After 3 grueling weeks of work, finally have a product to produce! Brimfire wanted to wear Arsenal from CW's Arrow TV show because it's a great and very technical design compared to the current comic book Roy Harper, so we went about constructing the jacket for Emerald City Comic Con, though the finished version with his belts, quiver and escrima sticks will be done for C2E2 or Dragoncon.
The primary roadblock we encountered making this was realizing - with verification from a CW wardrobe member - that the show uses two jackets: one in full leather for promotional and standing shots, and one withe elastic panels in the arms and over the hips to assist in movement for the stunt double. For purposes of mobility and comfort, we went with the on-screen elastic panel design and were happy to find out it breathes very well and doubles in adding texture to break up a very red design.
The jacket was patterned and tailored entirely by me from scratch using lambskin for the body, leather cord for the stitch panels, and deer hide suede for the hood and shoulder/elbow accordion panels, which were all painstakingly sewn through my sewing machine individually and took about 4 hours to get the rows the correct width. Brimfire pounded the 140+ grommets including a back panel and we airbrushed the black fade using a heavily diluted acrylic paint and fabric medium mix with our friend Darick's help. The paint was then further sealed and spread with multiple layers of leather wax and sealant. We tried to reproduce every aspect of the jacket down to the smallest details, including Roy's silly thumb loops and lower back quilting, the hood and body are both reinforced and lined. The shoes are the same Nike Jordan's they use on set; we substituted a red mask he already had from a Red Lantern cosplay for Roy's, but might get an accurate circular mask in the future.
My Brother sewing machine is really the hero of the story for not crapping out on my halfway through this project, given that I don't own an industrial sewing machine.
Black Canary...was made in one evening since I pre-owned everything and just had to sew the suit and style a wig to reflect the voluminous hair style of Bruce Timm's art. Because a bustier is a hell of a lot easier to make than a full motorcycle-style leather jacket. This was definitely one of my most technically complicated and challenging projects and I'm happy I had Brimfire to help and offer cheerleading support through the production process.
Arsenal (CW "Arrow" version) worn by Brimfire
Black Canary worn by me
All costumes made by me
Photo by Cliff Nordman