Alexander Hamilton
February 2016

Project Duration: 1 month (January 9-February 10)

Process and Materials Included:

  • Sewing
  • Button-making
  • Metal-working

I had a hard time deciding on how to cosplay a character from a musical, much less one that didn’t have a single identifying outfit. Out of all the outfit references that I was able to find online (I had not yet managed to see the show at this point…) I found that I liked the green suit outfit worn in certain parts of act 2. I felt that it was one of the two most recognizable outfits that the character wore, and was also one that I had not seen a costume of yet, despite already having seen a few cosplays of the other outfits. 

This was the first cosplay I worked on that required primarily sewing. My experience prior to this project was limited to what I had picked up along the way while cosplaying, so I knew this was going to be a time-consuming project and a would require a steep learning curve. At this period in time I had also just started a new fulltime job, as well as was preparing to move to a new apartment in mid-January.

Nonetheless, I decided shortly after the new year that I wanted to make the cosplay to debut at Katsucon, 2016, hosted in mid-February, leaving myself just about a month to start and finish the project during whatever spare time I had.

 

With the time crunch underway, I started by researching fabric choices, as well as searching for a historical pattern to use for the jacket and breeches. I settled on a green-black two-toned Dupioni silk, sold by a store on the west coast, and after studying the pattern I chose, ordered my yardage. As I waited for the fabric to arrive in the mail, I began working on other accessories and pieces that would complete the costume, such as cutting shoe buckles from a sheet of brass and creating the ruffled cravat. I also tested my pattern in muslin to ensure that the fit would be correct, and made any adjustments to closer match the character reference that I was working from.

Once the fabric arrived, I began by working on the coat. I adjusted the pattern I had to extend the coat to about knee-length, and lined the inside of it with a gold satin (a personal decision, as I couldn’t find any reference images that clearly showed the inside of the character’s jacket.) I worked on the waistcoat next, and the breeches last. I created a pair of “undershorts” out of a green satin which closely matched the Dupioni, that I could wear under the breeches to keep them from rubbing against or sticking to my skin, and let them move a little looser.

I then hand-made 71 buttons of varying size for the three different outfit pieces out of the Dupioni silk so that the buttons would match the rest of the fabric.

 

Later that year, I had the opportunity to see Hamilton the musical in person at the Richard Rodgers theater in New York with family. I was excited to be able to wear the costume to the show!