A lot of people new to the cosplay world don’t realize how expensive their new hobby can be. Whether you’re buying your first costume pre-made, having one commissioned, or making it yourself, it’s not going to be cheap.
Good materials are essential in the creation of a great costume. No matter how good your sewing skills, inferior materials will make your costume look amatuer – and even if your skills aren’t that great, good materials will make the task so much easier. Here are a few ‘rules’ to follow when considering what fabric to use for your costume.
1) NO SHINY FABRIC
Unless it’s absolutely clear in every way that part or all of the character’s costume is satiny, DO NOT USE SHINY FABRICS. Shiney fabrics are very slippery and hard to work with, making things all that more frustrating if you’re a beginner (or even if you’re not – they have caused many a crisis in my sewing room). Secondly, if the costume isn’t ment to look satiny, using a shiney fabric can make it look cheap and, well, costumey.
2) Cotton is your friend!
There are soooo many reasons why you should make your first costume (and probably most of your costumes) out of cotton.
- Your local fabric store will have plain cotton in a wide selection of colors
- Even high quality cottons are cheaper than a lot of other fabrics
- Cotton is breathable, so when you’re packed shoulder to shoulder at the rave or in the dealer’s room you’ll be way more comfortable than if you were wearing heavier fabric.
-100% cotton is 100% machine washable, so even if your costume does get stinky, you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined in the wash.
3) Things cost money. Deal with it.
Unfortunately, fabric costs money. Good fabric costs more money than crappy fabric. Now I’m not saying you have to go too overboard, since you’re not wearing this stuff every day (or are you?), but it will have to withstand a lot of activity. If you buy a fabric that only costs $2-$3 a yard, it will probably be very weak (and seethrough, which can be a big problem), and will fray and rip easily. Try and find a good medium weight cotton that you can’t easily see your hand through – it will probably cost around $5-$7 a yard. However…
4) Sales are your best friend (Yes, even moreso than cotton)
If you find a great fabric for $3 a yard that was $7.50 a yard (I’m just making up numbers here), by all means, go for it! Again, materials are not cheap, and many costumes require a lot, so get a good deal when you can!
Any questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments!