...And I need a little help.
I've done general costuming for school productions, but nothing major. I was usually makeup- stage makeup is something I've just always been pretty handy with. But I wasn't the costume designer for any high school theatre productions, nothing I've made was designed to be worn more than once for the project, performance, and what-have-you. I made my own clothes for a long time in middle school, but they were by no stretch of the imagination nice looking-and the other kids let me know it. I definitely "get it"- stitching, surging, seams, assembly, clips versus pins depending on material, yardage per piece, etc. But those are just the technical aspects written down in books. Everyone who ever ventured into cooking solo for the first time as a kid knows that just because you followed the book EXACTLY, does not mean your food will be five-star restaurant quality. Sometimes, it's that personal touch that brings something a whole new dimension.
So this is a plea for information: costume designers, cosplayers, clothes-makers- what are some of YOUR workflow steps from start to finish? What materials do you recommend, and what do you think I should stay away from? Do you know where to get usable fabrics on the cheap? What should I avoid doing, and what should I do more of?
Basically, for more background (because I know that what I've asked is VERY broad-spectrum and it will be hard to answer without more context), I promised myself I would do a true cosplay at a convention just once. I always love to look around and see what other people have designed, but until recently it wasn't something I was expressly interested in trying for myself. However, I've been trying to branch out my skills recently, and thought it might be fun to challenge myself. This project not only includes costuming, but actually involves a great deal of engineering with spare parts (that's the easy part- I've been building robots since elementary school)! I don't want to reveal what it is that I'm working on just yet, as I'm fairly certain my engineering idea has not been applied to this particular function thus far, but I've chosen and planned very carefully. Hell, I've already lost ten pounds for the role I'll be playing at my chosen convention!
Here's the challenge I've mapped out for myself: Aside from the engineering bit, I don't want to spend wads of cash on this. I don't want to be "cheap," and have the project fall to pieces, but I do want to budget carefully and not make a mistake grave enough that I'll need to repurchase materials. The costume I've picked out of the multiple "costumes" this character has worn is very dialed down. Why? Because if I do this right and don't advertise what it is that this was designed for, I should be able to wear most of this all over again on a day to day basis without anyone knowing that it was designed as a cosplay. Therein lies how I was finally able to justify spending money on the materials to myself- it HAS to hold up to daily wear-and-tear. So, folks, I ask that you enlighten me- how do I accomplish this? Where should I look for materials? Who makes the best basic patterns for things like jackets, shirts, and pants? What are some techniques and tips for working with faux leather, and what's the best faux leather to work with? If any of you need more information to help me out, I'll be happy to message you with character details, but not here.
Anyway, thank you all so much for your help! I look forward to all and any answers you can give me. Cheers!
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