, the right is the hat. We talked about it at the con with the other Novices, it should be simple origami, but I ended up making it in stages with a paper pattern first, then transposed that to card stock, and then shaped the appropriate sized material on it (same as my garments) cut it down a bit, and then used papier mache paste to thicken and adhere it to the card stock.
I did each portion of the hat in stages, the crown first, then attached the brim and applied cloth to the under side, then applied cloth to the side next to the crown, then curled the back ends around to tuck in nicely at the back of the hat. It dried a bit lumpy in places, but it was stout and worked very well. This was a fair bit of work, constantly checking approximate measurements from the Grid Lock stills to my measurements, back and forth repeatedly.
You can see the card stock foundation I used, with a center line for symmetry as much as I could, and the final balance and equality between sides was pretty satisfactory.
The right pic shows the scapular, a very simple overlay completely open on both sides with just a slot for the had to pass through. This is shorter than the tunic by about 6 inches.
The sleeves were made identically and set into the sides, with the shoulder seam a bit shorter on top so it wouldn't hang down my arm. You can see the angle of the sleeve inset in the left pic. The head opening was the same as for the scapular, just enough to put my head through with the face and balaclava already on.
Erin helped to pin the bottom so it was a uniform length and would hang properly. It also needed to drape in folds, so I added a pie shaped gord (is that correct?) under each arm to add to the fullness.
I wore an additional dark grey long sleeve shirt underneath, to try to hide as much of my natural arm as possible. And a pair of shorts, as I figured I was going to be quite comfortable.
I had received grey gloves as a sample from a glove company online, and they were perfect!
The grey shoes we bought at Solus, they happened to have some simple grey, ballet type shoes, on sale. The grey socks were a set of men's hosiery from Kohl's. You'd think not, but it was difficult finding some of these items.
The final touch was make up around the eyes. I used white, brown, and black, cream makeup in tubes from Party City. The first day I based the eye area all with the white, and then tried the black on top as eyeliner, but my skin isn't as smooth as it was when I was younger and I wasn't happy with the result. So the second and third days, I feathered the black and brown together over the upper eye lids and eye hollows a bit, and under the eyes, blending it more into the white. This softenend the look a bit, and worked better against my skin texture.
For Cosplayers - Novice's Full Outfit
I think the final result was all I had hoped, and more.
Click on the Photos for Enlargements