Suit Up! with @MarcyHarriell on @therealbluprint (INTERVIEW)
Marcy Harriell Interview (Suit Up series)
Marcy Harriell, the actress, singer, and expert sewist will be hosting DC Comics’ Suit Up! series on Bluprint.com. Suit Up! will be a four-part tutorial series set to launch on Thursday, October 4. The series will include DIY tips and tutorials for Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Superman costumes.
The lovely color enthusiast also took a moment to sit down with the resident fashion geek at For All Nerds to share her interests in DC comics, how the Blueprint and DC collaboration came about and what tips and tricks we can expect from the series.
How did you get started in sewing?
It all started because I’m an actress and the business can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out, so I found a hobby to do in the downtime so I wouldn’t pull my hair out. The hobby then turned into a passion and then a blog and an Instagram. Then people started noticing it and Blueprint came along and said “Hey, we notice you’re an actress who sews. Why don’t we marry those two things and make those two things happen together? Like peanut butter and chocolate,? Yes, please! We launched a series called Re: Fashion in July. It was a show about sewing, taking clothes out of your closet and off the rack and recreating them. It was about me running into problems, definitely problems because I always run into problems, and how to fix them.
How did the DC collaboration with Blueprint come about?
DC saw the series and reached out to do the collaboration. It’s like Christmas all year long for me, basically!
Have you had any experience with DC comics, movies or TV series?
I have been reading DC comics since I was 13. Since my brother was a comic book collector. I don’t know why he was the comic book collector and I was not allowed to be. I guess with two kids you have to choose your own hobbies sort of thing, but I loved them. He would let me come into his room and pick out a single issue and read it. He would watch me read it to make sure I didn’t hurt his comic but I would take so long to read because I wanted to look at each and every panel and like, just eat it! The art and the lettering, the story, he would eventually get mad and kick me out of his room. So later on I realized, wait I’m an adult now I can have these for myself. So I got back into it with the Dark Knight by Frank Miller.
Whoa! What a way to kick it off! Frank Miller?!
Right! Batman goes postal! Batman’s like I’ve had it! I’ve had it with people! I’ve had enough! So yeah, Batman was my re-entry to get back into the comic book world.
So you already had an understanding with DC characters going into this collaboration, do you have a favorite DC character?
It would be the Dark Knight. It would have to be. One of the episodes centers around me making the Dark Knight costume for myself. Not Batwoman and not Batgirl, I mean their both awesome but I wanted to be the Dark Knight.
How do you feel about people of color in cosplay?
I think that there should be more of us [people of color[ and I think there should be more of us everywhere. Not only in cosplay but on screen and just everywhere. I’m so thrilled when something comes out like, oh guess who Aquaman is? It’s Jason Momoa. I’m like yeah it is! Of course, it’s Jason Momoa! It’s just a brilliant choice and I love it when a brand as huge as DC can look past what the character has been for so many years. It doesn’t have to be about Aquaman who’s always blonde hair and blue eyed. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Have you ever dabbled in cosplay yourself? Have you ever cosplayed at a con?
I have never been to a con. I’m always doing a show when a con is going on. I was in Seattle once when a con was going on. I was rehearsing for a musical and suddenly noticed all these wonderful people walking around us in these glorious costumes. It hit me what was happening that very week while we were in rehearsals and I was like “Nooo! Why can’t I be there”.
Hopefully in the future that will be an option.
I really hope so. I would be the person just screaming the entire day caught up in all the things everyone is wearing and made. It’s just so amazing to me what people do. What people make just from things in their house! It’s incredible.
So I can’t sew what’s so ever. Instead, I style ready-made pieces inspired by characters and fandoms to wear in the everyday. I noticed that in your sketches there were some ideas for style pairing, especially the Clark/Superman look for a child.
Oh yeah, yeah! We wanted to give people options for those who are like “I’m not sewing” and then they could then maybe make the move to sewing next.
What was your inspiration for the sketches? Especially that Superwoman sketch with the flowing cape. That cape is everything!
Thank you! I really, really, want to make that one. That one is just the best, but we didn’t make that one. Now I’m like, can we get this one in? The first sketch I submitted was the Dark Knight as a woman. I thought this is a little off the beaten path. This isn’t DC’s Batman and then it was the first sketch they approved. Then I thought, okay, I can do my own take on DC characters and that’s how I came up with the sketch with Superman as a woman. I wanted it to be sort of Kryptonian and regal. Really, if I were to make that, that cape would just require a whole lot of fabric and a belt. Maybe two lines of stitching, like two straight lines of stitching. If you get the right fabric and do it the right way, it’s less sewing than you think. I’m saying that to you to enable you to sew the cape!
Get my courage up and do it, right? The sketches are incredible and the capes are so dramatic and dynamic!
Thank you, part of me was like I can’t believe I’m sending sketches to DC Comics. Let me spend some time on these sketches!
If you had to do an everyday cosplay version of any of the outfits you’re doing for the series, which would you choose?
I would say that the Dark Knight look would probably be the easiest for most people. Most people have a black blazer and black pants in their closets and then throw the bat cowl on top maybe. I’m not most people and I don’t have any black in my closet, actually. It was very strange for me to sew something in all black. So if I had to go, every day, as one of the characters it probably would be Superman or Supergirl. As you’ve seen on my blog I’ve got plenty of colors to play with.
What advice would you give to a person who is brand new to sewing and who wants to get into cosplay?
You could look to your closet and maybe you have some black in your closet. You could start small, like making yourself a bat cowl. That’s basically a rectangle of fabric with points for the ears. You could start small making yourself the Kryptonian coat of arms, the ‘S’ shield for Superman and sticking it on a t-shirt. You can definitely start small. All of these things are like a gateway drug because once you start small you’ll get compliments on your work. People who create are very open to complimenting you because they know how much it takes to do it. You’ll want to start making more things. Maybe you’ll take a pair of jeans and paint them with acrylic paint rather than sew an entire pair of leather pants. There are workarounds for all kinds of things and the series will show you some workarounds.
Like maybe you’ll want to make Superman boots for your kid and you don’t want to buy a pair of red boots that are going to cost 100 dollars because he’ll grow out of them in a week. You can get some neoprene fabric and stick velcro on the back and just wrap it around the kid’s calves to make a boot. There are things you can do that don’t require you to buy a sewing machine but I fervently hope that you do eventually go and buy a sewing machine because the work can be so much fun!
Are there any other projects that we should be on the lookout for?
Well, I just shot a movie but I’m not allowed to say what it is. So you can be on the lookout for the thing that I can’t tell you what it is yet! I mean that seems to be how it is now, everyone is NDA. Don’t talk about it, but eventually, there are just no words left to say. I’m also doing all kinds of crazy stuff on my blog and my Instagram involving sewing as well.
Thank you, Marcy, for being a part of this interview and sharing so much about Blueprint’s Suit Up! series. You can catch Marcy on her blog Oonaballona and follow her socials like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as @marcyharriell.
Bluprint is available for a monthly plan at $14.99/month, or an annual plan at $120/year. For a limited time, users can get an “all access pass” to Bluprint for free by creating an account from 10/5 through 10/12. That’s right, you could catch this series for free if you play your cards right.