I got more compliments than flaws pointed out in the one craftsmanship contest I entered. The judges were impressed with my draping skills and the fact I have an embroidery machine. (I entered a Steampunk bustle skirt/pirate outfit I made myself) Basically, those 2 things showed the passion I have for costuming that goes above and beyond my competitors. I find that judges are looking for details and things that set you apart in a good way. They're not supposed to pick on loose threads or imperfect painting. They want to ask you how you did it, or what you learned when making your costume.
Costume Con - Kili in a dress
Atomic Lollipop - Come visit me at the Make-Your-Own-Button free craft booth!
Polar Chill - check out my costume DIY panel and workshop
FanExpo - Iron Man Mark VII version 2, Pacific Rim Jaeger pilot?
FanExpo - fem!Iron Man Mark VII - The Iron Man Armor Project
Atomic Lollipop - Vanellope von Schweetz; raver!Sailor Mars