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06 Jun 2009 - 21:2615483
Idea for Cosplay Panel- Emergency Cosplay Repairs
Hi Everyone! I know I'm supposed to be working on my Skit panel idea which I suggested a few months back, but I had another idea which I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in.

Pretty much the idea for the panel is I go through the main things that go wrong with costumes while you're wearing them and how to repair them on the spot (or as on the spot as possible). I would cover different repair techniques, the basics to keep in a repair kit, and even bring some examples for people to have a go at repairing themselves.

I would also cover advice on how to stop things breaking in the first place, and then the rest would be a bit of a chat session about what people have had gone wrong and what they did about it.

At minami I managed to save 2 people's costumes after they had broken, which is what gave me this idea in the first place.

I'd love to hear if anyone would be interested in seeing a panel like that, and if so share stories of things that have broken for you so I can get a feel for what normally does go wrong for people. My usuals are split seams, armour snapping and exposed accidental nipple. All of them are in my list of "NOT FUN" which is why I want to help others NOT have some of the accidents I've had happen.

07 Jun 2009 - 22:4315533
Wow! Very good idea indeed!

Not much help, but I actually organized a cosplay repairpoint on a convention here in Holland, and sadly, of thankfully, it was a big hit. I've helped a lot of people fixing their costumes.
Great part was on expense of the convention (I brought my own sewing machine and gluegun, for example, but they bought gluesticks and things I needed for the sewing machine)
Ofcourse I gave everyone the advice they needed (plus; if you bring a costume, take whatever things you needed to make it, in case of breaking, you have what it takes to fix it!) I know people were surprised to see that when something broke, I actually had the stuff to repair it with me!

Either way, good idea!

07 Jun 2009 - 23:1615535
The organisers normally have a repair kit at most cons I go to, which is awesome. Thing is people need to learn how to use them, which is what I'm looking to help with. I've fixed some pretty impossible things on the spot that have had even the wearer of the costume giving up.

What things did you find that went wrong with people's costumes the most? I'm trying to get an idea of things to focus on.


08 Jun 2009 - 09:2815544
I was mostly fixing clothing that fell apart. And most of them were buyers of costumes, who would't know how to fix things anyway. But I've showed them the general use of a sewingmaching, (besides giving a workshop on how to start on cosplay) so perhaps next time they'd be able to make their own. Gave them some tips on fabrics as well, because the right color doesn't necessarily mean the right fabric!
Besides that, a lot of props falling apart, so my gluegun was a gift from heaven, though it won't fix it forever, it'll fix it for the con. Besides, I always carry a tube of one second adhesive (?? dunno if that's the right word >.< ) which fixes most things!

But preventing is always better then curing, I guess. I think it's wonderful you're doing this! ^_^

08 Jun 2009 - 12:0415545
That sounds like a great idea.

There is always someone at the repair station to help those who aren't sure how to fix their costume or how to use the equipment, but it's good to spread the knowledge.

Pointing out what is most likely to break and how to avoid pitfalls through structure design or choice of materials could save a lot of stressed out cosplayers from a nightmare day

SOS cosplay panel!

08 Jun 2009 - 13:2815546
I think not just fabric choices, but also the best sewing techniques to go with each fabric. Like I know how to make seams that will widthstand a lot of pressure for corset making (and that's a LOT of pressure) so applying the same technique to a fabric costume like I do means that you get no ripped seams on the day. Also things like sewing PVC with larger stitches, advice on zips so that they don't break or become unthreaded ect and basic things about the pros and cons of methods to keep cosplay on you- ie. Velcro, Pins, Zips and buttons.

And maybe some stuff on transporting costumes around, because it is the most horrific moment ever when you go to take your costume/prop out of your suitcase and it comes out in little pieces...

08 Jun 2009 - 14:1815547
That was half what I meant by structure design. Joining methods and structure design would have been a better choice of words

Transporting, so true, you spend all that time making it in the house and then on the day you spend three hours staring at the car/packed train thinking...how is this going to work.

There's also the other question of when making something solid and permanent isn't the best approach. Knowing when to make something dismantle or squishable can be handy.

08 Jun 2009 - 17:0915553
Tab, great idea! Amy-lou's point about knowing when to make things that can be dismantled etc is a very good one. ad things so often break en-route to an event.

For example the furry dangly things on my black mage paine hat were taken off for transport so they didn't break and were designed to come on and off easily so if they got caught somewhere they would quick release rather than break!

tips on preventative menthods as well as 'OMG the seam just popped' solutions would be a great panel, and I would think a very popular one too!

There is always room for cake
08 Jun 2009 - 17:3315557
Breaking stuff down for transport is an awesome idea. Most people don't realise but the Nightmare SC3 costume I made for Uber-Nerd was actually fully dismantable. You could fit it into two suitcases, and then just bolt it all together upon arrival.

That being said there are times when it's more to your advantage to make costumes that don't come apart. I've seen a lot of people struggle with costumes falling apart because they were made in seperate pieces and then are put together with safety pins or velcro once on the person. My Ivy costume actually only has a couple of bits- all the stockings and torso stuff are all attached to each other either by glue or sewing. This means I never have stuff like things falling down or shifting because they're designed to sit exactly in one place and never be moved.

I think also some discussion on making flexible props VS ridgid props is another idea. Sometimes people just don't think about how much use a prop will actually get (ie, how damaged one free hugger will make it) and are more focused onto bringing it into existance any way they know how.

Another idea for it- would it be interesting at all if I went over the costumes I had made, things that had gone wrong and how I solved it or how I would do it again next time? I don't want to make it a "This is what I did session" but I can only really give exact examples with things like pictures on things I've actually made myself.

08 Jun 2009 - 18:0315559
Awesome idea Tab. A fresh approach on 'cosplay tips', some know full well about this topic and some don't.

My Deunan costume is fully removeable, every single thing apart from the boots and wetsuit can be put neatly into a small sports holdall. To quote what I said to a friend, "It's just like a lifesize Barbie doll!"

I agree, some costumes will need to come as "one lot" or maybe a couple of links but the majority needs to be permantly attached in order to be durable.

Other costumes would be better off removeable and held together with secure velcro or buttons. Stragetically placing these connectors is paramount for the durability of the costume. You've got to take into consideration what joint movement will occur at these joins and what sort of connectors will be suitable for use.

Katsu no wa Hyotei~♥
08 Jun 2009 - 19:3315563
I'm always astounding with cosplay the amount of people who rely on velcro in high stress areas to keep them in their costumes.

That's just asking for trouble if you ask me.

08 Jun 2009 - 20:1215564
High stress areas such as?

When I say I use velcro, it's doubly backed up with something else in case the velcro comes apart. Usually the backup's ANOTHER velcro on a medium fit strap XD

This Gundam project is looking like Velcro won't be a very safe option so only the minority of the pieces will make use of it.

Katsu no wa Hyotei~♥
08 Jun 2009 - 20:3515565
Keeping tops closed any where near breasts.

08 Jun 2009 - 21:0415569
That's crazy. When you bend over, they will burst open. ><

Katsu no wa Hyotei~♥
09 Jun 2009 - 00:4215573
This is an amazing idea! Granted most of my cosplays are only held together with thread but I would love input on the best way to stitch certain things together and what items are good for quick fixes!

09 Jun 2009 - 11:3515584
Thanks hon!

I would love to show people how to make seams strong enough to hold together steel boned corsets. Think of all the disasters that can be avoided!

Hardest thing though is taking your own advice- I have a big habit of being lazy and "Oh, that'll hold. No need to do more to it."

I got prooved wrong on my voldo costume. Those who saw me at minami may have gotten a shot of my spandex clad crotch as I'd managed to pop a massive hole in the inner leg seam. Fun!

09 Jun 2009 - 13:0415586
Awesome idea. I think its great to focus on the emergancy repairs and what to bring in the kit. I agree with showing how to break cosplays down for transport. Afterall, I'm goimng to have to figure that out for Safer Sephiroth (7 wings! I must be insane!).

Heck! All your ideas for this panel are great. It would be tricky to leave anything out.

I've personally not had two much trouble with steel bonded corsets then I make them them to be like steel skin!! Lol!

I have had more problems with fasterning breakage than the actual sewing itself. So maybe a bit on what is the best use of fastenings and which type to use for which outfit.

09 Jun 2009 - 13:4515593
Fastenings are a very interesting topic. I find poppers to be devil encarnate, but I know others out there that swear by them.

It might be interesting for people attending the panel to talk about costumes they are doing and potential problems they see occuring (Ie, Safer Sephiroth) so not only can I give ideas for how to get around the problems but everyone else there can chip in too.

Now I've got to think about how this will all work. Ideally I'd love to have a flip chart to draw things on for when people are asking about their costumes so we can work through it visually. It would also be nice to get some kind of screen or projector going so I can powerpoint something and so it won't just be me standing there all the time.

Also I need to look at conventions that would actually like to see a panel like this going on. My main two each year are Ayacon and Minami so I'll probably put together a better outline of what it will be about and then ask them about it.

09 Jun 2009 - 18:3915599
Quote KhaosKreator:
I'm always astounding with cosplay the amount of people who rely on velcro in high stress areas to keep them in their costumes.

That's just asking for trouble if you ask me.

I've not had too much trouble with velcro. It held all my Abel armour on fine as well as my Seph armour. Then I did get mine from B&Q so it is the industral kind. Lol!

I defo agree with some kind of visual aid like a flip chart or something. Either Minami or Aya would be great.

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