August 24, 2015

Painting the Vest for the Wilson Cosplay [Blaugust 21]

As I desperately try to catch up on Blaugust, I'll be posting a little more about my cosplay for PAX as Wilson. The entire thing put together in the matter of a few days, I've recently finished the entire thing with the completion of the characteristic red striped vest. My process was simple, but for people who are new to cosplay and modifying pieces, the process can appear daunting. All in all, though, I created for myself a very usable and re-usable piece.

Due to the expenses of the faun costumes from early August, my budget was incredibly low for the vest. And in the current state I'm in, sewing a vest together would be a process I'd have to do completely by hand. Uh, no. Here's what I bought for the vest itself:

1. Vest - It took me a couple of visits to the local thrift store to find a vest that would work. For the material, fitting, and style, I went with a nice mens' medium vest with minimal patterning in the precise color and fit I needed. Since I was to be going to a convention for potentially seven or eight hours straight in character, getting something that fit was important. I lucked out and found what I needed for seven dollars.

2. Paint - I didn't go skimpy on this. I needed good paint that would do the trick well. I ended up buying Tulip brand fabric paint. I only needed one bottle of red, but I bought two since I estimated poorly, plus a bottle of white. I plan to use the leftover red as touchup material and then the other bottle for the upcoming project of a friend.

3. Brushes - I used spongey spot-painting brushes that were on sale for ten cents each. Score.

4. Masking Tape - I would normally have enough of this, but taping over two pairs of horns perhaps thrice per horn had its effects. I bought standard blue masking tape that was a little thinner than normal size.

I started by taping onto the vest the stripes that would remain black. I made sure to make as few gaps between the tape and the fabric as I could, though there were a few in the end nonetheless. I created a light layer of white paint to give something better for the red to adhere to than the fabric.

Luckily, it worked out just as I thought it would, the color being nice and bright.

I took the tape off to find some of the white having bled through. Oh, bother. I did some light touchup in places but otherwise left it be for the time being until I can find a finer brush or a solution.

All in all, though, it went really well and I was proud of the results. The vest still fits on perfectly and I'm excited to wear it this coming Saturday at PAX Prime.


  1. That looks amazing. Your creativity always amazes me. Just a thought, would a Sharpie do the touch up on the white bleed through? You have probably thought of that but that is what popped into my head at 4 O'clock in the morning :D

    1. Ooh, that's a good idea! My mind has been all over the place since I've finished, but that's a very do-able fix. On my hooves at the Faire, the bottoms kept getting shredded, so I put black duct tape over them and it worked perfectly.


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