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Do you make your cosplay or buy it?

#31 User is offline   slrphebos 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:23 PM

I will do both depending on the piece. If I can find a shirt that is close enough to what I'm doing and modify it to my needs for less than the cost of making it heck yeah I'll buy it. Now that being said since I hunt for fabric on a year round basis very few items end up meeting that. I hunt around at low cost stores (Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Goodwill) to see what I can find. It also depends on the amount of time I have. for example this year it was the Tuesday of the same week of Acen and I needed a plain black skirt for an outfit and I bought one at Lane Bryant for a pretty penny, but I was out of time and sick of looking around for something so basic. I am proud to say that my Fluttershy Lolita outfit was 85% made by me and my sewing machine. Already planning 2013 so I have enough time and don't run out again.
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#32 User is offline   Saikyo_Master 

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

I can't sew worth anything, so I usually buy different pieces of clothing or items and edit the crap out of them. As long as it doesn't require a needle and thread. However, if it's something really elaborate or authentic that I couldn't do myself, I'd buy the whole thing and try to work with it.
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ACen 2014 Cosplay

Genderbent Edward (Cowboy Bebop)

#33 User is offline   Aya_Rei 

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:49 PM

Due to my height (just under 5'3) proportions, and an abhorrenceof cheap materials... Majority of my cosplays I've sewn myself or have friendshelp me with some pieces. The only things I buy for my cosplays are the wigs,contacts if needed for whatever character and prop guns. A custom fit displays amore authentic take / interpretation of the character. It comes across betterin my opinion when someone invests the time to create a cosplay versus buyingit.

Cosplay Plans for 2012
  • Bleach - Shihōin Yoruichi 2nd Division Captain
  • FF VII AC - Tifa Lockhart
  • xxxHOLiC - Yūko Ichihara
  • Evangelion - Mari Makinami Pilot of Unit-05

#34 User is offline   Wingypoo 

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:11 PM

i try to make my own but sometimes it's just easier for me to buy one (mainly because i decide to do a cosplay at the last minute).
The only one i've bought was a Miaka Yuki schoolgirl outfit because i didnt have the time to make it before the con. It was just one of those "Crap...too late to make it now" kind of moments lol.
If i do make my own i try to make a budget with it. This doesn't mean i cheap out, it just gives me a better guideline instead of just purchasing more than what i need. It really depends on what i'm making, though, and how much the materials will be. I really would prefer to make my own so i can gain the sewing experience.
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#35 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:28 AM

I always make mine, though I am not opposed to buying parts to modify or adapt for use in the costume or props. Hell, the hilt grip on my Master Sword was originally an ornate table leg transformed via sanding, drilling, painting and magic. Additionally, I have purchased a Captain Hook hat for its feather, to be salvaged for my FFXI Red Mage AF Warlock's Hat, and an old mid-1990s radio antenna might be sacrificed to make a collapsible/portable and shape-accurate Joyeuse (I already have an octopus plush to serve as the chibi Charybdis I claim from) rapier to go with my melee!mage attire and playstyle. (I think I'm just most excited that I'll finally be able to make proper, butt-covering pants for my Mithra, what with the hybrid slashslahsBOOM gear I've worked on combining/acquiring, haha). The Captain Hook hat might itself be salvaged and refabricated to be the Corsair's AF Tricorn hat, especially since I have the fabric and have been fiddling with modifying cardboard toilet paper rolls to manufacture a decent Hexagun (because lolnoMythicweaponformeeee) -- I've got the jacket & jacket pattern all good to go (god bless ebay and visual kei fashion).

TL;DR -- I create myself but an not afraid to be weird, bold, and shameless in what I transform into something legen-

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#36 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

Prior to getting my sewing machine, I did buy my cosplays and made a couple of closet ones.
Since I've gotten my sewing machine, I make most of mine though I do use completed pieces to make the process easier if it is possible.
I really like making them because I can feel like I know the costume better. It's like a part of me. Also, when I make it, if someone comments on it and says that they like it, I know that I can take the credit whether than just being a pretty model. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
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#37 User is offline   izumitastic 

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:07 AM

I do a lot of thrift store/closet cosplays along side ones I've made. Or I'll do a mix and make parts of a certain costumes and buy others. It depends on the costume and what resources I have available at the time, really.
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#38 User is offline   Agatha 

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

I always make mine! For me, most of the fun is in making it. I love looking at 2D artwork and figuring out how to transform it into a 3D garment, and solving all the little problems and trying to get every detail done just so. Because of that, I don't think I'd ever buy, because then I don't get the fun of doing all that.

I'm also extremely tall and oddly-shaped, so even if I wanted to buy it probably wouldn't end well. XD

#39 User is offline   CupcakeChaos13 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

i definitely do not have any sewing skills...this will be my first year cosplaying at a convention and i'm buying my costume....but i always dress up for Halloween and usually i just make the costumes with clothes i have already or clothes from a thrift store. like one year i went as batman and just wore my batman shirt with grey leggings and black cheer shorts over it, boots, and a cape i won at six flags...simple and i didn't have to spend extra money for it
ACen 2015 Cosplay:
(maybe) Sailor Moon

#40 User is offline   ☆ MV 

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

I do both. For the past two years I've either gotten stuff from the thrift store to alter, but when it came to my apron for Yu Narukami, I dyed and painted it (but I bought the original apron). This year I'm sewing a complete outfit and buying two others because they're basketball uniforms and I've not the faintest idea of how to do that the way they need to be done.
ACen 2017
--- -(Persona 5|Justine)-70%
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#41 User is offline   Santa Finland 

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:25 PM

I do both depending on a number of factors. Mainly skill level. I'm likely to buy a cosplay, if I feel I don't have the skills to make it. I do tend to make ones I feel are on my skill level.

On one occasion, I chose to commission a cosplay because it was cheaper than making it. Alois' kimono required a lot of fabric. Doing the math, it would cost $70 just for the red satin. A commissioner quoted $115 for the entire thing made of silk. So I took that offer and she made it really fast.
ACen 2015 Cosplays:
Haruka Nanase (Free! Iwatobi Swim Club) Chef
Aiichorou Nitori (Free! Iwatobi Swim Club) Maid
Annie Leonhardt (Attack on Titan) Regular and Formal
Absol (Pokemon) Gijinka
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#42 User is offline   Uchihacest97 

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:54 AM

I get slightly irked, as i'm sure do other cosplayers, when you have someone in a tailor bought ebay custom costume, but they are snobby or bitchy about it.
I don't personally like the idea of buying costumes, only in my head I kinda feel like its cheating, but I dont think there is anything wrong with it at all. But the thing that DOES bother me about them is when you have some 16 year old that would scraped money together for fabric and a halloween store wig and worked on it for months, and she gets laughed at and criticized because she looks like crap compared to the girl that bought all her crap off ebay.

Oh and one more thing. When they clam it as their own and you soooo know it isn't. lol A Naruto I ran into that bought his at Hot topic (remember a couple years back when they did that crap?) and was like, "yea, totally made this" Ummm, your tag is showing bro....
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#43 User is offline   wenchman 

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

i make my cosplays, but usually two A YEAR at maximum because i can't afford much more. i sometimes get tips and help from my girlfriend.
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#44 User is offline   kitsune red 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:25 AM

I started cosplaying because I have always wanted to wear clothes that looked like costums (Capes, long flowing skirts, etc,etc). So I dececided to develope a persona to attend cons that wears that look. I know that I can not construct some of these items so I buy them, others I find in thrift stores or on sale racks as mark downs. It helps to have uncommon taste in clothes.

#45 User is offline   kotomichi 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:43 AM

Ugh. I'd like to make my own costumes, but cannot due to time constraints. I think I do about 5 new costumes a year and pay about 500-600 every year for those costumes.
ACen 2013
Hunny Mitsukuni (Ouran), Toshiro Hitsugaya (Bleach), Conan Edogawa (Case Closed!), Ciel Phantomhive (Kuroshitsuji), Haku Ha (Naruto), Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)

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#46 User is offline   Cherry_Wolf 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

I mainly buy, but I'm going to attempt to sew a dress this year - maybe... I'm not very good with sewing and the fact I don't have a machine makes it harder as well. I really admire the people who make their own outfits though - It's incredible!
I tried changing my avatar and it said I needed permission? I've never had that problem before and I've been on this forum for many years, so what gives?

#47 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

I've made cosplays, or parts of them, for myself and others before. Some parts (such as suits for Turks) were bought at thrift stores and worn as-is. Others (like a skirt for Rena or a shirt for Ban) were bought at Goodwill and altered accordingly. Then there are those where I go all out and do it with my own blood, sweat, and tears. (Like Ginji's vest, or Shalua and Wall Market Cloud.) I'm all for trying out new things and seeing where my skills take me, but I also acknowledge the pieces that I know I won't be able to do myself.
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#48 User is offline   Tracykun 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

I think it really depends. If the cosplay I do is very simple and I can do it well, I will do it myself. But if it's too difficult or time consuming,, I will buy them.
And we can't always buy what we want, so sometimes I will make someone to do it for me. Of course I will pay certain money.

#49 User is offline   DJ Llij 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:21 AM

Always make, I graduated in fashion design so I find it good experience to make it. Sometimes though I'll do closet cosplays where I just heavy alter clothing. Never buy beyond small props like glasses or rings or wigs (duh, just gotta style em then)
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Rosario+Vampire - Mizore
Pokemon B&W - Elesa
MLP - Creeper Scootaloo
Vocaloid - Dark Wood Circus Miku
Panty and Stocking - Stocking
Bleach Hiyori
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#50 User is offline   WatchJessieGo 

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

I can do really simple hand-sewing and modification, but if it goes past my skill level, which it easily does, I'll commission the costume. I have an amazing commissioner, so I don't have to worry about getting scammed. XD
ACen 2016 cosplay:

Zombie apocalypse survivor Chibi Usa (Sailor Moon); fem!Honey (Ouran); Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyou); alpaca kigurumi

#51 User is offline   KusanagiRobin 

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:00 AM

I have SOME hand-sewing skills, so all I can do on my own is some alteration, but when it comes to props I can raid every Hobby Lobby/Joann/trash heap in a five-mile radius and slap together something decent. As for machine sewing and patterns and all that, I have a family member that I team up with. The only cosplay I commissioned (so far, anyway) was Robin Sena, mainly because it was my first con, I was away from home in college, and I was told about ACen on VERY short notice. Even then I had to get creative in the details: found her red trench at Burlington's, made her necklace, scrounged up some red ribbon and pipe cleaner for her pigtails, and had to find/sew some lace on the collar, which the commissioned person left out.

And personally, I don't make a big deal of one or the other. I just prefer making because it's a nice, creative hobby; there's something quite satisfying about making something with your bare hands.
ACen 2017 Cosplays:

Friday: Trainer May (Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire) :: Saturday: Tachikoma (Ghost in the Shell: SAC)

#52 User is offline   Fantasia 

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:26 PM

I only buy if it's absolutely necessary, like buying a wig. I am mostly a maker, not a buyer.

Friday: Taiga Aisaka, Toradora (100% done)
Saturday: Sugar, OFF by Mortis Ghost (90% done)
Sunday: Pink Lolita Coord (80% complete, will buy 20% at con)

#53 User is offline   Failure 

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:49 PM

I make my own most of the time, but if it's crunch time, and I get asked to join a group, I'll buy. Regardless, I end up editing a lot of myself anyway though.
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#54 User is offline   MomoKurumi 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

When I started out cosplaying, I didn't know a lick about sewing or how to use a machine, patterns, etc. so I bought my stuff online.

But then I got ripped off on a Miku cosplay so I started to learn how to sew because I thought I could do better. But nope, it was too advanced for me at the time. XD I had the vision, but not the skill.

These days though, I do almost exclusively hand made cosplays, unless I run into something that works perfectly, like the perfect red dress for Panty, or a perfect bikini for Stocking. Some of them are intentionally found-item, such as Kiyal from Gurren Lagann or Ed from Cowboy Bebop, because yes, I could totally make it from scratch, but what's the point if I'm not competing and it would look the same either way? When I make cosplays, it has to be because either it looks really fun to make, even if I think I could buy the exact same thing (which is rare), or because I simply can't find anything like it. I really do like making cosplays though, it takes an incredible amount of time, money, practice, screwing things up, and learning, but eventually you'll get to a point where nothing feels impossible to make. Then it's only a matter of time, money, and whether it looks fun to do!
ACen 2013 Cosplays:

Friday: Still debating, but probably Disney!
Saturday: Sheryl Nome (cowgirl) + surprise cosplay
Sunday: Tinkerbell

#55 User is offline   CharlotteStar 

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:31 PM

I'd love to make my own full cosplay one day but I have very poor sewing skills. I also don't have as much time as I'm sure is required to make one from scratch. I do, however, make the alterations to my outfits as needed and I will add things here and there if they are missing anything.

I don't think it's a big deal either way you go but I do admire those who can make a full cosplay by hand though :).

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#56 User is offline   Graphospasm 

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

I've never bought a pre-made/pre-packaged cosplay. However, I've bought pre-made cosplay parts. For instance, I bought a Rose Crest ring for my Utena cosplay. I'm not sure how I could have made that ring myself. For the jacket I bought a plain navy coat and I modified it until it looked like Utena's, making all the accessories and embellishments myself from resin kits and wood and scrap metal.

I don't think there's anything wrong with buying parts like I did with the jacket and the ring, but I feel like a cosplay shines when it's not simply bought from a cosplay-maker kind of establishment. You can add your own details and put your own spin on the cosplay if you make it yourself. For instance, my underskirt for Utena has a flower pattern that really suits the character; no pre-made cosplay would have included that detail.

Things like my Velma cosplay, though--why would I spend my time making a red skirt from scratch when I can easily buy one from a thrift shop for a buck, same with the orange sweater? If your character dresses like a normal person, I think it might make more sense to just buy parts. After all, it's unlikely your character made their own outfit from scratch. :)
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#57 User is offline   Fishay 

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:35 PM

I make mine. Have even gone so far to make custom patterns and mock ups to make sure it fits right.... I thrift items when it's appropriate, or if its something I cannot make, or not worth the time it will take (like pants on occasion or shoes and boots, I will buy a base shoe and then modify it, because proper shoe construction is too advanced for me) I feel a bit more pride personally to know I made it all myself. Also, making it myself means I can alter the colors or fabric type. I like making my cosplays appear more realistic or believable, as if it were from a live action, by making all the pieces as real wearable clothing and not skipping any steps. the undershirt or underpinnings that no one will see are just as important as the outer coats and vests. I do theatrical enactment and I am big into alternative fashions, so its mostly just my preference. (I also believe the cosplay will wear better, longer, not break and last if made well)

I totally understand and even appreciate when people commission and do thrift assemblage cosplays though, I totally started that way. I just think things I made myself feel better to wear.
----2014 cosplays-----
Zidane Tribal - Complete
Gadget Hackwrench - Complete
Toothless - Complete

#58 User is offline   Jos 

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

This is going to be my first con, but I have 2 cosplays, One I made completely on my own from scratch, duck tape, sweat and tears and another I completely bought. But easy enough to say I will probably be wearing my home made costume more because I know how hard it was to make ^_^

#59 User is offline   Ambi311 

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:24 PM

A few years ago I was a total closet cosplayer…now I alter some things, but I'm mostly still a closet cosplayer, lol. Everyone has to start somewhere! However, learning to sew and make my own costumes is a big goal of mine for the coming year. I feel that I'll be able to really "own" the cosplay that way. ^_^
Granted, it depends on the costume…there are some things that look equally good made or bought, such as for characters in street clothes, and I totally don't mind doing closet cosplays for those.
ACen 2017 : Elsa (Frozen), and some other stuff ;)
ACen 2016 : Elsa (Frozen), Donna Noble (Doctor Who)
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#60 User is offline   Twifairy 

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:24 PM

I usually make it, but my Misa Amane cosplay I bought clothes for at Hot Topic. Usually I'll buy clothes and then alter them and sew things on myself.
ACen 2015 Cosplay-
Saturday: Cinder Fall: 40% done

Anime Midwest 2015 Cosplay-
Friday:Neo (RWBY): 30% done
Saturday: Cinder Fall: 40% done
Sunday:Mikasa Ackerman: 60% done
Progress can be viewed here

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