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Unread 06-19-2013, 02:58 AM   #16
Amaya
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Ah this..

I"m currently commissioning a armor costume that is costing me over $1,400....I've never spent that much on a cosplay before.

I know I shouldn't have done it. But it is my dream cosplay and once I found that perfect commissioner I HAD to do it (At least, that's my justification for paying that much XD)

I know that money should have been put aside for emergencies, but I love cosplaying so much that its worth the money to me. As long as I'm not getting myself into financial trouble doing it, I don't see why not.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 03:12 AM   #17
Kelley
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$3000 was for a garment-quality piece of work of a garment of difficult fabric made by people who make bespoke suits for a living. Not those nasty $250 polyester things from Macy's, but actual hand-tailored suits.

$1000 is pretty bottom-end for the price of a bespoke suit on its own - and that usually only includes jacket and pants and there are most likely "shortcuts" taken with those kind of suits.

Hand-making the jacket on a suit alone takes a skilled worker about 40 hours of work total - and velvet is going to make it harder.

The Euro to Dollar exchange rate at the time likely put me in a worse position as well.

I know there are several people on here who have hit the $4000 mark, though. :P

I'm pretty good at coming in under $500. It's a matter of picking a costume it's possible to do for the budget you set and making smart compromises (I'm really bad at compromises, but I'm not kidding - the "perfect" fabric for the Oscar Wilde costume was $1000/y and I'm not making that up so haha, no - I went with the one that was $100/y). I tried really hard to do my Clockwork Orange costume for $100, but I think it came to $140 - but close (it could use another $140 in props/wig to make it better and if I can't fix the bowler from its tragic accident I'd need a new one) ! You just have to learn to look at something and break it down into pieces and think how much each thing will cost.

I used to have more pictures, but it wasn't a great time in my life for other reasons and I went on a delete-spree at one point (which I don't really regret). Going to try to get some in the future, though.

@SweeneyTodd, if you were here I'd offer to direct you learning to sew (I do this for literally everyone so not being a creep, promise). I'm directing my friends in making their first costumes (as well as my mom) and I expect the costumes to turn out really well since I'll be sitting there embroidering: watching X-Files and their every move. Having someone who can hang around and watch you and help you make good choices gives you a huge boost - that way you don't have to make really horrible mistakes on your own in order to learn (well, there still might be some) - you can have someone with experience telling you what a material is and what choices you have and how to put it together piece-by-piece.
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Last edited by Kelley : 06-19-2013 at 03:15 AM.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 04:19 AM   #18
Isikaru
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Hmmm the selling cosplay thing is not such a bad idea, but for me I've only started like a year or two ago, so there isn't anything I don't wear. And also, I put a LOT of blood and sweat into them! They don't look amazing, but they are special to me and probably only me so I don't think it'd be worth selling. But with future cosplay I'll definitely think about that. That did give me an idea to maybe start selling other things I don't need though. I got quite into figurine collecting and I could stand to sell some of them now that I've calmed down on that lol.

I was able to budget pretty well last year, expensive cosplay materials and figurines and all, but this year I've quit one of my jobs, expecting to be full time on my current one by now, but now they have too many employees and...that won't happen for a while. Time to go find another second job I guess.

Also, I find it ironic that I posted about my car needing new things on this thread today and on the way home from work it ended up dying on me...aha...ahaha. I just hope it's nothing too expensive. I was hoping it would hold on til next month. I can save up next month. But before then is Anime Expo and I have been planning on that since last year, so I refuse to not go. >:|

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Originally Posted by schmemy View Post
Heheh, yeah, kind of same here. I didn't get to go to conventions until I was 19, but mostly just because I didn't really know about them. But I get such an extreme sense of excitement about them now that I can't stop going!
Yes, it makes it so much harder to refrain from doing everything all at once when you're so excited! Haha.

Last edited by Isikaru : 06-19-2013 at 04:21 AM.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 05:40 AM   #19
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I do, but...I usually don't pay a ton for a cosplay if I know I'm not going to be wearing it very often.

For example, my Miss Martian costume -- I dropped $350 on it, but I've worn it five times just this year, and I have no intention of retiring it any time soon. (I also have the comfort of knowing that if and when I do, I can just sell pieces or the whole thing.)

But then there's cosplays like the TARDIS, which I know I probably won't be wearing outside of a little con in a week or so, so I haven't gone to any extraneous lengths to get fancy material. The corset is made of recycled t-shirts, and the hat is all made of scraps from my cosplay bin. I'm borrowing some ribbon from a friend, and also some shoes, so I think I spent $3 on the cosplay in total having to buy some tights. Done.

So I would say I don't feel bad spending money on cosplay, as long as I know I'll actually get it's money's worth in wearing it.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 06:03 AM   #20
RydiaValentine
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This is why making characters lists is useful. If you want to spend less, do easier cosplays and recycle a lot. I have even made cosplays for free! Use your imagination.

Last edited by RydiaValentine : 06-19-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #21
touchmon
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I have this problem too right now. Haha. XD However, I am living at home and don't pay for anything at the moment. When next year rolls around though I'm going to be sticking to very, very simple cosplays and only have one "big" project. And I'm already getting stuff together now for the bigger project so I don't have to worry about it later down the line.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 12:18 PM   #22
seiryuux
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I just got hit with this hard recently, and literally, I do mean hard.

That is, on the way to Anime North last month, I got into a car accident and totaled my car. Just recently replaced it with me going $13k in the hole.

This is one of those cases where I pretty much should cut down on cons and cosplaying. But I also thought about it a little further and realized a few things:

1) I don't spend a lot of money in general, even with having video gaming and cosplaying as hobbies. I haven't had too many issues of not being able to pay bills because of my hobbies
2) Most of my cosplays are closet cosplays and I only make 3 a year, so that cuts the costs down. The most I've spent is almost $200.
3) If I don't do something constructive like cosplaying or fanfiction writing, I'm gonna go completely bonkers and let my thoughts go much darker than they already are.

For me, it's just finding a balance between saving money and keeping myself sane.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 12:18 PM   #23
SweeneyTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelley View Post
...You just have to learn to look at something and break it down into pieces and think how much each thing will cost.

...

@SweeneyTodd, if you were here I'd offer to direct you learning to sew (I do this for literally everyone so not being a creep, promise). I'm directing my friends in making their first costumes (as well as my mom) and I expect the costumes to turn out really well since I'll be sitting there embroidering: watching X-Files and their every move. Having someone who can hang around and watch you and help you make good choices gives you a huge boost - that way you don't have to make really horrible mistakes on your own in order to learn (well, there still might be some) - you can have someone with experience telling you what a material is and what choices you have and how to put it together piece-by-piece.
I'm actually pretty good at estimating costs of each item because I had to do that with Jack Sparrow, he has so many little accessories and extras that all kinda add up in cost ($50-60 here and there for bead strands, $80-120 for individual rings etc). And I'm good with knowing what material the costume is supposed to be made of (if it is a live action costume) because that is pretty easy to tell from high res pictures, and in the Jack Sparrow costuming community and on forums like TheRPF oftentimes people will find out the exact material to use and find alternative materials. It's more of the construction part of the costuming that I need to learn. I'd love to learn how to make costumes based on measurements (mine or others) so that I can cut down on costs a bit. If I made my own costumes, the money that would be used paying for someone's work in addition to materials, can be used for buying screen accurate materials.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #24
sooyong
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I need to start tracking my spending on costumes. My first few costumes all fell under the $100 mark, and while I still think I'm staying under the $200 mark per costume, I'm still not sure exactly how much I'm spending. I do need to save more than I'm already saving though.

Although I'll need to get my driver's license when I move back to the US, I want to refrain from buying a car for as long as possible, because it's just expensive to maintain and I really don't want one.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 07:04 PM   #25
SweeneyTodd
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^ I'm with ya on that! Cars are just a pain to have honestly lol My problem is that you always gotta find a place to put the damn thing, like when I drive somewhere, I hate getting to my destination and not being able to find a place to park my car :P
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Unread 06-19-2013, 07:05 PM   #26
Kelley
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Do you have anyone that can teach you?

You seem capable - even if you just got a sewing machine and followed some YouTube videos it should be a start. With that and books and people here you should be covered - you seem like you'd be able to figure out the error questions to ask.

Basic sewing is as easy as driving a car - most people can do it and get from A to B. I'm not going to bother with a perfect metaphor right now, but things like pattern making are more like changing the break pads - most people don't know how but it's really easy and most people who could learn to drive could learn to do it, too. I posted a basic pattern-drafting tutorial in the Game of Thrones thread, I'll link you to it when I get home. It's something you can do without a sewing machine at all.

Lol, also, I keep spreadsheets of my costs because I'm a special kind of person.
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Actually in the pipes:
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- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope
- Wind Waker starter costume in swim material
Eventually: Paul from Dune, Faramir, Harry Sullivan
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Unread 06-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #27
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I'm having a major problem with leather right now. I bought a gold membership to tandy and it will probably be used, lol.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #28
Isikaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seiryuux View Post

For me, it's just finding a balance between saving money and keeping myself sane.
Yeah, pretty much this!
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Unread 06-19-2013, 10:26 PM   #29
SweeneyTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelley View Post
Do you have anyone that can teach you?

You seem capable - even if you just got a sewing machine and followed some YouTube videos it should be a start. With that and books and people here you should be covered - you seem like you'd be able to figure out the error questions to ask.

Basic sewing is as easy as driving a car - most people can do it and get from A to B. I'm not going to bother with a perfect metaphor right now, but things like pattern making are more like changing the break pads - most people don't know how but it's really easy and most people who could learn to drive could learn to do it, too. I posted a basic pattern-drafting tutorial in the Game of Thrones thread, I'll link you to it when I get home. It's something you can do without a sewing machine at all.

Lol, also, I keep spreadsheets of my costs because I'm a special kind of person.
Are you talking to me?

I'd definitely know which questions to ask and what to bring for reference to the people at the fabric stores because I do extensive research on the costumes before I even go searching for a possible commissioner (although costuming Jack Sparrow is a bit different than costuming a character like Sweeney. If you don't make your own costume, you can't really go to just one commissioner for everything, this is partly because there are people who are known in the "Sparrow world" for making specific pieces for his costume, i.e Paulipoos on eBay is known for her shirts, and ACME Brand is known for their belts, baldrics, and Jack Sparrow's rings).
I actually don't have any friends who are particularly good at sewing. They are all around the same level as me in terms of sewing experience. I'd want someone who has a lot of experience to be teaching me. But, I think if I actually sat down and followed the instructions on the pre-made pattern I would probably do okay, I was able to follow a tutorial for a God Tier John hood for my friend and her hood turned out pretty well.
The pattern drafting tutorial would be very helpful! I'd love to have the link to that. I'd imagine that pattern drafting is pretty hard, lots of geometry is involved right? I can't really do math all that well lol
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Unread 06-20-2013, 01:48 AM   #30
erwneoten
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Isn't there that saying, that you can have a costume fast, cheap, or good, pick two? You want it to be cheap and good, so you have to sacrifice speed! Starting early and waiting for sales, tirelessly hunting through thrift stores rather than buying what you need new, using cheaper materials and putting in the extra effort to bring them up to snuff, all that can be done to reduce the cost of a cosplay!
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