Tron: Legacy inspired costume

Update 11/23/2013: I wore my Tron costume to Super Mega Fest in Framingham and entered the costume contest. I won third place in the category!
Here’s my only little gripe: There were only three in the Best Likeness category (the one I was selected for). So really, I lost, but I lost to a giant gargoyle and a near naked John Carter… had there been a male judge, maybe I would have done better. Heh.
Also, I never had any intention of doing a Quorra replica, it was simply a Quorra inspired costume, but I never got a chance to explain this. Judged as a likeness of Quorra; no, I never would have won.
However, I was totally excited that I was selected at all!!!! I loved the ‘con. I couldn’t get 10 feet without someone asking for my picture. It was awesome.

Where to begin! So obviously I love the Tron: Legacy movie. It was visually appealing more than the story, but hey, so what. I decided to make a Tron inspired costume for Halloween this year. Almost every costume I’ve seen online has been a Sam Flynn or Quorra replica so I decided to make something unique.

I’ll admit that I took a lot of inspiration from Quorra’s outfit; right down to the exposed shoulders and angled half-skirt, but all the lighting is my own.

Introducing, Hex, a civilian program.

I’ll give you all the pictures up front. I attempted to write about how I made everything. Most of these were taken with my phone in low lighting, so the quality isn’t great. I’ll try to take some better pictures with a real camera soon.

A special call out to my friend Diana, the Valkyrie. My Halloween nerd buddy!

I purchased the Tron 2.0 light kit and two 6′ white el wire kits from, then later three  9′ white el wires from Amazon. In hindsight, I should have had a better idea of what I was going to make and done more research before spending so much money on lighting. The el tape doesn’t bend at an angle, so that killed my first idea.

Anyway. I used a vinyl black leather for the main costume. I had purchased two yards with the intent of making a vest, arm “armor” and leggings. I ended up only have enough for the two vests I made and the arm “armor” and little bits left over.

The main vest was made from the Simplicity 2556 pattern. Mine is a mix of two of them since I didn’t want a zipper in the front and it had to have shoulders. I put the zipper on the side so I could still get the thing on and off and be wicked form fitting. When I say it fits me perfectly, I mean it fits me perfectly.

Adjusting the fit with binder clips; they were my friend for this project.

I worked on a lot of different parts all at the same time, so it might look out of order. The shirt I made from a black turtle neck from last years Halloween costume (go figure). I drew on the shoulders with chaulk where I wanted the cut-outs to be before chopping it to bits. I did the same with the “V” cut at the neck. Then I “popped the collar” to get it to stand up. I first used craft interfacing, but it didn’t stick well to the fabric and ended up taking all the stretch out of the collar and made it nearly impossible to get on and off. I nixed the interfacing for some black canvas. The canvas is stiff enough to stand up on it’s own.

The arm “armor” was also made from the same vinyl as the vest.

Arm armor cut out and prepping for lighting

These were templated with tissue paper. The one on the right has the hexagons cut out and ready to be sewed back in.

So the way I did the these was by cutting out where I wanted the el wire to be, then put scraps of vinyl underside to underside and sewed the hexagons back in place to make two layers with the el wire in between. It took some annoyance and planning to string the el wire through since I couldn’t sew the wire in. Once the el wire was ‘threaded’ through the armor, it didn’t sit flat, so I hand-stitched transparent monofiliment thread aka fishing line  to hold it in place.

arm armor on me
arm gauntlet wiring completed

The half skirt was a pain. I sewed it to the underside of the bottom of the vest after pinning it here and adjusting it there until it laid flat. I did a dart seam on the side to help it lay flat. I pinned it on the same line as the stitching so you wouldn’t see the pin holes. Vinyl doesn’t let you make any mistakes…

skirt pinned and binder clipped

I made a mii-vest to hold the “hump” as I called it. The place where the disc would rest. The “hump” was made out of a vinyl covered round plastic knock-off-gladware-type reusable container. I was able to stash the battery packs for the vest inside the gladware and I made a flip-open lid to hold it all in. When it was closed, you couldn’t even tell what it was. I felt like it was very ingenious! Every time I opened the hump I felt like I was on an episode of Star Trek; opening up Data. Yes, I’m a nerd. (Obviously).
The disc ended up just fitting around the hump. Phew!

On the inside of the hump, I made it as solid as I could so the disc would sit securely and not flop over. I made up a crazy rig of foam core board and cut a disc from an old plastic container I would never use again. I used nuts and bolts to hold the thing in place.

ID disc and back piece mounting test

Here’s the beginnings of the rig. Not a very good picture since one of my test discs is in the way. But that’s how it started anyway. The white foam core disc was replaced by the gladware container.

The disc was an adventure… I made four blanks before I caved and bought the real “toy” online. I had this big idea to make one out of resin but I couldn’t get the blanks to look the way I wanted them so I trashed the idea. My fiance was going to try an idea with a frisbee, but that didn’t work out either. So $80 later, I had the disc. The Deluxe disc lights up and has sounds, but the lights don’t stay on so my fiance put in his own lights and made it stay on all the time. He’s such a smarty-pants. Electronics scare me.


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