Blog Detail

Making a Merc for KKon 2019: Part 1

A friend from Hawaii came to me regarding his Deadpool costume. He said, “All of the costumes I find are from China and they claim to be high quality, but the reviews say otherwise.” So, he invested in me to plan out his Deadpool costume.

In order for me to plan this out for my client, I had to 1. Gain his trust and 2. Get organized to complete this beautiful product.

A lot of people commission others in hopes to have a good product prepped and in time for the convention that is designated to the customer. Alas, a lot of people end up ripped off one way or another. Sometimes they hire someone who has improper planning.
So, here is where I show everyone that it’s not difficult to achieve a product in time for the con and still have the product looking fresh, far beyond con crunch time.

I as a crafter, my client and I very much want to create a work of art for entertainment reasons and to enjoy the hard work put into this idea that exploded into something great, but reasonably scoped.

The first thing I needed to establish for my customer was his budget so we knew how much I needed in materials first, and how much all of it would cost.

First, look up patterns in their size. THE FIRST THING YOU WANT from your customer, is their body measurements and their idea of the costume.

My client lives in Hawaii so I had to give him sources of every measurement I needed to get a custom-tailored fit. However, I will later be sending the costume a month early of the con for my client to see if anything feels too tight or too loose. Then have one week to complete alterations.

You also want to begin plans on how to link every piece together. So, below I have sketched on how we want the black and red materials to combine.

After I gained my customer’s measurements, I determined how much material was needed by pattern and creating a budget to begin the deposit. Prices are scribbled out to keep client’s information private. Also keep in mind that prices may be different where you live.

On the left, I have measurements and the right the specific matrials needed to provide a successful project. Instead of just picking the materials, I consulted my client and gave them about eight different options in types of materials. They ranged from cheap, expensive, stretchy, firm and delicate. We decided to go with Yaya Han’s line. We picked the Carbon Fiber pleather, a black matte pleather and a red dupioni silk material, which has very nice blue undertones to help my client stand out above the rest.

Do not ever change anything in the project or stray from your client’s plan without asking and getting their approval. Sometimes customers will be passive and say, “I trust you. Just do what you think is best,” which is certainly nice to hear, but make sure to always consult them before you change anything at all.
My customer trusts my judgement, but for a while he was thinking about changing the red material because he thought it looked pink in my photos. He wasn’t wrong though. For some reason, the red looked pink from my camera phone!

On stream, though, the material was certainly very very red, and in person it’s most definitely red. He was very distraught, but I send him videos, pictures in different situations of lighting, which made him finalize his decision in the red dupioni. It’s also not stretchy like the pleather, but I feel as though a non-stretchy material supporting a stretchy material helps make the costume last longer.

As I began to cut the materials and seeing how much I had left, I had a bit.. but I felt like it wasn’t enough to fulfill the face mask and the gloves. So, I then asked my client for head measurements and hand measurements.

After I wrote the hand measurements over the photo I received, I then went to a cosplay workshop with friends and measured each person in the room’s hands and found the most similar hand in size to help get a properly-sized template.

Then I sent my client a measurement chart of his face for the mask.
I grabbed information regarding his eye to bottom of chin and eye to top of head in order to find space for the mask’s black eye pieces.

Head measurement chart

For the ending of the beginning of planning, a timeline MUST be set in order to be responsible for this project. Don’t forget to make a time sheet of the hours you work on the costume! Don’t overwhelm yourself, and if you need a mental health day.. take one. But make sure you have a plan to make up for lost time! Remember, this is for a CLIENT and con crunch is NOT allowed if you want a decent, but not necessary tip later down the road.

I am pretty blessed to have friends interested in my craftsmanship and am excited to face this challenge. My favorite parts of making a cosplay is working on details that are difficult, but they fulfill my confidence. It’s like a lovely puzzle piece.

The Checklist

  • Cut Materials: This is relevant to the main body pieces. Not the more technical, like the hands and the mask. I didn’t have all my resources at the time, but I needed to get started.
  • Create Glove and Mask Template: Try to do it in the same day. Cutting the Materials should also be in the same day. Place away from main body so you don’t get confused, and label your pieces.
  • Detail Torso, Arms, Legs: Get them nice lines on the chest, arms. Make the suit 3-D. Not flat like a cheap bodysuit.
  • Sew Main Pieces Together: Whole main bodysuit together, GO!
  • Weather Material or Paint on Silk: Cosplay is a craft of exploration and not a science. So with my scraps, I’m going to play with my options!
  • Shoulder Pads: For the shoulder pads, I want them to be able to be detached easily for the sake of washing
  • Gloves: Sew all the glove material!
  • Wristlets: That piece pops out a bit and I want it to be distinct
  • Face Mask: The Hardest part must be made to perfection! Thinking about doing eye expressions but I need to focus on what materials to white out the eyes FIRST.

There was a day where my client had second thoughts about the costume. His friends were telling him of times where they had commissions and after they made the deposit, the crafters had disappeared. That is a problem with me because I LOVE to craft. So avoiding my customers and only having one payment instead of the full very much hurts me as a creator. If I have happy customers, more will come my way soon enough.
So, what I ended up doing to comfort my customer was to give him the exact timetable and what days I planned to stream the costume for him and just made sure to send progress photos! So far my customer is pretty satisfied. Now I just need to execute the entire plan in the next three weeks.

After I gave my client my time table, I promised him I would stream cosplays every Saturday of the week for the first month. Then, for the second month, I would stream every Wednesday and Saturday to prove to him it’s all for him, not for me. This was actually very nice and convenient because I was able to ask him questions and get immediate answers.

Through time, he started to contemplate and not want his Deadpool to look like an online-bought piece, but to make his unique and different to be the Ultimate DEADPOOL!
Make sure your watchers can clearly see your table and the floor you use to measure or craft. This is a moment when you stream, that your face should not be your worry. The product you are working on is the main ingredient to your stream at that point. If you’re working on your own stuff, do as you please. If you are streaming for a client, they need to see your work more than your face.

Furthermore, triple check you have the sound adjusted properly to be heard and place some calm, but cool music in the background for viewers to enjoy.

Working on the table and floor- making sure everything is visible for my customer.

Last, but not least, I asked my customer whether he would be buying Deadpool’s holsters, pockets, and accessories or if I was going to create them. He said “no” in terms of my creation. So the hardest parts of my skill sets were not my responsibility. However, if my client had wished to have these items crafted, I would have designated more work hours into the project. So make sure to precisely hash out every detail before you even give the budget!

Sunday, March 3rd to ship to Hawaii!

Question for the chat:
What is your dream cosplay for you? Or your next cosplay?
Let me know in the comments below!!!

  1. The Admiral February 6, 2019 at 11:36 PM - Reply

    Some great tips, honestly.

    I’m hoping to finish working on my Soldier 76 cosplay at some point, but honestly my dream cosplay is to do a hyper realistic Licker from RE:2, which is beyond my skillset ATM, but hopefully something I can work on eventually.

  2. Ashlie February 7, 2019 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    I can’t wait to see the results for this! Deadpool FTW

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.