Red Sonja costume was Completed March 2008. The costume was designed by myself. I was helped during the costume process by my friend Nicola and my husband Greg.
Why I wanted to make it:
Red Sonja is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Being a strong female character she pretty much portrays all the aspects of someone I would look up too.. I have always loved the disc-mail bikini and the bright red hair. What was really neat about the Red Sonja revival in 2005 is was many different comic book artists drew Red Sonja covers, so I was able to see how other people interpreted the costume. There are a few aspects from a couple artists that I liked an used those in my costume.
Work in Progress:
It all started with a trip to the lingerie store. Choosing the right bra and undies was crucial. I wanted to have a well made bra that would withhold the weight of the metal and leather plus have a little bit of push-up to give my chest the look of Red Sonja's (delusions of grandeur). This is the bra I went with. The undies, I just wanted them to be quite low so my torso looked very long... (I am only 5'2")... so I went with a string bikini style.
The leather (I went REAL LEATHER on this costume, yes it was more expensive, but I think it gave it just that extra rugged look) was a very subtle deerskin. I hand sewed the leather to the bra cups and underwear with a thick waxed thread. I used leather strapping for the bra straps and belt. Nicola showed me some leather tooling techniques for when we designed Sonja's shoulder armor. All leather was attached by rivets, sewing or snaps.
With the metal discs, my friend Nicola, at the time, was working at a welding shop. She was able to produce aluminum discs at varying sizes for me. I drew templates out for the bra cups and loin using three different disc sizes. My husband, Greg, helped immensely with drilling the holes (one-by-one) into the discs so I could link them together with rings (sorta like chainmail, but more simplistic). The disc-mail was sewn on or linked with rings to the leather.
I found the boots and gloves online, they were inexpensive, just had to search a little longer to find what I needed. I think the gloves were from ebay and the boots from an online shoe store. The arm bands were pretty simple, one is actually my Slave Leia arm band (made from electrical wire and then spray painted gold) the other is just two inexpensive gold bracelets from Claires Accessories and then riveted together.
The wig was also purchased online (ebay). I was pondering whether to go natural red-head or bright-red when I was first researching the character. I loved how she looked when artists drew her with the bright-red hair so I just went with that. I thought if it looked too cheezy I could just get a more natural-red wig, but I loved the all over look when I tried the bright-red wig with the rest of the costume. :)
The sword I got at a local eclectic shoppe.
Costume and Price Breakdown (estimates):
Fabric: I guess that would be the leather... deerskin, strapping and thick-grade leather, about $100, Bra - $40, Underwear - $8
Weapon Props: Sword - $100
Other Accessories: Aluminum Metal discs were no charge (thanks Nicola!), Aluminum wire $10, Bracelets for Arm - $12, Gloves - $16, Leather Tools - $30, Two Metal clasps - $4
Time to Build: Lots and lots of time, many, many hours.. over about 2 months. My weekend were consumed by metal and leather.. haha.
Enjoy the photos :)