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Steps In Planning A Cosplay Costume

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By ShinjusWorkshop   |   
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© 2015 - 2020 ShinjusWorkshop
Here is what I do when I plan cosplays! I think this could be useful for beginners or those who are having troubles with the planning part. This is how I do it, so if you have any other way of doing it, please share it!
And now, the extended version or it (with examples) , if you feel like reading it.
1. Find a costume you want to make! - I think we all different reasons and ways of finding a character we want to cosplay. I usually fall in love with the design or I find the actual work on it challenging and sometimes I manage to make a character that I am in love with. I am very self conscious, so that makes me really restrictive in choosing my costumes, but hey, I'm ok with it!
2. Find tons of reference - well, you know, google and all the other possible resources. I have to admit I love model viewers and figurines a lot and I can have lots of trouble with just one image or two as reference (Athena's armor was like that!). Also, reference images can be very tricky, some show some parts very different, and you'll have to make choices. For example, Vi has a few versions. I tried to keep my main the splash art and I based the parts that were not visible from the in game version.
3. Think of possible materials and techniques - even if you are a total beginner, you may have some ideas how clothing looks like and how they are put together. Most of the time this initial idea is wrong, but it's a start!
4. & 5.  Look for how others made it & Look for tutorials. This is an extremely important part of the process and it usually takes a lot of time. I tend to pick costumes that require new materials or new techniques, so I research a lot. For example, all the research for the Mandarin took forever, since I tested a lot and researched, tested and researched some more. This part of the process also means looking for materials in the area where you live/online and how much they cost.
6. Revise your initial choice of materials and techniques. - well, what this says. I am sure that even after a bit of research, you'll decide to do things differently. Always take into account the time you have, how much it takes the materials to get to you if you order them and how much it takes you work on them and the cost. If you calculated a cost, add at least 30% or 40% more, because there are always hidden costs or just you discover you need extra stuff. The same with the time. I calculate a time and then I double it, because I know I I work :P
7. Buy some samples if possible and make some tests. Also a vital step for me. Once I bought 5 meters of a fabric I was totally in love with and then I discovered my sewing machine did not really get along with it! Never again!
8. Look for some more tutorials and materials. Yes, there is never a stop to it! Look until you are happy with what you have!
9. Revise all your materials and techniques again and prepare for work!
Before I do that, sometimes I make a very detailed list of the parts of the costume and how I want to make them. Ticking them off is so satisfying!
So.... how do you do it?
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Marisahz's avatar
MarisahzHobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this awesome help. I'll deffinetly use this when I plan my cosplay costume. Hamtaro Mouse Emoji-02 (Kawaii) [V1] 
ShinjusWorkshop's avatar
ShinjusWorkshopProfessional Artisan Crafter
you're welcome! :)