Guest blogger Emma Petfield shares essential knowledge for those just starting out on their own cosplay adventures.
1. Set a Budget
If you know how much you have to spend then you won’t be carried away by seemingly impressive online fully kitted out costumes. These carry a lot of risk and can be one hefty lump sum. If you do decide to purchase a ready made cosplay make sure to get accurate sizing and ensure that if you’re unhappy with the product you will indefinitely be refunded!
2. Second-Hand Shops Are Your Saving Grace
You can find things for half sometimes even a tenth of the price that you had initially considered paying. My suggestion is if you have a few cosplays in mind to make mood boards with examples of everything you need for each cosplay. Keep them with you and if happen to pass a charity or second-hand shop you’ll know exactly what you need and can compare directly to reference images.
3. Decent Sewing Machines Don’t Have to be Expensive
I paid £18 for my sewing machine and even though the needle broke, the machine survive quadruple stitched material to create a Yukata. Quality does not equal expense and I believe that if you look hard enough you can find good deals. Again sewing machine’s can be picked up pretty easily from eBay or even your local charity shops. I’ve sewn dresses, leotards and jackets using my sewing machine and it only have 8 settings, which are plenty for the things I need.
4 . Better Safe Than Sorry
If you’re not sure that your material is strong enough to withstand all your cosplay shenanigans then try double stitching or running it through the sewing machine a couple of times for extra support. One trick I always maintain is doubling material, especially if the costume leaves a little less to the imagination – conventions run throughout the year and if you want to be walking around in Misty’s crop top and denim shorts you best have something as a backup incase your doubling up doesn’t quite cut it. On that note…
5 . Don’t Endanger Yourself for the Sake of Looking Cool
Try to make your costumes fit the environment. If you know you’re going to be spending several hours outside in the Autumn weather, then it probably is best you save your Misty costume for another day. Picking several costumes at once can help with this as you can have them ready to go at the drop of a hat because of your excellent planning.
6 . Research Your Prop Material
Don’t just stick to the classic papier maché cardboard combo, there’s a diverse range of materials you can use. Worbla was a wondrous discovery but it can be expensive. Cosplay is about having a keen eye and knowing how to make something of a completely different thing. If you can turn a drain pipe into a Harkonnen from Hellsing then you’ve probably got that eye.