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How I Made The SQUIP: My Most Ambitious Cosplay Yet

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

UPDATED 01/26/2022: Hi Folks! Thanks so much for all the love and support over the years on this little blog post of mine. I wanted to announce that I made a new squip, and have all the patterns and an updated full tutorial up on my shop now:

This new costume is as close to stage accurate as one person can make and is the essential guide for any squip cosplay. If you're still interested in seeing my 2019 version, feel free to continue reading below, thanks again <3

Every year I like to take on one "major" project and push my cosplay skills. 2017 was Mercy from "Overwatch," 2018 was Scarlet Witch from "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," and this year I decided to do the SQUIP from Be More Chill.

For those who don't know, Be More Chill is a musical that ran on Broadway from March 10th until August 11, 2019. The show follows the story of Jeremy Heere, an uncool high schooler who ingests a pill-sized supercomputer that implants in his brain and helps him to be popular. This supercomputer, known as a SQUIP, appears only to Jeremy and presents itself as a human man with the likeness of Keanu Reeves. Throughout the musical, the SQUIP has many costume changes that get progressively cooler, but one outfit stood out to me in particular.

© • Photos by Emilio Madrid

The SQUIP's "Halloween" costume is by far my favourite in the entire show and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it. It had everything I wanted for that year's big project. It involved hand painting, custom gradient dying of the skirt, and was a sewing-oriented project. At the time it was mid-June, and I told myself I could get it done by August to debut at FanExpo Toronto. Technically I was right... but it didn't end up being that simple.

First up I needed to make a mockup out of scrap fabric. I did this to make sure I got the pattern right before wasting all my good fabric. The top is a heavily altered version of Yaya Han's "Pilot Jacket" pattern. The skirt is a full circle skirt that used over 3m of fabric. I wanted the skirt to have as much body as possible. The skirt looked good, but the extra fabric ended up causing a lot of grief when it came to painting the circuitry design.

Once the mockup was done I needed to figure out the circuitry pattern on the skirt. My first problem was that the reference photos were slim. I had to Frankenstein 6 different reference photos together to get a good idea of what the full pattern looked like. I then traced over the design in Photoshop so that I had a clean lineart version of the design. This design was then printed to scale the length of the skirt.

(EDIT: 1/31/2022 Updated patterns now available for purchase at

I was lucky my skirt fabric was sheer enough that when I put the printed skirt pattern underneath it, it showed through just enough that I was able to save a ton of time by not having to trace out the entire pattern before painting. My other savour when it came to painting was masking tape and stencilling brushes. To get crisp lines, I used masking tape and then dabbed the paint on with a stencilling brush. I repeated the masking tape and dabbing process for every single line on every single panel. In total the skirt had ten full panels.

I repeated the same process on the top's front, back, and sleeves as well. The top's front had the same pattern as the skirt, while the sleeves and back of the top shared a different pattern.

(EDIT: 1/31/2022 Updated patterns now available for purchase at

Gradient dying ended up being my favourite part of the entire costume. There's just something about boiling a pot of water to dye synthetic fabrics that always makes me smile. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm "cooking" the fabric in a way...

I spent an hour slowly dipping and removing the skirt from the pot of dye until I got an almost seamless white to grey gradient. I had gradient-dyed so many things for costumes before, but this was by far the cleanest dye job yet!

As I got closer to FanExpo, I slowly realized I did not have enough time to get SQUIP finished to the point I wanted it to be. I had finished painting about six of the ten skirt panels, the sleeves, and the front of the top. I didn't have nearly enough time to finish the other four skirt panels and the back of the top. I still really wanted to wear SQUIP to the convention, so I rushed to try to finish as much sewing and painting as I could to get it in a wearable state. The night before the convention I was on my living room floor frantically sewing the skirt lining in wondering to myself, "Will I be able to get this done?"

In the end, I got it finished and was able to wear the costume in its' semi-finished state. I had felt pretty good about the costume while wearing it, but photos from the convention just highlighted all the problems I had with it. I knew that with a little more time and elbow grease I could fully finish up SQUIP and make it into a costume I love.

Photography by Shadow Dragonfly

For reference, here's a list of issues that a regular viewer may not notice, but my perfectionist self couldn't stand:

  • Skirt was half-painted

  • The back of the top was not painted at all

  • Sleeves and top were made of different fabrics and while they were both white, they were different tones of white

  • The skirt should be lined black

  • The top was too tight

  • Add horsehair braid to the hem for more "floof"

  • 3D Print custom zipper pull

SQUIP 2.0 was a two-month undertaking from September-November where I fixed every single one of the problems I had with the original costume. This costume is practically perfect in my eyes and has become my favourite costume I've ever made. The SQUIP took over 60 hours of hand painting, ten hours of sewing, and three hours of 3D printing. I'm pretty sure if you look up "labour of love" in the dictionary you will find me painting this costume.

Finished SQUIP 2.0 Costume

I also had the fantastic opportunity to have almost my entire process of SQUIP 2.0 recorded for a documentary. That experience deserves a whole blog post in itself, so I'll keep my talk about it to a minimum. For now, follow the official Instagram for behind the scenes and sneak peeks at the finished film!

Thanks so much for sticking through this super long blog post, hopefully, that answers any questions you may have about my construction process. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter!

Work In Progress Gallery

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