Halloween 2006: Captain America Part 1

For some reason, about a month and a half ago I decided that I absolutely had to be Captain America for Halloween.

For many weeks, I plotted and looked at pictures of the icon to see how I could make the costume work without it looking campy.

Below is the first image that made me believe that this was a plausible costume. You can click to enlarge the image.

Ultimate Captain America Statue

If you notice, his pants are actually just jeans and it still looks good. I decided that would be my approach. I didn’t have enough time to create an entire costume, but with pants out of the way I just needed to make a shirt, shield and mask. For the shirt, I already had a few ideas. The best one was to start with two underarmor shirts. One long-sleeved white shirt and one short-sleeved blue shirt. The blue shirt would be put on over the white one and folded up and inside up to my ribs. This would leave the white revealing on my arms and around my waist below my ribcage. All that would be needed was to sew a star on to the blue shirt and sew red stripes at the bottom of the white shirt.

I figured the star on the chest was about as good a place to start as any, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the five points on a circle to make a perfect pentacle (or star with in a pentagon for those not in the know). When in doubt, google! A quick google search led me to a wikipedia page that had instructions on how to create a perfect pentagon within a circle using nothing but a straightedge and a compass. Now don’t get me wrong, this worked like a charm, but I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how this was figured out. It turned out, this was a process discovered by Euclid. My only response was, “Damn, he’s smart!” I went about drawing the circle on some regular paper and then using a sharp box cutter to cut along the lines with a manilla file folder underneath so I could have a nice sturdy template for the star.

As you can see below, this is how the shirts would look with the template on the chest. The costume was already starting to resemble the finished product.

I cut out a piece of white fabric with the template and quickly came to the startling realization that I had no idea how to sew and there weren’t any really helpful tutorials online. I had to switch gears until I could think of another solution. Thats when the shield came into play. A good friend of mine named Amy, came to the rescue and suggested I make the shield out of one of those red saucer sleds. After a lot of searching and a little help from another friend, Jenn from work, I was able to locate one of these red saucer sleds. It was not in stock at the brick and mortor stores because it was too early in the season, but I was able to order it online and it came in the mail promptly a few days later.

The hardest part was finding the center of the sled/shield. Once that was accomplished, I was able to use a special compass I borrowed from my dad to measure out the concentric circles for the design on the front. After that was all done, I went about the process of creating another perfect pentagon within the inner circle to have the star at the center of the shield.

After completing the basic layout of the shield and marking where I thought the handles needed to go, I decided that handle straps needed to come next. And that will have to wait for the next installment.

Check back for Part 2 of the making of this costume!

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