If you'd told me 15 years ago when I started making cosplay costumes that Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores would be selling a whole line of materials just for us, I don't know if I would have believed it! In 2016, this is a reality thanks to Yaya Han’s efforts. So, is the fabric really what we’ve always wanted? I’ve tested some of it out.
Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts was kind enough to send me fabric to try out. I’ve been wanting to make a certain costume for years but never really got around to finding the right fabric for it. That costume is Phoenix from X-men. Think 90’s cartoon X-men… Big hair and fire. Yeah, I wanted something shiny!
I wanted a stretch material that would react brilliantly under lights, but not all Metallic Spandex is equal. Over the years I’ve dealt with a fair amount of Metallic Spandex that would easily delaminate or crack when stretched. When I received my Cosplay by Yaya Han Metallic Spandex in Black, Gold, and Green the first thing I checked was if this material would flake or peel. It passed the test like a pro!
Okay, so I’m using Yaya’s hand picked fabric, so why not use some of her patterns too? I’m doubling down on the Yaya Han products here and it yielded good results! I modified McCall’s M7217 for the bodysuit and McCall's 7397 for the boot covers.
When working with material with a coating like this, avoiding pin holes is important so I like to use clips. No puncture holes or poked hands!
Part of Phoenix’s costume is a her iconic emblem right on the chest, so an appliqué was in order. Doing appliqué on metallic spandex might seem iffy since you’ll be ironing over a heat bonding webbing and then topstitching on temperamental material. It is much easier to approach than you might imagine. I used a silk setting on my iron without any issue, but every iron gives off different levels of heat. Be sure to test on a scrap and start with a very low temperature or press cloth.
To my relief, this material wasn’t fussy to work with. I powered through making this costume over the course of a few weeks, crafting at night after work. The material has a nice thickness and looks absolutely lovely under light. I look forward to using the gold color on plenty of other projects. Hello, awesome metallic trim!
So, here’s the end result (with some fake FIRE for good measure!)
Living in big cities has made it easier for me to shop for a larger selection of materials over the years but not everyone is in travel distance of NYC or LA’s fabric district. In fact, I’m several hours away from a big fabric district now too. Having a strong line of cosplay friendly fabrics available all over the nation is a pretty big game changer.
I went into a local Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts and was bowled over by the new Cosplay by Yaya Han collection. I hope the fabric line will continue to expand into more colors and materials. (I can never have enough stretch cotton sateen in my life, just sayin'.) Grab a coupon, and check out the new threads for yourself! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Big thanks to CosplayFabrics.com & Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for sponsoring this project and a shout out to Yaya Han for her efforts to make cosplay more accessible in the US!