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Do you make your cosplay or buy it?

#1 User is offline   The Phantom Tapper 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:31 AM

I just thought this would be an interesting topic. I know many people here are very talented and can sew a whole costume for ACen, while others don't have the time/money or aren't well versed in sewing. I am definitely that second part since my sewing skills are very limited. What I usually do is go to salvation army or some type of good will store, with friends, to find clothes that match the characters we will be cosplaying as. We then modify the clothes, I have a good friend who is much better at sewing and has a sewing machine as well. So we all pick a couple of days to help each other with our costumes and props: whether it be painting on fabric, sewing on more pieces, dying clothes etc.. So my question is, what do you do? Do you buy your costume online, make it all yourself, or modify different clothes?
ACen 2011: Friday- Maka (Soul Eater) Saturday- Belle, yellow gown (Beauty and the Beast) Sunday- Katara or Maka
ACen 2012: Saturday- Nice Holystone (Baccano) Sunday- Mario

ACen 2013: Friday: Yuki Cross white uniform (Vampire Knight) Saturday: Yuki Cross white uniform, Saturday evening: Nice Holystone? Sunday: Yuki Cross white uniform
ACen 2014: Saturday: Sophie Hatter (Howl's Moving Castle) Sunday: Sophie Hatter

#2 User is offline   myrla 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:34 AM

I do both. I will sometimes make things from scratch. I deconstructed my Rose shirt from a 4XL to a Lish because of the colour that it is. I bought my Abby Coat at Goodwill rather than make it because it was cheaper. A LOT of my cosplay items are items I wear in normal life.

But, for example, I bought my Luna Lovegood coat from Alivan's for $85 including shipping. Very large, very heavy, fully lined, with hood. It would have cost me more to make it. if my ROI is cheaper if I make it - and i can - then I will. :)
ACen 2013: Panel denied. Not attending.

ACen 2012 Cosplay: Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw Rose (Friday) | Firefly: Inara (Saturday) | Lolita (Sunday)
Panelist: Final Fantasy MMORPG

ACen 2011 Cosplay:
Tooth and Claw Rose (Doctor Who) | Miwako (Paradise Kiss) | Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)
Panelist: Final Fantasy MMORPG

#3 User is offline   Ash Anesthetic 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:05 AM

Same here! I do both. My whole cosplay group does both, actually. For example, we had thought about just buying some matching blue suits and then sewing on the badges ourselves for our Ouran cosplays, but in the end, we found a better deal online that also came with the tie and undershirt. It always kinda depends on if we CAN even make it. I couldn't of made that blazer by scratch.

However, we made our Powerpuff Girls stuff [including my Octie!] by hand. I've made my Cheshire from Pandora Hearts, Rika from Higurashi, and Pichu gijinka by hand. Otherwise I've modified by buying pieces here and there. Technically, the dresses that my Freya and I are using for our Chobits cosplay aren't their real dresses, but they match and look cute and definitely work for them. Same goes for wigs in this category. I always end up styling them myself.

No idea what I'm going to do about my Chrome cosplay, though. TT_TT She's going to be a bit pricey if I buy everything online.
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2013 List:
Hani [OHSHC], Fionna [AT], Chii [Chobits]


Goal: ACHEIVED AS OF ACen 2012! GOT A PIGGYBACK RIDE FROM TRAVIS WILLINGHAM AS HANI! <33 AND CAN ALSO ADD THE HUG AND KISS FROM VIC ON THE LIST!

#4 User is offline   The Forumcat 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:01 AM

I do both! Well, I've never bought a cosplay as a cosplay, but I've bought clothes for them! Sometimes that's just easier, especially with Death Note characters, who just wear recogniseable street clothes.
My Misa Amane costume came entirely out of my school wardrobe. I was actually mildly concerned about the fact that I didn't have to buy anything for it.

By contrast, I've made my MEIKO cosplay and my Bastion of Winalils cosplay is in progress.
My best friend and I are fairly crafty. She much more so. She can make anything she puts her mind to except pants. I can make pants. My main thing that I do and she can't is sew. She can sew by hand, but I have a neater hand stitch and I can use a sewing machine.

I'm actually thinking that I'm going to wind up commissioning my next cosplay from a seamstress I know. I think that would be cool to try out. Maybe I'll even like going that route more!

Are you a deadman?
Deadman Wonderland Photoshoot 2012

We have candy...

COSPLAYS 2011-2012
ACEN XV: Mockingbird (Deadman Wonderland [5%], VY2 (Vocaloid) [15%]
SoyCon 5: Utatane Piko Love is War ver. (Vocaloid) [0%]
Hallowe'en 2012: Joker (Kuroshitsuji)[0%]
Miscellaneous: Drocell Keinz (Kuroshitsuji) [25%]

#5 User is offline   Naoya Toudou 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:05 AM

i would try making my own or modifying existing clothes but no time and certainly no sewing skills lol so i buy my costumes. ^^

#6 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

Depends on what I am cosplaying.

Things like Rolling girl Miku I can just go to the thrift store but Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon? I have to get it commissioned.

Sadly I get a lot of stuff commissioned that's on the high end ._. I wish there was a cheaper solution than, "not do it."
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


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#7 User is offline   BreBre716 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:31 AM

Out of the cosplays I've done I've made it. But i usually just try and find stuff in my closest close to what Im trying to wear for a con and buy a wig and a few extra little things and I've made 1 out of 2 weapons I'll have for this year. This is my second Acen but 4th convention and I think I've gotten a bit better with my cosplay ability but I'm not really crafty so my stuff isn't anywhere near TOP-NOTCH but people know who i am so that's good enough for me for now until I get a job and am able to buy certain outfits because let's be real here. Not everyone has the ability nor the funds to make certain game/tv show/anime outfits from scratch .. like Sora of Kingdom Hearts or Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII just to name a few.
ACen 2014 COSPLAY

Minako Arisato/FemMC : Persona 3
100%
Misato Katusragi: Neon Genesis Evangelion 100%
Tidus 97%

#8 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:18 AM

I've done all of those xD I've had cosplay where I simply buy the clothing or borrow from friends, some where I'll buy certain pieces to modify, and others completely from scratch. I've comissioned only one, and it was for one of my first cosplays and I wanted it to look great, unlike my other good-will pieced together cosplays haha. But comissioning is out of my price range and just not as rewarding. And then there's the Princess Peach cosplay I got from Hot Topic for 15 bucks after Halloween lol.

But I enjoy making my own cosplay the most out of any of those options. It gives me the biggest challenge and forces me to think creatively for some pieces. And it's WAY more rewarding when someone's in love with your cosplay and you made it all by yourself ^^
ACen 2014 Schedule
Friday: Meloetta [Pokemon]
Saturday: Umi Ryuuzaki [Magic Knight Rayearth]
Sunday: Sytry Cartwright Demon Attire [Devils and Realist]

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#9 User is offline   Skylerrelyks 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

I bought my cosplays for Orihime (1st Acen) and Meirin (2nd Acen/this one) because I didn't have the time or the skill to make either of them. For Yoruichi I just bought a shirt and modified it, some leggings and my friend is making my accessories. Next year I hope to make all of my outfits by myself. :3
2014:
Ulquiorra (Bleach)
Tiana (Princess and the Frog)
Pot of Fire (Soul Eater)

#10 User is offline   The Phantom Tapper 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

Wow, everyone sounds so talented, but generally has the same idea by being creative but also staying on the cheaper side.

View PostBreBre716, on 23 April 2012 - 09:31 AM, said:

Out of the cosplays I've done I've made it. But i usually just try and find stuff in my closest close to what Im trying to wear for a con and buy a wig and a few extra little things and I've made 1 out of 2 weapons I'll have for this year.

^^ This I do a ton as well. It most definitely helps if you already have stuff in your closet.


View PostWashu Takahashi, on 23 April 2012 - 10:18 AM, said:


But I enjoy making my own cosplay the most out of any of those options. It gives me the biggest challenge and forces me to think creatively for some pieces. And it's WAY more rewarding when someone's in love with your cosplay and you made it all by yourself ^^

I absolutely agree with you on this part. You always feel a jolt of happiness when someone notices all the sweat and blood you've put into your cosplay.
ACen 2011: Friday- Maka (Soul Eater) Saturday- Belle, yellow gown (Beauty and the Beast) Sunday- Katara or Maka
ACen 2012: Saturday- Nice Holystone (Baccano) Sunday- Mario

ACen 2013: Friday: Yuki Cross white uniform (Vampire Knight) Saturday: Yuki Cross white uniform, Saturday evening: Nice Holystone? Sunday: Yuki Cross white uniform
ACen 2014: Saturday: Sophie Hatter (Howl's Moving Castle) Sunday: Sophie Hatter

#11 User is offline   Closet Gaara 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:08 PM

I bought most of my cosplays, but I've always homemade the props myself. I'm making shoes this year, as well, and doing a bit harder makeup. :)
Cosplay for ACen 2013: Eridan Ampora: 25% completion

ACen 2009: Sabaku no Gaara, Sakura Haruno (Naruto)
ACen 2010: Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club), Sabaku no Gaara (Naruto), School Girl
ACen 2011: Kurama (Kamisama Kiss), Catgirl, Sabaku no Gaara (Naruto)
ACen 2012: Sabaku no Gaara (Naruto)

#12 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:26 PM

I do both. Most of my costumes are sewn by me, however there are some that I spent to get comissioned/purchased. Mostly because they are a material or style that I cannot replicate properly. My Rikkai Dai uniform it purchased because I could not faithfully reproduce the logos. My WWI uniform is also purchased, because the company makes perfect reproductions that are made to my specific measurments. There would be no way I could ever make anything like that. But mostly, I do like making my own.
2014 ---
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Mink - DMMD
Reborn - KHR

#13 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

I've done a little bit of everything, from buying a premade cosplay to making everything by hand. When I started cosplaying I was god awful at sewing and I have greatly improved by then and am very happy with successfully sewing things that haven't fallen apart! :D Both have their ups and downs. I wouldn't buy a pre-made cosplay ever again and I don't think I will make a cosplay completely by hand again. Even though both turned out great, I prefer making the ones that are a little bit of both which can cost less and still have the unique flair to hand made cosplays. I try to find articles of clothing that pretty much match the outfits and I alter them and I find that this is the best way, for me at least. ^.^ I usually try to make all of the accessories by hand.
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#14 User is offline   Ashori 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

For me, I tend to edit and create my own cosplays. I tend to do different forms of characters that otherwise don't exist (such as Akatsuki Sakura Haruno) or aren't mainstream enough to be able to find specific and cost-effective costumes for (such as Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations Princess Sakura or Glass Mask's Maya Kitajima), so I often have to make my own.

Thankfully, second-hand stores, employee discount and clearance racks at work, and the 50%-75% clearances after Halloween tends to be my best friends. XD Plus, I have friends that sometimes help out by giving me old fabrics and such they don't want or need to help me out.
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#15 User is offline   sithmuffin 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:22 PM

Well I'm still new to cosplay, but I can't sew at all. Everything is bought, or at least the base is bought and then I add things on.
ACen 2014 cosplays:
Espeon (updated)
Harley Quinn (hopefully updated)

#16 User is offline   nouseforaname 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

I always make it. I'd rather mess up on something myself than pay someone to accidently mess up and be upset at them.
Mighta been a time when I loved her too but you take that away, you always been the one.

ACen cosplay 2012:
Bioshock - Sander Cohen
Fullmetal Alchemist - Greedling

#17 User is offline   Cartwight 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

I've tried buying from commissioners/ebay, but their vision never quite matches my vision, and I get disappointed.

So now I make most things myself.

I did go through a phase where I was like "MAKE EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH! SUCH IS THE TRUE COSPLAY SOUL!" and then someone told me it was stupid to reinvent the wheel, when you can buy something for cheaper. Like collared dress shirts. Sure, I COULD make it... or I could spend $4 at the thrift store.

But most of the things I want to do aren't things you can alter from thrift stores, and I'm an impatient woman who hates shopping. So if it's something easy, like a pleated skirt, then I'll make it, or if it's something weird, like an FMA uniform, I'll make it, but if it's a wardrobe staple, I buy it. (And then if I can't find it in the first 3 places I check, I just make it anyway.)

And I try to make other people cut the bangs on my wigs, cuz I hate doing that.
2012 Costumes:
Kiyoshi Warrior Ty Lee - Avatar: TLA; Rin - Fate/Stay Night

#18 User is offline   A True Elsewhere 

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:54 AM

I have never bought a cosplay, ever. Unless thrifting counts? I don't think it does, because even then I modify things.

I choose simpler cosplays because I know my own limits with the sewing machine. When it comes down to it, I just can't afford to spend about $100 on one outfit - especially if it's an outfit I can make myself, like, say, a schoolgirl-type outfit.

Heck, I can't afford to go to ACen, either, so it's more out of necessity than anything else. xD That being said, though, I sometimes feel a little sad that I can't do a "dream cosplay" because I don't have the means to create it. D:
ACen '07 Cosplay: Mamimi from FLCL
ACen '08 Cosplay: Akari-chan from Aria the Animation
ACen '09 Cosplay: Mithos from Tales of Symphonia
ACen '10 Cosplay: Shinooka from Oofuri/Big Windup!
ACen '11 Cosplay: Ayase from No Money (Okane ga nai!)
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ACen '12 Cosplay: TinTin from 'The Adventures of TinTin'
ACen '13 Cosplay: Hibari from Senran Kagura

#19 User is offline   Kii 

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:11 PM

I bought a cosplay at my first convention, but I've made all of my other cosplays by hand.I'm not against buying them, I'm just kind of afraid of buying any clothes online. So I usually just start making my own costumes before the idea of buying them online even crosses my mind.
My last two cosplays have been mostly modifying existing clothes to look how I want them to. With Ramona Flowers I had to make her hammer and sew her purse, but everything else she wears I bought at a store or owned.My current character (Nami) wears jeans and a bikini top, so I just bought those and put my own designs on them.
All of the rest were dresses of some sort and were designed very specifically, so I made them from scratch. I honestly prefer to do it this way, as there's no compromising. (i.e. "Well this character has pockets here, but the pants I have don't...but it's the best I can do for now.")

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ACen 2013 Cosplay: LOL whatever I manage to throw together at this point...-_-;;

#20 User is offline   Mizu_Haku 

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

I like homemade cosplays the best. I've never bought a pre-made cosplay.

When I say made... I mean I cannot sew for anything. Usually a friend or my lovely mother does the sewing for me. I do make props and other things that I can make. I help whoever is sewing with little things like handing them pins and such and I pay for my fabric. I do get clothes from stores and modify them. For my Skrillex cosplay I just used clothes I had in my closet.

I just think homemade cosplays look the best. Even if they aren't perfect.

As for wigs, I've never bought a pre-styled wig, as in pre-styled for a cosplay. I'm no pro at styling hair, but I've styled a wig with a friend's help. And for my Korra cosplay this year, I am blessed enough to have a friend who just finished cosmetology school and is gonna help me (aka do all the work) style my wig for Korra :D
"I'M THE AVATAR, YOU'VE GOTTA DEAL WITH IT!" - Korra
~ACen 2013 Cosplays~
Korra ~ Avatar: Legend of Korra
Kiri the wolfdog ~ My fursona

#21 User is offline   Okugawa Jr The Swag Ninja 

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:15 PM

I do both. this year i made Mortal Kombat II reptiles klassic outfit from sratch. the only thing i bought was the ninja suit to wear underneath the tunic and the shin and arm guards. i just finished it today

here is the link to it from my facebook enjoy. hopefully you enjoy atleast i put alot of time into it http://www.facebook....&type=1
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#22 User is offline   PsychoSora 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

The only time I bought my costume was with Sora, and that was because I had NO idea, nor time to go about it. All the other times I prefer to make it, it also gives a nice little sense of accomplishment when someone compliments your costume, you can take that bit of pride knowing all your time and effort payed off :)

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#23 User is offline   Natsu Dragneel 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:56 AM

I have a few made from scratch, and I buy bits and pieces of others. My Natsu (Fairy Tail) and Death the Kid (Soul Eater) were hand made, about half of my Freid (Fairy Tail) was hand made, and none of my Ulquiorra (Bleach) was hand made xD

#24 User is offline   BreBre716 

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:05 AM

In all honesty I say just do whatever is best for you personally. if you like to buy cosplay or commision them, then do it . if you like to make them. then do it,. just don't dis someone else for buying a cosplay or not making a cosplay EXACTLY right. not everyone can afford to buy a cosplay or make everything exact. let's be real, anime/video game and animation etc...have complicated outfits sometimes. XD
ACen 2014 COSPLAY

Minako Arisato/FemMC : Persona 3
100%
Misato Katusragi: Neon Genesis Evangelion 100%
Tidus 97%

#25 User is offline   Tokoz 

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

I do handmade, except for little things that would be too difficult for me to fabricate, like tights and hose, things that I don't have the ability to make, like wigs and shoes, or things like belts and dress shirts, that are cheaper to just buy (though I usually end up modifying all those things, too). For everything else, if I don't know how to do it, the internet gives me a tutorial and I drive myself nuts for months puzzling it out! ;D

I know not everyone's my particular brand of crazy, though! There's nothing wrong with bought or commissioned costumes, or doing closet cosplay. :)

#26 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:24 PM

Some sewing, some buying, it all depends on the costume and the time I have. Since Acen was early this year I'm going to have more time to work so I intend to sew at least two of my costumes myself. And make several for friends, as long as we are still doing it. They may make there own, for all I know.
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#27 User is offline   chompzie 

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:56 PM

My mom is my seamstress. Any item we can't readily get from a retail store we find patterns/make patterns and sew from scratch.

I was going to cosplay Princess Bubblegum in her hoodie-jeans combo. For that I would have just bought all the pieces separately (since they are easily available real-world clothes items) instead of sewing them. So it depends on the piece, I guess? If it's like the costume my mom sewed this year (a dress for Lacus Clyne), the whole thing was done from scratch. The only thing store-bought was the Haro I carried around and the shoes I wore. If I were doing a schoolgirl cosplay or something I might just try to find the pieces separately at retail stores and if that was a bust, have them sewn.
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#28 User is offline   Criana 

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:21 PM

I do both as well. I'm still pretty new at sewing so I know what my limitations are. I tend to justify buying/commissioning a cosplay by creating some awesome props to go with it. But I think at the end of the day it just comes down to the best way for you to bring a character to life. :)

#29 User is offline   myrla 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:40 AM

Sometimes I can make things better than I can find (Deconstructed one shirt from a 4xl to a L, because it's the exact color). However, with something like my Inara, I commissioned the jewelry and then bought the dress, because I couldn't make one better. :)
ACen 2013: Panel denied. Not attending.

ACen 2012 Cosplay: Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw Rose (Friday) | Firefly: Inara (Saturday) | Lolita (Sunday)
Panelist: Final Fantasy MMORPG

ACen 2011 Cosplay:
Tooth and Claw Rose (Doctor Who) | Miwako (Paradise Kiss) | Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)
Panelist: Final Fantasy MMORPG

#30 User is offline   Gwydion 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:02 AM

I either make the costume from scratch or buy and alter stuff from the thrift store, usually a mixture of both in the same costume. I generally don't make pants/leggings/etc or shoes, but every once in a while the costume will require something you simply can't find in stores (like movie Dilandau's pants or toothpaste Sana's blue slipper shoes), and I'll make the pieces myself.

There are a few things others made for me, though: Dilandau and Folken's sword and Bossun's pins. Oh, and my mom helped sew things for me back in the day like Ed and Miss All Sunday's coats, lol. I think that's it, though. Hey, never a bad thing to have outside help when you need it! ^_^
Cosplay 2013:
Friday: Tsubaki (Sket Dance)
Saturday: Prince Alexander (King's Quest VI)
Sunday: uh, TMNT geek, lol

See you in the Alley! ^_^
Tenkuu no Chibi

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