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Simple Cosplay Advice

Offline Vayliya

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Simple Cosplay Advice
« on: July 30, 2013, 05:03:27 PM »
I am going to go over a few cosplay tricks to make costumes better.

My first and biggest piece of advice is: Don't get frustrated and upset, almost every mistake can be fixed. If you get too upset you may forget that. Just be calm when it starts to get too much back away and take a break. It works wonders. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

Sewing Section
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One thing I've noticed is some cosplays have "markings" on them. I don't mean like insignia and designs, I mean pattern markings. Usually it's a permanent marker. So my suggestion for this is: Go to Your Local Craft or Sewing Supply Store and buy Mark-b-Gone/Disappearing Ink

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Another thing is frayed edges. If you have a sewing machine, you can use bias tape or just simply fold and sew the edge. If you don't have a sewing machine or don't feel skilled enough there is fusible edging/seam tape. Usually a no-sew solution.

Bias tape then no-sew

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Dress forms are a costume makers best friend. I own two. One at $200, other at about $330 as seen in my costume thread.
Sewing stores have them and a very good one is sold at pgmdressform.com
If those are too expensive, you can make your own. Here's info about that - http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3659/clone-yourself-a-fitting-assistant/page/all
This isn't just for girls, guys it's great for you too.

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Remember when I  said don't stress out everything can be fixed. Well I would like to introduce you to my little friend the stitch remover.

It's one of the best tools in a sewing arsenal. Simply find the stitching you need to remove start to pull the two pieces apart until you see the stitches and go. You can undo all the stitches or if there is a certain place you got off you can just undo to there.

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BOBBINS
A quick video for how to thread a bobbin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlvcW1Z0jMM
I like to listen to music from itunes and forgot to change it off of repeat.


Research Section
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Some good books if you are learning are Readers' Digest Guide to Sewing, Art of Draping, Costume Designers' Hand book, and Costume Technicians' Guide.
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For women, different styles of waists. Remember many of these are more flattering than the picture here.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 06:30:38 PM by Vayliya »
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TheDrunkenJedi

Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 05:32:21 PM »
Great advice Vayliya, thanks for posting!

Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 07:35:09 PM »
Crafting Section
Get familiar with materials, such as wonderflex, resin, even hot glue for armor and stiff items, resin for clear pieces or jewels, and hot glue if you need a piece quick and cheap. They make molding kits but you will still need to buy or make your own mold by sculpting a piece first. Making a mold is generally a good idea if you have a bunch of pieces to make over and over again.
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Resin

Things I've made that I still have out of resin vvvvv

It can be solid opaque or crystal clear. Resin is very versatile and strong. Packets like the one I posted already have measured out for you the proper amount of resin to hardener required. You can buy in larger quantities to make bigger pieces but you will have to pour the proper amounts yourself. When combined stir for 2-3 minutes until clear and few bubbles. you can pour or use a dropper for accuracy.
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I didn't mention this initially because it can be expensive (but since I'm a cosplay jewelry maker I can shell out the money because I will make it back when the Howl's Moving Castle rings sell) This is good for total accuracy but as I said it is not cheap and not the simplest thing to work with since you need a kiln or a butane torch. It IS a precious metal after it has been set, this one will be 99% silver when heated.
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Molding compound. Any craft store has this.
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Lastly Sculpey/Polymer clay is great for little projects and is affordable.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 11:26:50 PM by Vayliya »
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Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 08:41:59 PM »
Electronics, Motion and Sound
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 05:47:58 PM by Vayliya »
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Offline Trathor

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 01:01:15 AM »
This thread rocks!  Thanks so much Vayliya! 
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Offline Jojo

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 10:50:34 AM »
Thank you very much Vayliya that was helpful to me.
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Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 10:51:51 PM »
I'm glad this is being helpful. I was just wondering if there were anymore products or techniques, like wigs. Y'all would like to know?
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Offline Jojo

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 09:06:39 AM »
I'm glad this is being helpful. I was just wondering if there were anymore products or techniques, like wigs. Y'all would like to know?

Funny you mentioning a wig. I just got mine yesterday for my Gambit Costume. Any way Vayliya do you have any tips for attaching strips of fabric to a pair of underarmour pants or will Hot glue work for that?
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Offline Caesar

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 01:29:29 PM »
I would sew the fabric on or use fabric glue. I do not think hot glue is a good call, it could damge the material and could just look bad because hot glue would leave a bead if glue instead of spreading it evenly over the entire surface.
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Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 05:17:51 PM »
Ok now that I'm done with errands here are my suggestions.
Like Caesar mentioned fabric glue is a nice alternative to hot glue, even though hot glue has a fabric glue stick it is hard to work with when you need a flat look.

I would not recommend sewing at all! Unless you know how to work with a nylon/lycra based material and have the know-how to make the stitching have the elasticity, it will look terrible.

A more unusual but effective idea is to use hook and eyes and sew those on the underarmor, then use a fusible(uses just the iron) interfacing to make the pieces stiff and let the pieces be somewhat separate for when you move. Plus hook and eyes will be easier to remove if placement is wrong. The interfacing is to help stiffen the fabric.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 05:22:08 PM by Vayliya »
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Offline Trathor

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 02:06:23 PM »
Going to sticky.

Also, adding link to the mature section, since while requested to post this, I do not want to offend anyone:
Cosplay Cleavage Tutorial for Costumes that need Big Boobs
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Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 06:46:45 PM »
Added a Bobbin video.
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Offline Vayliya

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Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 05:35:37 PM »
Wigs
Where to Buy
Here are some of the websites I use for finding wigs:
I also use eBay and Amazon. Just try adding specific colors and the term "cosplay" and you should get mostly affordable wigs. Some of my wigs haven't broken $20 but they also come from China or Korea and there is nothing wrong with that. They still have pretty good wigs.


Styling
  • Preparation
    -Let your wig breathe for a day. Just take it out of the package and set it on a wig stand. A lot of minor imperfections will fix themselves via the weight of the wig. You can also wash your wig. Do this in a sink and gently wash in a little shampoo and rinse it out.
  • Combing
    -This is probably most controversial but it IS ok to brush a wig. Just when brush pretend it is a little child, you wouldn't go ripping through a kid's hair so don't go ripping through your wigs. Be gentle and start at the bottom and delicately work your way up. If you have to get forceful with your wig, grab a the chunk you need to brush and hold it tight while you brush so as not to pull out too much of the wig.
  • Heat and Styling
    -Read your wig instructions carefully. Some wigs are high heat and some are not. Generally don't dry a wig with a hair dryer unless you have to but this can be useful for styling. The same can be said for curling irons and flat irons.
    -To keep your style you can use the old Aquanet hairspray. For more stiff styles, e.g. Cloud Strife, Ichigo Kurosaki, you can use Elmer's glue. That's right plain old white Elmer's Glue. It will hole whatever shape you make and it will wash right out for storage and restyling.
  • Cutting
    -Much like dyeing later in this post, there is no coming back from cutting the wig. Most of the time you can find wigs in the right length but if not grab a slightly longer wig and begin to trim. Keep in mind cut a little longer than you need and slowly work your way up. You can always take more away than add it back.
Dyeing
You can dye a wig but first things first "Remember there is no going back." This process only works one way, you can dye darker but not lighter.
The best dye method is to buy Acrylic Ink (not India Ink) and mix it with 8oz of Rubbing Alcohol. Keep adding dye until color you want. Get your wig on a stick or a broom and be outside. Wear clothes you don't care about because this is messy. Have your dye mixture in a spray bottle and go at the wig. Once it looks right, rinse off the excess and let it dry.
Here is a good pic from the internet of a before and after. I just dyed my Elizabeth wig darker.


For total step by step I recommend - http://arda-wigs.com/blogs/tutorials/6270626-how-to-dye-wigs-with-fw-ink

Invaluable Tools
First tool:

The wig head! This is how you will style and adjust because you will secure it with T pins.


Next tool is a Wig Head Stand

This will keep your wig from moving while you work. Secret: all the styrofoam heads have holes at the bottom for the wig stand :)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 06:19:18 PM by Vayliya »
fairy blue, for you i destroyed the stars and hung up a black paper moon

Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2014, 11:20:50 AM »
This is very helpful! Thanks and keep it coming!!

Re: Simple Cosplay Advice
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2014, 11:41:05 AM »
Do you have any advice as to how to affix or carry my dragons? I'm working on my Daenerys Targaryen costume and want to "carry" my 3 dragons around but cannot figure out how to carry them around in a way that isn't terribly cumbersome. Do you have any suggestions for me?