Originally Posted by Razernok
I dunno how to sew or make armor/props. Nor do I have any cosplay friends who could teach me.
Unless you have any non-cosplayer family or friends who are handy with tools/sewing that would like to help you through the whole process, then definitely start very simple. A good way to start is by modifying clothes from your closet, thrift shop, or even regular clothing shops to look like your character. If you don't want to modify or can't find anything that looks like your character's clothes, you can use a pattern.
A pattern is a paper template for making clothing. You can find some simple ones for free online, and they can be found in many sewing/fabric shops. The major pattern companies are Vogue, Simplicity, McCall's, and Butterick, but you may also see Kwik Sew, Burda, Green Pepper, or other brands too. Most pattern companies have simple patterns for newbies. (They'll be labelled something like "Learn-to-sew", "Jiffy", "Sew Simple", "Easy", etc. I'd personally avoid Vogue patterns and Simplicity's Project Runway line if I were you, those can be a bit tricky and sometimes skip things because they assume you've already done them.) Men's patterns tend to be easier than many women's patterns, since many men's clothes don't have all of the extra decorative stuff that women's do. If you're good at drafting things, you can always try drafting your own patterns! (This is also useful for adjusting online or commercial patterns too!)
You can choose between hand-sewing and machine-sewing.
~Supplies are more available (You'll find a hand-sewing kit in nearly every supermarket, Walmart, dollar store, drugstore, etc., often in the laundry or travel aisles)
~Don't need a machine, won't have to worry about maintaining one or it jamming up
~Takes a long time, you'll need to be patient
~Stitches may be messy depending on how well you sew them
~Stitches may be weak depending on how well you sew them
Machine sewing pros:
~Nice uniform stitches
~Don't need a thimble
~Wide variety available
~Manuals for virtually any model can be found for free online if you lose/don't have yours
Machine sewing cons:
~Needles break more easily
~Will need to read the manual
~May have to buy many types of needles/feet depending on what you're doing
~Be careful not to get your fingers too close to the needle!
~More expensive (Fortunately thrift shops, garage sales, and sites like Craigslist often carry very nice, durable, working sewing machines for a much lower cost than new ones)
~Can jam up
I don't know much about propmaking, but there's a subforum for that!