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25 May 2009 - 14:2714848
Help for a newbie
I've just started getting into cosplay after years of wanting to but I need some of the bear esentials before I start, specifically that most basic of tools - the sewing machine. I've used my Mum's before but I'm moving away from home soon so will nedd to get my own. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good beginner's sewing machine or what I should be looking for?

I was also wondering what would be a good first cosplay to try out. I was thinking of Aeris from FFVII as I love her. What did other people do as their first one?

Thanks for helping me out!


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25 May 2009 - 15:1714857
I'm afraid I can't comment much on sewing machines although I know Brother is a very good make.

My first cosplay was Honey-Sempai from Ouran High School Host Club. The school blazer was completely handsewn and my fingers diiiiied! I should have chosen something a bit easier!

Aerith is a nice place to start, she's fairly simple but still loks nice. If you'd prefer not to make everything from scratch then you can get a lot of it from charity shops with some good editing, like dying the clothes and sewing on additions. The wig may be a bit fiddly but there are some very good wig commissioners about ^_^

Good Luck with your first cosplay! I hope it all goes well!


25 May 2009 - 16:3114864
argos have a sewing machine for £58.69 which is probably the cheapest you will find unless you want to buy 2nd hand


25 May 2009 - 17:2914870
I recommend Brother sewing machines too as I use one. However, mine was quite expensive but very good and quite easy to work with. I know they sell beginner ones though on their website though.

But I’m sure there are many other good makes out there too ^^


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Last edited by Littlerascal92 (25 May 2009 - 17:34)
25 May 2009 - 18:0414874
Good makes are Brother, Janome and Toyota (I have a Janome).

If you're starting out, you're probably looking at £70 -£100 unless you find a bargin in a sale somewhere.

Things you need: very little acutally! In order to do most work, you need a straight stitch and a zig-zag for stretch work. However, here's a list of the minimum I would look for on a machine:

Variable tention - for working with different types of fabric. It's going to happen with cosplay, and if you can't change the tention you could end up with the thread snapping all the time.

Button hole function - seriously, button holes by hand, not fun. 4 step function is fine, 1 step is less hassle but will probably bump the price up.

Variable stitch width - you need long for gathering and short for applique work.

Having had a look around recently, I think you are looking at about £100 for one that does all that, but it us worth saving up the money and getting a decent low end machine, than getting a cheap brand that breaks all the time and doesn't do what you need it to do. I'd also recommend going to an independent sewing machine shop rather than Argos or similar if you have one. There isn't that much difference in price once you're looking at the decent machines (Argos is just more likely to sell cheap crappy models) adn they can not only give you advise, they will be able to help if you have any problems with it breaking.

As a personal preference, I like side loading bobbins, rather than top loading ones, but like dubs vs subs, there are people on both sides of that argument!

If you need any more help or advise, let me know


25 May 2009 - 18:0714875
I personally am a fan of Janome sewing machines. They're reasonably priced and really pack a punch! I haven't come across anything I haven't been able to sew through!

I would recommend you find out about sewing machine repair shops for those terrible moments when your machine gives up on you. Mine so far has only died once and that was because I wasn't looking after her and was sewing like an impatient child. But that only happened when she was 5 years old and all has been good since! If you can afford it, get it serviced regularly!

Other stuff you'll need: a basic sewing supplies, lots of black and white thread, some kind of glue or hot glue gun. Craft scissors ,obviously, NEVER use fabric shears on anything other than fabric, I'd also invest in a decent pair of fabric shears. The kind that cost £17!

Oh and some coffee/energy drinks because guaranteed you'll be sewing late into the night on more than one occasion! Or is that just me...?

The first cosplay I made was Misato from Eva. Do NOT in any circumstance try to make a jacket on your first cosplay. Tears will ensue followed shortly by suicidal thoughts!


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26 May 2009 - 21:2514976
Thanks for all your thoughts. I now know what I need to look for at least. I realised that this was going to be an expensive purchase but as long as it doesn't make my credit card weep in agony it should be alright.

To Georgi - I was briefly considered doing school girl Rukia from Bleach as my first made cosplay and realised this would be a very very silly idea. Suit jacket and pleated skirt? Not the most sensible idea in the world.


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Last edited by TawenCooper (26 May 2009 - 21:25)
26 May 2009 - 22:0714983
Yeah DON'T follow me in the suit jacket thing... let the people before you make all the horrible mistakes! haha


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