Jester Lavorre Cosplay Bodice

 

I’ve always loved the idea of cosplay and I’ve admired many cosplayers for their amazing creations and attention to detail. But when you’re a bit bigger than the ‘ideal’ size for most characters it tends to feel very much like something you can only look at and not participate in.

Enter Critical Role –  a weekly Twitch and YouTube stream of a group of friends playing Dungeons And Dragons who just happen to be popular voice actors. The CR fandom has produced some incredible cosplay pieces, including one of my absolute favourite characters – Jester Lavorre. The loveable ‘little blue tiefling’ cleric is played by Laura Bailey, and she has inspired a wide range of people to replicate her – even down to her love of pastries and her ‘Spiritual Weapon’ in the form of a gigantic lollypop!

Official Jester artwork by Ari @ornerine

The great thing about the Critical Role characters is that, although there are official character portraits, there is a degree of interpretation and artistic license in how they are portrayed. The CR fan base is well known for being diverse and supportive, so I figured it was a good place for me to dip my toe in the cosplay waters!

Jester’s outfit has many layers and elements, but for this Design Team Project, I decided to focus on her leather bodice. I used a metre of brown leatherette and decided to line it with brown polycotton to ensure it wasn’t too thick and heavy. I used pinking shears to clip all the seams to reduce as much bulk as possible.

I couldn’t actually find a pattern I liked, so I used a fairly unconventional approach I had seen several cosplayers recommend – cling film! I wrapped my torso in several layers making sure it sat properly on my curves, then drew the shape and seam lines onto the cling film with a marker. Once I was happy I cut the pieces out and laid them flat to create my pattern pieces, which were the perfect shape for my body. The great thing about the leatherette is that it has some stretch to it so it is much more forgiving than you’d think and very comfortable to wear! It was a lot easier to sew than I was expecting, though topstitching was a bit more tricky as it kept sticking to the presser foot. To remedy this I put a layer of plain white tissue paper on top of the leatherette and set the sewing machine to a slower speed so I could ensure I was keeping my lines as neat as possible. If you’re going to do this have some tweezers to hand – when you rip off the tissue paper little bits can remain in the stitches and it can take a good few minutes to remove them all!

For the finishing touches, I added brass jeans rivets to the straps and front panel. This was another element that was a lot simpler than I had previously thought – I assumed you needed a special tool to attach the rivets but all I needed was a hammer!

When I began this project I was concerned I had bitten off more than I could chew, but working with the leatherette and the hardware was no problem at all, and I am proud that I have begun my first cosplay piece on a good foot.

See you next time!

Steph

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