A Costume Tale: Abigail, The Witcher

Abigail was a female character that I really liked and wanted to know more about when I played The Witcher, and I also grew fond of her outfit. Thinking ahead for Halloween, I began planning what would be my costume. With limited sewing abilities I knew this wasn't going to be easy but hey, I like a challenge now and again!

My inspiration began with a screenshot (image #1) and extracting the character textures to see details better. At the time I was also working on my collection of Witcher Sims 2 skins, so I had all those texture files saved up, which came in handy to see how Abigail's necklace actually looked like up close (image #2).

The necklace was my first piece of art. I started with a simple paste made out of flour, water and white glue, molding what looked like fangs (image #3). While they solidified a bit, I gathered brown yarn from my knitting basket and threaded some in a thick needle to run through the fangs. This way, I could tie them to the necklace, which itself wasn't hard to recreate: plenty of yarn to go around 5 or 6 times in lose loops, fangs tied to strategic spots, braided ends so it wouldn't fall apart. It turned out nice (image #4) and even though the cat wanted it for himself too (since he thinks all my yarn are belong to him) I managed to keep it safe.

Then I started searching for a wig, and this took quite a few weeks of searching. Eventually, and with the help of a friend, something turned up that looked about the right color and had no bangs (you have no idea how hard it is to get the right wig WITHOUT bangs).

I also looked online for a corset pattern, and then an actual corset since I figured there was no way in hell I could figure out the pattern and measurements. I was lucky to find a medieval tavern wench costume (image #5) that looked almost identical to Abigail's outfit in style, but not so much in color. While it was a bit expensive ($130, plus an arm and a leg for shipping to Canada), it was worth it. The corset was pretty much the same, aside from the cut-outs, which I decided not to make in fear of ruining it all.

The next step was altering the top to match (image #6). I cut out the long sleeves and dyed it black, since it was brownish in color. Then I took the skirt apart to dye the upper skirt black too, but that meant reconstructing the beige portion with an elastic waist (image #7). After three attempts at changing the color, all I managed to do was turn the green into a greyish-green shade. The dye just wouldn't take on the velvety fabric and off I went to the store to buy some cheap black fabric. I cut out a half-moon, sew the hem on it, threaded an elastic around the waist portion, and there it was, my skirt. In two pieces, but still, it was my Abigail skirt (image #8).

After all was done, I was very happy with the result, considering my limited skills for this kind of stuff (meaning, if I can do it, you can too!). The photo I took wearing the costume (image #9) was entered in an art contest in the community forums at the time and I won some cool Witcher goodies to add to my collection, including a Geralt figurine, a set of dice and my very own Witcher medallion. Yay!