Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Costume: Jebediah Kerman

So, you might say I've been playing a lot of Kerbal Space Program recently. So with Halloween rolling around, I thought to myself: Why not make a costume of the web's favorite fictional space explorer?

The Process

Jumpsuit core is an "Ultra Force flight suit" that I snagged from Amazon. The glasses and face paint were a quick grab from the local Spirit Halloween store; face paint is "Rubies Body Paint" by Collegeville Imagineering Ent., and the glasses are mirrored police glasses. The gloves are Liberty Hot Mill Cotton gloves that we buy by the dozen.

The patches were the most fun to make. I fired up Paint.NET and crafted two 4" x 2" patches: a name badge for Jebediah and my favorite "mission flag" from the game. If you want to use them for your own costume, they're available below (Creative Commons: Attibution / Sharealike, where I'm defining "attribution" here as "If someone asks, just point 'em at the blog ;) "):

I printed these out, then taped them to same-sized cardboard squares as backing. I then cut up some ever-handy self-gripping cable ties to affix them to the costume. I used two different methods of affixing the ties to the cardboard; for the Jebediah badge, I simply taped them on, while for the "Pac-Kerbal" badge I sewed them to the cardboard, then taped the badge to the cardboard backer.
Sewing the velcro to the cardboard backer

Velco strips sewn into place.

Completely covering the badge in tape for waterproofing and affixation to the cardboard.
I also had to add a stripe of attachment to the upper-right arm for the flag badge.

Final Result

The tape held up for the evening, but it started to come apart right after Halloween. It also cut down on the total surface area available for velcro adhesion; I'll probably tear that one apart and remake it in the same style as the Pac-Kerbal one. Alternatively, I'm seriously considering getting these patches re-done in fabric on a serger for future wearing; the cardboard had a tendency to stick out more than fit to the outfit, which made me continuously worry that I was going to snag them on something.

I was happy with the jumpsuit, though it was tight around the shoulders getting in and out of it; once in it, though, it fit fine. The only piece of the costume that drove me crazy was the facepaint; I hardly ever wear paint of any kind, and I couldn't get over the 'second skin' feeling (plus as the night went on and I grew itchy, I gouged a couple of holes in it). But on the plus side, it washed right off at the end of the evening, and though it embedded itself very firmly into the collar of the jumpsuit, a quick stain-stick application and a run through the washing machine as per the jumpsuit's direction fixed it (the undershirt I was wearing wasn't so lucky; not only did the stain stick fail to lift the green paint out of it, but the jumpsuit---having not yet been washed---bled its orange somewhat permanently into the shirt. Oh well, new night shirt).

I enjoyed this one and think I'll do some tweaking on it to find more excuses to wear it in the future.