Sweet Pea from Sucker Punch
Photos by Matt Barnes
Model, costume: Sylvie Kirkman
This costume was started in 2014/2015 and not completed until early 2017 when this group was proposed.
The coat was mocked up in calico based on a floor-length coat pattern and modifiedÂ to include the hood and back lacing detail, as well as the new hemline. I used a fusedÂ leatherette bought online for the final, lined with calico and topstitched along the seams. It’s also boned in spiral steel around the torso.
The spaulder is made with worbla, supplied by Worbla NZ Ltd. This was initially patterned in thin sheets of foam, and covered in worbla before assembly. This was primed in PVA glue and base coated in black before being hand-coloured with acrylic paint.
The weapon harness has a back plate in heavy interfacing and cotton drill with the edges bound in leatherette. The weapon sheaths are attached here and are removable.
The bootcovers are ponte knit and shaped like spats to be worn over boots, fastening under the arch of the foot in front of the heel. The rear placket detail was added in leatherette with topstitching and eyelet detail – the facing is fixed, these are purely decorative and do not affect fit. Further topstitched detail was added to the center front and back seams, calf, and heel in heavy polyester thread. These are attached to a garter belt with a nylon webbing clip, worn under the coat. The belts at the thigh are leatherette and are permanently fixed in place to prevent them slipping down, with the shotgun shells slipped into an elastic casing. The rosary and shotgun shells were bought online – the shells are non-flammable blanks, so although they are “real” they are totally inert and unable to be fired from an actual weapon.
The gloves are two separate pairs – a longer pair of thumbed sleeves in athletic mesh knit with leather trim, and a shorter pair of fingerless gloves in leather and mesh worn over the top.
All components were broken down and weathered after completion.
The wig is a lace front bought online, and was dyed to get a more natural colour – originally platinum with quite dark brown streaks, I dip-dyed the wig in a mixture of yellow and brown polyester dyes to bring it up to more of a honey gold. This was unsuccessful the first time, as it was extremely brassy – a further dye bath in very dilute violet toned this back, exactly as with toning bleached human hair. After dyeing the wig was heat styled into Sweet Pea’s half up-do – this ended up being incredibly irritating, and I should have sewn this into place – bobby pins were not cutting it.
The sword has a 3D printed hilt, modeled by Aenthralled and printed by Xavier of Needle and Hammer Studios. This threads onto a steel rod, around which I clamped pieces of MDF which were sanded to shape for the blade. Unfortunately I ran out of time before the shoot, so rather than a blade and scabbard I wrapped the blade in leatherette and detailed it to resemble a sheathed sword – I’d like to re-make this in future.
The shotgun is based on a Remington 870, and is made with insulation foam, worbla, and PVC pipe. This was made very quickly, so is pretty rough – the air rifle used in this shoot was borrowed.