Aela the Huntress is a Nord werewolf, and not the kind of character you want to anger. When cosplayer Wind of the Stars started working on a replica of her costume, she wanted to make it as authentic as possible. That meant going with leather instead of vinyl, dyeing it, and making chainmaille by hand. She used Worbla and Eva foam for the armor. She goes into details at her site, and her notes for making the clothing portion of the costume are as follows:
I went to Tandy leather and got one of their clearance/cheaper hides for this project. The original color of the leather was light warm red-brown. It was the closest color hide that I could find in my budget. Being as it was not the color I wanted, I de-glazed the hide and re-dyed it a darker color. Since Aela’s outfit is so unique, as it is a backless leotard with a four-part loin cloth/skirt….thing, I didn’t even try to look for a base pattern to modify. I drafted own patterns by draping spare cotton on my dress form. Aela’s ‘top’ looked like a leotard to me based on how taught it was vertically. However, since she doesn’t have a true back to it, just straps, I ended up making a spandex thong that then snapped to straps coming from my waist. The leotard then goes around my neck in halter. For the loin cloth, it really is just a glorified belt with four panels sewed to it. For all the straps on this costume, I glued to pieces of leather together with rubber cement and then stitched them together. The hide I was using was to soft to use on it’s own and needed to be reinforced in order to keep everything in place. I used a mixture of snaps and domed rivets to hold all the straps in place. At some joints I did sew it for extra stability.
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