Admin and Resident Cosplayer Rainer, gives us a quick tutorial on her cosplay.
A lot of people can’t find the time to make their own cosplays, or don’t feel comfortable working with a specific kind of material. Personally, I am just starting to work with nylon/spandex, as I am working on a Kitana cosplay, specifically from MKII. It’s a very tricky material to work with, as you NEED to use a zig-zag stitch. You also need special needles and specific thread. Most times you see spandex body suits, more than likely the person made it with a serger. Those are crazy expensive, so if you don’t have one, like myself, a zig-zag stitch with a straight stitch through it will do the same job, just takes longer because the serger does both steps for you. So, if you’re not brave enough to work with an expensive, stretchy material, there are plenty of amazing commissioned costume makers. I got my Rogue done by Castle Corsetry.
Her prices were amazing, her work and material quality was amazing, and I highly, highly recommend her. Though I digress the point of this article. The point is, you pay for what you get. You need to understand that the person making your prop or costume does this for a living, and needs to earn a living. They are out buying the materials for YOUR costume, and taking THEIR time to make it just right for you. Unless you know for a fact you’re getting ripped off, don’t ever complain about the cost. I can tell you right off the bat, the nylon for my Kitana I’ve been buying is $28/meter. And I have to do two layers. So you just go ahead and do the math. So, when you get someone who does this as a business, you’re paying for your materials, and their time making it.
If you’re only looking to spend a little bit on a full body costume, don’t expect it to be top of the line material. You really get what you pay for. And having something made for you doesn’t make you any less of a cosplayer. As I’ve mentioned, a lot of people don’t want to work with spandex, it’s a tricky material, but don’t complain about the cost of your full body spandex suit should you get it commissioned.
As I also mentioned, props is another thing that takes a lot of time to make, and depending on the material, can’t really be rushed. There are a lot of amazing prop makers out there, that like costume makers, have a facility to hold everything they need to make your props. A lot of the time, these people put a lot of money into their equipment, and put a lot of time and detail in your props and costumes. Don’t try and haggle a price with them, as again, this is their living. Also, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like less of a cosplayer if you’ve had anything made for you. People work, people have other things they have do to aside from make costumes. Don’t feel bad if someone made it for you. Homemade isn’t always better. It comes down to time, and what you have available to you. Some people don’t have the space, some people don’t have the equipment, some people don’t have the know-how or time to learn it. You’re still as much of a cosplayer as the person who made their own costume.