As I've started buying pieces to put together for my Jyn Erso cosplay, that I'm wearing in May, I've realized that even though I've tried to keep up this fun little hobby of mine, I'm still not at all the best at it. However, that doesn't mean I don't have fun with it or that the skills I have are bad ones. If you are ever thinking of taking up cosplay, I definitely think that you should because it is so exciting and satisfying.
If you are debating starting this hobby here are some tips that I have used to make my cosplays be the best they can be and I think you could find them quite helpful as well.
1. Remember just because you don't look like the character doesn't mean you can't cosplay them.
Here's Karen Gillan as Amy Pond.
Here's me in my cosplay for this character
Obviously we aren't twins. Remember that cosplay is more about embracing your love of the character and the show they came from. Don't focus on how you don't look like the character, focus more on how awesome the cosplay you are going to make of that character is going to be.
2. See how others may have interpreted your cosplay.
Odds are you if you are doing a popular character, others have probably done it as well. Look for anything unique they might have done with their cosplay that you might want to add to yours. Also don't be afraid to ask them questions if you can.
3. For your first cosplay, stick to your comfort zone.
I'm not doubting anybodies skills but if you are completely new to the cosplay game and have never touched a sewing machine, possibly find a character that has a simpler cosplay to put together. You don't want to get frustrated on your first try. It's a cliche thing to say but if you want to get better, practice practice practice!
4. Really observe what you are working on.
Sometimes the camera doesn't get every angle of the cosplay. Make sure you do your research so you know you can have every piece of the cosplay covered. Looking up concept art of the costume really helps as well.
Example: Here is the Rey concept art for her scavenger outfit in "The Force Awakens"
5. Thrift stores are your best friend.
Purchasing pieces for a cosplay can be a simpler way of putting the whole thing together but your local thrift store can be so much for beneficial if you use your imagination with some of the clothes you find.
6. Don't forget about the minor details that make your cosplay so special.
Here's Kaylee's costume from the tv show "Firefly"
It's a simple outfit of a green jumpsuit with a flower shirt. However, it's her special patches (the teddy bear, heart, blue flower) that I think really identifies that outfit as hers. Adding small things like these really make the costume and make it seem even more authentic.
(my toes also made a appearance in this photo)
7. Make a pros and cons for including props.
Would it be cool to have massive wings to look like Tinkerbell? Yes! Just remember that you have to maneuver around places with them on.
8. Always have scissors, needle, and thread on hand when working.
Honestly these are the only sewing utensils I use when putting things together!
9. No thread? Dental floss works too!
It worked perfectly for when my mom sewed on my girl scout patches and it works perfectly with cosplay.
10. Make sure to take some time out of your day.
Don't get frustrated about how long your cosplay is taking. Make sure that if you are going to work on anything that you have an allotted amount of time to work on it, while remembering to take breaks.