Craigslist, flea markets, and second-hand stores will become your best friend. Network within the cosplay community for cosplay tips. You never know who will have an item or recommendation that you need. Look into cheaper synthetic fabrics. Sure they won’t always look EXACTLY like the character, but they can save you a lot of cash in the long run.
Coupons, coupons, coupons
Stores like Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics offer coupons on sale items and 20% on single items. Always look into free shipping offers and extra savings if you sign up for a store or site’s mailing list. They are easy to opt out of later. Post Halloween sales. Seriously, get on that.Utilize local crafting and sewing classes. I was able to take a sewing machine class at Joanne Fabrics where they showed me how to use my own machine. The cost was $10 per class. YouTube tutorials. Diagrams, images, written instructions and spoken advice won’t always have the answer you need.
Use reference images of every angle. And DON’T stress your self out over your body image. We won’t always have the same body as our character did on tv. And that is perfectly ok. Don’t use too much glue or adhesive. It becomes heavy and malleable over time. Utilize small repair kits. Hand out cards with your Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr handle to find pictures of yourself. Give yourself enough time to plan and create your costume. Give yourself enough time to get ready and for bathroom breaks. Supportive undergarments can be a lifesaver. No shame in using them or not using them.
Comfort is Everything
Dr. Scholls WILL save you a weekend of pain. And they now come in many different sizes and styles. Wear your cosplay around your house for a day. Many times we get so excited to wear our cosplay for cons that we forget to think about how those long con days will affect our comfort. This includes preventing blisters, rashes and sometimes heat exhaustion. If you are creating your cosplay from scratch, sew in or add pockets to store money, keys, tickets and your phone. Carrying around a purse or worrying about where to store your essentials can be quite annoying.
Have fun. That is what cosplay if for.