Magneto from Marvel Comics

Character Name: Magneto
Series: Marvel Comics
Specifics: inspired by Erika Lehnsherr/Magneta from Earth-812145
Cost: $175
Time: 1 month
Started: April 2014
Completed: May 2014
Debuted: Anime North 2014



Photo credits: Solartempest, Elemental, Adrien and CTV

Costume Information

Years ago I was reading a cosplay website and the cosplayer who owned the site wrote that the more she cosplayed, the more she wanted to make costumes that she would have once considered "tacky". I don't remember what website it was or who ran it but these words stuck with me, and as I've gotten older, I've found that they also apply to me.

Magneto is the best example I have of this at the moment. Growing up, I watched 90s X-men cartoon. I always felt that the most striking and ugly costume in the show was the red and purple outfit Magneto wore. As a kid, I used to hate it. However, over the years, I've come to really like it. A few years ago, I realized I wanted to make it.

True be told, I have been hesitant about making superhero-ish costumes since I made my Robin costume. While I love my Robin costume to bits, it's a really warm costume to wear and I have to be very careful about making sure I don't sweat through it. As much as I wanted to cosplay Magneto, I felt that the traditional version of him would be super uncomfortable to wear.

Thankfully, I found an image of an alternative version of Magneto from an alternate world in the comics -- a woman named Erika Lehnsherr who called herself Magneta. The first time I saw her costume, I knew I wanted to make it. I really liked the design. It looks like Magneto's traditional costume, but because it lacks sleeves and a collar, I felt it would breathe more than being covered in head-to-toe fabric. Also, cosplaying this version of Magento meant that I didn't need to make a helmet (which I had zero interest in constructing).

Because I had only a few weeks to make this costume, I ended up buying a red bodysuit as the base of this costume. I bought one made of cotton so that it would breathe. The bodysuit is the only part of this costume I didn't make. However, I did end up altering the bodysuit heavily, especially since it had a turtleneck style collar originally.

Magneto's purple collar (the one with all the purple half-spheres stuck on it) was one of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of the costume to pattern and make, especially since it was almost entirely hand-sewn. I decided to hand-sew it because I wanted to minimize the visible seams on this costume and I didn't want to use glue.

I made this collar by layering fabric, fleece and heat-and-bond, and then hand-sewing purple spandex over it. The purple half-spheres are styrofoam balls I cut in half and hand-sewed purple-spandex to. I then hand-sewed the covered balls to the collar I had made using a curved needle.

The cape is a 3/4 circle similar to my Robin costume. I also made it out of a similar satin as my Robin cape. (FYI: Finding a matching purple spandex and satin was a nightmare.)

Because Magneto's cape looks like it's gathered at the collar, I experimented with gathering the top of the cape. I didn't like the way it ended up looking so I experimented with pleats. I ended up box-pleating the top of the cape and I feel that this gave the cape the volume and texture of Magento's cape and still allowed it to look crisp. I really like the effect I ended up achieving and I love the way the cape falls.

Although I did not line the cape, I double folded or added a facing to all the visible edges and seams to make sure there were no raw edges visible anywhere on the cape.

I hand-sewed the cape to the collar I made. The cape and collar are attached to the bodysuit through a number of snaps.

I'm making it sound rather simple, but I want to note that patterning and making the cape and the collar took at least 100 hours, especially since there was a lot of trial and error, math (so many hours of math!), and hand-sewing involved.

Because the collar was circular, I wanted the rest of the costume to be composed of curves. I patterned the belt so that it would have a subtle curve to it. It was made of layers of fabric and head-and-bond that I hand-sewed purple spandex on to in order to limit the number of visible seams. It snaps together at the back and also snaps into the bodysuit to keep it from shifting while I'm wearing it.

The armbands were made in a similar fashion. Since they're made of spandex, they slip on and off without any closures.

The purple headpiece was also patterned to be comprised of slight curves. It's made of craft foam that I carefully hot-glued purple spandex to. My friend Adrien helped me bend some wire to put inside the headpiece to help it keep its shape. I also added a felt backing to the headpiece so it would be comfortable to wear against my skin. The headpiece is worn using white elastics that are secured to the wire in the headpiece.

The wig was bought from EpicCosplay, and was cut and styled by me.

Finally, I wanted to make boots that matched the purple of the rest of the costume, so I made spandex boot covers that slip over my Robin boots.

Overall, I love this costume! It's super comfortable, it weights a fraction of what Robin did and I can wear it in the summer without boiling too much. I think I look good in the costume and I love having a cape~ Plus, this is one of the few times I've cosplayed a villain, which is fun in its own way.

A few people recognise the character, although most people think of it as a rule 63 version of Magneto, which is totally fair since that's basically what it is.

In Progress

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