Preparing for Fanime, revisiting TP Link costume

Fanime is only a couple months away and I plan to wear my TP Link costume to it. There are a few things I still have left to work on and two months should be plenty of time to do it.

Unfinished items
High Priority
These are things I really want done before I wear this costume again.

  • Sheath – I have a plastic black sheath that came with my crappy sword. I’m going to create a fabric covering for it to make it better match the costume.
  • Shield – it broke on Halloween. I’ll be fixing it with my new drill today or tomorrow 😀
  • Wig – I have a second wig with some hair that I’m going to cut off and stitch to pieces of fabric, then sew it onto my Link wig to create the long parts that come down in front of the ears.
  • Boots – described in more detail below.
  • Tunic inside seams – I never ‘finished’ the edges on the inside of the tunic and its already starting to run. I should take care of this before I wear it again or the thing might fall apart.

Medium Priority

  • Shield Harness – A friend mentioned he had seen cosplayers use those zippy ties to tie props to their back. I bought some extra large heavy duty ones. I’ll give those a try and see if they work so that I can attach my shield to my back instead of carrying it on my arm all day.
  • Chain-mail – Its such a small detail but I think it adds another level of authenticity to the costume. I can live without it but why not give it a try.
  • Gauntlet – TP Link has a leather gauntlet on the arm that holds his sword (left hand in Cube version, right hand in Wii version). It’s another one of those things that people wont notice if its missing, but its nice to have.

Low Priority

I probably wont even get to these items before Fanime and that is totally fine with me. I’ll just take care of these before Halloween ’08.

  • Pant hem and tie string – They haven’t been hemmed. But no one’s going to see because it will be covered by the boots. I’m using a temporary strip of rope to tie the pants.
  • Hat detail – There’s this little seam near the tip of Link’s hat that I never got around to adding. I bet no one will notice its missing.
  • Tunic neck trim – Sometime I’d like to redo the neck trim. It didn’t come out perfect. This is the lowest thing on my priority list.

Getting Started

The biggest projects are the chain-mail and the boots.

I already have a nice pair of brown boots, but I plan to sew a new pair of "sleeves" for them. Not sure how else to describe it, but the material is kind of a shiny leather and I’d like it to match the other soft brown segments of my costume. I’m going to first make the pieces in muslin and use them as pattern pieces for cutting the final material. I’ll also need to figure out how I’m going to do the little bit of detail on the sides of his boots. Embroydery would be cool but I don’t have a machine for doing it and don’t know how to do it. I’m thinking I’ll just use the sewing machine to stitch the outline of his pattern, maybe put some interfacing in place to keep it from weakening the material. There are also some other details like the cuffs at the top of the boot that I’ll be adding.

The chain-mail is going to be a bit of a challenge. I found some great resources online on how to do it. My biggest challenge so far with it has been finding the correct wire. In Kurnous34’s chain-mail tutorial, he recommends ungalvanized stainless steel 14 gauge electric fence wire but unfortunately, I cannot find ungalvanized anywhere. All I’ve been able to find is galvanized steel. And even that is hard to find in the hardware stores. I did find it in Lowes and Home Depot, but they only came in lengths of 100 feet for like $6 which is a rip off. So I went online and found 1/4 mile for around $25 + shipping. I have purchased the rest of my supplies from Orchard Supply Hardware:

  • variable speed drill
  • wire cutters
  • gloves
  • safety glasses
  • 1/4 inch diameter, 1foot long metal rod (this was hard to find in the store but I did get it at OSH)
  • 2 clamps
  • 2 pair pliers (had these already so didn’t need to buy them)

Kurnous34 says you shouldn’t get galvanized wire because it contains chemicals that can rub off onto your clothing and stink. But Patrick Innes makes chainmail from galvanized metal without problems. I also read the comments on Kurnous34’s video and some said they used galvanized without problems. I plan to hold a rag in my hand while I’m feeding the wire around the rod and whipe the chemicals as I’m doing it. Maybe I can hose some of the chemicals off too. Anyway, all the chemical is is Zinc to keep it from rusting.

I’m only just getting started. I’ll post details of the progress of the boots and chainmail when I have them.



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