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View Full Version : No sewing machine: Is it possible


Rethul
12-01-2002, 11:27 PM
From what I see everyone here has a sewing machine. I'm jsut getting into cosplay and guess what? Nobody in my family owns a sewing machine... is it possible to make a costume with needle and thread alone. Or is it like trying to fix a fusion reactor with a rock?

Yggdrasil Pie
12-01-2002, 11:28 PM
If you have the patience...I think it's possible. ^^

Koumori
12-01-2002, 11:28 PM
Sure. You can do anything without a sewing machine, and there are some things which a sewing maching *can't* do. Before sewing machines came into common use in the mid-19th century, everything was sewn that way, after all, including heavily boned foundation garments, shoes, gloves and hats.

krystal1314
12-01-2002, 11:49 PM
Is it possible? Heck yes!
But like WaterEmpress said... you've gotta have the patience >^^<

Spooky Brew
12-01-2002, 11:59 PM
I cheat....I try to find clothes that look like the character then modify them....
That helps a lot, I suppose!

Celine
12-02-2002, 12:30 AM
I think Nietsche makes his stuff without a machine, and it turns out very well! I don't like sewing by hand, but I've done it before when my machine broke. ^_^; It's definitely possible- how much sewing experience do you have? Sometimes, like Koumori said, there are things which are best suited to be sewn by hand. For everything else, there's glue... XD

Maryssa
12-02-2002, 12:34 AM
and HEAT BOND!

Alaria
12-02-2002, 03:19 AM
yaay heat bonding, and fabric glue, and epoxy glue!!

Cynthia
12-02-2002, 09:02 AM
Before I knew how to sew with a sewing machine I was sewing by hand. I even managed to make a pretty good Jane Austin era gown.

engrish
12-02-2002, 11:49 AM
I've heard of cosplayers sewing their entire costume by hand. Not me. :) Since this is a new hobby you could try hand sewing your first costume to see if this hobby really suits you or not before sinking a lot of money into a sewing machine.

Sami
12-02-2002, 12:09 PM
My first costume was sewn entirely by hand.. ^^ (Makimachi Misao of Rurouni Kenshin) I could have sewn my second costume by hand too (Kidd from Chrono Cross) but I did get a sewing machine, and although it helps a LOT, you can definitely sew things by hand! Just gotta have the time.. ^_-

Alaria
12-02-2002, 12:49 PM
My main problem with sewing by hand is keeping the stitches close and straight O_o It takes me forever because I mess up alot

Yuna
12-02-2002, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Celine
I think Nietsche makes his stuff without a machine, and it turns out very well! I don't like sewing by hand, but I've done it before when my machine broke. ^_^; It's definitely possible- how much sewing experience do you have? Sometimes, like Koumori said, there are things which are best suited to be sewn by hand. For everything else, there's glue... XD

Yeah, he makes all his stuff by hand O_O;;;

I've made four costume all by hand.... and now that I have a sewing machine I don't know how I did it O_O; Alaria... at first it's REALLY hard, but after a while you get used to it and you do do your stitiches striaght and even. I should show you my Natsumi...

Rosiel
12-02-2002, 01:30 PM
Possible? Yes. I made my Dragonslayer costume 100% by hand.
Adviseable? NO. I also bought a sewing machine when I was done with my Dragonslayer costume.

Although all things said and done most of my costumes are generally about 50-80% hand stitching, I always make sure the structural seams are machine-stitched... (I would never hand-sew pants, for example...)

One thing to remember, then: triple-stitch everything that will pull (like say armholes) or the holes between your stitches might show and/or it might pull apart.

HappyCLAMPer
12-02-2002, 02:18 PM
Rethuel, why not borrow a sewing machine from a friend? Thats what theyre for, right? Of if they dont have one, go to your local kindly-old-lady-next-door and ask her if you may borrow one of her 10 sewing machines. Yes, kindly old ladies always have at least 10 sewing machines handy. :D Im sure someone would be willing to help you.

Sakura
12-02-2002, 02:37 PM
I went out and bought a sewing machine after my 3rd costume, but I still can't use it without jamming the needle or something >_< therefore, everything is still done by hand unless someone in my house takes pity and helps me out.

Carmila
12-02-2002, 04:19 PM
Sure you can sew it all by hand! But then again you have to considder how much time it will take. I sewed a choli and put the finishing edge on a sari for halloween one time and it was murder! Took me days to finish it and really, there was not anything really fancy that had to be sewn. Mostly straight lines.

I would advise against sewing by hand, but if you really want to cosplay, go for it!

Mink
12-02-2002, 08:00 PM
I did for a while.....I made most of my costumes for Ani-Magic by hand because I didnt have one. Sewing machines just make things go faster thats about it. I got mine from my grandmother (who in turn got it from my great grandmother) so mine is like an antique! If you get frustraited, check on ebay (my solution to everything) or at 2nd hand shops. You may find something!

Nietsche
12-02-2002, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Yuna
Yeah, he makes all his stuff by hand O_O;;;

I've made four costume all by hand.... and now that I have a sewing machine I don't know how I did it O_O; Alaria... at first it's REALLY hard, but after a while you get used to it and you do do your stitiches striaght and even. I should show you my Natsumi...

Celine and Yuna are right, I do everything by hand because I don't own a sewing machine...and yeah it does take much patience but I find the end product doubly rewarding! ^_^

Integral
12-02-2002, 08:51 PM
sakura- Are you loading the bobbin correctly? When I first snagged my mom's old machine, that was my big problem. I'd load the bobbin incorrectly, or I wouldn't pay attention to where the thread tails were, and it would jam everything up.

Shinobu
12-02-2002, 10:42 PM
I have done all my costumes by hand...very hard... ><
Heh I do what Spooky Brew dose, I try to find clothes in thrift stores that look like the outfits and then I modify them... It's much easier that way. Why spend so much money on fabric and sew it on a machine?
Well Im getting a sewing machine this christmas...at least my mom said that we are. ^^;
I can't imagine making a hard costume without a machine... That's why I kinda wait to make them. ^^:;;
Um... I can make the Japanese schoolgirl uniforms really easily because I have a pattern....just get fabric..sew....make cuffs, etc.

Koumori
12-02-2002, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Shinobu
Why spend so much money on fabric and sew it on a machine?


Well, because it's rewarding. And it's fun.

cutekawaii
12-03-2002, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Shinobu
It's much easier that way. Why spend so much money on fabric and sew it on a machine?
They can turn out a lot more accuractly, especially if it is a costume with garments "not found in nature." That's why ^-^

Borrow a friend or neighbors machine. I don't own a machine and I've made 15 costumes. One didn't have one stitch of sewing anyway ^_^

Borrowing a sewing mahine has its economic positives, but it can be a hassle. If the machine has to stay as so-and-so's house, you have to commute, bring all your stuff, etc. And if you forget something, it's a pain to go back and get it. Also, you can't do any late-night sewing. If you leave stuff at the house, you can't work on it at home.

If the person let you take the machine home, eventually he or she will want it back, and it's so hard to part with it...

But, I've managed using a neighbors (I have to go to her house) and it's worked fine for me. She said eventually she'll give it to me, but I'm not sure I want to part with her serger o-o

Rethul
12-03-2002, 09:07 PM
You all have definately been a help, I'll start by hand and if I need a sewing machine I'll find one and borrow/steal it... thanks alot all!

Nemui Yume
12-06-2002, 07:12 PM
sewing by hand?

it is possible if you have the paitence and the energy to do it!
i think most cosplayers that don't have a sewing machine start to do it by hand, or they don't like the machine they will sew by hand.. i know a handful of cosplayers that sew by hand! ^.^ they don't perfer a machine since it's harder for them. I sewed my two costumes by hand *Nakoruru* x.x;; i'm surprised i could do it but now i have a machine and understand how it's like to sew both ways ^.^

try it and see where you go and good luck~

~Stella~

ChibiRinoa
12-07-2002, 09:50 AM
i got my sewing machine BEFORE i sewed any costumes ~.^ we had a 300000000000 year old singer that worked ok until i shortcircuted it with my finger and blew the power out to the whole floor of my house....yea...i didnt know fingers could turn black
but i got my sewing machine for christmas a while ago and ive used it alot, even though its got so many feet that i dont know what half of them do....
sewing by hand is ok, but its tedious, Im on the costume crew at my school for the theatre company, and for a while we didnt have a sewing machine, and the play we're doing was set in the early 1900's, so the fashion was loooong dresses, and whew...we had to hem cumberbums and stuff without a sewing machine...that was tiring. thankfully we got a sewing machine and the play takes place this friday, so yay!!!

!*Jessi-Chan*!
12-07-2002, 06:08 PM
hmm.......i gotta get me a sewing machine. Of course my grandmother and my oldest aunt have about 7 sweing machines that are like 500 yrs. old....i don't even know if they'll work, but they're gonna have too since:
1.) For christmas i'm getting a Portable DVD player...muff said
and
2.)i have no time to sew by hand

nekochan
12-09-2002, 05:38 AM
you must have lots of patience.. hehe.. good luck!! your costume is going to turn out great.

Schu
12-09-2002, 05:13 PM
I got a cheep sewing machine at a thrift store for $15 and it's the best thing ever... I'd recommend doing that, because after sewing a few costumes by hand, you will hate yourself for the time you wasted hand stitching. ~_~

Hikaru
12-13-2002, 07:08 PM
Umm...I don't have a sewing machine and i made a moogle costume O_o;
It only took me a day to sew it, but because it was my first costume it was horrible quality ^~^;

aeva
12-13-2002, 10:12 PM
Yesh, it is most definately possible to do things without a sewing machine. In fact, I made my Merle costume compltely by hand... and it ended up winning an award at Shoujocon. So... all is possible! Good luck! =D

Koumori
12-13-2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by aeva
Yesh, it is most definately possible to do things without a sewing machine. In fact, I made my Merle costume compltely by hand... and it ended up winning an award at Shoujocon. So... all is possible! Good luck! =D

Oh hey, yeah, I think I remember you!

aeva
12-13-2002, 10:39 PM
Did you cosplay Kenshin at the Shoujocon? 'cause I think I remember you... in fact, I might even have a picture of you. ^^;;

Mako-san
12-14-2002, 02:47 PM
I totally agree with everyone, I have sewn some stuff by hand and believe me I stopped at my first costume. So then when I got really serious with Cosplay I went back home with my Grandma and we went to the thrift store and scored an awesome sewing machine for just $5.00, thats right people 5 bucks!! I love it!!! Its just a single stitch but its the greatest!! I now have another machine but thats my grandma's that I borrowed from her and a travel one too!

ja
Mako-san

Koumori
12-14-2002, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by aeva
Did you cosplay Kenshin at the Shoujocon? 'cause I think I remember you... in fact, I might even have a picture of you. ^^;;

Me? No, though I have done elsewhere. :) I was Nuriko at Shoujocon. (Which, just to pretend I'm still on-topic, was largely hand-sewn.)

Hikaruchan
12-15-2002, 08:05 PM
I hand sewed a lot of my early costumes, including one that came in 2nd place in competition. But near end of 2000 I broke down and got a sewing machine, as there were too many outfits I wanted to do and handsewing would only let me complete a few for all the time it took to make it look good. I still handsew parts of costumes now where the machine just wouldn't work right.

TheMadCrackEgg
12-18-2002, 11:22 PM
dude, okay what you need to do is search around at thrift store for cheap sewing machines. doing without is not easy and, if you look, you can probably find a decent one

kanarumichan
01-30-2011, 02:16 PM
I cheat....I try to find clothes that look like the character then modify them....
That helps a lot, I suppose!

haha, i do that too, im going making a shannon ushiromiya cosplay so im modifying a normal black dress and apron!

Darkdreamyr
01-30-2011, 11:22 PM
Also for some of us, machines are hateful creatures that refuse to work. ^^ The thread jams up, you either press down too fast or too slow, it creates knots instead of actually sewing... it's too much a pain in the ass for me. I just want to put something in and sew, but instead there seems to be like 18 different steps to follow before you even get there. Currently the thread has fallen out of the needle and I can't get it back in.

On the other hand, hand sewing is thread the needle and go. Strangely enough, this is the faster option. ^^

Try both ways out and see what works best for you. A sewing machine is not essential to cosplay, but sewing often is.

Tigress
01-31-2011, 09:17 AM
Because I had a childhood fear of sewing machines, I hand sewed all my costumes until I did Belldandy.

When I finished it the day before the con, I swore "never again" and my mom bought me a nice beginner's machine for my birthday. I'm now almost at the point where I'm considering getting something slightly more advanced and I think I'm getting a serger with my tax return. >^_^<

There's still some things that I hand sew, like gloves and shoes, because of the narrow hems and hard to access parts.