The lovely Sheena Duquette shared the following writeup on how she made her Pyrrha Nikos costume from RWBY.
Having always been drawn to the strong warrior-type women for prospective cosplays, I knew Pyrrha would be a perfect candidate as an intro to armor. There’s nothing I love more than embodying my favorite characters while also learning a refining new skills along the way.
Excluding the armor, this design was pretty simple overall. After receiving concept artwork from RWBY’s creator, Monty Oum, I set about detailing and patterning my costume.
Bustier-esque pattern on top, leg armor and bracer on bottom. I ended up just folding the armor patterns in half to get a more accurate trace.
Red soles. Monty please. I ended up sanding down the soles of some old heels I used to wear in high school before slathering red acrylic paint onto them. Being neat wasn’t too much of a concern since I would be gluing my covers on over top of any paint bleed. I then sealed it with clear Plastidip.
Most of the fabric cut out to corresponding fabric. I typicially eyeball ~1″ seam allowance.
Pinning, sewing, sealing. Multi-tasking!! I also copied my boot cuff pattern to some craft foam to give it some sturdiness.
Here’s the sash and the skort. I chose to have the sash wrap close with velcro, and the tail part to tuck inside rather than actually tying and knotting the fabric. As for the skirt, I decided to make shorts underneath to accommodate for the inevitable “panty-shot” poses I’d be pulling.
I love pouches. Not my favorite thing to make, but when I’m in costume, I need somewhere to put my belongings. I took some time to sew on some details before assembling them over craft foam patterns, much like the boot cuffs.
The cuffs just slip over the boots from above. I had some riding-up issues at one point, but nothing a little velcro on the inside couldn’t fix!
Tabs, spray paint, and progress. But I will say this: don’t use vinyl. Why did I use vinyl? It’s awful to wear. Don’t do it.
Now that all the sewing is out of the way, it’s on to armor. I was cheap and managed to craft everything (including the shield!) on one Jumbo Size Worbla Sheet. Rather than the full sandwich method, I folded the thermoplastic around the edges of my foam and called it good enough. Being my first try at both armor and Worbla, I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learned a lot.
Bit of progress on the knee area. You can see the flaps I mentioned.
Getting some pieces together. Hands down the hardest part was finding the right shape to heat things over.
Fun fact: I had to punch grommets through the bracer to allow for it to be laced up. So, I heated up the part I wanted to pierce first, and then stabbed it with a screwdriver first to make a start. I then reheated it and forced my way through with a grommet puncher.
Test fitting the jewels on the crown! The chains are folded under the lips of Worbla on the inner part. I strung fishing line through the chains to secure the beads.
Always use your heat gun against a heat-safe surface. You will melt upholstery and carpet so fast. Trying to stretch my materials, I reheated scraps of Worbla together before flattening them out in a pan and cutting new shapes. Success!
This was probably the hardest thing to pattern and I can barely turn my head in it. However, it does its job, so long as I don’t actually have to snipe anything..
V2 of the bustier
Remaking of the top piece. The material I originally chose was clearly not right in any sense for how I was wearing it, so I opted for something a little more.. practical. However, like before, I simply spray painted my fabric gold for sake of ease.
With many thanks to Sheena Duquette for sharing this with us!