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Unread 03-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
Chikkijet
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Purchased Costume Dilemma- Opinions?

Hey guys,

as those of you on the Zelda thread know, I'm having a little problem with my TP cosplay. I'm hoping some of you can help me decide what I should do.

Background: I can't sew to save my life, but I really wanted to do a TP Zelda cosplay for an upcoming con in my city (the only one here, once a year) So I decided to order the base dress online and make the accessories (crown, pauldrons, belt etc) myself

Anyway once the costume arrived it wasn't quite what I had hoped- a few little issues here and there I could live with, but unfortunately during the shipping (or being out into the package) the harp design smeared on the hem of the dress. Now it may not actually be that noticeable (I AM very poicky/slightly OCD about details) so I want to hear what you all think.

The company have been pretty good, they are willing to discuss options to fix this, unfortunately, none of them will be in time for the con. So, here's my options.

1. Not wear a costume, and withdraw from the comp () though it was more just for fun

2. Take the dress to a cleaner and hope it comes off (don't think so, since it is paint)

3. Paint over the harps in gold fabric paint, making them stand out more (and hopefully the smears look less prominent), re-do the tapestry if I get time and add brown ribbon trim to the hem

Now the only problem is, I am waiting to hear back from the company, but it's the weekend, so if I'm going to fix the dress I need to do it asap. I proposed to them that if I do clean/foix the dress that maybe they would consider a partial refund (say, 25% back?) for the time/effort of doing so. Since the base dress is okay as a design, it's just the paint smudges that are the issue. The dinky belt/chest piece I knew would be like that, but I didn't care because I was going to replace them anyway.

Worst case, I fix the dress, they won't give me a refund, I cut my losses and move on. I have spent money on the wig, sword, petticoat, contacts, makeup, ears etc etc... so I guess maybe it's better to just take the risk they don't give me anything, but make the costume as good as I can for my first 'proper' con....

What do you guys think? (Pics available in my gallery)

I am picky, but maybe you guys can tell me if it's not really going to be noticeable or not. It would be cool to win a prize, but I think overall I jsut want to dress up and participate in the whole thing....

Thanks for any input!
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Unread 03-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
JediofTime
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I think you are in a real dilemma buy purchasing your costume. Most costume contests ban purchased and commissioned costumes outright.
However if you are doing a skit you could still be judged for your skit performance if you plan on doing a skit with your costume.
I would also suggest taking sewing lessens so you can do your sewing work personally. If you plan on making a Twilight Princess Zelda yourself, I would recommend starting on your costume at least a year in advance of the convention so you have time to make it well.
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Last edited by JediofTime : 03-29-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
Chikkijet
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As far as I have read (in the rules they sent), there is nothing that says you cannot buy a costume. In this region of the world. cosplay is fairly new and most people use tailors. I'm prettysure it's a cosplay contest as in how you portray your character, not with categories like workmanship etc. The con is only in its 2nd year, so I am sure as they go on they will start to make it more complex. Hopefully I'll be sewing by then

I do want to make a costume eventually, but this was kind of a spur of the moment decision... like, within the last 2 months

I get what you're saying though. But as a total newbie, I didn't really have much choice on this one... however my roomate just bought a sewing machine, so I'm hoping she can teach me a few tricks...
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Last edited by Chikkijet : 03-29-2013 at 09:18 PM.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikkijet View Post
As far as I have read, there is nothing that says you cannot buy a costume. In this region of the world. cosplay is fairly new and most people use tailors. I'm prettysure it's a cosplay contest as in how you portray your character, not with categories like workmanship etc. The con is only in its 2nd year, so I am sure as they go on they will start to make it more complex. Hopefully I'll be sewing by then

I do want to make a costume eventually, but this was kind of a spur of the moment decision... like, within the last 2 months

I get what you're saying though. But as a total newbie, I didn't really have much choice on this one... however my roomate just bought a sewing machine, so I'm hoping she can teach me a few tricks...
Just check the convention guidelines to be sure and then go from there. You have come to the right place to ask for help on projects like this.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Okay, thanks. Will check again. I have been asking on their FB page to have more specific info, but so far they haven't got back to me. It's pretty typical of here, lol...
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:24 PM   #6
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Okay I found the rules:

SOLO CATEGORY:
• Solo Cosplayers will have a minimum of 30 seconds to maximum of 2 minutes on stage to do their
poses on stage and portray character.
• Judges decision will be Final. The criteria for judging will be:
− Accuracy- How close the cosplayer’s costume resembles those of the character he/she is cosplaying as
(30%)
− Craftsmanship – The amount of creativity given by the cosplayer in the construction of their Accessories
or Props (30%).
− Presentation – How well the cosplayer presented his/her character to the audience on stage (30%)
− Audience Impact (10%).

Interestingly, it says "Accessories and Props" but NOT costume? In the Group rules it jsut says that no more than 50% of a group's costumes can be purchased, and must be noted on their form. So, I guess as long as I specify that I made all teh accessories but NOT the dress, I should be okay in that aspect.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikkijet View Post
Okay I found the rules:

SOLO CATEGORY:
• Solo Cosplayers will have a minimum of 30 seconds to maximum of 2 minutes on stage to do their
poses on stage and portray character.
• Judges decision will be Final. The criteria for judging will be:
− Accuracy- How close the cosplayer’s costume resembles those of the character he/she is cosplaying as
(30%)
− Craftsmanship – The amount of creativity given by the cosplayer in the construction of their Accessories
or Props (30%).
− Presentation – How well the cosplayer presented his/her character to the audience on stage (30%)
− Audience Impact (10%).

Interestingly, it says "Accessories and Props" but NOT costume? In the Group rules it jsut says that no more than 50% of a group's costumes can be purchased, and must be noted on their form. So, I guess as long as I specify that I made all teh accessories but NOT the dress, I should be okay in that aspect.
That is the oddest set of rules I have ever seen for a convention. It must be new there. Usually in the places that have done it for a while the Costume is the primary judge of craftsmanship and the props are secondary.
It also looks you're step ahead of the curve of making a Twilight Princess Zelda since you made the accessories on your own already. If you take some sewing classes on dress making and embroidery you should be able to make the dress too.
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Conventions Attending:
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Future Cosplay plans:
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Unread 03-29-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm going to look into that. I work irregular hours though so it can be hard to get to a class. But- my flatmat eis attending some so maybe I can get her to teach me in turn?

It's quite woeful really considering my elder sister is a fashion designer who makes extrememly complicated clothes. She got that talent in our family- mine is drawing and other 'artsy' stuff

You're right, it does seem odd, but as I said cosplay is only really getting to be known here recently. Plus the fact that the society here is sooooo multicultural, and, dare I say it, in some cases used to hiring people to do things for them, that I guess at first, they are not expecting us to make our entire costume. Additionally, weapons are quite popular here so perhaps they are just catering to where they know they will see the most innovation? It could also be a case of making it more accessible and more as an acting/'playing' the character thing, than a sewing/constructing contest.

(They DO mention that purchased components make a costume ineligble for Best Craftmandship, so they are clearly still planning to recognise those who DO make their costumes 100%)
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Unread 03-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikkijet View Post
Yeah, I'm going to look into that. I work irregular hours though so it can be hard to get to a class. But- my flatmat eis attending some so maybe I can get her to teach me in turn?

It's quite woeful really considering my elder sister is a fashion designer who makes extrememly complicated clothes. She got that talent in our family- mine is drawing and other 'artsy' stuff
It would certainly be worth checking out those sewing connections and considering you are good with drawing you can even make your own costume designs.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #10
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Definitely wishing I paid more attention in Home Economics in the tenth grade :/

Unfortunately I am living away from my family so sis cannot help- but for sure I can find someone here to learn from.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikkijet View Post
Unfortunately I am living away from my family so sis cannot help- but for sure I can find someone here to learn from.
I am pretty sure you can find someone there who can do it. I honestly just starting sewing myself and have been doing my project under the guidance of others who are skilled in it so I can learn how to do it besides just making it.
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Conventions Attending:
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Unread 03-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #12
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So I just finished putting the pauldrons together, with the chest piece. Tried it on with the belt and crown, and it actually made the dress look better. My gut is telling me to just go for it, redo the harps in gold and hope for the best. It really is for the fun of dressing up, so I guess the smudges don't matter so much? Another poster commented on my pics and suggested white fabric paint....

If I get time I''ll also try to make the tabard more accurate
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Unread 03-30-2013, 01:53 AM   #13
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Having fun, should always be the most important factor. Your accessories are beautiful too, so the overall image I think will honestly still look great!

I understand the OCD feeling though, you want to avoid paint thinner on fabrics, it'll just cause more mess, especially on white. Also, avoid aggressive scrubbing, it'll ruin the fabric or smear the paint more. I would use dish detergent first, and blot the spot. If that doesn't work, you can try a few drops of rubbing alcohol, and gently dab/scrub. I know there are specific paint removers for fabrics, but I'm not sure how costly they are. The white paint idea isn't so bad, but then you have more paint on the dress, and it might give a different sheen when in photographs, especially with flash photography (because they are different textures).

Is the stain in the front, or back of the dress? It looks like it's in one spot only, which is good. And it looks like galaxy twill fabric? Basically, you want to avoid as much damage as possible, I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. Hopefully someone else can chime in too!

I'm happy though, that Australia is getting some cosplay love! This con seems to mean a lot to you, and first cosplays are allowed imperfections, until we learn and get better~
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Unread 03-30-2013, 02:09 AM   #14
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Oh, man. This is probably going to be tough to believe, but honestly, I think those stains aren't going to matter to you. I'm speaking as someone who is SERIOUSLY obsessed with details, and who has also had terrible issues with stains on my dress. The pen I was using to mark the designs on the cloth wouldn't wash off, and the paint I was using wasn't opaque enough to totally cover it. There's black all over my harp designs, if you look closely. But you know what? No one DOES look closely. They'll just be thrilled to see Princess Zelda. And I thought it would bug the heck out of me, but I honestly don't care anymore either; wearing the costume, and seeing the overall effect, is just so rewarding.

So just wear it and rock it! This doesn't have to be the perfect version of your cosplay, you can always improve it for the next con.
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Unread 03-30-2013, 05:03 AM   #15
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Thanks for the posts!

HK, I have no idea about fabric, it does have a slight lined texture, and is slightly stiff to the touch, but still bends. The smears unfortunately are in 3 or 4 of the harps, but I think the worst one gets hidden a bit in dress folds.

Nandra, I was thinking the same 're: people just being happy to see the character. I was worried about the stains since I'm in a comp, but then they don't just have a parade so it was the only option. I don't think I'll win anything, since there a couple of girls with really cool FF costumes going. But I didn't really expect to anyway.

Oz is pretty new to cons, but they've got 2 that have been running about 5 years. This one is in Dubai, only its second year

The company offered me either exchange/replace or refund. I explained I still want to go to the con and would they consider a partial refund, for the extra time and inconvenience to clean/fix. The girl said she has to run it by accounts since no one has asked before, but she mentioned my photos as proof so I think they will say yes.
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