Welcome to a somewhat brand new blog series here called Cosplay 101 (that’s just a temporary name by the way..I am not sure if that’s what it should be called..thoughts?). My name is Gwen…some of you might know that I used to do the cooking posts here but since my free time is limited and my own personal blog has strayed far from cooking and baking, I have decided to focus my efforts on a subject that I know I love and have time to talk about.
Now, I am not a seasoned cosplayer. I have only been cosplaying for about 3 or so years but in those 3 years I have learned a lot..and I am STILL learning a lot! But I stand for the fact that cosplaying is for everyone. No matter your age, size, race or skill level..if you WANT to cosplay that character you CAN and SHOULD cosplay that character.
Cosplay 101 (or whatever we change the name to) will be a place for me to share with you Iggles what I know and be a place where you can not be afraid to ask your questions about the hobby. As I say on my personal blog when I do Cosplay Q&A, no question is a dumb one..and I will try my VERY best to help you.
My goal here is to not ONLY consult my own knowledge, but reach out to other cosplayers too who might be able to help and show you new things! So maybe somewhere down the line, I can get some cool guest posts in here for ya!
So with that being said, lets move on to our first subject: patterns!
Experienced and new cosplayers alike tend to reach for patterns. Some people know how to make their own from scratch BUT for those of us who don’t, there are pre-made ones readily available for us to buy and use when we need them!
So to start, lets talk about the main patterns that are readily available in stores like JoAnns and often times Michaels (you might have another store that sells these, but those are the main two for most of us):
–Simplicity: Simplicity is the main brand that also has two sub brands in them called Burda Style and New Look while Simplicity has a various fashion patterns, it also has a nice selection of costumes as well. This is the main brand people turn to for costume patterns as their selection and “themes” have the most. Burda Style and New Look have some decent fashion patterns to choose from as well!
–McCalls/Vogue/Butterick/Kwik Sew: McCalls also has a costume pattern section but their variety isn’t that great. I personally only look to McCalls for their fashion patterns. Similar to McCalls, I look to Vogue for their fashion patterns mostly. They have a section called Vintage Vogue which you can look to when creating more era specific sotumes. Butterick’s costume patterns are, for the most part, historical pieces. So if you need a historical costume..check them out! Kwik Sew is basically what it sounds like! Items that really only require the most basic of sewing skills. You can easily use one of those patterns as a base for something.
On my blog, I talked about patterns that come themed already. What I mean is..say you want to make Daenerys’ dress from Game of Thrones, did you know that the pattern company Simplicity makes an unlicensed costume pattern modeled after one of her dresses? Pattern companies like Simplicity and McCalls make licensed and often time unlicensed patterns from film and TV that you can buy to make your cosplay dreams a reality. All you have to do is find the appropriate fabric!
So that’s the gist of themed patterns. I tend to reach for those first if I can and if I know that that will be a character I make sometime in the future. With all of the sales that happen on patterns, it’s kind of hard to pass them up!
The next part of this post is talking about patterns I call VIPs. These Very Important Patterns are ones I think that people should have well stocked in their collection. They’re basically the basic of the basic patterns, The ones you’ll PROBABLY be reaching for the most if you cosplay!
Simplicity 1345 – Corsets
A lot of costumes these days have a corset top built into them. I am not that familiar with making corsets but this pattern seems to be the most straight forward looking one I have found. A great base to start that Elsa you’ve been dying to make!
Simplicity 1427 – Tulle Skirts
Great for giving your costume an extra pow! Petticoats can be expensive to buy so why not just make one? This particular one comes in 3 lengths and 3 different ways to make it.
Simplicity 5794 – Capes
If you’re making a superhero costume you’ll most likely need a cape. Now, these aren’t the typical superhero capes so you’ll probably have to do a bit of adjusting to get the attachment on correctly BUT these are, for the most part, the basic cape shapes.
Green Pepper GPF813 – The Sailor Moon Fuku
Now this one isn’t a requirement but since Sailor Moon is on the rise again I figured I would include the pattern that most if not all Sailor Moon cosplayers use! You can easily find tutorials on how people used this pattern to make their Sailor Fuku but you’ll most definitely want to swoop yup this pattern if you plan on cosplaying from the series! The best thing about this pattern is that it’s universal. If you need a long sleeved leotard without the skirt, for a superhero costume..just leave off the skirt!
Kwik Sew K3052 – Unitards
I have this pattern. I live by this pattern. Superheroes often times require one of these. The only qualm I have with this pattern is that the seams go up the front and back. And while the back seam is necessary for a zipper installment..unless you’re cosplaying a character that has a front zipper, the front seam is annoying! I have altered a pattern like this to make it so there are side seams but we will save that for another post!
Burda B8118 – Pleated Skirt
For the anime lovers out there..you know how every outfit is a school girl uniform? Well here is a pattern for you! Boxed pleats can be a pain in the butt if you don’t know how to do them without a pattern. Now you don’t have to! While this pattern is a ‘young’ pattern and only goes up to size 16, you can easily adjust it to fit you if need be!
So, that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I know cosplaying can be a little intimidating but there are people like me and tools like patterns out there to get you going in the right direction!
If you have any questions about other patterns you might be able to use, feel free to tweet me @TheGeekySquib and I can try to dig one up for you! If you have any general cosplay questions, want to see how to make something or want to know my thoughts on something, you can also tweet me with those and I can answer them in a blog post!
If you’re interested in some further reading and my thoughts on various topics involving cosplay, here are some links to my other Cosplay related posts on my blog:
–Cosplay Q & A
-Let’s Make A Costume!
-Tips On How To Start Cosplaying: A Super Unofficial Guide By A 3rd Year Cosplayer
-A Quick Guide of Themed Costume Patterns
-Cosplay and Self Esteem: A Response to Superheroesque
-Ask And Iggle: Is Cosplay For Me?