I don't know how I managed it, but I completed my Korra costume last year without ever mentioning it here.
In considering my costume for Korra, I didn't want to do a straight copy. I wanted it to be functional. Korra comes from the southern Water Tribe in the frozen southern pole. I wanted her costume to obviously reflect not only how they drew her, but how that people would dress. I wanted my materials especially to be legitimate for the people and the time period, which feels very 1920's in spite of the clear fantasy setting. Fortunately, that gave me a lot to play with.
Sourcing materials took me the greater part of a year, as I was very particular about what I wanted. Leather, fur- these had to be good quality. Her upper skirt is a thrift shop leather skirt that I found and altered. In actuality, it became two skirts- one for everyday wear, and this.
I found real leather in both the right colors and weight. For her lower arm bands I found beautiful white and dark blue leather, and when you flipped the blue over it was near-perfect light blue for her hair bobbles. While you can't see it in most of the photos, my explorations in hand-embroidery on leather was for this. I embroidered the Water Tribe mon onto each band. I had hoped to do more (and may revisit it to do that) but time pressures meant that was all I finished.
I had intended to have her upper armband be paint, as that feels more authentic to me, but the water-based makeup I had on hand didn't work out. Oil based makeup probably would work and was what I had intended originally, however I've gone and made a band with the leathers instead.
The shirt is a stretchy jersey, which fortunately is still fairly period. The collar gave me a bit of difficulty, but overall, it's comfy and easy. After buying 4 different fabrics, I finally found the perfect shade of blue in a sweatshirt-type material for the pants. I had intended on a wool blend, but finding the right shade proved nearly impossible (and expensive) and I've never had much success with dying wool. The sweatshirt material worked well in the end and is super comfortable.
The boots were one of the larger projects, as I wanted "real" boots for her. I sourced a decent basic leather boot, cut it apart, added different leather and fur, and put it all back together. They took much longer than I had hoped as the awkwardness of the shoes meant they couldn't be done on my machine. A solid two weeks of hand stitching had my wrists and fingers in agony, but the result is one I'm rather happy with.
|Korra, November 2014. Photo by Kevin Goss Ross.|
All in all, I was pretty happy with Korra, especially as she was one of my first forays into "proper" cosplay. I still want to add her jacket to the mix, which I have the fabric for, but that's for another day.