I’m a sucker for costuming and drooling over amazing cosplay pictures online. (Megan, you rocked that Steampunk Princess Bubblegum cosplay as far as I remember!) But I live in a town where no major con will ever be.
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?
Any tips would be great. Thanks and cheers! -Audrey
Good question! And with Halloween coming up, it’d be a fun time to share all our costuming tips. Admittedly, I like to call what I do “cosplay lite” because I can’t sew and have no idea how to use Worbla. But despite having no skills when it comes to crafting, I have been able to pull off a few costumes, and all of them created without a sewing machine: (the aforementioned) Steampunk Princess Bubblegum, Cersei, Fantastic Mr Fox, and an agent of SHIELD.
My tips for beginners are this:
- Amazon is your friend (especially if you have Prime). You can get all sorts of costuming things (including actual costumes, wigs, accessories, etc.), try them, and return them if they don’t work.
- If you can’t sew, find a friend who knows how who can help do your dirty work for you/teach you how to do your dirty work for yourself. (My poor friend Jessica gets roped into so much nerdery.)
- Hire someone to make the hard things. I couldn’t DIY my Cersei dress, so I took to Etsy to find someone who could.
- Talk shop with cosplayers, follow them on Instagram (they often show you behind-the-scenes of their costume-making), and watch their tutorials on YouTube.
Your turn! Any cosplay geeks in the house? What are your tips for getting started in costuming?