You can Cosplay | Encouraging more people to cosplay
This blog is meant to inspire and help more people to cosplay. Providing all followers with tutorials, tips, advice, videos, and messages to improve their cosplay. Yet, primarily focusing on the positives of cosplay, embraces all cosplayers, and shows the various reasons why people partake in the hobby. Here the blog encourages more people to cosplay, in ordered to better the cosplay community.
The average cosplayer has probably made a duct tape dress form at least once. For most applications a torso-only dress form is fine, but what about the times where you need arms and legs? I needed a full body dress form for a few upcoming projects and didn’t want to shell out $500+ for a commericial option. I also wanted the chest to be bound so I could use it for crossplay, which pretty much eliminates any possibility of finding a stock commercial option that would be even remotely close to the measurements I wanted. So I ended up making this guy!
I also want to give a HUGE thank you to @stella-sews who helped me with the parts of this project that required two people, and I couldn’t have completed this without her.
The dress form not only accurately reflects my measurements but also has removable arms and a removable stand so I can actually put things like bodysuits on it. Making the dress form turned out to be a little less simple than I initially thought, but the final result is something that I’m probably going to be able to use indefinitely unless my body shape significantly changes.
Here’s the super quick version of the changes I made to the normal duct tape dress form routine:
Made duct tape shell
Taped wire to outside of shell to make a temporary rigid exoskeleton
Put in internal PVC skeleton for support stand and detachable shoulder joints
Filled with expanding foam
Removed wire exoskeleton
Cut arms off and cleaned up shoulder joints so arms are removable
For an in depth walk through of what I did, read below the cut!
This tutorial, as well as future tutorials, will be cross-posted to my new Patreon account! It will be 100% free always, but is another way you can keep an eye on my cosplay tutorials and write-ups.
Let’s take a few minutes to talk about our new favorite tool for finishing fabric edges…. the hot knife! For those who are unfamiliar with this product, a hot knife is similar in size to a soldering iron with changeable tips. Once plugged in, the tips will heat up so that you can use the hot end to cut or heat various materials. Hot knives are pretty cheap too - the below set will run you $22 on Amazon.com.
Many cosplayers already use hot knives to cut foam and other prop materials, but you can use a hot knife on fabric too! So long as your fabric is made from unnatural material such as polyester, a hot knife will melt and slag the raw end of your fabric, turning it into a hard, plastic-like line. However natural fabrics like cotton will not melt and slag - instead these will simply burn away if you try to light them on fire or use a hot knife. To test your fiber and perform a burn test, follow these steps.
But why would I ever want to melt my fabric??
There’s a few reasons!
Edge finishing. Is your fabric edge an odd shape, or something that can’t easily be rolled or serged? Slagging or cutting with the hot knife prevents your fabric from fraying, and allows you to create whatever shape your design calls for.
Distressing. We used the heck out of the hot knife for our Sakizou costumes, since it required so many raw and distressed edges. Holes and rips can look a little strange if your fabric is the kind that frays easily - what looks great now may not look so hot in a day or two when threads are beginning to unravel. Sealing the edges of your fabric with a hot knife guarantees that the edge will not fray, no matter how much you wear your costume. We used the following methods while creating our Sakizou cosplays:
Slagging while cutting - on satin, I first traced out my distressed pattern while using chalk. I then chose one of the tips that came to a point, and “cut” along that pattern with the hot knife. The heat from the knife burned through the satin and sealed the edge in one go. A heavy piece of cardboard should be placed under your work so that you do not accidentally cut or burn your table. This method is great for weightier fabrics or ones that will not roll under the knife.
Slagging after cutting - on chiffon, the above steps were difficult to do since the fabric was so prone to sliding. Instead I first cut the basic shape I wanted with scissors. I then used a flat tip and ran the hot knife along all edges of the fabric to seal. Be careful of the heat setting and how long you stay in one place while using this method, as light fabric can melt easily.
Some general hot knife tips:
Don’t over-heat your knife. Test first to determine which temperature is best for your fabric; something too hot can melt away your fabric more than you intended.
Don’t leave your hot knife unattended or around animals/children. It’s really hot!
As always, make sure you use your hot knife in a well-ventilated area since you are in essence melting plastic, and different polyesters can give off fumes. Keep children and pets away from the room, and consider a respirator depending on your fabric.
For over a year, I have been wanting to cosplay Lum but never had the confidence to. Throughout my life growing up, I was bullied for my size. I developed eating disorders and hid my body with baggy clothing. I felt very discouraged that a plus sized girl like me wouldn’t be able to pull of such a thin and slim character. Especially knowing I could possibly be body shamed and become more insecure with myself than I already was. Because let me tell you, people can be really cruel. However, A couple months before the convention took place, I made a quick decision that it was finally time to get out of my comfort zone and be myself rather than hiding myself. And in a result, I felt so much happier with myself doing so. It was a moment I couldn’t ever forget. That I wasn’t ashamed of my cellulite, the rolls when I sat down, and the stretch marks throughout my body. And that I was for the very first time in a long time, confident in who I am.
I am a cosplayer who will make the best out of cheap eBay cosplays and low-cost crafting materials. For the pieces I did craft and work, I reused my white undergarments and bought an affordable pair of white stockings. I dyed all those pieces yellow and added the black lines using fabric paint. I made my horns using aluminum foil and layering it with plaster wrap. I then painted them and completed it by gluing on clips.
Something only cosplayers would understand, would be the struggle of wearing a cosplay at a convention. From my experiences, I could say the struggle is real. As I was in the restroom fixing up my Lum cosplay, it became more of a laugh worthy moment when another cosplayer walks in saying how she had already got here and is ready to leave due to how tiring it is being in cosplay at a convention. It was one of the most relatable things that I felt considering how much my feet were in pain, the makeup was already sweating off, and having dry contacts in less than a couple hours being at the con. And for the most part during that time, I was sitting down! We both laughed at it and made each other feel good about relating to one another.
Cosplay has impacted my life for the better. Cosplaying has taught and gave me a chance to experience my own self love, happiness, confidence, and empowerment. As someone with depression and anxiety, my passion of cosplaying has been one of the little purposes why I haven’t given up on myself and my own happiness. As much as it could be considered silly to someone that running around dressing up as fictional characters could do such, cosplay takes me out of reality, and makes me a much more livelier person that I wouldn’t have been without it. One of my many purposes to cosplaying is to now inspire and encourage others who are afraid to be themselves, to express themselves however they want. So don’t let anything stop you from finding your own happiness. You’ll be happier that you did rather than not at all.