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Unread 07-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
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Things you wished you know before your first cosplay

Hey guys. Im sure there are a lot of newbies out there excited for their first cosplay as I am. Being our first cosplay, we also want it to be a good learning experience as well as have a good time. So I have a question for you experienced cosplayers :

What are some things you wish you knew before doing your first cosplay/ go to your first con?
Or to put it differently, what mistakes are commonly made by newbies?
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Unread 07-02-2014, 03:43 PM   #2
Sarah Charade
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Overestimating your abilities and being too ambitious, then not being able to complete a project. I see far too many people asking about this costume or that one, then never actually finishing anything, because it was to hard.

Start small, start simple, and build from there. If you can't sew, don't try to design your own pattern and buy expensive fabrics and try to make something worthy of Yaya Han. It doesn't happen. If cosplay were a video game, you would start with some thrift store rags, thread, and a hand sewing needle. Your first costume would have no stats. Learn the basics, the foundations of the skills you need, and keep leveling up.

Research. Do your research. When I started, I did not have video or photo tutorials. I had to figure it out on my own. Now, you have millions of resources to teach you how to do things. Spend hours, days even, looking for photos, tutorials, methods, and materials before you begin. Don't expect things to be handed to you, because everyone knows the resources are there.

Talk to other cosplayers at cons. I never realized for a long time that people like talking about how they made their costumes. They don't mind if you pick their brains, ask questions, ask to touch costumes and props (it's up to them to say yes or no) and basically learn from others. You are like-minded and have the same hobby, chances are they will be willing to chat with you.
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Unread 07-02-2014, 06:25 PM   #3
Kokoro Hane
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Be sure you know certain cosplay terms! I used to think "genderbend" was the same as "crossplay", and they are not. Genderbend means to make an opposite sex variation of a character (like say, what Roy Mustang would look like as a girl) and crossplay is exactly what it sounds like (like a guy dressed up as Sailor Moon, and not a male version, the female version). It is embarrassing because I used to lump genderbend to crossplay, and when I look back I facepalm myself (especially since now I want to do genderbends, haha).

When making your cosplay (whether from scratch or even just modifying existing items as bases) MAKE SURE NOT TO DO IT LAST MINUTE!!! I still remember before AX 2012 with my Mayushii cosplay, my mom and I kept delaying until we were the night before the con so we were up 'till 4 a.m. finishng the black trim (I was going to a Steins;Gate gathering) and pretty much didn't sleep even when we were done. So be sure to have a lot of time in between before a con or photoshoot or whenever you need to wear it. You want a lot of rest so you can enjoy yourself~

Also, bring extra deordorant if you tend to sweat a lot. Cons have plenty of restrooms you can tidy up in if you need to.

That's my advice to you, and I'm still learning myself but these are a few tips after my couple years or so of being in the cosplay world ^.^
Completed Cosplays!
Mayuri Shiina (Steins;Gate) {debuted at; Anime Expo AX2012}
Jun Suwabara [casual] (Doppelganger: Dawn of The Inverted Soul)
Meiko [default] (Vocaloid)
Hajime (Hamatora) {debuted at; Anime Conji 2014}
Tomoyo Daidouji [summer uniform] (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Xiaoyu [school uniform] (Tekken Tag Tournament 2)

Currently in the works!
Keichii Maebara [casual, genderbent] (Higurashi)
Shinji Ikari [school uniform, genderbent] (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
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Unread 07-02-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
Bailey's Cosplay
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:U That cosplay contests actually require pre-planning.

Everything else has already been mentioned above XD
Current Project

Judal - [ Magi : The Labyrinth of Magic]
-wig: Arrived <333
-scarf: COMPLETE
-shirt: 25%
-pants: COMPLETE
-jewelry: COMPLETE
-wand: 90%
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Unread 07-02-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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How to hem and finish my seams. I wouldn't think of not doing that now, so I cringe at my first few costumes that are slowly fraying themselves to death in the back of my closet...
Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There is a vibe here that says "We're in this together! Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way." <3
Help me get rid of my parasprite swarm! --> http://tinyurl.com/brcp53c
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Unread 07-02-2014, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ShinobiXikyu View Post
How to hem and finish my seams. I wouldn't think of not doing that now, so I cringe at my first few costumes that are slowly fraying themselves to death in the back of my closet...
This. Poor Tsukasa...

Also, on that note, smearing lipstick haphazardly onto your face for tattoos, not the best idea. Lost my first wig to face-lipstick.

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Unread 07-02-2014, 11:35 PM   #7
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How to buy a good wig and dye it. Dyeing a Party City wig with Sharpie is a terrible idea.
My username is an incredibly stupid pun that only I will get.

Currently working on:
Scarlett O'Hara Drapery Dress -- Gone With the Wind
Deandra -- MPGiS
Anna Cornonation Dress -- Frozen
Vader Eloha/The Queen -- OFF
Princess Suwa -- Mascot of the city of Suwa, Japan

My favorite cosplays:
Brittnay Matthews -- MPGiS
Mom Lalonde -- Homestuck
Princess Kenny -- South Park

Tumblr: http://justacrazedfangirl.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annikaskisses
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Unread 07-03-2014, 12:19 AM   #8
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I wish I'd known how choosing the cheapest fabric by default was a bad idea.

Now that I'm more skilled I know ways to make shoddy fabric look better than it should, but fighting my material as a beginner made things that could have been a breeze into a complete cagematch.
Workin' on:
Tom Petty [Final Fantasy XV] (9%)
Bondage Finch [Bondage Finch Adventures] (12%)
Melisandre, the Red Woman [Game of Thrones] (43%)
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Unread 07-03-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
Jigouku Chou
Survival Horror Addict
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Not to use your own hair. Dying and cutting your hair in the name of cosplay is a permanent solution, and you're not always going to like how it looks after the con is over and you're in the real world again. And re-dying/bleaching is expensive.

And spray on dye looks terrible. Always.

And while some people can use their own hair and make it work, it's very hard to pull off.
::To Do List::
Sailor Moon: Neo Queen Serenity
Final Fantasy VII: Aerith Gainsborough - re:boot

Next event: Nan Desu Kan 2014
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Unread 07-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
Imperial Fist's waifu :3
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At the start the biggest flop that happened to me was wigs, wig styling and their handling in general. Ended up ruining a wig due to bad washing and was unsatisfied with the look when I tried to make a high ponytail on a normal wig.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #11
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The one thing I really need to be better at, don't wait last minute to work on your project and just take your time with it. Do it right. Don't use short cuts.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #12
Zombie Unicorn
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I wish I had known more about wigs. I had no clue about how to comb them, store them, or wear them. I didn't know about wig caps or using pins to keep them on. Now wigs are one of my favorite parts about cosplaying. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm doing better than when I first started.
Also, makeup techniques. I was only just getting interested in makeup when I started cosplaying, so I didn't know anything about foundation, setting spray, or coloring my eyebrows. Again, like with the wigs, I'm still learning (especially with regards to eyebrows), but now makeup plays a huge part in my cosplays.
A swirly ice cream cone of good and evil
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Unread 07-03-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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Realizing how difficult using the bathroom would be when wearing a harness was an awful awful experience
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Unread 07-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #14
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Don't put your bike lock on your handlebars, where it can fall apart and get caught on your tires. Thankfully, I wasn't actually wearing my cosplay then, but the ordeal of having that chin injury, and waiting for hours to get stitches done on it, made me fatigued for my first night of cosplaying (Halloween night at a college town).
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Unread 07-03-2014, 02:53 PM   #15
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I wish I would've known how much weight I'd gain. I would've gotten a bigger size, because I like that one and I can't wear it now.

Next cosplays:
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