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?


Pickles, pirates, and busty ladies: what to expect at a Renaissance fair

As a huge fantasy geek, dressing up in period costume, eating giant dill pickles on sticks, and watching sexy people joust is my happy place. I also wrongly assumed that everyone else in the world was attending their own local Ren fairs/fests and huzzah-ing along with me. But after posting a shot of my recently acquired new garb online, I came to find out how wrong I was. Fellow editor, Chris, started asking me all these questions and was worried she'd be ridiculed for her lack of knowledge of olde-y world-y things (spoiler: hell no!). We decided that I should write up a primer for preparing to embark on a geeky trip back in time. Here's what to expect at your first Renaissance fair.