Level 5-1: Upgrade Suit

25 Feb

For those of you that check in on us and take note of the count down to C2E2 along the right-hand side of the page, I want to reassure you that we have more built than we’ve actually blogged about. While we might be stressed and filled with fear and you might be filled with those same things on our behalf, we are much more prepared than it might appear! This week’s update will be coming in two parts. You’re reading the first one right now and it’s about the details on Subject Delta’s suit. The second will be posted on Thursday and we’ll show you what we have cooked up for Subject Delta’s back pack and air tanks!

Subject Delta Drill Reference

If you’ll recall way back in July, we found a work suit for Daniel’s Subject Delta and we finally got around to making some leather patches for it! We bought some upholstering faux leather and some butcher paper for making rough patterns and got to work.

Take a look at this reference photo, you can see that beneath the helmet there’s a couple of layers of leather to serve as padding between the metal helmet and the suit itself. We started calling this “the bib.” I took some butcher paper, cut a hole into a large square section of it, put it over Daniel’s head and had him put the helmet on. Then I free-handed the curve of the bib in paper.

Subject Delta Leather PatternSubject Delta Leather Pattern Back

I created two patterns, one for the larger bottom layer and another for the top layer. I then laid my patterns out on top of our material and got to cutting.

Bib Patterns Bib from the Leather

When I put these cut pieces of leather on Daniel again, I noticed how flat they looked. Yes, they were very practical and if Daniel really did have a huge metal helmet to wear they’d serve as a nice buffer between his delicate shoulders and the cold steel but, in Cosplay, we’re going for an aesthetic so we decided to do some stitching.In case I forgot to tell you, we don’t have a sewing machine so any stitching was going to be done by hand. With this in mind, we knew that any sort of stitching would be purely for looks.


I picked up some yellow thread from Michael’s, we went with the color on the left, along with some needles and Daniel and I spent two movies stitching the details onto his bib, his knee pads and the other decorative panels for his suit. We wanted something that would be big enough to be seen at a distance, which is why we picked the yellow instead of a dark brown like you see in the reference photo at the top of the article.

All of our hard work and stabbed fingers gave us a table full of details; beautiful, beautiful details.

Bib with Detail Stitching Details Stitched

Since Daniel’s suit was double lined and padded, we decided to hot glue the patches onto the suit instead of attempting to wrestle it into submission with hand-stitching. I was really afraid that the glue would make the leather pucker but it worked quite nicely. Score another point for Daniel who assured me that this was not in fact cheating.

Suit with Detail Patching

Knee Pad in LeatherFor the knee pads we bought a set of light weight , plastic foam knee pads from Home Depot and cut them into squares. We then covered them in leather. They’re not done, by any means, but we need to paint the rest of the detailing before we can add it to the cloth on the knee pads.

Just in case you think the suit needs even more leather detailing, I want to let you know that we’re not done by a long shot! If you take another look at our reference you can just make out some leather straps running along the top of Subject Delta’s thighs. Here’s a better angle so you can see exactly what I mean.

Subject Delta Action Figure Front Subject Delta Action Figure Back

So, I got to cutting and stitching. We purchased some buckles on-line from BuckleGuy.com. They arrived quickly and in great shape! I decided to cut all the strips we needed for Daniel’s suit as well as our boots and weapons all at once. I was cutting so many strips that I almost lost track of all the strips! Using a nail and a block of wood I punched some holes in the leather for the buckle to go through and then glued the other end shut with some hot glue and I was set.

Buckle with Hole Buckle with Glue Buckle Strap with Stitching

While I was putting the finishing touches on his strap stitching, Daniel cut and hot glued some leather around his belt. This belt is actually going to be supporting the backpack and tanks so you’ll see more about it next week. We decided to hot glue yet again and here’s what we got!

So sorry to post and run but we’ve got lots to do and not as much time as we’d like to do it in! Check back later this week for our post on Subject Delta’s backpack and air tanks! — TCG


5 Responses to “Level 5-1: Upgrade Suit”

  1. Meris February 25, 2014 at 9:23 AM #

    I am speechless. I can’t tell you how impressed I am that you hand stitched that detail on the leather. My fingertips are aching in solidarity. And I agree, gluing is not cheating. If it works, it works. I am going to show this to my fiancé. I think it might inspire him to “help” more with costumes that require hardware or non-fabric bits. I can’t wait to see the final costumes!

    • thosecrazygilberts February 25, 2014 at 9:53 AM #

      Meris, you have no idea how amazing your compliment just made me feel!! I think that you single-handedly saved this dreary Tuesday. Thank you so much! — Sara


  1. Level 6-1: Assemble Backpack cont. | Co-Op Campaign - May 12, 2014

    […] we decided to build the leg straps separately and attach them directly to the suit, a question remained; how is the pack secured to the upper part of the torso or shoulders? In a […]

  2. Level 9:1 – Upgrade Footwear | Co-Op Campaign - May 15, 2014

    […] the boots painted in their base colors, we added a couple of our hand stitched straps and buckles by poking holes through the strap and fastening them in place with the bolts and cap […]

  3. Level 4:4 – Stabilize Ranged Weapon | Co-Op Campaign - June 13, 2014

    […] used some more of the hand-detailed straps mentioned in our posts about Subject Delta’s suit to secure it to my arm. We decided to use […]

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