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So how do I plan a costume? Pretty broad question. But as I’m an extreme planner (ask my boyfriend, it drives him mad) I love planning every point of my costume, from sketching out the exact pattern, to the littler details. So here we go, a breakdown of what I do to plan, prepare and then make a costume.

 

Step 1: Freak out and add the costume to your wishlist

Here is where it all starts. You go to the cinema, play a game, watch a tv show, read a comic… Need I go on? Every cosplayer knows the feeling. I have obsessions that just jump in and take over my life. Push away any other cosplays I’ve had and just take priority like that. I also think this is a very important feel as it is what motivates me to make the costume.

Another thing that helps, cosplayer friends and cosplay groups. You keep each other motivated! Plus it makes the day at a convention so much fun. I also tend to make lists everywhere, Pinterest, Facebook and on my laptop.

 

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Step 2: RESEARCH, a whole lot of it

Especially for complicated costumes (Lagertha, Black Widow, Hiccup etc) I make complete breakdowns of them. Pinterest, the actual place it comes from, art books… All of it is extremely useful to get to know about all the details you want to incorperate in your costume. Some companies have even started to make cosplay guides which makes life a lot easier. (take notes from this, cosplayers will have your forever gratitude)

After I’ve found out about everything I start drawing parts out and here is where it gets to a different level…

 

Step 3: Materials

This is the point where you start to think about what you want to use, during research you’ve already seen everything, there might be little sidelines here and there saying what might’ve been used. But here is where you decide what your budget is, how much you want to spend and what kind of materials you’re going to get. Will you use Worbla? Or go for a cheaper alternative like foam? Leather… Or pleather. These are all considerations that will make your costume what it is.

I personally tend to make eBay / Amazon wishlist for specific characters. When I order fabrics I always order samples first, a photo does not tell you how the fabric feels and how thick it will be. (I save all my samples in a big folder in case I might need a similar style fabric again) For armour/props I look up tutorials, see how others have done it, and try to find out how to do it. Talking to other cosplayers, or in my case my dad, or one of my friends dad’s, really helps! They might know just a tad more, and will give you tips on what not to do and what kind of tools you will have to use. Crafting days with friends are fun, and often (for me) very productive!

 

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Step 4: To-do list

All your products are here! … Or well most of them, you might still have to order bits and pieces, but at least you can start. At this point, I tend to make a to-do list, or breakdown of everything I have to do. So I can tick something of when I’ve done it. Apps like Cosplanner help, but I tend to be old-school and write everything down in a big cosplay notebook. So the ‘ticking off’ step is even nicer. ‘I have finished this. DONE.’ *insers big red pen where you scratch through the words* Best. feeling. ever. Plus it gives you a nice panick if the list is still miles long 2 weeks before the con.

 

Step 5: MAKE THE THING

It is time, you get to make all your pieces. Trial. Error. Make a mess. Procrastination. Trial. (repeat 10 times) SUCCESS! There might be times where you simply don’t know what to do anymore, but taking a step back and chill for a little bit often helps. Especially when for example your sewing machine decides to ruin life and you just want to throw it in a corner. STOP what you’re doing. And take a break. This is often why I try to start as early as I can. And can you believe that in the 5,5 years I’ve been cosplaying. I’ve never had to finish a costume the night before the con. Isn’t that a miracle.

(Within step 5 there is about 10 other steps I could describe, but this might be better if it’s aimed at a certain costume. So to be continued…)

 

Happy cosplaying! If you think I missed something, do let me know, I’d love to know how you guys get to this.


One Response to “How do I create/prepare a costume?”

  1. Nicole says:

    Hey,
    This was a very helpful blogpost. Thanks for the tips :D

Leave a Reply to Nicole