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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Arrow Some Tips for a New Cosplayer?

Hey there,

I haven't been cosplaying for a long time, not at all if your talking serious cosplay, just a few costumes for halloween and a very small local convention. I have dressed up as Hinamori Amu from Shugo Chara ( this one wasn't fantastic, but it was my first) and Fionna from Adventure Time just this year. Its safe to say that none of these costumes are that difficult and most items were just picked up at thrift stores and the like.

Next year I am planning to attend a larger canadian con with a group of friends and am thinking about cosplaying as Mami Tomoe from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Her costume is much more difficult to make than anything I have ever done. Frankly I have no idea how to sew and access to either a Bratz sewing machine for small children or an old dinosaur that I have no clue how to work. I don't have a lot of money and even if I could I don't want to buy the entire costume, I want it to be a handmade project that I can be proud of.

So, any tips for a struggling newbie?
*if this is in the wrog forum I apoligize
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Unread 12-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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Youtube has a lot of videos that might help with sewing techniques or check out the library for instructional DVDs, or books.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Indeed, the internet is your friend. Use youtube and various instructional websites. DeviantArt usually has a few tutorials you can use and this site can also be a good asset.

Also while you're in the process, remember not to be too hard on yourself if it doesn't turn out exactly like your expectations. Your mind can be your own worst enemy. While others may see a well constructed cosplay and compliment you on it, you might be thinking about the six safety pins you used to keep part of a sleeve up, the puckered seams, and the one inch of mesh showing in your wig and wonder what on earth they're talking about.

And to that I offer you this

Remember, we all have to start somewhere. Just keep doing it for as long as you love it and eventually you'll get to "That Level"(TM).
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Unread 12-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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research a lot best tip.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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I think there's a sewing forum on here (I don't sew so I wouldn't know for sure XD) so if you're having trouble actually sewing something, I'd head there.

As far as a wig, ebay is a surprisingly good place, depending on who you buy from (I'd check the commissioner review thread first). I've gotten some more than decent wigs for $25, and they certainly look better than Halloween store wigs.

Also, I LOVE the photo Atticus posted. Everyone does start somewhere, so just focus on having fun with the project more than anything.

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Unread 12-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Just what everyone has said.

Also you can look for someone who has made the costume or has made a lot of costumes and ask them for one on one help. Like a cosplay tutor. (:
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bm-Atticus View Post

This picture is amazing!
I really have to thank you for the self esteem tip, I just know I'll be insecure about my costume in the face of so many expertly crafted ones so I'll make sure to remember this.

As for everyone else your advice is awesome too, I just need to remember that I don't have to do it on my own and can ask for help. I'll make sure to search up the costume on the internet and come here with any questions

You guys are really nice, I didn't think I'd be welcomed so quickly into the fold. XD
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Unread 01-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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My first time at a con was also my first time cosplaying. I was able to create a pretty simple costume that I was quite proud of when I finished making it. At the con however, I started to feel really insecure about it as not many people recognized it and I was dazzled by all the amazing master pieces. Luckily I was with a friend who was also cosplaying and he helped me feel more integrated into the cosplay world. Friends are awesome like that and even if your friends aren't cosplaying, they can still cheer you up at the con if you are feeling overwhelmed.

As for the actual making of the costume, if you don't feel too great about your sewing skills and you don't want to risk the chance of messing it up do a lot of research of the costume, check out what other people did, look up video tutorials of how to do simple things such as inserting an invisible zipper and ask a lot of questions! You can even look up simple instructions on how to make a circle skirt (as Mami kind of has one) for starters.

Here is a sample site on how to make a skirt that looks like it could be used for Mami's


Fabric can be expensive so I always look for sales at my local fabric store. You may also be able to recycle old curtains/sheets. Using cheaper fabric is also a good idea in case you make a mistake that you can't undo.

Good luck on your costume making!
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Unread 01-22-2013, 01:42 AM   #9
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Also, don't fret so much if it's not perfect, as long as you're comfortable wearing it. Plenty of time later to change it, learn more and get better if that's what you're wanting. Cosplay is best when you're having fun and it won't be fun if you're not happy with what you're wearing. You don't have to do the newest/popular anime, don't have to make an outfit everyone will recognize or spend a fortune on it. Don't rush to be the best, the most fun I've found is in the making of things, in the process as opposed to the end product. Go at your own pace, learn what you want, and don't worry that you're "doing it wrong". You'll find your own way. ^^
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Unread 01-22-2013, 03:16 AM   #10
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Everyone else has already given the internet/youtube tip, so, I would advocate patience. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, and spending an extra bit of time now will save tons of heartache in the long run, and really can make a costume shine.

I'd also warn that cosplay isn't always cheap, and costumes can range anywhere from a few bucks wisely spend at the thrift store to hundreds of dollars on expensive cloths and materials, so keep your budget in mind.

Finally, have fun!
"The important thing is no one was hurt... No one who counts."
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Unread 01-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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This is on a little different note than actually crafting it but don't let people get you down if you don't have the perfect costume. Like the picture above shows, we all start some where. You know that part in Sleeping Beauty when the fairies are making Aurora her birthday dress?...Yeah, my first nicer costume was maybe a tad better than that...maybe. I never heard any one say any thing bad about me but I know other people have had horrible experiences with that and it completely drives them away from cosplay. Don't panic if your costume isn't perfect or has a few flaws and don't let any jerk make you feel bad about some thing you made if you really put the effort into making it.
In like a bolt from the blue, it's time for the reaper review.
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