Cheerwine Hipster Costume – Dragon*Con 2012

This year for Dragon*Con, I wanted to take a different approach as well as make my own costume pieces.  The project needed to incorporate cardboard and my favorite beverage, Cheerwine.  With limited experience in 3D model design and the inability to use Pepakura on the Mac, I settled with objects I could easily obtain, a hat, glasses and vest.  All of these fit well under a common theme, which was “hipster.”  Seeing as Cheerwine is still somewhat underground and I am the biggest fan of it among my friends, personality-wise it felt like a perfect fit.

The Vest

The vest was a thrift store purchase from a Redditor trying to sell a few knick-knacks before going to college.  While it probably would have made the project easier to cut it up and work on top of the pieces, I just didn’t have the heart to shred this antique.

The vest was rested on cardboard and that’s how I got my templates.

With the templates, I took several cereal and whole grain food boxes to make the backplate that the Cheerwine box pieces would rest on.

As you can see, it was very bulky and uncomfortable at this point.

Designing the Cheerwine pattern was based on these two classy vests.

The first two attempts really didn’t look right and didn’t make sense to those unfamiliar with what I was doing.

The end result pattern looks much better. Communicates the idea well.  The spaces in between need to be filled with Acrylic white paint.  Exhausting but the effect worked.

The back pattern is more hodgepodged. I wanted it to really have as much clear writing on it as possible.  I didn’t want it to look like the front because many of the vests I researched had a different back than front.

Because the cereal boxes were less pliable than I thought, I needed to let the vest sit overnight with clamps and 2 liter bottles in the inside.  Eventually, there needed to be bolster pieces on the side that served as seams.  They also made the vest more comfortable.

And Viola! The vest is complete!

The Hat

This is a Nordstrom Rack hat I picked up.  It fit perfectly.  But sadly, I had to chop it up.

These were my template pieces.  Using a hobby knike, I cut the Cheerwine boxes over them.

There was a lot of trial and error. Because it was cardboard, the pieces didn’t flex as much as I would have liked.

The pieces in the back won’t flip up like I planned which forces you to wear it on the back of the head.  Thankfully, that’s a more appropriate hipster style.  It became obvious that an underside piece for the rim was needed.

At last! The finished hat. Complete with my ugly mug.  It’s rough but looks cohesive enough to wear.  Trimming the edges on the inside made it very comfortable.

The Glasses

The glasses were very simple.  A cardboard cut-out and then a little Cheerwine cover

Lookin’ snazzy.  They need better insert pieces but I was happy with them as they are.  Just a little glue gun and they were ship-shape for a sweaty day at Dragon*Con.

The Complete Project

Photo (c) Bryan Humphrey (aka Mad Scientist with a Camera)

This was a fun project to put together.  Very happy with the result and got some great photos at Dragon*Con.