As a costume artist I have to face new challenges and problems in costume making, accessory making and photo shootings every day. Sometimes I overcome these hurdles and sometimes I fail. When I'm at wit's end I'm grateful to have fellow cosplayers to ask for advice and help. To share the knowledge and experience I gained within seven years of costume making I prepared this post. I will try to add new information regularly.
To make this post easy to handle I divided it in two parts. The first part is called "General Questions" and contains questions and answers about my cosplay history, commissions, general advice about costume making, etc.
The second part which is called "Costume-Related Questions" contains F.A.Q.'s and answers about my costumes.
In case that you have a question this F.A.Q. post cannot answer, please don't hesitate to ask! You can contact me via e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. GENERAL QUESTIONS
1.1 Do you make all costumes yourself?"
Yes, I do. Making costumes from scratch is one of the aspects of cosplay which fascinates me the most.
1.2.How did you learn to sew?
I got in touch with sewing and working with a sewing machine when I joined a handicraft club in 6th grade of high school. We made stuffed animals, table mats and other small things there. In 2004 I sewed my first costume/garment with the help of my grandmother who is a seamstress. She taught me the basics about constructing patterns, etc.
Shortly afterwards I started working on my own. I did research on the internet, read many tutorials and instructions and practised a lot. In 2010 I did an internship at a fashion company in London during which I gathered more experiences about making Prêt-à-Porter clothes for women.
To cut a long story short: I'm an autodidact.
1.3. How long have you been costuming?
I started costuming in December of 2004.
1.4. How long does it take you to finish a costume?
It depends on what type of costume I am working on and on how much spare time I have. (Being a university student I have only a limited span of time which I can invest in costume-making.)
I usually finish an easy costume like a school uniform including a pleated skirt, a blazer and a tie within 1-2 days. If the costume I am working on consists of many separate parts or if it is more advanced it takes me about 1 - 2 weeks to finish it. It took me 1 ½ weeks to finish my Batgirl costume, for example.
1.5. Do you take commissions?"
No. I don’t do commissions. As I already mentioned I’m a university student with a limited span of time and it often occurs that I’m hardly able to finish costumes for myself. I’m also no professional when it comes to sewing. I lack the necessary routine and skill to provide a certain quality of work.
1.6. Can you give me advice and/or tips when it comes to costume making?
Sure! If you need help – don’t hesitate to ask! Just send me a message with an explicit description of your problem. I will send you an answer as soon as possible!
1.7. Can I use your images?
Yes you can – but please contact me and ask for my permission first. I would like to know where and for what purpose you would like to use them.
Please credit me and – if procurable – my photographer and add a link to my deviantArt, twitter or tumblr account. Thank you!
➡ NOTE: Wig-Store Recommendations
I get often asked in which stores I buy the wigs for my costumes. Since there is no general answer to this question I made a list of my favourite wig stores.
I order all wigs for my costumes on eBay. The stores I like best are:
➸ Kalz-Shop [German]
2. COSTUME-RELATED QUESTIONS
2.1. Miss Martian (Young Justice)
a) Which body paint did you use for this costume? And how did you manage to make it look so even?
For my Miss Martian costume I used water-based body paint of a German brand called "Eulenspiegel Schminkfarben". The shade of colour is called "Perlglanz Grün".
Unfortunately make-up of this brand is not available outside of Germany. In this case I recommend buying body-paint of the brand "Kryolan" which is the American equivalent to the make-up I used.
To apply the body-paint I used a soft make-up sponge. After it was dry I powdered my face with green eye shadow of the same shade of green.
b) Where did you buy the wig and the contact lenses?
I bought both my wig and the contact lenses on eBay. I found the wig in the mentioned store Wig-Fashion. Please mind that it was about 80cm long and curly when I got it. I had to cut and straighten it before I could use it for my Miss Martian costume.
The contact lenses are out of the so-called "Picasso" edition. The colour is called "Hazel".
2.2. Batgirl (Batman)
a) How did you make the cowl?
The cowl is the only part about my Batgirl costume I didn’t make myself. It was made by the American costume and prop maker Shawn Reevez. To contact him check out his website or send him a personal message on FaceBook.
b) How did you make the suit?
You can find a detailed tutorial right HERE!. I bought the basic suit I altered later in THIS German store on eBay. I chose a black catsuit with the zipper on the back.
c) Where did you buy the wig and the contact lenses?
I bought the wig at the American store Astral Bargains. The contact lenses I used are out of the "ColourVUE" series by "Funny Lens". The colour is "Aqua". I bought them at the German store Zaraccomlenses-de.
2.3. Hungary (Axis Power Hetalia)
a) Which pattern did you use to make this costume?
To make the green dress of my Hungary costume I used the pattern Johnny #7979. I found on BurdaStyle.com and altered it. I removed the sleeves and added puffed ones. I also changed the collar.
b) Where did you buy the wig?
I bought the wig on eBay. The shop I found it as is called FANTASY-SHEEP-COSWIG-LAND.