Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventures in Costuming - Link from Legend of Zelda: Take One

My son is a HUGE Legend of Zelda fan.  It's really no secret.  When I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween a couple years ago, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when he said he wanted to be Link.  This is the kid who wanted to name our new Siamese Fighting Fish "Deku Leaf".  He talks about Zelda like she's his sister.

So, like any good mother would, I looked online for a suitable Link costume.  Let me tell you what, I was not happy with what I saw.  Some of it made me wish for blindness.  It was then that I realized I had to save my son from humiliation and make him a costume.  I also realized that a horrible costume would also be humiliating.  I spent months studying pictures of Link.  I worked on the costume for about a month.  I made a tunic, hat and a Hylian shield.

The Hylian Shield is based off of the Twilight Princess model, but I made it adult size, like the shield in Windwaker, so my son could grow into it.  It is made of a sheet of pine I bought at Home Depot, cut out with a jigsaw and hand painted with acrylics.  The raised parts are made of an air dry modeling compound.  The next shield will be made of foam and fiberglass.
The hand drawn mock up.
The background of the shield with the phoeniz.

Hylian Shield on me.  I am 5'6"

 Considering I'd never actually sewn clothing before, the original design was a smashing success.  Made of broadcloth, the tunic is two pieces held together by lacing leather strands through the grommets on the shoulders and sides of the costume, like corset lacing.  The spats came from a Prince Caspian costume.  The belt I hunted through hundreds of belts at Goodwill for the perfect one.  I did not use a pattern for the tunic or hat, I took my son's measurements and "winged" it. 

The next year, I crafted him a WindWaker out of polymer clay, made a quiver cover for his small leather quiver, and painted up the oak sword he got from the medieval faire into a Master Sword color scheme, Triforce on the blade and all.  I used polyester cording for the lacing as the leather strands I used the first time were not durable. 

 As you can see, he grew into it quite nicely.  Unfortunately, he lost the elven ear tips somewhere, so I need to purchase a new set.  You may notice my son is brunette, I do not make him wear a wig.  Rather, I let him grow out his hair before Halloween to look more Link-ish.

The next costume will be out of suedecloth of my son's choosing, and I hope to be able to do some embroidery on it.  It will once again be sleeveless.

I will write a second article once I have some production pictures of the next tunic and hat, and whatever other accessory I decide to make for him this year!

Until next time...

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