Natalia Romanova, otherwise known as Black Widow

This weekend I went to the super awesome Comic Con in London. I was completely in awe of the sheer number of people in costumes and by the quality of the costumes themselves. I was a great couple of days of unrestrained geekiness, with people being themselves in an atmosphere of total acceptance.

I've been getting really into the Avengers franchise recently, so I decided to go with deadly Soviet-trained assassin Natalia Romanova.

Photo of Black Widow outfit

Making my costume was a boat-load of fun. The basis for it all was a ridiculously comfortable onesie I made from a Primark men's tracksuit. Below, I'll take you through how I made it.

Drawing of Black Widow outfit

The other important parts of the outfit were the bullet bracelets, the driving gloves, a pair of buckle-y boots (Primark), an elasticated waist belt (Primark), and a thigh holster, which was made of three pieces of black webbing sewn into a large and small loop with a connecting strap.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the shoulder was made using an old pillowcase and a fabric pen.

Finishing touches to my comic con outfit!

A photo posted by Beth McMillan (@teraspawn) on

Broadly, the onesie was made by tailoring the tracksuit to my body, removing the hood and waist bands, and sewing the top and bottom together. This had the obvious drawback of making bathroom breaks something of a palaver.

For the tailoring, I turned the garments inside out and put them on, and then pinned them in the appropriate places before sewing them.

First, sew down the sides of the legs to make them tighter.

Then add pin-tucks down the fronts of the legs. To do this, fold the fabric, wrong sides together, and sew very close to the edge.

Do the same to the back of the trousers.

Now cut off the waist band.

Take in the side seams of the hoodie and remove the front pocket (use a seam ripper and some patience).

Take in the arms.

Add darts just under the bust. To make a dart, fold the fabric, right sides together, and sew a curve.

Cut off the hood, leaving about two inches to be the collar. Hem it.

Add darts to the back. The trousers and top should now fit you like a glove. If they don't, add more darts and take in more fabric.

Put the trousers and hoodie on and mark on the hoodie the place where the pin tucks on the trousers are. Then put pin tucks on the front and back of the hoodie.

Put the trousers and hoodie back on, inside out this time. Pin the top and bottom together to make a form-fitting onesie. Draw a line on the hoodie and then unpin yourself. Make sure that the zip is fastened and cut off the bottom. Make several stitches at the bottom of the zip where you've cut it.

Pin the top and bottom back together and sew them, making sure to line up the pin-tucks.

Now, enjoy your comfy costume! Fun activities to do in this onesie include whispering "Hail Hydra" to strangers, and shouting "pew pew!" as you shoot people with your finger-guns.


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