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14 Aug 2013 - 20:39106036
When making a new costume, where do you start?
When you plan/make a new costume, which bit do you start with? The wig? The fabric part? Accessories?

Do you start with the easiest part or the most difficult? The cheapest or the most expensive?

I'm really curious to hear how other people plan their costumes!


15 Aug 2013 - 08:34106058
I make mostly fur cosplays so i always start with the head because that's the mst difficult bit to do, plus the hardest on my hands. Carving foam = ow!

I then move on to the extremities, hands, feet, stilts then do the main body last so it fits with my outsidey bits.

With anything person cosplay I always do all the big bits first then leave the little fiddly things til last. Iv never had to do a wig yet but that would probably be one thing I would o last so it looks its best.



Last edited by SyriusLionwing (15 Aug 2013 - 08:35)
15 Aug 2013 - 10:28106062
I start on the bodice/top then work down, then do wig, then accessories.

I'll do the little details last, cause they're my "would be nice to get done" thing.


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15 Aug 2013 - 11:29106063
I try to start with a large easy part first. Actually starting (rather than procrastinating) is difficult, but If I can get something out of the way relatively quickly it gives me the confidence to finish the costume.

For my costumes, normally it's a skirt, but sometimes it's a prop or hat/head-gear.


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15 Aug 2013 - 12:19106066
Quote PandoraCaitiff:
I try to start with a large easy part first. Actually starting (rather than procrastinating) is difficult, but If I can get something out of the way relatively quickly it gives me the confidence to finish the costume.

For my costumes, normally it's a skirt, but sometimes it's a prop or hat/head-gear.

Same here, it's not always a particular part but rather a part of the costume that stands out as being fun, easy or a large chunk of it.

Also, if I happen to accidentally come across materials that would be perfect for it, whether it's fabric or accessories or whatever, I will usually just buy that and begin working on that part.


15 Aug 2013 - 12:44106068
It varies and sometimes what I start with is dictated by what I happen to have around at the time when I'm in the right mood to get started. But I try and start with the bigger tasks first, as they naturally take longer.


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Last edited by V_Ortenzi (15 Aug 2013 - 12:58)
15 Aug 2013 - 12:46106069
I usually start with the hardest bit, that way if I mess up to the point of no longer wanting/being able to do the costume I don't waste time or money on the rest. With my later suit of armour I got the hardest bit out of the way, then did the hardest of the remaining bits, and kept picking which bit to do like that until it was done. With fabric costumes that usually means doing trousers (if I have to make them) or anything with sleeves first. I usually leave props till last, sometimes to the point where I don't have time left to make them ^_^'


15 Aug 2013 - 19:53106086
It depends on the costume. I tend to start on whatever motivates me the most. Usually its the most iconic part of the costume (whether it be a mask, a corset or accessories).

I also tend to slog it out and work on a costume all day (or my free time) and get it done within a week.

But in terms of difficulty, I tend to leave the harder things 'til last as it requires more time and therefore I need to work slower to try and reduce the risk of making it wrong.

I rarely make props (usually since I leave costumes quite late and have to do a lot of work on other things) but when I do, I make those last.


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15 Aug 2013 - 21:13106088
I usually start with whatever is around the house if available. I tend to try and work on a large part of the costume early but I like having the option to do smaller/fun parts throughout in case I have a few issues concerning the sewing machine or something to cheer up from a bad day without a huge risk of screwing up, or if I just feel like taking it easy for a little.


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15 Aug 2013 - 22:46106089
I usually start by sketching out a break down of the cosplay and its main componants.
For most cosplays I start with the main body of it so I can build up from there. Though if it's a particularly daunting looking project, I'll do loads of little easy fiddly bits before getting my teeth into it properly.

Wigs usually come last for me. I don't know why.


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16 Aug 2013 - 00:01106093
Oddly enough, I go based on what I can actually pull off, body/face-wise.
Then, from the shoes up.

Bottoms up!


16 Aug 2013 - 20:33106109
Looking at the costumes that I have made so far, I don’t seem to have a consistent approach. For my most recent costume I started with the mask (as it was essential to get that part looking right) and the hat (again it was essential for getting the correct look to the character plus it allowed me to get used to the fabric and techniques that I would use on the rest of the costume).

Generally I try to work on the most distinguishing features of a costume first and I also like to make an early start on the most difficult bits so that I have time to redo parts if necessary. I tend to leave props until the end as I find that I don’t use them much at events and usually the costumes would work without them if I run out of time. However the current costume that I am working on has a prop that is practically the main feature of the character so I have started that first.

As has already been mentioned by others, the most difficult part is actually just getting started on the first piece. Once I have my first finished component it becomes easier as I get that “I’ve started, so I’ll finish” feeling.


17 Aug 2013 - 02:56106116
I usually split the costume into it's parts on paper first, then write down my deadline, paydays and how long each piece will take to complete. Even if it's not the hardest piece, the thing that takes the longest to do will be the thing I start on first, because it takes the longest to complete.

But if it's something with multiple layers, then the layer closest to the body outwards for me. It makes sense when you're making patterns, as you don't want to make a jacket that fits fine with a t-shirt but doesn't fit at all when you have a jumper and binder on. So you need to make patterns for the thing closes to your body first and work outwards, whilst adding extra seam allowances and such to compensate for the bulk of the fabric.

So that's my order. Rushing into a costume isn't my style, better to have a plan of what's going on first because that way you have an idea of deadlines and such.


19 Aug 2013 - 07:03106189
Whenever I start a costume I always research the character first. I like to know about the era and place they are from so I know roughly what fabrics could be used for them and what designs could work. I like to research different methods to find out what would work best for a costume.

Depending on the complexity of the costume I then follow up with tests and mock ups.

When it comes to the costume itself I tend to start from the base outwards so I can see how it all sits when together.

Anything that needs any kind of drying time, like props, I try and make first.


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21 Aug 2013 - 21:09106327
I usually start with any armour or props, then the main part of the costume, then the wig. Fiddly bits like jewellery come last


21 Aug 2013 - 21:17106328
I usually faff about doing research for ages before starting to make something. Usually the thing I've researched doesn't get made or bought till later, it's just a way of procrastinating for me XD I tend to work on my costumes in layers from top to bottom or vice versa, I won't start on the next layer until the layer I'm working on is complete in its entirety. Just because I hate that 'Oh, I still need to do x on that layer' as I'll always forget. Except hemming, 'cause screw that, I do all that at the end to make sure all the lengths come out okay. So for my Ibis costume, I did the tabard first, then the tunic, and then the dress underneath. Accessories and crafty diddy bits after that as they're fun things to do when the hard work's over, and crafting is something I find easy. Except gloves, ugh.

Wigs come last for me too, because I worry about the style falling out over time. Sometimes I'll cut them and then not actually put hairspray etc in till the con. Something I need to get better at doing further in advance - can always wash out the product after all, once I know it's actually going to work.

Popoi was weird because I started the prop first, but only because it was an affordable chunk and I was waiting till the January sales to buy fabric. It's interesting to read how everybody else does it! I'm awful for buying fabric and not doing anything with it for ages, but other people get super excited having bought fabric and it's a big spur to get to work.



Last edited by madmazda86 (21 Aug 2013 - 21:20)
21 Aug 2013 - 21:22106329
I always start with fabric/material research.

But in terms of sewing, I start off with something that's a large chunk of the costume. That way if I don't finish in time, it is still perfectly wearable.

A lot of the time it will be the skirt, plus they are super easy and quick for me to make. But for example with my Yang (RWBY) cosplay I made the jacket first because it was the main part and more challenging.


22 Aug 2013 - 02:05106343
I always work on what I think will be the 'star' of the costume. The piece that will be the main eye-catching part. So when I did Izanagi it was the helmet, same with Sky High. For others it might be the prop, like Ragna and Arumat. I tend to always do a piece of armour or the prop first simply because I prefer it to the sewing stage!


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22 Aug 2013 - 11:22106351
I start by researching and gathering materials. The first bit that gets made is usually the base, e.g. the jacket for a school uniform. Things like details and wig styling gets done after most of the sewing is complete.


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22 Aug 2013 - 14:58106358
I always go for the iconic pieces first, which is the head, and finish the rest of the costume afterwards like clothing etc. Like my 2 pieces, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers, always the head down, get the main bulk of it done, and add the little pieces afterwards


24 Aug 2013 - 01:41106408
Wow it's fascinating how different cosplayers organise their projects..

As for myself, if I am doing a costume just for fun, I just throw it together in any order.

If I'm making the costume for a competition, it has to be planned meticulously! Once I've finished the mock-up, I usually start with the structural or fabric parts of the costume. Once that's done, I work on the wig, accessories, and props.

Does anyone have opinions on budgeting for their cosplay?


24 Aug 2013 - 01:49106409
Quote Kei Lin Sama:
Wow it's fascinating how different cosplayers organise their projects..

As for myself, if I am doing a costume just for fun, I just throw it together in any order.

If I'm making the costume for a competition, it has to be planned meticulously! Once I've finished the mock-up, I usually start with the structural or fabric parts of the costume. Once that's done, I work on the wig, accessories, and props.

Does anyone have opinions on budgeting for their cosplay?


It definitely shows in your work! you look so amazing in most of them, it really makes my heart ache.


When it comes to costumes, unless you're very well endowed (money wise of course) and have a lot of equipment for scope for error- Budgeting is pretty much the key to such things.

I'm usually the person to start on the bits that I know I'll fine the hardest-

Sewing. I hate patterning with a vengeance and I would much rather do Armour patterning as opposed to Sewing any day. And then I move to Armour.

Once the bases have been done for patterns on armour and sewing, I move onto props...


Sewing - Armour - Props are usually fluid and interchangeable depending on your characters

I tend to have ridiculously overburdened overly large weapon wielding characters sooo.. I normally go Props - Sewing Armour...

lol Again totally depends on hat your budget has room for and what you buy first =D

Divide and conquer!


25 Aug 2013 - 12:36106453
I think that budgeting for cosplay is a good idea but I never seem to stick to mine. I usually aim to make my costumes for less than £100 but they normally end up costing more.

As I am still fairly new to cosplay each time I make a new costume I end up having to spend additional money on new tools and consumables like glues and correctly coloured thread which more experienced cosplayers probably have already.

I also tend to buy more fabric than I need because I am not that good at estimating how much the costume will require, plus I like to have some spare fabric in case I mess something up.


25 Aug 2013 - 18:39106466
I usually start by finding & printing as many reference photographs as possiable. I then draw/write out what I am going to need and make so I know exactly what I am doing. I then prioritise what will take the longest to make/ hardest to get ahold of before budgeting every item. I hope the helps.


26 Aug 2013 - 23:08106571
Haha, it doesn't matter how many colours of thread you already have, somehow that fabric doesn't quite match with what you've got and you have to go and buy another reel! XD I budgeted £40 a month for 4 months before starting Popoi, and then £40 every month during the making of it. Still went over budget by £100 DX Props to anyone who does manage to stick to their budget!

Also spare fabric is great for mockups. Never ever any regrets in buying more than you need!



Last edited by madmazda86 (26 Aug 2013 - 23:09)
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