Cosplay FAQ____________________

The Basics_____________________
#1. What is cosplay, anyway?
#2. When/How did you start cosplaying?
#3. Will you make me an [Insert Character's Name Here] costume?
#4. Are you that girl from Newtype?
#5. Who is your biggest Cosplay influence?

Construction Techniques_____________________
#6. How did you make Dejiko's bells?
#7. How did you make Dejiko's feet?
#8. How do you make your skirts so poofy?
#9. What tips would you give to a beginner cosplayer?

The Basics_____________________

#1. What is Cosplay?
Cosplay is a word from Japan. In Japanese, they love to combine words to make new ones. In the case of cosplay, it was costume+play = Cosplay! At first, cosplay referred specifically to dressing up as characters from anime, comic books, and video games; usually for Japanese comicons and such. Eventually, this phenomena crossed the ocean and made it to the USA, where fans also began "cosplaying". Nowadays, the word "cosplay" refers to more than just anime and game costuming, but Lolita, Jrock and other styles of dress. Also, just wearing your Halloween costume can be cosplay! If it's a costume, and you're having fun wearing it, then you're cosplaying! We've all probably cosplayed before, and I hope I never have to stop!

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#2. When/How did you start cosplaying?
I've always liked sewing, and I've always loved playing dress-up, so cosplay was a natural outgrowth of the things that I enjoy. You can read more about it in the "About Me" section.

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#3. Will you make me an [inster character's name here] costume?
I'm sorry, I'm not currently accepting commissions. This may change though. Also, I'd be happy to lend you advice and tips via email or AIM. I love to help and spread sewing knowledge. :) I may indeed make commissioned costumes eventually, I'd be more open to doing small pieces, like crinnolines or hats or something, drop me a note and we'll talk. ^_^

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#4. Are you that girl from Newtype?

Yes, thanks for noticing. ^_^

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#5. Who is your biggest cosplay influence?

By far, my biggest influence is Pare Ideal, a Japanese cosplay shop that has stunningly beautiful costumes. I've studied what I like about their costumes and tried to put some of it into my work. There are also several other cosplayers in the USA whose work I am quite fond of, of course. ^_^

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Construction Techniques_____________________

#6. How did you make Dejiko's bells?
This is the most common question I get. And... it's a secret! I'll tell you if you find me at a convention. Otherwise, you'll have to think of your own ideas! I will tell you though that they came from K-Mart and they were 25 cents!

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#7. How did you make Dejiko's feet?
I get asked this question a lot, too. For Dejiko's feet, I used cheap slippers from Wal-Mart as a base. The slipper was sturdy, large, and covered about half my foot, but not my heel (they were slip ons, but had a signifigant sole). Then, I made a rough foot-shaped pattern, first out of paper, and then out of muslin. I practiced with the muslin for several attempts before I got the look I wanted. Then, I used the muslin mock-up for a pattern for cutting out the fur. It was easy to sew the fur to the soft, terry-cloth slipper. The stitches disappeared in the fur and cloth. Lastly, I sewed straps on the inside of the slipper to keep them on my foot properly. They work really well! I've even been able to walk through rainy city streets in them without getting them dirty. They do tend to attract hotel-carpet-lint scum though, which is harder to get out than city dirt.

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#8. How did you make your skirts so poofy?
I get asked this all the time! I make my own crinnolines. It's not hard. Basically, I take tulle, and put it into ruffles. Then I sew it to a tulle base that is the same shape as the skirt, but a little shorter. Lastly, I add a waistband to the top. If it's not poofy enough, I sew on more layers of ruffles. I know this is a bad description. Hopefully soon I can add some instructional pictures, maybe when I move to my new server.

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#9. What tips would you tive to a beginner cosplayer?
Wow, that's a hard question, because I'm always full of advice to give. However, I would say.. start with something easy. Go to the store and buy a cheap and easy pattern, like pajamas or something. Find some cute fabric, usually they'll have anime prints like Pokemon, Hello Kitty and Yugi-oh! Construct it. If it comes out poorly, try again. Soon, you'll be ready to move on to something more complicated! I would recomend also getting a few books from the library about sewing and reading them. Learn how to use a sewing machine. Some places offer classes and sewing lessons. If you can, take them. Maybe your college has a class in sewing, too. If your mother or a friend or someone else you know can sew, ask them to show you! It's no embarassment to learn from someone else. If you're younger, there's a Girl-Scout badge for sewing! There are many places to learn... if you can take Home Ec, do it. Learn all you can and soon you'll be ready to take on any costume there is!

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