I'm A wAlKiNg CoNtRaDiCtIoN
I've been cosplaying since November 2007, where I went to collectormania at Manchester G-Mex as Major Kusangai from Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 1st GIG.
I usually make clos-plays, which is where you make an inexpensive costume that still looks good using items that the cosplay has from your own closet, before going out and buying or making more. For my first Major cosplay, I wore a jacket and pants from my closet that were incredibly similar to what the referance picture was. I then customised a corset to make it look like hers - remade it using the original for the pattern and recovered it in purple fabric ^_^.