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27 May 2011 - 20:3157841
Advice to New Cosplayers
As there are many new cosplayers around every year and theres plenty of experianced cosplayers about my question is this what would your advice be to a new cosplayer?

Mine would be: practice posing with a slef timer on your camera it'll help with confidence and help you with timing your poses.

27 May 2011 - 21:0457846
Always be confident in your abilities. Don;t think because youre a fist timer that us *Veterens* are gonna be better than you. Trust me. I have an example to prove it... Been cosplaying for over a year, decided to try and make a second tunic for my Link cosplay only longer... ended up making a far too tight slut-kokiri dress.

Also, don't let the snobby of the experienced cosplays (I.e the ones who are like, "Ooh my cosplay is hand made therefor it's better nya" or "ooh youre not cosplaying right, oooh you missed a tiny detail that no-one who was't right in yo' face would notice"
Don't let them:
-Mock you. If they have to mock other cosplayers they are a disgrace.
-Downgrade you. See above reason.
-Tell you what is right and wrong in cosplay. Cosplay is about having fun, not being perfect. Don't let cossnobs tell you otherwise.

What else while I'm writing this essay...
When in cosplay in bad areas make sure to walk in a group or look confident at least.
Chavs are your worst enemy. That and "non-machine washable fabric :/"
CosplayIsland is your best friend.
If you're going to the Londom Expo this wekend, don't let big brother near you :/

I'll add more as i think XD


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27 May 2011 - 21:3657848
I posted in a thread last week helping newbies at the con scene. Ill copy and paste what I wrote ^_^

i) Start them earlyish if possible. That saves alot of hassle and gives plenty of time to change what you dislike and get wigs ordered. Last minuite panics are very common and could easily be avoided in most cases when planned properly.

ii) If you are intreasted in making new friends a great way of doing this is joining cosplay groups. Some people like to get groups of cosplayers from the same series together for meet ups and photoshoots. Simple browse through the forums at groups, find something you like, say you are intreasted and meet up on the day of the shoot. From experience I reccomend having a friend join you if you are a little con-shy (like me) or get a few of them to take photos

iii) Be prepared for photos at any moment. Some photographers like to photograoh as many cosplayers as possible so its good to learn a few poses before the con.

iiii) Always have an emergency sewing kit. Safety pins are your friends and needles, thread and small scissors are helpful if a costume breaks down and could easily be fixed or if there is a wardrobe malfunction.

iiiii) Hidden pockets!

28 May 2011 - 09:4257855
I reply cautiously, as there's no point putting posts like these together if the topic doesn't get stickied - this forum moves fast and it'll get buried. My number one piece of advice would be the following:

1) Start simple. In terms of achieving this, as even something like a school blazer can be quite complicated to make (from bitter experience, trust me XD), basically don't be afraid to buy lots of bits of costume and then just make one or two bits yourself. For example, for a school uniform, buy the shirt and make the skirt/trousers yourself, or the sailor fuku yourself. For a Bleach captain's outfit, buy the white jacket and make your own hakama.

Everything else I'm going to say kinda relates to this rule:

-Allow plenty of time - everything takes longer than you think it does, even the simple things. By buying bits of costumes you have more time to focus on the bits that you're making, rather than trying to make all the pieces of an entire costume from scratch and then doing a shit job of it because you took on too much at once.

-Avoid the use of patterns initially. Pattern instructions are complicated - it's not the 'fit part A to part B' that you might think it is, and patterns frequently require modification to get the look you want. You can learn far more about the basics of clothing construction by looking at existing items of clothing and copying the seams. This can then be extrapolated to more complex costumes at a later date.

-Attention to detail is important. Take a pleated skirt, for example. There are different ways to pleat a skirt. My Hidamari Sketch costume, for example - if you look at the reference art in the costume photos section, you can see that the skirts are not pleated in the way that a lot of Japanese school skirts are (like the Lucky Star ones for example). They are box pleats, rather than the conventional knife pleats.

By studying your reference art carefully, and taking it with you when you're fabric shopping etc, you can avoid making dumb mistakes like making the wrong type of pleated skirt, or finding out that there was a massive buckle on the back of a jacket and you didn't realise until the day of the con.

-Don't expect to get much recognition for your simple costumes. If you go back to the list of my costumes, you'll see that my Hidamari Sketch costume is the only one of my completed costumes with no comments on it (or at least, there were no comments at the time I made this post). When you go to a con in a simple costume, you won't get a huge amount of attention compared to other, more complicated costumes. But that doesn't matter, because mastering the simple things is a learning process to enable you to move on to more complex costumes at a later date, and do them well so people are looking at you for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones XD Besides, simple costumes are fun - I made my Hidamari Sketch costume because I had just completed the complicated monstrosity that was my Lisa Basil costume, and I was fed up and wanted to do something simple. I had a lot of fun running around being a total spacktard and it was great 8D

So yeah, I hope that helps - although I've been cosplaying for about 6 years now, I haven't completed that many costumes, so I'm not really an expert. Why have I only completed 10 costumes in 6 years? Because I took the time to learn the basics and do stuff properly so I could be proud of the things that I made, and everything takes longer than you think it does! XD

P.S. One last thing, regarding wigs. Wigs are an inevitable and expensive part of cosplaying - it's only in a few very exceptional circumstances that your own hair will be anything like suitable for a costume that you're doing. Bite the bullet, and order a wig for your costume. It should be the first thing you do after committing to making one, and I would recommend these guys:

They're all the same company (EDS Trading Ltd) and they do super wigs, often just about styled to the look you want out of the packet, good fit etc.

Last edited by madmazda86 (14 Mar 2015 - 23:41)
29 May 2011 - 13:5757874
Quote madmazda86:
-Avoid the use of patterns initially. Pattern instructions are complicated - it's not the 'fit part A to part B' that you might think it is, and patterns frequently require modification to get the look you want. You can learn far more about the basics of clothing construction by looking at existing items of clothing and copying the seams. This can then be extrapolated to more complex costumes at a later date.

I disagree to an extent.

Patterns are not tailor made to you, so using a pattern can result in it being too big in places, and too small in others.

However, I started off with patterns. I made sure to read them thoroughly, and then cut it out so it was a tad bigger than my size. Then I pin it, try it on make possible adjustments, tacked it, try it on the make possible adjustments, then machine it and last try on. Doing all adjustments before machine sewing it is best, cause it's easier to sort out. It is possible to make the adjustments yourself when you're wearing it, either in the tacking or pinning stage, but it is easier if you have a helper.

I do it myself, cause mum can't be arsed. It takes a while, and it's a "put pin here. stop. check in mirror. okay. put pin here. stop. check. doesn't work" etc. so takes awhile.

Also with patterns... They can be complex but it's pretty much the same thing that you do in the exam. MAKE SURE YOU READ IT IN FULL BEFORE ANSWERING!! On in this case, sewing. I've known many-a-people who have not read the pattern and thus done it wrong IE not cutting a hood on fold, resulting in it being too small. Also, with internet, a pattern insturction you cannot understand can be googled!

Then again, everyone learns differently. I pretty much have to do it through trial and error, looking at clothing seams do not work for me. I sorta guess what would do the edging I want, try it out, and go on from there. If it's a success, I do that style. If a failure, I rethink. But that's me personally and it's how i learn.

Pretty much all the advice I can give you is have confidence in what you wear. Th people that bitch about your costumes are a minority, and aren't worth the oxygen they use. The majority of people really don't care if it's not perfect.

Hell, I'm a perfectionist, but it's only with my own things. The only time I rage against someone else who may have done it wrong is if they've been sniping at me for getting it wrong, when I got it closer than they did. That's the only time. And really, that's cause they've been doing it to me...

And i concur with wigs, getting the hair right is a pretty key part of getting the character right. If money is tight, I recommend sticking to characters which you can use your own hair for, until you've got a bit behind you. My first few cosplays were my own hair, but they were Matt (DN) and Yuki's brother from Gravitation (really can't remember his name).


End note;
2! with making your own, TAKE YOUR TIME
8! DON'T BE AN ARSE!! lol

Ayacon Plans

Last edited by NixieThePixie (29 May 2011 - 14:00)
30 May 2011 - 17:4457972
That's a good case for use of patterns I started off with patterns initially but the main reason I changed was because I found it difficult to visualise the finished product from the pattern pieces, as opposed to doing the process in reverse and making modifications accordingly. So I guess it's down to personal preference and maybe people starting out should try both methods and see what works for them?

Last edited by madmazda86 (14 Mar 2015 - 09:48)
30 May 2011 - 18:5157978
start off simple! practice making things first (clothing.. props etc..) and the more practice the better~
then you can go all out on something amazing eventually !

also practice posing; look at fashion magazines/artistic photography, and practice with a friend


30 May 2011 - 19:5657983
Agreeing with NixieThePixie - patterns are your friends.

Apart from the things that have already been mentioned, be aware that pattern sizes are not the same as clothing sizes. As in, if you're a size 8, it does NOT mean you buy & cut a size 8 pattern.

When you buy a pattern, look at the pattern book. Either at the very front or the very end, there is a chart showing measurements and sizes for male/female/children. Measure yourself at home, take the measurements to the shop and compare it to the chart, then you can buy the correct sized pattern.

Don't worry if you find that you're buying a pattern that's "larger" than your normal size. It doesn't mean you're measured wrong or you've gained weight! Like I said, pattern sizes are not the same as regular clothes sizes. I'm normally a size 8 but for patterns I have to use 12. If you're confused, ask the people at the shop.

Start with simple patterns - the shop people will be able to help you choose. For beginners I'll definitely avoid Vogue patterns even if they're labelled easy.

Sometimes explanation on the patterns are quite brief. If you don't understand the terms (god knows how long it took me to figure out what they meant by "understitch"!), Google can help you. But I also really recommend these books:

The Sewing Book
Perfectly Fitted

A lot of libraries have them if you don't want to pay! They've VERY GOOD for learning how to put things together, with lots of step by step guides with pictures.

Last edited by Pez (30 May 2011 - 20:00)
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