Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

DIY Michonne Costume: Part 2


Fan Expo is just around the corner again, and as usual I’m getting totally excited about my cosplay this year! I figured three years is way too long to post the part 2 I promised to my original blog post, but here it is. :D

I’ll be reusing my Michonne cosplay (thank goodness The Walking Dead is such a hit) for one day of the event, and going to test out my Storm cosplay for the rest (but that’s another post). My Michonne cosply was a hit when I wore it at conventions or Halloween. People actually thought I was the real Danai Guerra for a second while I was walking around the Fan Expo grounds in costume the last few years. ;) I had a lot of people at Fan Expo complimenting my Michonne costume and asking for photos. It was a great experience and proved that all the hard work I put into the detail was worth it.

A photo posted by Monique (@blaquecat) on

Now, I’m not one for measuring–I usually just eyeball things when I’m making crafts–so when I was creating the saya for the katana and Michonne trademark cloak from the second season of The Walking Dead, I just went with the flow. But if you want to try your hand at making your own Michonne costume this Halloween, here’s a list of materials and some basic instructions that you’ll need.


  • Burlap (I picked up mine in a large, single package from Michael’s)
  • 2 metres of lining fabric (burlap is itchy!)
  • a brown shoelaces (for the neck string)
  • Glue gun
  • sewing machine (it’s going to be hard on your hand using a thick needle for the burlap)
DIY Michonne Hooded Cloak

My homemade hooded cloak inspired by The Walking Dead character, Michonne.

I looked online to find a suitable sewing pattern for my cloak. It was quite the task as I didn’t realize how many different versions there were out there. So I didn’t use a direct pattern (I loosely followed this outline though). I guestimated the general shape that I wanted my Michonne cloak to be, cut it out, stitched it together and prayed for the best!

I traced the outline for my cloak on the layered pieces of cloth and burlap and cut them both out (you’ll need a second piece of fabric besides the burlap, because it’s hella itchy). Using my heavy-duty needle on my sewing machine, I was able to sew all around the edges. When I got to the end, I made sure I left a 6-inch-long gap so that I was able to then pull the cloak through this hole and turn it inside out so that the seams didn’t show. Then I was able to neatly stitch that up and I was left with a neatly sewn cloak.

A close-up look of the two-tone cloak fabric

A close-up look of the two-tone cloak fabric that I sewed together, then flipped inside-out.

Reinforced stitching

I reinforced the stitching around the edges for a cleaner look.

At this point I tried it on. The hood part was tricky. It was way too big for my head so I ended up stitching a straight line at the peak of the hood (inside out), then when I flipped it back out the right way it fit me better, and not cover my entire face when it was on my head (meh… I guess measuring beforehand would’ve came in handy after all).

A makeshift fastener for my cloak

I had some leftover pieces of shoe-lacing that I used for the neck tie, so I stitched it to some fabric and then to the cloak.

When it came to the clasp to hold the hood around my face, I had to brainstorm what was best. The fabric was too thick to install the grommets I had, so I looped together and sewed some brown shoe laces to a small piece of fabric and attached it to the bottom front of the hood. My sewing needle actually broke when I was trying to sew everything together, so I hand-stitched this part. I was then able to lace the other shoelace in between to act as a fastener.

Me in my Michonne cosplay

Me in my Michonne cosplay (don’t I look like I’m gonna kick some zombie butt?)

Katana Saya/Scabbard

  • 2 large mailing tubes (to hold the foam sword)
  • 2 metres of white lacing
  • Heavy wire paperclips or keyring wires
  • a roll of brown duct tape
  • glue gun
  • some scraps of cardboard

Making this was fun! The foam sword I bought a couple years ago didn’t come with one, so I went on YouTube to see how they designed real katana scabbards or sayas (here’s another good one). I found some good, heavy-duty poster rolls that fit my fake sword perfectly.

Cardboard to form the saya/scabbard

I used a thick poster tube, sliced it lengthwise, then secured it with duct tape in order to form the saya for Michonne’s katana sword.

Since I had two separate tubes so that it would be long enough, I cut about 2 inches into the top of one of them just so I can collapse it a bit so that I could squeeze it into the other one, to make a continuous tube. I reinforced this gap with brown duct tape (which mimicked the leather on Michonne’s saya). I flattened the tube a bit to give it a cylinder shape. After that was done, I used some left over cardboard, cut out an oval shape and taped it to one end with the brown duct tape.

Neatly, I continued to wrap the length of the tube with the tape to make it seem like it had that “leatherish” feel, being sure to make sure the seal was strong, and lining what was visible of the open end a bit.

Wrapping the saya

It was actually pretty fun to lace this up.

Wrapping the saya with the white lacing (can be found at any fabric store… similar to shoe lacing) was fun to do. I found a cool site that shows how to do it properly (this YouTube video, and  is also helpful), so I just mimicked that, being sure to reinforce with some hot glue along the way.

As for the smaller lacing at the back of the saya, I just got some white yarn threads and hot glued them down to make it look like the “leather” was being sewn into.

The finished product!

The finished product!

The strap was easy. I found a brown belt at Value Village and just cut it in on the opposite side of the buckle. Using a heavy-duty paper clips, I MacGuyver-ed loops that would attach it to the saya, reinforcing heavily with duct tape.

Go figure that a year after I hand-made the saya for the katana, they started making affordable replicas for both. Oh, well!

And there you have it: A custom, DIY Michonne-inspired cloak and saya for all you Walking Dead fans! If you have any more questions, comments or even pics of your own Michonne cosplay, I’d love to hear from you. :)

DIY Michonne Costume: Part 1


Last summer one of my friends told me, “You remind me of this girl on this show called The Walking Dead”. I was thinking, “Preposterous… There aren’t any fierce, black actresses on TV that could mimic my reserved, often misinterpreted scowling demeanor!”

I was mistaken. A few months later when I finally watched a full episode of The Walking Dead, I thought, “Yup. That’s pretty much me.” (minus the prowess for slicing up zombies with a katana). Such badass of a female character!

After getting caught up this past September on the entire series on AMC via a television marathon, I decided I was going to dress up as Michonne (played by the beautiful Danai Gurira) for Halloween, and most likely recylcle the costume for the upcoming Comic Con and Fan Expo (there’s only so many times I can wear my handmade Star Trek outfit).

Michonne doing what she does best (photo from

Michonne doing what she does best (photo from

When I googled the Michonne character online, I realized something: I already own every piece of clothing the character wears (not surprising coming from a self-professed shop-a-holic). From the tight, grey cargo pants (Guess, courtesy of the Bay), to the purple tank top (I knew buying all those tank tops in every single colour when they were on sale for $1 would come in handy), to the boots (Payless, I have big feet), and even the freakin’ headband (matches exactly… I think I picked this up from a black hair store years ago).

The only thing missing was a brown, rivited belt ($3.99 at Value Village), the fingerless gloves ($5 from eBay), and her brown leather vest (this was the only thing I splurged on because it was so hard to find… I don’t even want to mention how much I paid for it. Hopefully, I’ll get invited to some biker parties over the next year).

When it comes to Halloween, I like being as detailed as possible with my costumes. I even purchased “official” iron on patches for my Star Trek and NYPD Police Officer for previous years.

DIY Michonne Costume

I think I got close enough to match the Michonne character (I got some good responses from a Halloween party I went to last Saturday, and that was before my vest arrived in the mail).

Michonne’s trademark katana sword also took a little work to find. Sure I could of used one of those $10 samauri swords they sold in the Halloween shop, but they’re often really short, and didn’t have the nice detailing that Michonne’s sword has.

Don’t worry, I didn’t shell out $350 for the official Michonne replica katana. That would be overkill (but if anyone wants to buy me that for Christmas this year, it would look lovely mounted on my wall).

Spirit Halloween added some new The Walking Dead merchandise this year. Included was a Michonne wig (complete with headband), and the katana sword ($19.99, but cheaply made, because some of the silver paint at the tip started coming off of the foam… good thing I have a silver sharpie). Luckily I called and had them put it on hold, because it was the last one (and this was weeks ago).

I’ve left my natural hair in my havana twists since last month, because I wanted the “dreadlocks” look. So no need for the wig (which doesn’t look too realistic anyways).

Unfortunately the katana didn’t come with a sheath/saya. So I made my own! This was actually a fun DIY project. The final results were pretty good.

All the materials I used to recreate Michonne's katana: poster tubing, white trimming, brown belt, brown duct tape, glue gun and scissors. I also used an old lanyard ring and a bent paper clip for the fasteners, as well as some yarn to recreate the detail on the saya.

All the materials I used to recreate Michonne’s katana: poster tubing, white trimming, brown belt, brown duct tape, glue gun and scissors. I also used an old lanyard ring and a bent paper clip for the fasteners, as well as some yarn to recreate the detail on the saya.

I used two poster mailer tubes (paper towel roles would have been a second option, but a little too light), brown duct tape (to mimic the leather), 4 metres of white trimming ($2.50 from Fabricland), and a brown, leather belt ($1.99 from Value Village). A pair of scissors and my trusty glue gun sealed the project.

The finished product!

The finished product!

But wait… There’s more!

Best character entrance in a season finale? A hooded Michonne walking in and saving Andrea with her two zombie pets in tow! Now I couldn’t track down two guy friends who would be shackled to me on Halloween, so sewing the hooded cloak would have to be the finishing touch for my costume.

I bought some brown fabric from Value Village for $5.99 (it was actually an old curtain), got some burlap from Michael’s (1.8 metres for $6.00). I’m not an expert sewer, but I did my best. I didn’t use a pattern, because I procrastinated enough and sewed it the day before the Halloween party. But sectioning it into 4 parts, lining the burlap, and then sewing it all together, it fit pretty well. I even made a makeshift fastener for the neck with shoelace!

My homemade hooded cloak inspired by The Walking Dead character, Michonne.

My homemade hooded cloak inspired by The Walking Dead character, Michonne.

I’ll try to post how-to articles later on next month for both the saya and the hooded cloak.

In part two of this post, I’ll be posting a photo of my full costume and let you know of the reaction I got from the public.

Happy Halloween!

Read Part 2 of my Michonne cosplay.