Sadie has been cosplaying since July 2014. Sadie by Design is the life Sadie is building for herself outside of her day-to- day job as an engineer. The majority of her passion and energy can be seen in her costumes and photos.
Happy Kingdom Hearts 3 release day!!!!! For those who have been Kingdom Hearts fans since the beginning, we’ve waited just over 13 years for today to finally come since the second game! I am happy that I have fallen so behind in cosplay breakdowns simply so I could feature my Keyblade Warrior Cinderella for this day.
Why choose this character?
I have been a Kingdom Hearts fan since the second I heard Simple and Clean for the opening of the first game. It’s always been a dream to create some sort of cosplay as an homage to my love for this game. When Josh’s sister asked us to join in a group for Dragon Con several years ago, I couldn’t say no. The idea was to do different Disney characters as though they were warriors with their own keyblades.
This wonderful costume was based on artwork by Avery Ota, who owns full rights to the art shown above. I have actually admired her work for several years before this group came into existence, and I knew I had to seize the opportunity to bring one of her creations to life. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to have Avery give me permission to bring her design to life for this project. Definitely make sure you check out her Instagram and Deviant Art once you’re done with this post.
I really enjoyed making this costume because the sewing parts of this were the easier parts. By choosing a costume with easier sewing, I forced myself outside of my comfort zone on other elements.
Purchased or Reused Items
Dragon Con is the con I try to really go big or go home at in sheer numbers of costumes I bring, so I don’t let items that are simple cause unnecessary stress. The wig and choker, as stated above, were reused from my original Cinderella ballgown costume. The clear boots were purchased on Amazon. I couldn’t find the exact ones for sale, but there are plenty of other options for clear shoes out there. Finally, We Love Colors is a fantastic resource for cosplayers, and I was really pleased with the color range offered in gloves and opaque tights to choose from.
Headband, Earrings, and Chest “Armor”
Her various embelishments and jewelry on her outfit have these beautiful blue gems, and I had been wanting to learn resin casting for quite some time. I took this opportunity to learn the basics. If you’ve never resin cast before, I highly recommend using the EasyCast two-part resin for a beginning project. They sell resin casts and dyes to color your resin with as well in the same aisle at Hobby Lobby. I used blue and an opalescent additive to color mine when mixing together. There wasn’t anything special after that, I simply followed the instructions in the box. They turned out really well for my first time!
The headband base was purchased from Amazon, and I was very shocked I didn’t have to cover it in matching fabric. I used foam to create the base of the armor that was on her chest and the headband. I simply used some earring backs I had for the earrings, and I used E6000 to glue all of these to the appropriate base pieces.
The dress was fairly simple. I am pretty sure I used view C on McCall’s 6995 without modifications for this dress. I used two different types of fabric for the outer layer, and a matching blue in a simple lining fabric for the lining of the bodice. The construction of this dress was very simple, and I have used the pattern since to make the base of a dress for a friend’s cosplay as well. The most intricate part of this dress was the details on the bodice, which I simply created by handmaking an iron on applique with the contrasting skirt fabric. Now that I have improved my sewing skills, I would definitely do this differently. It’s also been so long since I made this, that I almost forgot that I used a veil attached at the shoulder seams to create her cape.
Hip and Shoulder Armor
The shoulder armor was created with worbla as the base layer. This was my first time working with worbla, and I created the uniform rounded shape by using a paper towel tube as a base for shaping. I used foam for the smaller layers after that. The two separate fans are held together in the middle with the foam base piece. This is embellished with smaller foam details, pearl beads, and an Apoxie Sculpt fleur de lis. I used elastic attached on the back with more worbla as the way to make this wearable. I was most proud of this piece of the costume, but if I wear it again I do need to add some protective felt to the back of the worbla because I removed a layer of my shoulder the first time I wore it.
I basically wrote this entire post forever ago, but I didn’t save my progress and the computer froze. When I lost the whole post, I didn’t have the patience that evening to rewrite it all. I’m happy it all still applies now that I have my writing mojo back. This would have been a great throwback Thursday post since it has been so long, but I was knee deep in hand sewing Wednesday night for my Briar Rose shawl. Here we go anyway.
I do a lot of sewing for cosplay. It is my main form of creating costumes. I always enjoy exploring and learning other avenues of creating for cosplay such as armor building or thrifting. When it comes to Disney costumes, I really don’t have the time to create every single one by hand because I’d rather focus on bigger sewing projects. Cinderella’s rags seemed like a great place to try the thifting for cosplay avenue. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to go out and thrift some outfits as well.
I would argue that Cinderella in her rags plays a role in some of the most iconic Disney scenes ever made. If you don’t agree with me, that’s ok, but I really love most of the scenes associated with this outfit. My favorite is probably the bubbles scene, which I’m using for my reference image below.
Thrifting for Cosplay Process
The best part about this project was I didn’t have a set timeline to get it done, and I really didn’t have any expectations for myself. A friend of mine who does photography brought this idea to me as a possible collaboration, and since it was already on my list of dream costume it was an easy decision.
I decided to thrift this because it had minimal parts involved, and all were fairly simple. Plus, thrifting is a really good way to keep costs low. Realistically the parts of this costume include:
Brown take top
Bandana (only in certain scenes)
The pieces that I planned to thrift for this were the skirt, the blue undershirt, and the brown tank top. I found the pieces in a mixture of thrift stores including Goodwill and Miracle Hill.
I quite honestly couldn’t believe that I was able to find a skirt that was the same color that I needed. The only problem was that it was a 3XL, but that was simple enough to fix. I seam ripped the waistband off, and added pleats to the back of it until it was the right size. Then the only thing to do was slim down the elastic, and reapply the waist band. This allowed the skirt to fit without removing the fullness. I was slightly surprised, but also really happy with the way this turned out. This skirt was $7.
After finding the skirt, I was more optimistic about the shirt because I knew to be open to modifying the piece slightly. It made searching much easier because I could just look for the right color. All I had to do was cut the neckline down to fit under the neckline of the tank top. The blue undershirt was $3.25 I feel a little guilty because I ended up buying the tank top from Amazon because I was never able to find something I was happy with, but it was still under $10.
I already had a wig for this from my ball gown Cinderella, but in order to use it for this I would have to cut it. I love this wig because I’ve never been able to find this color anywhere, so I opted to buy a separate wig in order to trim for this cosplay. After a lot of searching, I figured out that the wig April Gloria used for her Cindy was this wig, and that is what I went with for this. It should work for several dream cosplays once it is trimmed, so it was worth the investment. I haven’t trimmed it yet, but I was excited about the color.
The shoes were my retired black work flats, and I had planned to use the apron from my Belle village dress as pictured in this post. I have since given that costume to Dani Bee, so I eventually will be making myself a simple white apron out of some fabric I already have to re-complete this. I’m really happy with the way this turned out!
All in all, I spent about $18.25 on the actual costume, but $63.25 if you include the wig. We’ve been waiting for the stars to align, but Two Acorns and I plan on shooting this costume this year. I cannot wait! What costumes have you thrifted? What are your best cosplays you have found from thrifting? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
I can’t believe it is here already. It seems that yesterday was my first Dragon Con, and there is no way a year has passed since then. Here we are though, and I’m ready! We are heading down around 10AM tomorrow morning, and I wish I could just leave now. Alas, I have my big project to finish when I get home, so one more day of waiting.
One thing you don’t have to wait for is my cosplay lineup as I finally have it set in stone. I learned my lesson last year, and won’t be taking nearly as many costumes. On top of less costumes, I also won’t be bringing that many “serious” cosplays, if you will. My costumes this year will be geared toward having fun and being comfortable. Without further ado, here is my lineup for 2017 Dragon Con:
Pool Party Vader
My friend throws a pool party each year. Last year was superhero themed, and this year is sci-fi. I found this bikini top from Hot Topic, and accessorized accordingly. Pics to come!
Image source: Nerdist
I am uncertain on my ability to finish boot covers for this tonight, but I will be bringing her for Friday regardless. It’s only fitting that I wear my main girl to one of my favorite conventions, especially since I have this new version of her.
Supergirl credit DC Comics
Fandom Tailgate: Sailor Moon
Friday evening we are throwing a tailgate party. No, not for football, for Dragon Con! Why should sports fans be the only people to reap the benefits of a tailgate? Instead of our favorite sports teams we will be sporting our favorite fandoms. I’m really happy how this outfit turned out. It might get worn more than one evening.
Keyblade Warrior Cinderella
I love Avery Ota’s artworrk, so when we decided to do a Kingdom Hearts group I had to pick one of her designs. This will be my big debut costume for Saturday afternoon and Night at the Aquarium.
I had a different costume planned, but it didn’t arrive in time. Kat of AK Cosplay Creations and I will be doing casual princesses to stroll around on Sunday.
Snow White credit Disney
I will have one cosplay for Sunday evening that will go unannounced because I need the element of surprise for one individual. I’ll post pictures on my various forms of social media when the deed is done.
Who all is going to Dragon this weekend? Contact me through one of my social media accounts if you want to try and meet up. I have a running list of people I want to run into. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
One of my favorite aspects of cosplay is getting to change my eye color by using contacts. It is a super awesome element that can really complete the transformation. Contacts are not something that you can do last minute though. You have to take care of your eyes, so knowing how to choose and use contacts properly before buying your first pair of circle lenses is a big deal. Keep reading for contacts for cosplay 101.
Thanks to Pinky Paradise for sponsoring me two random lenses to review. The lenses were free, but all opinions are honest and my own.
1. Go to the Eye Doctor
Yes, you might think, that seems like overkill. It is definitely 100% the first thing you should do before buying contact lenses if you have never worn them before. As an optical engineer, I find eyes amazing because they are such an impressive optical system. There are so many things that could go wrong when using circle lenses, so seeing a doctor before popping a foreign object in your eye is crucial. Why?
Can you wear contact lenses? Some people may be advised against wearing contacts. If your doctor advises against it then I strongly suggest you listen to them. I know colored contacts are fun, but your health and vision are your first priority. If you are worried about photos, well, changing eye color is one of the easiest Photoshop fixes.
Learn your base curve. If the contact lenses you buy are super different from your base curve then they will cause a lot of discomfort, possibly even pain. My doctor gave me a range around my base curve, so I know what to look for when I’m buying.
Get a prescription even if you don’t need prescription lenses. This might sound silly, but some contact lens sellers are requiring a prescription in order to buy from them due to federal regulations. Pinky Paradise is one of those companies. Plus, you will know if you need to get them to correct your vision at all.
2. Buy from a Reputable Source
There are people out there who are looking to just shell out bad products to earn a quick dollar, and those are the people you want to avoid. If you can’t find reviews from someone about a contact company you’re considering then proceed with caution. Luckily, there are quite a few great lens sellers out there to buy from. Here is a list of just a few:
Once your lenses arrive you need to properly care for them. Making sure to take proper care of your lenses will make sure your eyes will be protected through the life of your lenses.
Take them out of the packaging and put them in contact solution for 24 hours prior to wearing them.
Examine the lenses for any scratches or tears before putting them in your eye. EVERY TIME YOU WEAR THEM.
Try on your lenses for an hour or two before long time use.
Mark the date on the lens case with the date you opened them, and understand the life expectancy of your lenses. Do not wear them if they are beyond the expiration.
Change out the solution every two weeks if you aren’t wearing them.
Make sure your hands are clean before handling your lenses or touching your eyes.
If there is anything wrong with them or something doesn’t feel right then it is probably time to get a new pair.
4. A Brief Review
Pinky Paradise sent me two different contact lenses to review. Every pair of lenses comes with a free cutie lens case to keep your lenses in. This makes it really convenient to have a safe place to store your lenses when you aren’t using them. They usually throw in a free gift of sorts with each order. They included a thing that is intended to hold hair out of your face for you. I have also received items intended for reducing circles under your eyes in the past. It’s a nice added bonus.
I received Feelcon Hazel and Messish Violet, which I think may be new because I couldn’t find them on their website. If this changes I will update with links to the product.
The diameter on these lenses was 14.20mm. My eyes are naturally hazel, so the diameter was important because these probably would be best for enhancing my natural color to pop more by making them look larger. The base curve was 8.60.
The case these came in was super easy to open, and I wish more circle lenses came in packaging like this.
Initially, I took these lenses out to make sure they weren’t inside out because they felt extremely scratchy on my eyes. Upon reinserting into my eye after inspection, I concluded they weren’t for me. I found them extremely uncomfortable to the point that I barely kept them in long enough to take the photos, which is probably why my eyes look like those of a mad women in the photos. The diameter was good. The color was not quite what I would call hazel, and it made my natural hazel look very brown rather than goldish green. It was also on the low end of my base curve range we talked about earlier, which may have caused some of the discomfort.
The first thing I noticed was that these lenses were more transparent than color. Sometimes for a more natural look this is good, but for people with dark eyes like myself the more heavily colored lenses tend to give your eyes a more vibrant color change. The diameter on this lens was also 14.50mm, and the base curve was 8.90.
The packaging pictured is what I have most often received my lenses in. I have gotten used to opening these bottles, but be careful because I have cut myself on the metal before.
As I predicted, this color doesn’t pop on my eye color very well, but I do like them. They went in with minimal struggle, and were initially comfortable. I would be willing to buy a pair of these to wear them for a cosplay in the future.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is do what is right for you. If you have any questions please ask. This isn’t something you want to mess around with. If you have additional tips for people, by all means, please leave it in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe via email or
Everyone gets writers block occasionally. Something I’ve noticed is cosplay blogging hasn’t exactly earned its own niche in the blogging community even though we are a rather significant community that is consistently growing. One thing that I find frustrating is when I find myself lacking in ideas for a post I can only find lists out there for standard blogs. A lot of these can be adapted for any niche, but I find that it always helps to have a more narrow idea to help get that inspiration flowing.
Do you see where this is going yet? I finally read through a couple lists the other day, and it hit me that the reason a list specific to my blogging niche doesn’t exist is because no one had created one yet. Thus is born the 100 blog post ideas for cosplay bloggers list. I hope this helps other people. I know I already have a lot of new ideas brewing just from doing this exercise.
100 Blog Post Ideas for Cosplay Bloggers
This list is in no particular order. If I have done similar posts I have tried to link to them as examples.
10. Blog Series.Do you know an exorbitant amount of information or experience on one subject? Chances are you could help someone out with all that knowledge and info you’re keeping to yourself. Sharing in a blog series rather than one really long blog post can be extremely helpful to people.
11. Personal relationship with a character you’ve cosplayed.
12. 10 cosplay commandments.
13. 7 deadly sins of cosplay.
14. Embed a video. A lot of cosplayers also vlog. YouTube provides endless resources and entertainment for cosplayers, and a blog post to help others find them is always useful.
15. If you ran a convention…
16. Coping with con crunch.
17. Favorite phone apps for cosplay.
18. Favorite music playlist for con crunch.
19. Local events. Believe it or not there are tons of local cosplay events that aren’t necessarily conventions such as Free Comic Book Day, Halloween Parties, Batman Day, and many more.
20. Cosplay for charity (“Causeplay”). Did you know there are many ways cosplay can be used to make the world a better place? A lot of people still don’t, and if you are part of a local chapter of real life superheroes then sharing your experience can help people realize how they too can make a difference.
21. What do you do when you’re not in cosplay?
22. Host a contest/ giveaway.
23. Monthly small goals.
24. Monthly small goals check-in.
25. Interview. Breezeeweezee and I both started doing Feature Fridays around the same time. It’s a great way to show your love and support for other talented cosplayers and those in the cosplay community.
26. Guest post. Have another cosplayer help you out with writing a few posts. It’s always nice to have a change in perspective.
27. Costume breakdown.
28. Tutorial.Didn’t document your entire costume build? No fear. Maybe you took planyt of pictures on how you made one specific piece. Step-by-step tutorials on literally anything are great stand alone resources.
29. Upcoming cosplay plans.
30. Upcoming convention plans.
31. Cosplay Bucket List. We all have them. How long is your list?
32. Dream cosplay project. If time and money were not obstacles what project would you take on?
33. Convention Bucket List.
34. Character inspired OOTD. Think Disney-bounding. Geek Chic.
35. Infographic. These things are the best, and if you’re graphic design inclined these are really fun when cosplay related.
36. Cos-disasters. Did you have your breast plate fall off at a convention? Did your dress get stuck in the escalator? These are true stories from friends, and sometimes sharing the big OOPS of our cosplay experience lets us know we aren’t alone.
40. Share photos in an album post from a recent photoshoot.
41. Are you selling anything? What’s for sale?
42. Non-cosplay post. Maybe this is cheating, but I like to share experiences from life in general. I feel like it shows people the full story.
43. Praise for your cosplay photographer.
44. How to pose for cosplay photos?
45. Sponsored post. Believe it or not, there are quite a few cosplay and geeky companies out there that will sponsor you to promote their products and give honest reviews.
46. Showcase a list of cosplayers who have cosplayed the same character you have cosplayed.
47. Why did you start blogging?
48. What sets your cosplay blog apart from the rest?
49. TV show review. There are tons of tv shows out there designed specifically for geeky, nerdy, cosplaying audiences. Have you watched one recently? Your audience might be waiting for a reliable opinion before binging their next show on Netflix.
50. Best shows to binge while con crunching.
51. Panel ideas you’d love to sit in on.
52. Summary/ overview of panels you give at conventions.
53. List of best panels you’ve attended.
54. Closet cosplay. Create a cosplay using only items you have available in your house. Get the audience involved by letting them choose the character for you.
55. Best place to buy… This could be anything from wigs, to spandex superhero costumes, to contacts. Reliable and recommended cosplay resources are always helpful.
56. Where do you make your cosplay?
57. How do you stay inspired?
58. Workload management. What types of tools and methods do you use to tackle a project?
59. How do you balance cosplay with everyday life?
60. Fitness routine for… superhero abs, cosplay booty, princess posture. Going to the gym isn’t just for athletes, and maybe you have a twist that makes it fun for cosplayers who hate exercise.
61. Compare your cosplay to the original character design or artwork.
62. Ask me anything.
63. Ask your followers for their opinion.
64. Makeup guide.
65. Quotes. Cosplayers have a lot of good and inspirational things to say to other cosplayers. Get a list together of quotes from your favorites.
66. Poll/ Survey/ Quiz.
67. Challenge. Create a month long Instagram challenge or cosplay related challenge for your readers to take part in.
68. Cosplaying on a limited budget.
69. How to budget for cosplay and conventions.
70. Geeky Tag.There are plenty of fun geeky tags out there to write posts on already. If you don’t find one that suits your blog maybe it’s time to take #67’s advice and create your own.
73. I wish I had known… Maybe you had a bad experience that could have been avoided if you had only known ___ ahead of time. Share this with your audience, so you can help them from making the same mistakes.
74. Cosplay hacks.Amazingly simple tricks that make cosplay easier for everyone.
75. How to market your cosplay.
76. Social media guide for cosplay. It just might be that you know how to turn an Instagram from boring to the most popular source for followers. Or maybe you’ve got Facebook’s algorithms beat. Everyone wants the secrets, and if you’ve got the know-how people will listen.
77. How to work with photographers.
78. Cosplay etiquette.
79. What is your biggest cosplay fear?
80. Wishlist.Create a list of items that would help you make dreams a reality. If your readers want to help support you then they now know where to look.
81. Best books for cosplayers.
82. A-Z list of… Cosplayer Instagrams, Facebooks, places to buy wigs, fabrics to use…
83. What is the hardest thing about cosplay for you?
84. Important lessons learned from cosplay.
85. Appreciation post for your biggest fans.
86. Reach out to the experts. Maybe you have a personal relationship with a armor building expert? Anyone who is an expert on anything is a valuable source of information for the rest of us just relying on Google. Sharing what a talented friend or mentor has to say with others could help them gain access to information that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
87. How to create a cosplay emergency kit.
88. I can’t cosplay without…
89. 101 style post. This could be on just about any subject cosplay related. Wigs 101. Circle lenses 101. Buying cosplay online 101. Cosplay 101.
90. Comissions. Share a story about your cosplay comissions from how to get them, to making them, to final pictures of them.
91. Cosplay or related product review.
92. Myth vs. Fact.
93. Checklist. Cosplay build checklist. Convention packing checklist. You get the idea.
94. Freebies. Got a great checklist already designed in a PDF? Everyone loves freebies they can download. Or maybe you’re sending out free Valentine’s cards to anyone who wants one? FREE STUFF IS THE BEST.
95. Share a funny cosplay memory.
96. Talk about why you will never cosplay as ____.
97. Write a personal letter to read to yourself in five years. This could be non-cosplay related, but if you have long-term cosplay goals it might be fun to write a letter to your future self to return to in five years.
98. Cosplay trends. Write about the character trends you’re seeing for that year. Forecast says I will be able to spot at least 100 new Wonder Woman cosplayers before the end of 2017.
99. Create your own list of cosplay blog post ideas.
100. Controversial post. Pick a topic that is widely argued about in the cosplay community, and state your personal opinions on it.
There you have it. 100 blog post ideas for cosplay bloggers. I definitely have even more ideas that I have thought of just while writing this post, but for sake of “simplicity” I’m going to leave it at 100. Do you have ideas for blog posts as well? Share them below! Did this post inspire you to write a new post? Make sure to send me a link, so I can read it! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
At SC Comicon 2017 I fulfilled a longtime dream of mine; I cosplayed Sailor Moon. It wasn’t perfect, but it was me. I wanted to take some time to reflect on how much I’ve grown since the last time I was the pretty guardian in a sailor suit. Not only is it awesome for me to see the changes, but sharing changes with others can sometimes help them in their journeys as well.
Once Upon a Time
I discovered Sailor Moon at a young age as I grew up in the precious 1990’s when she was first airing in the United States. *GASP* I grew up without cable, so I only got to watch her when we were at friend’s houses when it just so happened to be on leading into Dragonball Z. At least the boys were nice enough to indulge me my girly TV before the DBZ. In those moments I was instantly obsessed like any good princess loving girl should be.
Fast forward to freshmen year of college where I called my mom to let her know that I had to be Sailor Moon for my first college Halloween experience. It was the perfect choice obviously. Together my mom and I threw together a college-acceptable scout uniform. Let’s take a look.
My mom helped me with the skirt and the collar with bows. Those boots are Funtasma. The shirt, headband (“tiara”), earrings, and gloves were purcased, and that fantastic hairdo of simple pigtails was styled by yours truly. Let’s not overlook the fact that at this point in my life the only time I had ever worn makeup was when someone else had put it on for me, so you can take a gander at my frighteningly shiny, acne ridden forehead:
A Magical Transformation
It’s been almost 9 years since that epic night! Thanks to the support of my friends I finally got the courage to cosplay my beloved Sailor Moon. I made this entire costume except for the tiara and the boots!
To me the difference is unbelievable:
I have learned to love my pale skin, and I no longer torture it by neglecting the SPF.
Eating healthy, hormone balance, skin care with no harsh chemicals, and a little less stress has helped my skin clear up.
Makeup is now something I use to enhance my looks instead of believing it would turn me into something I’m not.
I’ve learned to embody a character, and even after the costume comes off I am able to take their best traits with me as part of my own artillery.
The most important takeaway for me is while I love myself in this costume I have also grown into someone who I love out of costume as well. I am my own hero.
Are you interested in joining a cosplay community devoted to becoming your own hero? Follow this link.
How has cosplay helped you with self confidence? Do you have any fun transformation stories like mine? Share your story below. Leave a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
I’ve been writing this blog for a while now, and something that I’ve learned from blogging is that blogs are pretty much unlimited. If you search for almost any subject you can probably find a blog on it.
Cosplay blogging is a surprisingly large niche in the blogging community itself, and I’ve met quite a few great ladies that I really draw inspiration from. It has given new meaning to the idea of “virtual friends,” and I’m so greatful to be a part of such a great community.
I follow more blogs than I would like to admit, but today I wanted to showcase my five favorite cosplay bloggers. Now, a lot of people that are whithin the nerdy and geeky blogging community cosplay, but these ladies have blogs that are cosplay-centric like my own.
This girl. Let me tell you. We have never met in real life, but I feel like she would go to the ends of the earth to keep me sane. I love having someone that has never met me who I’ve been able to kindle such an easygoing friendship with. She also started Feature Friday on her blog about a week ahead of when I started mine, and she hits a lot of different cosplayers than I do. Make sure you check her out.
I had been occasionally reading Kyla’s blog a little over a year ago, and unintentionally bumped into her IRL at PAX East 2016. I was fangirling over her Princess Peach cosplay, and we didn’t know until after the show that we had both read each other’s blogs before accidentally meeting! Kyla does art as well, but as a cosplayer one can seriously appreciate her cosplay breakdowns that she does of her work process.
I haven’t had any personal conversations with Ginny, but she is so inspring. Our “introduction” comes through a cosplay community that is designed to help cosplayers help each other to grow their following without the generic Like4Like. She also offers tons of advice on growing yourself through her blog. She is simple, thorough, and dedicated to detail. If you’re looking for someone who won’t skip the important stuff then you’ll want to look here.
A force to be reckoned with. This lady is crazy, in a good way, of course. Seriously though, she does so many commissions! ALL THE COMMISSIONS. She has great notes on all of her own costumes, as well as tips for aspiring commissioners. I always look forward to what she has to say, and her next project. I admire the fact that she still finds time for her own costumes among all of the ones she makes for other people.
This is my *nudge nudge hint hint* write more because people want to hear from you shout out. Meru found me via the internet, but we quickly found out that we live rather close to each other. I have a secret dream/need to cosplay with her someday. Her portfolio is stunning, and her Sailor V is to die for.
Go check all these lovely ladies out, and follow them on Bloglovin’. What are some of your favorite blogs? Share some with me below in the comments. I’m always looking for new blogs to follow. Don’t forget to follow via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post.
Thanks for all of the support that everyone gave to Part 1 of this series. It is nice to know that there are people out there that are interested in listening to what I have to say on this subject. Hopefully you’re still interested in hearing the rest of it since I decided to be dormant for most of December. This is another blog post that is just covering the basics of this topic, but I feel without the foundations laid in this post and part 1 the rest of my tips will be useless.
Photo by Charles Logan Photography
Shameless Self Promotion
If you’re going to create a cosplay page, and you want people to take you seriously as a force to be reckoned with then you have to be able to shamelessly self promote yourself. Running a successful Facebook page is not for the faint at heart. This is going to sound blunt. #sorrynotsorry. Growing and maintaining a following on Facebook is hardwork, and if you don’t want to put the work in then don’t expect to get cosfamous over night. Sure it happens, but for most people success happens because they believe in themselves and they were willing to go the extra mile. Here are some key elements on the path to shameless self promotion:
I’m awkward too, but I do my best to put my best foot forward. I’m even an introvert, but I’ve learned that being an introvert doesn’t mean I’m incapable of promoting myself. Do your best to smile, and own your badassery.
Share We will delve into the different ways to share your work in future posts, but you have to be willing to take your posts beyond your own page. Sharing your post allows more people to find your page, and thus gain you more followers. If the only place you are sharing is on your page you will surely still grow, but it will be at a much slower rate.
Know your audience In order to play your strengths you have to know what appeals to your audience. Or if you don’t have an audience you have to know what direction you want your audience to expect from you.
Entrepreneurship Cosplaying is its own form of business. All business owners who started at the bottom and worked their way up weren’t afraid to showcase their business as the next great thing. I think we can all learn a thing or two from the way business owners treat their ideas. I treat my cosplay as a growing business, and I think there are a lot of aspects of entrepreneurship that really speak to how we should approach our cosplaying.
This kind of goes hand in hand with shamelessly self promoting yourself. If you aren’t willing to support other people then why should they support you?
I’m not saying you have to go and like every single cosplay page you come across, but I see this as kind of a Karma thing. Share the love, and be courteous. Be respectful that everyone is at their own place in the process. We all started somewhere, and without the support of others we wouldn’t be where we are today. Every now and then it’s just good to pass on a little love.
Get excited because next round we are getting more serious. Has this been helpful so far? Is there anything specific you would like me to focus on in the upcoming posts? Leave a comment. Don’t forget to subscribe via email or Bloglovin’ to never miss a post!
I had the pleasure of meeting Emily B. Martin at Electric City Comic Con 2017. Her books were an easy sale for me because they had female protagonists and were written by a local author, but she also makes her own cover art and fan art for her stories! I’m definitely guilty of buying books at conventions then taking forever to read them, but I devoured this story. It was agonizing waiting for the final installment, Creatures of Light, to come out. With her amazing storytelling skills, inspiring female leaders, and fantastic character design, I knew that I had to cosplay from her books. Thus the Mona project began.
Keep reading for a detailed breakdown on the making of my cosplay, and giveaway to follow the post!
Photo by Scott Thomason
Why Choose Mona?
You may wonder what made me settle on Mona over the other wonderful ladies in the novels. I think there is a bit of Gemma, Mae, and Mona inside all of us, but Mona really spoke to my soul. The inner growth that Mona experiences throughout the course of the trilogy is truly touching. I personally have not always been the greatest at expressing my personal feelings, and am still learning this. I also feel like I have gone through a wonderful journey of true self-discovery over the last five years of my life as well.
Original art by Emily B. Martin
There are so many versions of Mona being a Queen of Lumen Lake but also of fashion, and it took me a while to settle on her coronation gown as the design to bring to life.
Sourcing the material is often the most tedious part of making a cosplay. It is an emotional and budgetary investment that can take longer than creating the costume itself. Mona wears a lot of jewelry, and it took a lot of time to find the perfect material for each piece of this outfit. I did my best to link to the different websites or products that were used for this where applicable.
The bolero was the first bit of this costume that I tackled. Even though the dress is beautiful, I’ve had my eye on the fabric I made this from for over a year at All About Fabrics in Anderson, SC. It was so exciting to finally have an excuse to buy it.
The construction of this jacket was actually really simple. I used Simplicity 2442 for the base pattern, which had 4 pieces. The only modification I made was to lengthen the sleeves from a ¾ sleeve to a full length sleeve. The pattern calls for a lining, and since the fabric I chose was just opposite colors on the wrong side, I used the same fabric reversed to line the jacket.
This dress was a monster just from the sheer amount of fabric required for her train, which was not an optional feature. I spliced two patterns together to create this dress. I used the top of Simplicity 2442 and the skirt from Vogue 2788. The patterns actually didn’t need any modification to work well when attached to each other. I did lengthen the dress about 4 inches because I’m quite tall, 5’8”.
The real work on this dress came from adding the trims. The bodice pearls were easy to sew into the seams of the dress from the way they were constructed. The bottom pearl trim was extremely frustrating because the pearls got in the way of the needle, which caused us the breaking of about 8 needles during the process of adding this hem.
The final detail was the lace, which was my “challenge yourself to do something new” on this project. I really avoid hand sewing where I can, and this required a lot of it. Luckily, my friend Jon, owner of Jon Pierce Fasions, and Sybil, White Knight Cosplay, had a hand sewing party with me. They not only taught me how to apply a lace applique, but helped me get this detail knocked out as a team in about two hours.
No cosplay, but especially, no Mona cosplay is complete without accessories.
The item I spent the most time searching Etsy for was her signature pearl. The largest pearl ever found in Lumen Lake. I definitely wanted it to be real. I liked this process because through my searching I learned a lot about pearls that I didn’t know. I ended up purchasing a fireball pearl that is a freshwater pearl, and it is about the size of my large toenail (~17mm wide x 32mm long).
At the beginning of 2017, I wanted to add a new princess to my cosplay portfolio. Originally, I had planned on that princess being Ariel, but when the live-action Beauty and the Beast was announced I quickly changed my plans. Snow White and Cinderella This is how the long journey of creating Belle’s ball gown began. Belle is actually not my favorite princess, but I think it would be hard to argue that her yellow gown is not the grandest of Disney dresses. This is a dress that was designed to make jaws drop and beasts weak in the knees. Deciding to make this dress was no light undertaking for me.
If you’ve listened to my opinions on the live-action Beauty and the Beast then you’ll know that I felt that dress left a lot to be desired. The inspiration from this dress was taken mainly from the original animated film. Below are the two main images I used for reference. I will say I spent more time than I should admit re-watching the scenes with the dress in the original film to full understand what I wanted. I also really love Designer Daddy’s many Belle designs, but this dress especially spoke to me.
The Making of Belle
So when the Cinderella live-action came out I loved her dress, but I also wondered why the made it look so much like Belle’s dress. Today, I’m not complaining because it made it super easy to choose a pattern for my project. I used Simplicity Pattern 1026. I didn’t really know how I was going to make the modifications I needed, but I knew it was the perfect base.
I don’t even know how to begin to tell you how much fabric I bought for this project. I think I have enough left over to make a second dress. It’s a bit embarrassing, but it was so hard to find the right yellow fabrics. I didn’t want to chance not having enough. I always saw her dress as more gold than yellow, but I wanted elements of both in this creation. All of the material for this dress was purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. A hoop skirt was purchased from Amazon for the base of this dress.
I began with the skirt because I thought figuring out the ruching on the skirt would be the hardest part. I was so wrong. It was the easiest. I made the first layer identical to the pattern. I believe I lengthened it at least 4 to 6 inches longer than the pattern called for. The second layer I think I made the same pattern pieces about 20 inches longer than called for, and simply gathered them upward at the seams. This created the draped effect. In total this took about 10 hours.
I started this part of the dress in February, and didn’t touch it again for about 8 months. It was a very overwhelming project, and I started to second guess my fabric choices. Don’t leave pins in fabric for 8 months; they rust. I decided to order new fabric for the bodice while finishing the skirt. Getting the waistband sewn in properly probably took me another 10-12 hours, and all I did was follow the pattern. After the waistband I got to add the details.
I purchased about 6 yards of lace with a scalloped edge to create the lace detail at the bottom of the draped layer. The width of the lace is probably about 6 inches. I simply sewed it to the bottom of that layer. This finished the top layer of the skirt. For the bottom layer, I wanted to add some sparkle. Using the GlitterBug organza I created a large cylinder of fabric that I gathered at the top edge. I stitched it onto the bottom layer making sure that it was hidden by the top layer. I learned how to use my serger for this layer, so I could finish the edge of the organza. After this layer was attached I hemmed the main fabric, and serged the bottom of the organza and ironed it under to finish the skirt. Adding each of these details and hemming the dress probably took another 10 hours with the hemming itself probably taking about 3-4. Hemming large skirts sucks.