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Making Asajj

My (kinda budget) Asajj Ventress costume 🙂



The costume was made in the week before PAX.  I’d been so busy before then I didn’t have time to work on it. I’d looked at pictures online of what other people had made for their costumes (most Asajj cosplay I’d seen though was using a store-bought costume), and using pictures from the animated series as reference.

I didn’t have a lot of money or a lot of time….

First was the waist bindings.  I decided to do it on a corset to give me a better figure and because they would need to be sewn to something. I couldn’t find a cheap underbust corset on ebay that was flat under the bust (they all had a peak in the centre), so I ended up buying this one, and cutting out the boob bits, which left the sides high (couldn’t cut them off because of the boning), but I just tucked those under to wear it.  It has a side zipper instead of a busk, so I sewed a ribbon onto the back of it, to make sure it wouldn’t undo (because I wouldn’t be using it)


I needed to hand-sew all the strips onto the corset because the corset boning would prevent me doing it by machine.  That ended up taking MANY hours.. a lot more than I’d anticipated… and I got stabbed with pins a bazillion times 😦


Because I was wearing a cloak, I left the lacing part as it was… because you won’t see it when I’m wearing it and it makes it easier to do it up if I didn’t try covering it.

Then to make the strips stand out more, I painted them with watered down purple paint (which of course I had to blend myself and do test bits to get the right shade)


Weirdly the paint looks more obvious in artificial light…


look at all the paint that seeped through the stitching on the back 🙂


For the arm wraps, I wrapped baking paper and stickytape around my arm, then cut that off and flattened it out to make a template.


Then I toyed with the idea of sewing the strips on by machine with the armband flat – the way SENSIBLE people would do it…. but I realised I’d end up with a seam and it would look obviously sewn up and not wrapped…  so I did the ridiculously stupid thing and actually wrapped the strips around my arm and then hand sewed them on (mostly while my arm was in it)…. somewhat time consuming 🙂


I know Asajj’s ones don’t have a thumb hole, but I thought that they would curl up and not sit right if I didn’t have the thumb hole.. so a bit of creative license there.

I had to sew most of it on my arm, because flat it made no sense… and it needed to stretch.  As it was, it stretched too much and was less tight fitting than it started out as 😦


A paint treatment like the corset (since Asajj’s ones have dark and light strips, unlike her waist wraps, I fully painted some to make them darker)


Now the lightsabers….. These are Asajj’s sabers

I couldn’t find (cheap) Asajj lightsabers….  I thought about building my own, and was going to buy 2 Vader sabers to use the red blades from… but then I found Dooku Sabers, and figured that while they aren’t the exact same shape, they are at least curved and red bladed… so for this purpose they would do.  At $25 per saber, this was the most pricey part of the costume, but they are necessary!


I cut off the thingie on the end… painted the little recessed portions black, covered the black triangle section with duct tape then added the black stripes with black electrical tape.  Because they don’t have the right bend to them, I didn’t bother adding that silver bar to the side, as it wouldn’t have worked on this shape of saber.


The lightsabers had no hanging points… so I was trying to work out how to attach them to my belt in a non-obvious way.  The solution I came up with was to make a tight fitting loop of silver cord elastic and sew that to the bottom edge of my corset.  So the elastic went around the top end of the sabers and allowed me to take them off/on as I pleased.


Now the “tabbard” – the thingie that hangs off the skirt…  That one took me about 4 drafts to get the pattern drawn to the right scale.. I kept getting it too big or too small.  I drew it on baking paper, and then to transfer it onto the fabric I used a fineline marker to draw over the lines a few times, so that it would bleed through onto the fabric a little.  Then I went over those marks with pencil to make it more obvious.  There is probably a better way to have done that, but that’s all my brain could think of at the time 😛


MrObsi was sewing his Jedi costume as I was painting…. the family who sews together, stays together 😀



That took a lot longer than I’d anticipated as well…. :/


Finished painting!  I sewed 4 layers of this cotton poplin together to give it enough weight to hang nicely. I then didn’t know how to attach it to the belt, so I ended up pinning it to the bottom of my corset… I kept standing on it and pulling it off though :/

You can see the belt buckle I made from Sculpy (bake in the oven modelling clay) – Stuff I happened to have lying around from something I was making 10 years ago.  I’m not really very good with that stuff, so it’s quite rough, but I figure it was passable.  To get the right red I had to mix red and black together to make a deeper red.  Then I gave it a wash with black to give it an old look.

The skirt was pretty straight forward, just a tube with waist elastic. Though it did keep riding up all day when I wore it… maybe it was static, maybe wearing leggings under it didn’t help… I don’t know.

I know Asajj doesn’t wear a cape/cloak, but since shaving my head for the cosplay was a little more authenticity than I was prepared to go for… I needed the cape to hide my hair.  I couldn’t find my cloak/cape pattern, so I just cut around my existing one to make both Asajj’s cape and the Dr Who one. Easy peasey.


Because it was heavy and I wanted it to stay more on my back than cover me at the front, what I ended up doing was taking hold of the front edges at about waist level, and pinning them together behind my back.  This not only kept the cape on my shoulders only and out of the way, but it also made it look like the cape was lined 😀

For the belt, I bought packets of craft foam (EVA).  It came in A4 size sheets, so I cut each sheet into 3rds lengthways, then each strip in half.  I overlapped these together so that I had a gap at the front that was backed with the centre of the piece at the back.  I used superglue to stick the foam together and stabilised it with duct tape on the back as well.  I then painted the gaps with the same watered down purple paint.


I’d made the back of the buckle have 2 loops, so to attach the buckle I wasn’t sure what to do, in the end I settled on just tying it around the belt with white ribbon… it worked 😀   All in all the belt worked ok, but I kept having to readjust the back (where the 2 belts crossed over) to make them sit right.  I ended up having to tape around that junction to keep it there.  Since I can slip the belt on without it needing to undo or anything, I think I may put a white snap in that centre back point to make it stay put (again, you won’t see my back without the cape on anyway, because I need it to cover my hair, so it doesn’t really matter what goes on back there)

The blue top…. nearly killed me…  :/

Lets just say I got a bit tired and emotional while trying to work out how to do it 😛

By the time I started making that, it was late at night, on the Wed night… and I could not get it right.  In the photos of the character from the Tv series, I couldn’t tell how the chest cutout went.  Some are done as just a hole.  But some – like the one that I assume is from the Star Wars weekends at Disneyland, has a definite overlap on the sides.  Which I wanted to do.

Disneyland Asajj (I think) & the Pic I used for reference for Asajj


(I think this one is a commercial costume you can buy)

But that meant not only making a pattern for the garment itself… (which I traced from a tight fitting top I had), but also working out the pattern for the overlapping pieces and how they would be sewn up.  Of course I also had no spare stretch fabric to play with, so I had just enough to make 2 if I needed to….  So I drafted the pattern, thought it looked like it would work… sewed it up. I even went all out and did bias binding edging on the cutout to make the edges all pretty.

However, the neck was too low/big and the opening didn’t sit right.  I pinned it to where it sat right, but it was then stretched tighter across the top of my chest and had extra bits of fabric I needed to figure out what to do with.  When lying flat, the top looked perfect.  But when worn it didn’t work…. Basically I needed to do a sort of dart thing with some fabric under the arms. (hard to explain) They weren’t the right shape to be able to open the side seam and hide them in there… so I tried getting hubby to sew them down… but that would look crap whenever I lifted my arms…

So cue hair pulling out and massive stress/anxiety attack…. only 1 day to go before PAX and I didn’t have time or money to keep trying things out, and only enough fabric for one more go.  In the end, I decided I would have to just go for the standard cutout with no overlap… since that was all I had sanity left to do, and I knew I could make that.   I also had to guestimate what sort of neckhole to make so that it was tight and high enough, and I added a zip (which I’m not terribly familiar with adding).  Because I’m fat and have a thousand chins 😛 I can’t actually wear the neck collar part up as high as Asajj wears it (though my top does allow it to go right up to the chin, my chins push it down 😛 – I did toy with the idea of sewing clear elastic to go up and over my head to keep the neck up high, but decided that would probably feel weird and may look bad {chin wise}), so I ended up having to fold the zip over and wearing it only half height.  But so be it.

For the makeup… I happened to have a blue mineral eyeshadow the right colour – so for the facial tattoos I applied that with a wet fine makeup brush.  The white base I first bought some white liquid foundation (“Stargazer” brand) from ebay, but I tried that with the dead bride outfit for the Halloween Bellydance, and it was all patchy and would not go on nicely… so I was panicking until I happened to be in a toy store earlier in the day of that Halloween thing, and noticed they sold facepaint there (in a solid dry round thing, “Snazaroo” brand)… so after failing with the foundation, I went back to the toystore and bought that white face paint… and some makeup sponges.

I’d not had a chance to have a trial run with it, only testing it on the back of my hand and finding it covered better than the foundation.  So in the morning I caked it on and it went all patchy and looked crap… so I had to take it all off and try a lighter coverage, which I think worked better.  I set it with talcum powder 😀  If I’d had the time/energy, I’d have liked to have added some greyish blue shading to it.


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