Costume Assembly

Last weekend, I returned to Disneyland for the second time in my life with several purposes: see a friend from the West Coast and runDisney in the Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon! When I went to the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel, I received lots of compliments on my shirt. Several folks even asked me where I bought it. I have to admit I was rather proud of this labor of love, imperfections and all. It photographed rather well, too, which is very important for those race day camera folks! One runner even gave me an Avengers’ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrist band as a spirit award. I wore it all weekend, citing it was my undercover badge. I was asked to write a tutorial, but being new to the crafting game, it turned out to be more of a trial-and-error adventure in iron-ons!

Confidence is key for representing S.H.I.E.L.D.

Unable to figure out which darned super hero I wanted to be, I took a less traditional and obvious route with my costume choice. I know the chute will be flooded with countless Thors, multiple Captains America, and infinite Incredible Hulks, I opted to transform myself into S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Commander Maria Hill. Having previously met actress Cobie Smulders several years ago at the height of her How I Met Your Mother Days at an Off Off Broadway Show, I’ve always had a certain soft spot for this particular Canadian. I was thrilled to see her in Avengers, and to later reprise the role in subsequent Marvel-related productions. She was super sweet and gave great hugs, so gosh darn it, she deserved some representation at the race, too!

Kids, in spring 2010 I met Cobie Smulders…

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Maria Hill) Tech Shirt Materials

IMG_9562.JPGFront: Silver Glitter | Back: Glow-in-the-Dark

The easiest part of the shirt assembly was cutting out and lining up the letters. I used a metal tape measure to help line up the lettering, but and standard ruler or sewing measuring tape would work far better. Finding the proper combination of heat and pressure without burning a hole into the material was my biggest concern. Without a spare shirt in case of error, hitting the nails square on the head was a necessity. Zero margin for error.

IMG_9753.JPG Use smaller scissors or an Xacto Knife for clean lines.

My biggest miscalculation was the application of the shoulder patches. Having never worked with iron-on patching, I did most of the assembly of the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo backwards. Cutting out the stencil was easy with the right kind of scissors. I stenciled the outline with white paint marker, and followed by a silver paint marker. Had I know that ironing the black patch based first would allow for a cleaner finish, I would have simply cut the circles out and pressed them to the shirt (then following with the paint marker and allowing time to dry).

Shoulder patches were essential!

Finding that the paint markers didn’t give me the clean lines I liked, I taped strips of reflective iron-on tape together and cut out the eagle logo. With the lines from the paint marker, it was easy to position the sections together and iron. I may have used a black permanent marker to help tidy up some stray lines. I later used the silver paint marker to put the punctuation between the letters on the front (SHIELD -> S.H.I.E.L.D.) to finish off the look.

Reflective Tape: My Arch Nemesis!

Maria Hill’s uniform in the films is a navy and black catsuit, but I wanted to make this running shirt something that I could legitimately use in the winter season. With nightfall arriving earlier and lasting longer, daylight run time is limited. For the occasions where I may run close to dusk, something reflective would help keep me safe while I’m jogging at night. Doc’s iron and I went several rounds with my crash course in learning how to properly apply reflective iron-on tape. The sleeve stripes are a wee bit rough, but proper field agents don’t have spotless uniforms.

IMG_9972.JPG Rather proud of Flat Maria Hill!

Full Costume Inventory

  • Under Armour Women’s Stunner Stretch Woven Capri in Russian Nights
  • Under Armour Women’s Locker Long-Sleeve T-shirt in Midnight Navy
  • Brooks Ravenna 5 in Fiery Coral, Electric Blue & Silver
  • Sparkle Athletic Sparkle Skirt (Gun Meta;/Silver) & Silver Shwings*
  • Running Skirts Runbow Knee-high Compression Socks*
  • lululemon athletic running visor
  • Sweaty Bands’ 1″ Viva Diva Band* in Gun Metal

Note: Items with asterisk were purchased at the Avengers’ Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. 

It’s funny how a simple meeting can impact events later on. My conversation with Cobie at the most, lasted a minute or two, but I never forgot her sincerity. As a result, I became a fan. It may sound silly, but thank you for making the time at that matinee because you helped make a difference in my life. Hey, I even had my five seconds of fame in the Race Wrap-up Video!

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