Let’s Talk About…Cosplay!

Today I’m happy to welcome a guest blogger to the show! I have been wanting to write a post about cosplay but lets face it guys, I don’t do it. I wish I would and I wish I had the creativity and motivation to do so but I just don’t. I hope that I will try and get better about it in the future but….probably not. Its a nice thought.

But I have a dear friend and follower of mine, Sam, who would LOVE to share and so here is her guest post!


How I Got Into Cosplay

Back when I started cosplaying, the word cosplay wasn’t as well known as it is now. It was more often known as costuming. It started when I was about 13 when I went to my first convention in my home town. It was a sci-fi convention and had guests such as Patrick Stewart and James Marsters. I saw quite a few attendees there dressed up as various characters from Buffy vampires, to Dr Who and Star Trek Enterprise crew. At the time, I was a huge Buffy fan and really wanted to dress up as my favourite heroine so the next convention I went to I donned a black tank top and signature red leather trousers. Most of my costumes started off as store bought items and, on occasion, were very generic characters like a school girl, cheerleader etc. When I hit 14-15, I really wanted to start making/altering my own things and hand sewed and  hot glued everything. Now at 26, I pretty much make everything from scratch as it turns out making from scratch is so much easier then altering things.

How Much Work I Put Into It

How much work I put into a costume usually depends on the costume. I’ve sometimes found that what I thought would be an easy costume really isn’t. One example of this is my R from Warm Bodies costume its basically a grey t-shirt, red zip up hoodie, blue jeans and black converse high tops. Easy right? A costume I thought would take me a few days to put together ended up taking a few weeks. With the help of images from Google as the movie wasn’t out yet on DVD I added all the holes, burn marks, dirt, and blood by hand. Because I tend to want everything so perfect I even had to line up the bullet hole in the hoodie with the bullet hole in the t-shirt. I used everything from bread knives, a cheese grater, and stitch unpicker to make the holes and tears whilst using matches and lighters to make all the burns. Fake blood was used on the t-shirt where as I had to mix up my own paint to make the blood stains on the hoodie as the fake blood didn’t show up. Sometimes I wonder what took me longer Bella’s wedding dress or R. I’m currently working on a secret costume which I have spent the last month hand painting fabric for. Again another that I thought would be a few days work.

Just for a bit of an idea. My Bella wedding dress took 3 months to make including all the prep work. My Elena Gilbert Dangerous Liaisons dress took me a month and a half (sequined fabric is a pain to work with). I actually spent nearly 10 years putting together my US Colonial Marine as it was a fairly expensive costume that needed time to save up for various pieces.

An Easy Costume I’ve Made

I reckon easier costumes are sometimes the ones I don’t make where the stuff can be bought. My Dark Phoenix was fairly easy. For years I’ve been wanting to costume as Dark Phoenix and it happened a friend was selling hers. The only thing I changed was making small socks from the old sash and buying fabric to make a new sash.

A Complicated Costume I’ve Made

Each costume has had its complications, when I did Bella’s wedding dress I was working with some materials I hadn’t worked with before such as tulle and delicate laces. I also had to learn how to make my own rouleau loops to making functioning buttons on the back of the dress to get it on and off. I ended up having to totally remake the pattern for the top part of the dress due to the pattern I used as a base only having 3 sections on the front where as Bella’s had 9. The dress took me 3 months to make from start to finish including altering the pattern, making 3 mocks up of the front of the dress and 1 full mock up dress, handing sewing the lace into the correct shape and sewing on 180+ buttons.

I love complications when it comes to costumes especially when its something I’ve not done before cause I actually have to sit down and think it all through, and try and find different techniques on how to do things. I’ve learnt so many new things whilst making costumes.

Tips for Beginners

Main tip for beginners is research, research, research. You want to start off knowing whether or not the pieces for your costume are store bought or if anything is going to need to be made. If it needs to be made are you going to make it yourself and what do you need to make it yourself, or are you going to get a costume commissioner to make it for you. Also you need to have a rough estimate of how much you want to spend on the costume or you can let it get away with you and next minute you add it all together and realise you have spent £100++

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I hope you all enjoyed reading all about cosplay! If you have cosplay that you would like to show off, please email them to us at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail dot com, and we’ll share them on the Facebook page!

And don’t forget to check out Sam’s official cosplay Facebook page here!

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