First Costume Lessons

Every cosplayer has their first costume.   Mine is from three years ago, and I’ve only done one other costume since (that has not been public).   Until recently, I’ve been out of the cosplay game because I wasn’t excited after my first costume.  Maybe it’s because next to greyrondo I felt like such a newbie, maybe it’s because it didn’t excite me, but whatever my reason, I’m back.  I’m upon my horse and rearing for action.

And yes, I have a costume in progress.  And yes, it is awesomer than Sakura.  Thank God.

First costumes are an experience that can not be repeated or sometimes even put into words, but I’ll try.  This costume is riddled with mistakes that I have since learned lessons from, so let me explain this to you through them.

Lesson One: Know your character

I may have conned greyrondo into cosplaying Fai D. Florite to my Sakura-hime from Tsubasa.  To this day, I blame the shiny coins.  They drew me in. (Exhibit B: Yuuko)  But there is a reason to this ramble: I had little to no grasp on the character. I didn’t know how to act as her, dress as her or even move as her.

Knowing your character is a vital part of a cosplay.  You need to know your character in order to pose, and sweet lord, I had no poses.

Lesson Two:  Don’t use Walmart fabric

The thing about fabric from Walmart is that it is notoriously thin.  Use it for small pieces, appliques, but not for large scale costumes.  Especially an entire clown pant and skirt ensemble. It wrinkles easily, doesn’t support well.  It’s just poorly made.

And guess what?  I used Walmart fabric.

Lesson Three: Details, Details, Details

The coins that I loved so weren’t actual coins.  They were wood  spray painted gold, and I drilled holes in the wood and sewed them on.  They were too large, too bulky, too kinda annoying, but I needed those details.  I did them because they were a detail of the costume, but they weren’t well done. The black and gold on the costume was suppose to be fabric. I used ribbon because I could, and I really shouldn’t have.

I didn’t change the costume to suit my body.  I didn’t use too much fabric.  I glued instead of sewed.  I committed a million fabric sins, but I didn’t know it.  Now I do.

Lesson Four: Start early!

I made this costume in probably two weeks.  I didn’t research, I didn’t have good shoes, didn’t have anything besides a single reference picture and some crazy thoughts.  Take your time, give yourself months to work on it, take breaks and work at a steady pace.  It helps with the slumps and fanatic paces that you go through at times.

Also, order your wig early.  I didn’t do it early enough, and greyrondo and I had to dye one from Party City.  We got high off the sharpies the night before. (but that’s another story for another day)


First costumes, as a general rule, aren’t the best.  But you always learn from bad thing, and these are just four of my own mistakes.  You learn more making the costumes, like what stitches to use, about types of colors that are flattering on your body.  You learn and grow, and it’s an amazing experience.

(Enjoy the picture.  It’s been three years since that.  And yes, you can laugh. Greyrondo and I did when I unearth this on the unforgiving internet.)

love, mamaesme

greyrondo as Fai and mamaesme as Sakura (AtsuiCon 2007)


About mamaesme

Cosplayer. Business Student. Fan of anything eclectic. View all posts by mamaesme

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