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Unread 05-23-2017, 06:01 PM   #1
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Wink How did Cosplay start for you?

This is my first year actually doing it and I'm really exited! My Uncle keeps telling me to make my props for Comic Con, but I have no idea how to even begin. Either that or spend $300 on a plastic chainsaw I'll only use once or twice! How does everybody know how to engineer props and sew costumes so professionally? Where do you learn these skills from?
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Unread 05-24-2017, 12:39 AM   #2
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Well to answer your questions, we learn the same way you'd learn anything else. By studying how it's done and giving it a go, and slowly getting better. That's we engineer all these props and sew costumes, as you say, "so professionally" (which I don't do it THAT well lol). As to wear we lean, literally anywhere. Tutorials from here, deviantart, youtube and other sites, and mimic them. There are those of us who can just try an idea we have and see how it goes, and it ends up working, but other than that, looking up tutorials and learning from them.
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Unread 05-24-2017, 04:00 AM   #3
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I'm sure you can find some tutorials that can help you out Maybe you can contact other cosplayers as well who made the same prop and ask them questions. I don't have a lot of experience myself, but so far people have always been very helpful and friendly.
You can start out with something small too (first making a small prop knife or something) and if you feel more comfortable with the materials, you can 'upgrade' to something bigger.
Most people use EVA foam and worbla for their props.
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Unread 05-24-2017, 07:12 PM   #4
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I learned a lot of what I know about prop making from tutorials, and trial and error. That's how I learned most of what I know, aside from sewing as that was a skill I learned from my grandmother.

Mind, I've been cosplaying since 2008 and dabbling with different materials and skills since. There are some materials that are relatively easy to get the hang of (craft foam, hot glue, gesso, paint, etc.) and some that have required more time and practice (Wood work, metal work etc.)

I'm sure it's pretty relative. I'm not very good making props out of wood, I'm sure someone else might excel at that but struggle with foam. I would look for tutorials and fiddle around with different options until you find something that works.
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Unread 05-25-2017, 03:34 PM   #5
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Tons of practice, occasional help from experts and various tutorials (usually on props. I sew heavily, even have a business, but am definitely not much of a propmaker) and I did attend fashion school, but yeah, practice and research, that's really all it boils down to. I've been cosplaying for ten years so I've had a lot of time to learn.
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Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There's 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
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Unread 05-25-2017, 04:53 PM   #6
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I learned how to use a sewing machine and make clothes back in elementary school in homemaking class. So when my friend asked me to make her cosplay in high school I said yes and decided to cosplay along with her. That was 2013. I learned how to make props after that through online tutorials, and trial and error.
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Unread 05-26-2017, 06:46 PM   #7
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I had always watched anime and played video games, so I knew about cosplay but hadn't really considered it. My parents and I watched Heroes of Cosplay together and I was hooked. I watched a bunch of you tubers talk about how they sew or make props, as well as watching MangoSirene's Cosplay 101 videos!
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Unread 05-29-2017, 01:35 AM   #8
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I've been sewing since I was 10. My mom taught me how to thread a needle and knot thread. I learned a few tricks in high school home ec, but most of it was self-taught through experimentation. When I got a machine, I read the sewing manual cover-to-cover and did some practice sewing to get the basics down.

For armor and props, I watched Youtube, read forums, and... experimented more. I took wood shop in 8th grade, so I learned how to use a scroll saw and dremel back then.

And if I like someone's costume and I'm looking to do something similar, I pump them for information. We learn from each other!

When I started going to conventions, I bought my first costume online. Then I realized that I could do a better job myself and started sewing my own costumes and constantly challenged myself.
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Unread 05-29-2017, 11:25 AM   #9
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I learned a little of how to sew from my mom, and also from classes at school.
To start with I just looked at people in cosplay at cons and thought "That looks so much fun!", then actually managed to shrug off enough of my horrible body-consciousness to give it a try.

I've always been quite good with paint, and learning more and more silly prop making techniques every time I have to make something. I also find I can see an item in like a dollar store and realise I can use it for something entirely different in a different way, cut bits off, repaint it, etc.

It's about pushing myself more and more - at the start I wouldn't imagine I'd be making 6 foot high staff weapons, or (right now) starting to play with lighting built into costumes.. or spending 8 painstaking hours hand sewing onto a corset...
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Unread 06-03-2017, 08:42 PM   #10
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How did I get into it? Went to my first con in 2008 and loved it. I actually felt out of place because I wasn't in cosplay; I didn't even know it was a thing. The following year I did my first cosplay. Each costume I build, I learn new skills. My biggest skill ATM is sewing, since my mother's mother had an upholstery business, meaning my mom was also skilled in it. So I got to learn from her. Now I am learning to build props by trial-and-error, mostly. I like to make something, then wear it. Look at it and re-vamp it, then wear it again. I just do more and more advanced stuff over time. I recently made a mask for a friend. Paper mache seemed so easy in high school, but it's not so easy now. My armor I recently re-vamped, I had to learn the different types of paints and how to evaluate the colors to get the right type. Before, I only ever used generic colors for what I need; now I evaluate the shades and whether it needs gloss or not. It seems so simple once you get it, but beforehand either it seems way too complicated or just not something you consider at all. I've also been watching a LOT of YouTube videos recently so I can build cool armor. My next step is going to be investing in some Smooth-On products so I can work on the huge lion gauntlets (nemean cestus gauntlets) that Kratos uses in God of War III. I have used resin to make a few small props before and expanding foam to make the base of the gauntlet, but I will be learning a lot with this new step.
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Unread 06-08-2017, 01:25 PM   #11
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I grew up doing living history, so being in costumes always felt more natural to me than regular clothes. My mother made the majority of our authentic costumes and growing up, I was in a good position to learn a variety of historic crafts, from spinning to leatherworking.

Crafting was always something I loved, especially when it came to making replicas from favourite movies and TV shows. The first thing I remember making was Lady's collar, from Lady & the Tramp, when I was four or five. At ten, I saved my pocket money to buy a load of black polycotton and gold felt and spent a week handsewing my Starfleet jumpsuit with embroidery thread (I'd forgotten to buy thread but I'd recently been given a huge embroidery kit! ). At the time, I didn't know anything about cosplay, I just wanted costumes and props to play with. I moved onto more fantasy stuff, then onto historical costumes in my teens, but then I got busy with other activities. I went to a few conventions in the early 2000s, but I felt strangely out of place not being in costume. At the time my health was getting worse and I started to need a wheelchair, and eventually I started telling myself that I couldn't possibly cosplay: I didn't have the skills; I didn't have the body; the wheelchair would ruin it. A few years later, I started adding "You're too old" to the litany.

In 2014, Dragon Age: Inquisition came out and I fell in love with a coat. Once the coat was definitely happening, I decided that I might as well do the whole outfit. And the makeup... But just for fun at home. By chance, I spotted a DA cosplay group listed in Facebook's suggestions and joined it to find a really fantastic and supportive community. They encouraged me to actually get out to a convention, then to a meet and I haven't looked back since
Inquisitor Lavellan Superior Hunter Coat Finished / Skyhold casual Finished / crafted Firewalker Prowler Coat 85%
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Unread 06-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #12
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Lost a bet with my eldest daughter.

Senior year of high school her grades were iffy, so I told her if she pulled them up, I would try to get us to SDCC, since we both love superheroes and comics. She upped the ante and said if it were more A's than B's, we would go and cosplay. Sure, I said, I'll take that bet, thinking she would do well, just not that well.

Apparently, that was a LOT of inspiration, she had one B. So, three years later, we research, compare notes and build cosplays together.

"Who Dares, Wins."
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Unread 06-12-2017, 10:27 PM   #13
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For me it morphed off of Halloween costumes (I have a large group of friends who are surprisingly into Halloween for being fairly straight laced adults). Started with just piecing together different premade items, and then slowly went into making more of the pieces myself. The first real cosplay I did, though, was Mass Effect N7 amor and for that I just devoured any and all tutorials I could find, and did a lot of experimentation. Pretty much no one starts off an expert, we're all learning and experimenting. Some things work surprisingly well the first time around, and others just consistently kick your ass.
Make good art. ~Neil Gaiman

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Unread 06-14-2017, 07:51 AM   #14
She had a foam arm.
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If you want to go far back I just loved dressing up when I was a child. Halloween and and fancy dress party us always fun and a couple of good friends who already did cosplay asked me to go to a convention.

As for learning how to craft I largely teach myself through books and magazines plus the internet for specifics. I'm not afraid to give something a go as so many people live their whole lives in fear of screwing up that they never do anything or they hold themselves back. This have a go mentality is an alien concept to some as I have found.
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Unread 06-14-2017, 06:13 PM   #15
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When I was in early middle school I would read magazines like Anime insider and Animerica and they would have articles that covered some conventions around the country and would feature pics of some of the cosplayers from the said cons. I would often wish that I could attend cons like those, but most likely couldn't because I was only 11 or 12 at the time and would assume that cons like those were really expensive to attend.

In my teen years, my sister told me that there was an anime club at my local college which one of her friends was apart of and thought that I would enjoy. Needless to say, I checked it out and enjoyed it instantly. Then I got wind that they would be going as a group to Ohayocon back in 2007. I jumped at the chance to attend.

One thing that I always liked about Ohayocon is that it always falls the month after Christmas. So if you got some Christmas money, take it to the con. Plus I was working a weekend job at that time, so I could easily couple my Christmas money with one of my paychecks as well as plan ahead of time to cover for the other expenses that came with the territory
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