Pidge Gunderson from Voltron: Legendary Defender
Character Name: Katie "Pidge Gunderson" Holt
Series: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Specifics: main casual outfit
Time: 3 months
Started: January 2018
Completed: March 2018
Debuted: Toronto Comic Con 2018
Click the thumbnails to see the full-sized images!
Photo credits: Kris Byers Photography
, Elemental Photography
, & Becky
I decided to cosplay Pidge for many reasons. First, I absolutely love Voltron, and I've wanted to make a Voltron costume since the series came out. Second, I love Pidge, and how she's tiny and androgynous like I am. Third, I thought making her outfit, especially her top, would be a fun challenge.
I took a lot of progress photos, so the following is like a mini Pidge cosplay tutorial.
Like most of my costumes, I started by making a mock. It look me weeks to fiddle with the mock and get her proportions right, and another few days to slowly figure out how I wanted to break her top up into its different colored parts. I made sure that all of the pieces would link up perfectly. I used the mock to make a pattern of her top. Without any seam allowance, it looked like this:
After I had the pattern made, I cut out the pieces. I decided to make her top out of polar fleece, and I lucked out and managed to find the exact colors I was looking for.
Some notes on this pattern: I originally planned to line the bottom of the costume, have the collar be three pieces, and make the ends of her sleeves cuffs, and I didn't end up doing any of this in the end. Also note that there's no side seem in the green piece at the bottom of her hoodie, because I thought it would be neat to pattern it that way. (Here's to details only you know are there and notice!)
At this point, I basically had a giant puzzle and I started to slowly sew the puzzle pieces together.
The hardest parts of this puzzle were, hands down, making sure the rounded seam on the front of the top looked even, sewing the inset corners in the bottom green piece of the top and making them look even, and making the back invisible zipper line up properly. (Invisible zippers do not like multiple layers of polar fleece.)
It took me a very, very long time to sew this top together. The zipper took hours. The insets took hours. Everything took longer than I thought it would, honesty, but the puzzle slowly came together.
Some other notes: The collar was interfaced, and the orange piece at the top of the collar and the orange lining of the collar are just one piece with a fold in it. I hand-sewed the collar lining down on the inside. All the other hems were hand-sewed as well.
The black collar piece was tricky to pattern and took me a few tries. Once I had a pattern, I fused multiple layers of polar-fleece together with heat-and-bond and then hand-sewed black fabric to cover it. The orange bit at the front was the hardest part to make. There's an inset a few of the layers of polar fleece deep and I ended up using hot glue to secure the black polar fleece around it. I'm not sure how to explain it, so the good news is that I took some photos:
This was time consuming, but it came out looking really good, imo!
I then hand-sewed the black collar piece to the top. This also took longer than I thought it would since I had to fiddle with it multiple times to get it to look even with the lines on the top.
I think this slow, patient patterning and sewing was worth it because the proportions of the final version came out really nicely. I'm super proud of this top!
I mean, look how nicely the green on the body and sleeve of the top line up:
I sewed every seam so it all lined up, which took forever but was worth it:
And here are the hand-sewn hems:
All in all, the top took me weeks to pattern and like five 15 hour days of full-time sewing to put together.
It was all worth it though. I'm so, so happy with how this top came out!
I bought fabric for these shorts twice, because after I bought fabric, I found another fabric that was the perfect color.
I needed a new shorts/pants pattern since my old ones no longer fit me, so I used my Rei overalls pattern to make a mock pair of shorts. Then I used that mock to make a pattern for Pidge's shorts.
I gave them an elastic waistband for comfort and easy of wear. I also make sure to give them her unique long and pointy pockets. I hand-sewed the hems so the hems look really crisp.
I bought the Pidge wig from Kasou Wigs
. It was pretty much the perfect hair color and length and came with some styling. I loved it the second I got it and totally recommend it to anyone else wanting to cosplay her.
That being said, I put hours into styling this wig. I trimmed the bangs. The sides were originally pretty straight and curved down around the chin. I added "flippy-ness" to these sides and shaped the flips so they swept back into the flips at the back of the wig. I also added a few additional flips at the back.
Here's what the wig looked like when I got it:
And here's what it looked like after styling:
The signature Pidge side flippy-ness:
The glasses, for the record, are the same ones I use to cosplay Harry Potter, LOL.
I started with a cheap pair of boots:
I cut off the straps off the boots, tied the secured the laces, and then glued the knot holding the laces tied so it won't come undone in the future:
I then glued polar fleece over the laces so that part of the boot wouldn't be bumpy after it was covered in fabric:
The next step was to cover the boots in cling wrap:
I covered the cling wrap in painter's tape and carefully drew on the design for the boots on the tape, deciding what parts of the boots would be orange, black and white:
I removed the tape and cling wrap and carefully cut out the pattern:
I used this pattern to cut out fabric:
I sewed the fabric together:
I want to make a note here that each boot cover had four inset 90 degree angle seams and that these eight seams alone took me something like five hours to sew. I had to re-sew each of them several times to make them look even. Sometimes when reading a description like this of someone making a costume it makes it seem like everything came together easily and quickly. This was not like that at all.
Anyway, then I pinned the covers onto the boot and did my best to make them even on both boots. I also painted the areas around the zipper black so no grey would show through:
I started gluing down the bottom edge of the boot covers using Fabric Fusion. I sewed the hem in sections. I put glue at the very bottom of the boot, and laid the boot cover on top of it. I used my fingernail to push the fabric into the seam of where the boot meets its sole and held it there for a few seconds until it set. I waited a few hours for it to try and then I repeated this gluing process in sections of a few inches until the entire cover was glued down along the bottom of the boot:
I hand-sewed the boot covers onto the boot along the seam between the orange and black parts of the boot. I also glued the covers along the zipper:
I took some white stretchy fabric from my Videl costume, folded it in half, ironed that fold, and then glued that fold across the front of the boots:
After the glue was set, I carefully stretched this fabric around the front of the boot and glued it down:
This let me glue white fabric to the front curved part of the boot without needing any darts.
Once all the glue was dry, I took a pair of cuticle scissors and carefully cut the extra fabric off from around the bottom of the boots:
I also took this opportunity to re-glue any parts of the covers that weren't as secure as they should be.
Finally, I used a trick I came up with when I made my boots for my Shining Force Feathers costume a decade ago and I carefully glued black cording to the bottom of the boots to hide the glue and messy cutting job:
I used double-sided tape to make the orange inset in her heel.
The boots were looking pretty good at this point:
I'm not entirely pleased with how I made the cuffs on her boots, but for the sake of documentation, I'll talk about them a bit.
After I patterned the boot cuffs, I made them out of multiple fused together pieces of polar fleece. I then hand-sewed polar fleece over this to give it softer edges. I then hand-sewed my orange boots fabric over top of that.
I hand-sewed the cuffs onto the boots with plyers. I sewed it with mis-matched thread messily first just to get it in place, and then cleaned it up with nicer stitching in orange later:
Besides the cuffs, I really like the boots. And I learned a ton from making them!
Final Results and Thoughts:
This was a deceptively "simple" looking costume that took me a really long time, so it was really nice that all my hard work paid off.
And I looooove cosplaying Pidge. It's super fun to cosplay from Voltron!
The costume has been well-received too. I get a lot of compliments on it. I knew I did a good job when, the first time I wore it, a father came up to me with his daughter. The daughter wanted a photo with me, not just because she's a huge Pidge fan, because she thought I was the real Pidge! ;____; That was like the best compliment ever! Thank you, little girl!
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