Cosplay: Mary Read (AC4)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand another cosplay I’ve been working on. It’s Mary Read/James Kidd from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag or aka ‘AC4’.

AC4_Mary_ReadThis lady sure is one heck of a badass. Historically and as portrayed in the game. While there are some creative licenses with the donning of her alter ego ‘James Kidd’, most of her story stuck fairly close with her historical record (or what we have of it).

Stout of heart and strong beyond the measure of most in her day, Mary was just about as rough as any pirate she crewed with. Because of her daunting story, I was rather hesitant to choose her as a muse to recreate.

For one, she had a fair amount of garments. All of which are period styled. Boots were purchased but most else must be made. I somehow lucked out and purchased one pattern packet that included nearly all of the garments I will need to make. The pattern is, discontinued – and with good reason. The measurements and estimates for fabric are mostly off. If I hadn’t the knowledge I already acquired through my own trial and errors with similar garments, a ragequit would have been swift and violent.

Shirt, pants, vest, sash were all completed in a week or two (I probably had to run out and purchase forgotten fabric at some point/wait for something to arrive in the mail). I have tattoo paper for her tattoo. Boots are store-bought. The coat will be what does me in. A test of my patience and willpower to conquer tailoring and various methods of attaching different fabrics/materials together.

That aside, let’s check out the selection of materials…

AC4MRmaterials

*Sorry for the cruddy pics, I didn’t have the new camera at this point. This is fabric for the pants, shirt and coat (well, some of it). Pics I don’t have of the gilet/vest and its trimmings.

AC4MRpants1AC4MRpants2AC4MRpants3

What can I say? The pants were easy. They needed quite a few inches off the bottom but otherwise, nothing insane. Waist is elasticized. Will stuff the legs into the boots…might consider elasticizing before taking to con. Material was some sort of semi-burlap(?) I found in the upholstery section at Joann’s. It had the appropriate stripe + color and I had no desire to shop any further for this stuff. Frays like WOAH, so serging was a must.

AC4MRshirt1 AC4MRshirt2 AC4MRshirt3

The shirt…because of the instructions, I ended up making two. The first was a ‘learning prototype’ and the secondary one, the ‘good’ version. I hadn’t altered the pattern terrible in shape aside from the sleeves (and deepening the neckline). HOOOWEEEE, they were mighty puffy but I had to cut them down and shorten the length a bit…I need them to fit in the coat sleeves!! Anyway, the latter right before I applied the last cuff.

AC4MRshirt4

The final shirt. Still needs some hand-stitching to close up the neckline a wee bit -as in her design. Material was a…linen. Fairly ‘tea-stained’ color already but could use a little more ‘dirt’ and ‘grime’ to really add some character to what looks like a brand new shirt. Will treat this later to some ground TLC.

AC4MRgilet1

The gilet…vest…was the easiest to construct but one of the more difficult to source materials. For one, I didn’t find any trim that really resembled the reference photos, and by this point, I really was lax with accuracy to a garment that essentially was going underneath the elaborate coat. Pattern was simple, lined with the same fabric as the outer. Trim (that I found via upholstery fabric in a fabric close-out shop for $3/remnant) was applied. Additional detail trim was applied.

AC4MRgilet2

Gold trim was also from the same fabric close-out shop Jomar. Entire spool was $1.50! What a steal when a yard might’ve been much more! Most excellent. BS’d the vest to completion.

AC4MRnocoat1

The outfit thus far without the coat – as at this point, I’ve not yet started on that. Still needing to source out some black pleather for the detailing along the front panels. Shirt, gilet, pants, sashes, boots. The pistol and sword toys are in the mail, the belt is still attached to Yang’s skirt. Will have to somehow…rig up a holster and sword loop onto it.

AC4MRboots

Boots were random, off of Amazon. Not a terrible price for something decently ‘accurate’. Roughly $40USD total shipped. Could use some mud and distress but overall, definitely pirate-worthy.


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The coat was….an interesting experience. I remade the collar in a different shape, removed the lapels and omitted quite a bit of detail (as 3D bits on the shoulder caps and whatnot) since I ran out of time. I wish I made the collar larger but it is what it is. This is a coat made for a man. But seeing as to Mary Read masqueraded as James Kidd, I found it in the best interest to do so to stay true to the character.

Despite this coat not being lined, it was…toasty. Not to mention the many layers beneath. So, an outfit great for the cold! The pants however are burlap and is porous to any sort of wind/cold.

I also didn’t have the time to make/acquire a holster for the belt but the sword and gun were secure enough with the sash being tied and such. My friend had gone as Anne Bonny along with Lady Black! She was absolutely fantastico! Her work can be found here: Asia Minor

We had a mini-shoot with our partners-in-crime characters. Twas a good time! Katsucon’s venue made for a great tropical jungle scene! You can check out the results below…

Overall, my favorite cosplay thus far. It’s comfortable, it’s badass, it’s structured to a certain degree and is just fun to wear! I can always add more pistols and weaponry to it. Running out of time, I’ll probably obtain/make a pair of hidden blades to further the completion of the canon outfit. Overall, will definitely wear again! Just gotta remember to print out more chest tatts

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