How To Make a Harley

So we all know Eddie, the majestic man behind Food and Cosplay, loves Harley Quinn. Why not share the love by making your very own suit? Of course you don’t have to as H&M sold a version a few years ago and there are multiple cosplay suppliers that do but if like me you wanted to make a personal one yourself then keep reading!

I recorded myself making my last Harley suit in 2016 and have edited it to make sense of how I made it. It is sped up and I use a variation of machines. A Singer sewing machine and a Janome Overlocker (AKA Serger) My last Harley built was the black and white Bruce Timm. Eddie took the photos of it for me and I did like it but my red and black classic will always be my favourite.

Pattern:

There are several different Harley Quinn patterns out there, some are official and others are not. Simplicity Patterns do the official and McCall’s make the “unofficial” and the one I swear by after some tweaking. The links I have added are in no way affiliated, they are just the first links I found. of course the pattern you chose depends on how you want to depict Harley. For me, I fell in love with cheeky Harley and always want to portray her without the hood. To me, this is always where I saw the goofy humour and charm and that’s what I related to. If you want to dive in to the complete harley look, I recomend the Simplicity pattern. That includes the hood and boot covers.

As I said earlier, it involved some tweaking, I used a pattern piece from a Yaha Han Body suit to create the collar and free handed the white trim. This was done by using tracing paper over the top of the pattern piece for the bust and creating the three accents. They were then finished off with white fluffy “pompoms” to give a mixture of texture but of course it is all down to preference. I use the pompoms because I feel it complimented my Harley suit which I first made out of Velvet Lycra. I am a sucker for velvet and I felt it was the best fabric for me and my interpretation of Harley.

Fabrics:

As long as it is 4 way stretch, I honestly think you can have fun and make the suit your own! As I said earlier, Velvet was my love and it worked for me but pleathers, PVC, Lycra, Scuba or anything you fancy could work for your harley suit. The collar fabric is white Felt that I found worked again very well with my velvet suit.

Stitching:

I personally used two different machines for my suit but that’s because I have an overlocker and love the results I get. If you don’t have/ want an overlocker, zig zag stitches should work with your fabric perfectly. Zig Zag stitch allows stretch which is crucial for your 4-way stretch fabric. Remember this when adding the diamond details!

Time:

The time it takes to make something can be daunting but once you’ve cut out the pattern, this one is quick and easy. Obviously, I don’t recommend stitching at high speeds but we have all experienced con crunch in some way or another no? Even when taking your time, I don’t think the pattern takes longer than a few hours to assemble. For me, this makes a difference with cosplay as I need to fit assembly around my work schedule.

Accessories:

One thing i love about cosplay is theres no one right way to do something. I especially found this with the harley cuffs. I merely used elastic and white ribbon. This is probably the most fiddliest part of construction as I wanted to make the ruffles even. For black and white Harley in the video I made the boot covers. I wouldn’t recommend doing them that way to others worked for me! If you want boot covers, the simplicity pattern will tell you how to do them properly. My method was very hands on and allowed me to try out techniques.

And that is it! That’s how I make a Harley Quinn suit! If this was useful I would love to hear how you got on and see what you create!

Other Tutorials

About Rachel

Rachel is 24, has been cosplaying for 5 years and is one half of That Cosplay Couple in which she is accompanied by her boyfriend, Dan and is the seamstress for the two of them. Rachel also has her own seamstress business called Seamingly Normal where she makes cosplay, clothing and underwear via commissions.

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