How do you get into cosplay?

I'm a sucker for costuming and drooling over amazing cosplay pictures online. In October my local bike shop is having a "tweed ride" involving riding in period costumes, and I want to use this to give a try at cosplay (Victorian Mary Watson in her badass riding habit, for those who wonder). I don't have an inkling where to start. I can sew, but should I sew my whole costume? Alter some pieces of garment? Are there tacit rules for cosplaying? Is the devil really in the details?


What to say to a formerly child-free person who is now pregnant

I am a self-professed child-free lady. A fellow child-free friend recently announced she was unexpectedly pregnant. I can tell she's feeling pretty rattled and struggling with the sudden change in life plans. As a fellow child-freer in a similarly stable life situation, I want to empathize and be there for her and give her a break from all the squee-ing, but I don't want to be a downer. What can I say to her?