An Attempted Artist

Month: June 2020

How to Choose What to Cosplay

This is mainly a sewing blog, but because I show a lot of cosplay in my photos I wanted to make a post at the end about how I personally chose what I want to cosplay.

I have been cosplaying throughout the years, that much is pretty clear. The furthest back I can find is from 2013 and that was just a shirt and some sunglasses that started it all.

Dave Strider from Homestuck – 2013

That’s all it took. Something as easy as that sparked it all. I continued to cosplay because I enjoyed it, doing more things that were just ironed designed onto shirts until I started to really challenge myself! A few times I do think I thought I could do more than I actually could, and one of those times I decided to redo it later on and did much better! That character I tried to do was Star Butterfly, one of my favorite cosplays I’ve made.

Star Butterfly from Star Vs. The Forces of Evil

This was the character I chose to cosplay! In her Blood Moon Ball gown I was excited to look as amazing as one of my favorite characters from my favorite episode!.. Let’s just say that didn’t go too well for me.

What a difference!

One of these is from 2015 and the other is from 2017… Can you tell which is which? I still plan on remaking the one from 2017 again now that it’s been a few more years, but I’ve still been wearing that cosplay for some time now even though it’s over three years old.

So to the point of this blog post… What to choose and how do you know if it’s right for you?

First: You should be choosing what you’re interested in. When it comes to cosplaying you are meant to be doing whatever you want because there should be no limits! You want to cosplay from a videogame? Do it! Cartoon show? Sure! Drama? Yeah why not? I’ve seen a ton of Game of Thrones cosplayers and I don’t even watch the show but they were pretty darn cool! Choose the show you like and then choose the character you like from it!

Second: Like I said earlier, don’t try to over do yourself. Yes, you learn from your mistakes, but practice also makes perfect. If you want to do something super complicated then that should probably be your main focus to work up to. I once talked to a guy who worked over three months on making himself a prop for his cosplay and I was just amazed he stuck to it for that long!

Third: Research research research! I for sure didn’t do that enough then and I still don’t now! I should really practice what I preach here! Look up tutorials! Try and figure out what some things are called, I wish I knew about hoop skirts when I first made my Star cosplay because I’m sure just adding that would have made a whole world of difference for the end product! Look up cosplay tutorials too, I’m sure if I looked up how to make a Cinderella dress I could have figure out an easier way to make it.

Fourth: Use your imagination! While doing research IS a big part of cosplaying, you also have to use a lot of your imagination too! I didn’t used to do this, but now when I sew I have a book full (not really I started like last year) of my sketches on how the outfits go together. You have to take it apart and figure it out. The pony in my second picture is a character from that show called Princess Ponyhead, I saw the Halloween store had unicorn masks and it clicked in my head that if I painted those and put a stick up it, it would look EXACTLY like the character! Sometimes this also requires borrowing ideas from other cosplayers and making it your own, or even looking up tutorials that people may have put online. Again, the cosplay amino app is a good place to go for that sort of thing!

Fifth: Be creative. You don’t always have to cosplay exactly what the character is wearing. You can look up designs people may have drawn (and credit them) and do that instead. Sometimes this can make things harder and sometimes this can make things a lot easier.

Sixth: Look up the weather… I already overheat. I cannot wear long sleeved outfits anymore, even during the winter conventions. Plus there’s already a ton of people in sometimes small rooms, it’s just important to think about the season when it comes to choosing what character to be.

Seventh: Just have fun! I honestly can’t think of anything else to add. Cosplay is meant for you, so do what you want!

Me and My Bestie

One thing I wish I started doing sooner was matching cosplays with my friends. I started doing group cosplays last year and honestly it makes things so much more fun! We get to match and take pictures together because we are from the same video game or anime. On my Instagram you can see there are a few I’ve taken with friends, but I hope to do more in the future.

Onesies and Rompers

I personally don’t wear onesies because I overheat, I did one time for cosplay though! And it was super comfortable! I honestly wouldn’t mind trying to make one again now.

Now there is a onesie, something that you would imagine like a child wearing, and there are kigurumis, something that children could also wear but I often see them more personalized towards adults. They are much baggier than a onesie. I can see a onesie being something you sleep in and a kigurumi being something you walk around the house in all day in quarantine or after work.

Dave Strider from Homestuck – 2014

Here is a list of Onsie Tutorials!

  • Crafty Amy has an older tutorial on youtube from 2013! With this she has you base the onesie off of your own sweatpants and sweatshirt.
  • Madebyaya has a very similar tutorial without words but this one includes a hood!
  • Withwendy has more of a kigurumi style, one that is more of a baggy version of a onesie.
  • Berriebarley has a cute Mike Wazoski tutorial, it’s much quicker than the other videos.
Medusa from Soul Eater – 2014

I never used to wear rompers, making that Medusa cosplay was probably the first time I ever wore one and it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I started wearing them again! Now I wear them all the time because honestly they are much more comfortable than most clothes.

Here is a list of Romper Tutorials!

  • The Craftpreneur gives a simple tutorial where all you do is trace your shirt and shorts- which is honestly all a romper is.
  • Jamie-Kay also has a quick video, they have the pattern in a different video though which is probably why it is a quick one.
  • WithWendy has a romper tutorial as well! The more I blog the more I’ve noticed her on YouTube.
  • Jonyae has an interesting tutorial where they actually turn a baggy shirt into a romper.

It’s a bit hard to find differences in videos with these two types of sewing themes, most of them are basically the same or have very similar methods. With almost everything fashion and sewing, of course there are always different looks and with that it requires a lot of research to be done!

Making Dresses

Me? Sewing something that isn’t for cosplay? Shocker!

Prom 2016

At this point in my life I hated dress shopping. I didn’t weigh as much as I do now but they still didn’t make many pretty dresses in my size. Most of the girls my size had also already bought all those dresses and claimed them on the prom dress Facebook page so I decided to make my own!

Prom wasn’t all that special to me. I wasn’t dating anyone, most of my guy friends went with their girlfriends, and I didn’t really see a reason as to why I should doll up all that much and spend hundreds of dollars on a dress. So I made my own… In like, a day and a half.

I’m still very proud of how this dress turned out though. The photo my mom took is a very unflattering angle for the dress but nonetheless no one at prom had as unique a dress as I did!

Miraculous Ladybug – 2019

When making dresses I sort of eyeball it. I think once I watched enough tutorials I kind of just started doing my own thing- again, probably not the smartest idea. I think though after making this blog and trying to link tutorials for beginners I might actually start trying what they do.

Star Butterfly – 2017

How To Sew A Dress

Just like all the other blog posts, I have to say this. There are so many different types of dresses that if you want to make one you should probably do some research beforehand and figure out what type you want to make!

Photo from 123rf
  • Michara Tewers– I have shared her before! She is honestly one of my favorite YouTubers and probably one of the two cosplayers on YouTube that I watch frequently. She often makes dresses and “gives tutorials” but she does everything sped up so you don’t really know what she’s doing unless you’ve sewn something like that before. Nonetheless, she’s entertaining and she loves to recreate dresses like Ariana Grande’s dress. (I would also like to add that when you type into YouTube how to make a dress she shows up as well.)
  • Coolirpa has a tutorial about making a dress without a dress-form! It’s horrible of me, but I sort of forgot that most people don’t own dress-forms.
  • Jessica Shaw has a cute tutorial about making a dress from scratch. It’s a simple dress, nothing too flashy so it’s a good starter if you’re new to sewing.
  • Kara Metta has a tutorial where you make your own pattern and my mind is blown. She used wrapping paper to make the pattern, I have never thought of that or heard of that. I only knew of pattern paper and people using newspaper!
  • Rosery Apparel gives you a free pattern that you can download which is very nice of them to do.
  • Sew Aldo shows how to make a skirt into a dress which these types of things are always interesting and are such good life hacks.

Blog Connecting

“It’s the hobby that continues to give for as long as you sew.”

Is a quote from sewmuchfunsewingclass that really spoke out to me. They make many good points about why learning to sew is important! From wanting to save on money by making your own clothes to learning a life skill! This blog may be from 2016 but they make good points on why you and children should learn how to sew. Here is another quote they wrote that really spoke out to me and makes me wish I learned how to sew even younger than I did.

“They develop finger dexterity and fine motor skills, build their self-confidence, learn problem solving, patience and perseverance and also have a social creative outlet for meeting with friends.”

When looking up why sewing is important to learn, a lot of blogs bring up the same ideas- you can mend things, you can create gifts, it helps you save money, and helps you with finger dexterity and be able to work with small objects. Theinspiredwist also gives off a list just like that.

I would also like to connect sewing with cosplay, since that is what my blog often refers to whenever I talk about sewing certain pieces of clothing.

“While Cosplay sewing does involve garment sewing skills, it’s more costume oriented – which  means you may not have to spend as much time on the finishing details and fussing over fit. The main driver of the time, attention and care given to garment construction, fit and embellishment will largely depend on how many times you plan to wear the costume.”

This is a quote from cometitchwithme, who may be making a post about their cosplay classes but at the same time they are right! They talk about the fact that people are getting more into things like cosplay these days, especially teenagers. This is a good thing! Fussing over details and trying hard to make something look accurate.

I have linked a few other cosplayers that I have found inspiring here on wordpress in the Other Sewing Bloggers tab on the navigation and I recommend you checking them out!

Sewing Skirts

I’ve found so far that skirts are pretty fun! Personally I don’t wear them often, but a lot of characters from video games and television shows do!

Most of the time you don’t have to sew a skirt, they are an item sold quite often in the Summer and again, can be found easily in Good Will or so on, especially if you’re looking for odd patterns.

Mina Ashido from Boku no Hero Academia- a 2018 cosplay

Most of the time I just make circle skirts, such as this one and one I showed in a previous post in my Nora from RWBY cosplay. Circle skirts are quick and easy, or at least I think, because it’s literally just a circle pattern you cut out. This video by Annika Victoria is the video I always follow when I want to make a circle skirt.

An image I found on Pinterest

Fun Fact, I used a circle skirt pattern for the cape on my Wirt cosplay, so they aren’t just for skirts! Being creative sure is fun!

Wirt from Over The Garden Wall in my 2015 cosplay- still one of my favorite cosplays

However, there are other types of skirts, so many that when I look up different types of skirts, there are pictures that claim to have all the types but so do other posts that have types the other picture didn’t have and so on!

PopOptiq has a list of different skirt types, many I have never heard of and wish to some day sew myself!

Picture taken from PopOptic

Other Easy Skirt Types

  • Bluprint has an easy skirt tutorial, you need to buy the pattern, but it’s called a rae skirt so if you really like it I suggest to do some digging if you want it for free.
  • Fabricdotcom just has an easy skirt tutorial, just using two pieces of fabric you sew together along with an elastic for the waist.
  • MADE Everyday has a good tutorial on how to add pockets into your skirt- which is very nice and something that I want to do more often!
  • Angela Clayton makes a rectangle skirt which I’ve made in the past but haven’t attempted again in a while. I really like the look of them
  • Joyfully makes a gathered skirt tutorial, something I have done similar to in the past back when I didn’t even attempt to watch tutorials and just went for it like a fool! I recommend watching videos and just getting practice.

So I’m not listing all the types of skirts, these are just ones I thought would be easy to start out with. If you have other skirts you want to try I recommend looking at the list and looking those up specifically or maybe when Joanns opens up again go look at the pattern books they have and purchase a pattern!

Sewing Pants

Pants… are not for me. I never really see a reason to make them when sewing when you can easily go to the dollar store and find some wacky pants there.

2014 Heinoustuck Dave Strider

Even in this cosplay I made in 2014 wasn’t even me making the pants. I had to go out and buy two different colored pants and sew them together! Even that was hard! I was actually thinking about it the other night and debating on if I just wanted to make some two colored shorts just for fun some time though, it had sucked but around 2012 was when I first got into cosplay, so at 2014 I wasn’t very good at sewing yet and had just gotten my sewing machine!

Sadly 2014 was a year with bad cell phone quality. Most pictures I do have of myself in pants that I made are very blurry and I know there are some cosplays that I had made but during those years I was super self conscious about my body type and my lack of sewing experience that I never really had people take pictures of me to share online.

However, just because I do not like making pants does not mean I don’t want to learn how to!

Shorts!

I figured I should add these as well to this blog post because shorts are very similar to pants so why not?

  • Of course I had to add this DIY making shorts out of jeans tutorial in here. Amber Scholl posted this and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever made shorts from pants before. I have bought shorts and cut them up to make them look more like pirate themed but that’s about it
2019 Team Aqua Grunt from Pokemon (this was made in one night so excuse the bad paint job on the shirt and tights)
  • Sew Cutesy has a good making shorts tutorial, with this you can make a pattern so you will always have the pattern if you ever want to make more shorts!
  • The Polkadotter has a good tutorial as well, however there is no voice over which can sometimes be confusing, but you do end up with the basic type of easy sewing shorts.
  • Sew Aldo has a shorts tutorial with pockets! I know that when it comes to sewing I almost never add pockets and then regret it later.
  • Coolirpa has a high-waited shorts tutorial that also includes pockets and includes sewing buttons on for a little extra style to it.

Just like with shirts, there are many different styles with shorts and pants. These are just some of the easier ones so these are what I’m listing. If making pants or shorts is what you’re interested in I’m sure these tutorials and a little research of your own can help a lot! Especially if you’re looking for styles that I don’t include.

Pants!

  • Mattie Ice is a rookie at sewing so he says, but that just means anyone can make pants if they try! I found his video pretty funny because he ends up taking apart his own pants to make the pattern for these new ones. It’s not much of a tutorial, but still.
  • Kim Dave has a nice tutorial, she uses tracing paper so she can have the pattern for the future, don’t worry, you can just use newspaper! She gives a bit more details which can be helpful so the video is a little longer.
  • OnlineFabricStore.net has a cute tutorial on how to make pajama bottoms which is honestly very tempting now that I think about it. Maybe it will be my next project after Summer classes are over!
  • Evange is a 2010 tutorial. This is being posted here mainly for nostalgia reasons for I followed it when I made my Muffet cosplay that I sadly do not have pictures of. I just remember being so shocked by how comfortable they were and surprised they aren’t a trend now!

I think that pants are something I will dabble in after this Summer. It will make my cosplays feel more genuine and honestly making pajama bottoms could be pretty fun!

Sewing Sleeves

This is going to be a post about shirts in general, or tank tops, but sewing sleeves sounded nicer.

I can make tank top straps pretty easily, it’s not hard. You can even do it with ribbon if you wanted to make everything even easier! I know I have done that before. However, I find this is one of the hardest parts of clothes. This is where the weight lies on your shoulders. With this weight, seams can rip, and with ripping means all that hard work you put in has to be redone.

This dress is still not finished and I don’t know if I will ever finish it oops, sorry spots

This dress based off the superhero costume from Miraculous Ladybug was very fun and simple to make, however, the straps constantly need to be fixed! Time and time again they break and I still haven’t figured out the best way- but this is something to always expect when making your own clothes! Sometimes tings break! Heck! This happens even when you didn’t make the clothes!

I have to admit though, I’m sure a lot of my downfall comes to when I don’t end up looking for tutorials. Most of the time I can make something look correct, but may not feel correct. I tend to just eyeball how other jackets or shirts look and go along with it or eyeball a pattern I see on Google

Yuri’s jacket from Yuri On Ice

One thing I would like to mention before throwing some tutorials your way is that there are many different items of clothing that you can make. There are so many different types of styles out there that you can look up, but for this blog for now they will mainly be simple things!

Here is an easy T-Shirt tutorial by WithWendy, every tutorial will basically be the same as this when it comes to t-shirts so this is the only video I will link for t-shirts. WithWendy also has a lot of other nice tutorials so I recommend checking them out!

Happily Dressed shows how to make a jacket, which is very similar to making a shirt! They also show how they added lining into their jacket as well.

I’m also just going to share this sleeve tutorial by Professor Pincushion where they just give a tutorial on how to simply make a sleeve! I like this tutorial because they use two different colors to show you the difference between the sleeve and the shirt so it’s easier to see what’s going on.

Nora from RWBY

I would also like to add how to make a hoodie in here by Melly Sews, it’s a bit longer than these other videos but she goes over the steps very well.

One of the things I often make when it comes to sewing is making tubes. A tube is just when you sew one piece of fabric to itself. CandTPublishing shows how to turn those tubes right side out considering sometimes this isn’t the easiest task.

Zune’s Sewing Therapy I found funny because it’s a tank top tutorial but it’s for toddlers and the first thing they tell you is to go subscribe to them so you can get the pattern for free. However, it is a good tank top tutorial. Here is the cutout that they have posted on their Pinterest though! I personally would just grab my own tanktop and trace it though so you can get your size.

Again, there are so many different styles of tank tops or jackets to make. I will probably make another blog to post about my personal preferences and how to make them like a sweetheart neckline or some that I haven’t made but would like to!

Sewing Buttons

I am making this a post because I personally had a hard time with buttons at first. I didn’t quite understand how tight they had to be against the fabric or how to correctly loop the needle through. It can still be a bit challenging, especially due to the fact that there are so many different types of buttons out there! Now let me also mention that I never looked up videos for sewing buttons, I sort of just assumed at first and figured it out myself.

One thing that I have noticed about these is when they start the thread they only do one knot. I personally do multiple because sometimes I pull the thread too hard and the knot will go right through the fabric! It’s not hard to do multiple though, it just takes up more time.

  • I had to choose this video! I just had to! The camera quality isn’t the best and it’s from 2011 but honestly it just cracked me up with the fact that the woman is using a giant button! This video is by Nicki Callahan!
  • This video got me. It’s a sewing video directed at men and honestly it’s very entertaining! It has very good camera angles and a good voice over! Now it’s said to be for men, but honestly it’s just a good sewing technique and I learned something from it so I recommend watching this video by Real Men Real Style – especially if you want to replace that button on your shirt sleeve.
  • This is the same button style but just another view from someone else on how to sew a button. This is from When Creativity Knocks and the host of it is a very sweet lady. Her introduction line is about how her kids friends don’t know how to sew! How could they? Anyways she gives a nice step by step tutorial too.

Something else I notice with the YouTube selections that are given when typing in Sewing Buttons is they are almost all the same type of button. I understand that those are the most common type of button, but there are others and I have had to sew those others before! There are fabric/shank buttons (which Sewing Bee Fabrics actually made a tutorial on how to make fabric buttons which I have never done before but seems fun! Treasurie does it as well!)

  • Treasurie shows you how to sew on multiple different buttons which is very nice! I definitely wish that when I started sewing I looked up how to sew buttons and different button types instead of just winging it, it would have made everything much easier!
  • Make It Coats has a tutorial as well, it feels a bit slower but I’m sure if you’re going along with it, this helps a lot! Again, I probably should have looked up sewing this type of button in my past because I see now it could have been much easier.

Sewing Stuffed Animals

This Little Baby Took Forever To Find!

This was how I got into sewing in the first place! I read a cute little (very long) webcomic called Homestuck that I don’t recommend reading unless you have a lot of time on your hands (over 8,000 pages oof) There was a stuffed animal in this comic that a lot of people loved and so did I, so I looked up a tutorial and started at it!

It Actually Became A Prop For A 2015 Cosplay Of Mine

I haven’t made too many other stuffed animals besides that, but it honestly helped me learn so quickly when it came to sewing I was very surprised! It also helped me to visualize things in three dimensions. It’s easy to look up how to sew something, so with a quick Google search I found 30 free patterns that should be easy enough if you follow the tutorials.

Most tutorials that you may see will most likely be pushed towards those who sew with a machine for it tends to be more secure and quicker to do. However I will say that you can still do those tutorials, it will just take longer with hand sewing and it will most likely teach you how to get better with sewing by hand!

This video by BudgetHobby shows how to sew basic stitches while also making a cute plush! There is also this very cute elephant sewing tutorial by Lia Griffith where she hand sews as well. I highly suggest looking up more tutorials, these can make great gifts as well as get you into a new hobby. It will also promote hand sewing and show how much love and effort you have put into it!

I am however biased for a sewing machine though. I do need to sew more often by hand, but when it comes to what I usually make which is cosplay, I would rather get it done faster than slower.

A cute stuffed animal that I want to do is this bat by BeeZeeArt, which on her channel it looks like she has a good chunk of other designs to do as well! Another cute design I wouldn’t mind trying is this cute cat by Let’s Make It Together! Again, I recommend looking up more designs on your own time, I don’t know what people may like to sew for stuffed animals and I’m still discovering for myself.

Image from https://unsplash.com/

One last thing I would like to mention is fabric. Felt and fleece is what I often use, I’m sure you could use cotton and so on, but a warning would be is that stretchy and fluffy fabrics may be a bit more difficult to use. Stretchy fabric is nice because it often tends to be soft, but it can warp the outcome of the stuffed animal at the end and it will require a lot more fluff and stronger stitches. Fluffy fabric is often hard to cut and it ends up being very thick to use. It leaves a lot of fluff everywhere as well so it’s just a general warning, I use it every so often and always forget the mess it makes every time.

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