Riddler costume, progress and finished!!

(Click here to read the first part)

At this point in the construction, the pants are finished and masked for painting; jacket is finished; corset front is masked for painting.Applying the tape onto the pants was the most time consuming task. I measured a 4” grid to make everything match up, and it took forever. Ultimately worth it, but so tedious. I also had some extra fabric leftover from the pants that I masked off in the same 4″ grid pattern that would be used later for pockets.The corset front was a bit easier to mask because of the smaller space and I wasn’t so exact with measurements since the seams were curved. The jacket didn’t require as much attention – just a giant question mark out of contact paper for the back.  Here are the results:

Pants: before & after

Pants: before & after

You'll see the pattern better in the finished photo ;)

You’ll see the pattern better in the finished photo 😉

Riddle me this ....

With the “?” added, the jacket is done!!

With painting done, I moved on to cutting and adding cargo pockets and superfluous straps and D-rings onto the pants – because nothing says ‘punk’ like superfluous straps. Adding pockets to this costume presented a very exciting reality – I’d have a place to put stuff! I’m used to wearing costumes (particularly lady costumes) with nowhere to carry the essentials like money, ID and phone. I added two cargo pockets on the legs and two on the back. I added flaps, straps and D-rings to the front pockets.

With pockets added, the pants are finished!


On to the corset. I’ve made several in the past, so this came together rather quickly. My favorite part was adding the buttons and chain to emulate the layered vest that was my inspiration. Fun note about the chain – it was from a $2 necklace that I found at a Salvation Army. Yea re-purposing! This is probably my favorite piece in the costume. It looks exactly how I wanted and has a great energy.

The chain flipped up in the photo ... it drapes downward in real life.

The chain flipped up in the photo … it drapes downward in real life.

With the garments finished, I now moved on to accessories. Once the clothes were made, I felt like I was constantly shopping for materials. This is the most accessory heavy costume I’ve ever done. I needed gloves, glasses, chains for my pants, combat boots, and, of course, the signature bowler and cane. The gloves and glasses I lucked out on – the gloves were at a Hot Topic, and I stumbled onto the glasses at a Halloween City. I could check those off my list.

The chains were another Salvation Army re-purposing find. I purchased 10 thick chain bracelets, of varying link sizes and widths. Removing the clasps on the ends, I pried apart the links to make two long chains.

They were kind of hard to pull apart.

After reattaching the claps, I had finished the chains. I later added a coat of gold spray paint to match it with the color scheme.

chain finish

The combat boots were the ‘unicorn’ of the shopping trips. I had the hardest time time finding a pair that looked the way I wanted that weren’t $75 a pair. I looked in stores and online for almost a week. On a whim, I ducked into a local consignment store and there they were. After all my searching I found the perfect pair – never been worn and for $14. I am especially excited that I own these, as now I have some sweet combat boots added to my personal wardrobe.

When it comes to the Riddler, his costume can get a little ridiculous with the amount of question marks (the Jim Carrey costume being one of the worst offenders). There’s a threshold of the amount of question marks one can add to a costume before it feels cartoony. The point of this costume was to make Riddler come across as a real person, therefore a real threat. Before I started this, I knew the only incorporation of his trademark symbol would be the cane, on the back of the jacket and hat. I purchased the hat from Halloween City in black. I took it home and applied several questions marks cut from contact paper…

so much cutting ...

so much cutting …

Then I sprayed it green…

And finished it off by adding a purple hat band.

The cane was probably one of the more entertaining things to construct. I found a tutorial on Deviant Art that I borrowed from. On yet another shopping trip, I purchased a stair spindle from Home Depot, and a brown papercraft “S” and globe from JoAnn Fabrics. Cutting the bottom off the “S”, I affixed it to the globe with epoxy to create the questions mark (my studio smelled like chemical death for hours).

Then I sprayed a coat of gold spray paint in the question mark and the stair spindle. After it was dried, I applied a second coat of green paint on the spindle, wiping the away the corners and some areas along the spindle to create a patina effect.

I applied some darker gold paint to the question mark to give it some more texture. After gluing the two pieces together I had my cane!

I had toyed with idea of making two different canes – a regular one with slight aging, and a second that looked like it’d been repaired with a bit of fake blood splatter. We are talking about a Gotham villain after all. Maybe one day.

Edwina “Eddy” Nigma debuted at the American Sewing Expo‘s first ever cosplay competition. While I didn’t place, I was still really excited that I was able to carry out my design for a character that I LOVE.

Edwina Nigma

I also was able to wear it to a friend’s Halloween party. My fiance (@funbuttonpress) continued the gender bent theme, and came as Harley Quinn.

I played with a little bruising makeup on my lip and cheek

I played with a little bruising makeup on my lip and cheek

The third opportunity to wear this presented itself when my day job decided to grow a sense of fun and had a Halloween party, where we were encouraged to to dress up. I’m still waiting for photos from my office’s marketing department, but I was able to snap a selfie of Eddy at work.


The next event I pull this costume out will be for Detroit Fanfare in February, where I definitely plan on competing in the Saturday Masquerade.

So what do you think? Do you like or hate it? Do you have a favorite version of the Riddler – hopefully not the Jim Carrey one since I’ve bashed it on a few occasions :/  Leave your comments below!

Listening to: Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Season 9


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