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Post Reply Do you need cosplay help?
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Posted 1/30/14 , edited 1/30/14


I'm not the one who started this thread, but I can help you with at least the ruffles section of your dress. If, while searching, you did find a balloon dress pattern that was easy for you to understand, there's no stopping you from using and building on it. Many cosplays are made by using a mixture of different patterns and building another. In your case, for the ruffles it's a relatively easy addition once you get the hang of gathering fabrics.

I know there's at least one other way to gather fabric using elastic thread, but as I've never used that method I won't even try to explain it, on the off chance I do it wrong. However there's an easy way of doing it with your typical thread. Firstly, because your pattern won't be considering the ruffles, you'll need to decide how high you want your ruffles to be. Once that is done, you'll need to remove that amount from the dress' pattern. If you don't, you'll end up having your dress far longer than what you originally wanted. Oh and don't forget to add a seam allowance at the bottom.



Hopefully my crappy paint skills are understandable. As you can see, there's two separate pattern pieces and the red reflects where you need to add your seam allowance. Like mentioned previously, the 'ruffles' strip's height is the actual one you want your ruffles to be. However as this is also going to be the end of your dress, you'll need to add a bit more length on the bottom in order to turn the fabric inwards to create a hem. I generally fold the fabric twice on itself to create my hem. This way the frayed threads don't stick out and I don't end up having a mess of fray ends showing.

In short: Height = desired length of ruffles + seam allowance + hem allowance

The width of the rectangle is really easy. You just need to measure the width at the bottom of your dress pattern, multiply it by two and add the seam allowance on each end.

Once you have taken down your measurements and cut the fabric accordingly, you'll be taking them to the sewing machine. First thing first, you'll want to add the hem. Not only will it avoid frustrations but you'll also have an easy time knowing right side from wrong side and what is top and what is bottom. That done, you'll change your stitch settings to the widest straight stitch on your machine and sew a straight line at the top WITHOUT going backwards to lock the thread. It's very important that you leave a long section of thread at each end of your fabric. You'll be taking either the thread from the top or the bottom at each end (it doesn't matter, so long as you take the same one for both) and pull outwards. If you're doing this right, you'll see your fabric folding in on itself. This is what people call gathering fabric, but if you look closely around the pulled thread, it also creates a ruffle effect.

Now I'm not sure how wide or narrow you want your ruffles, so I can't tell you exactly how many straight stitch lines you need to make or how much space to put in-between them. The more you pull the more bunched up the fabric gets, but the further away from the thread the fabric is, the less bunched up it becomes. This is why one generally adds more than one line, it's to keep the look uniformed. The best is to mess around with old pieces and see what fits your wants the best. Sides, it'll give you practice.

Once you're satisfied with the look, sew a tight stitch at each end to keep the threads from disappearing into the fabric and ruining your work. That done, it's time to assemble the dress. Sew the ruffles to the bottom of the dress and cut off the excess (it most likely will be the case, as I don't have this down to a science and I personally prefer to have more than not enough). Now all that's left is to follow the rest of your dress pattern's instructions and you should have a balloon dress with ruffles.


Merlin's beard! This is rather a lengthy post. If you need any further explanations or need something cleared, hit me up on PM or here.

And to JingjoLee, my apologies if I overstepped my bounds.
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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14
ok I wanted to see if I can get any suggestions on making this guys racing miku cosplay since I don't have the legs to pull of mikus mini skirt the race suit seams like a safer second choice the race suit seams simple enough I can buy any real white fire suit pretty cheap and just add to it but what would be the best way to add the logos to the suit I already have a helmet and thought it be easy enough to just get goodsmile decals off ebay but no luck any suggestions would be appreciated I would not be against just buying it either but I had no luck finding one. also I found this pic on crunchyroll forums cosplay highlights of the crunchyroll ambassadors
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Posted 1/31/14

Rogue-Eaglet wrote:



I'm not the one who started this thread, but I can help you with at least the ruffles section of your dress. If, while searching, you did find a balloon dress pattern that was easy for you to understand, there's no stopping you from using and building on it. Many cosplays are made by using a mixture of different patterns and building another. In your case, for the ruffles it's a relatively easy addition once you get the hang of gathering fabrics.

I know there's at least one other way to gather fabric using elastic thread, but as I've never used that method I won't even try to explain it, on the off chance I do it wrong. However there's an easy way of doing it with your typical thread. Firstly, because your pattern won't be considering the ruffles, you'll need to decide how high you want your ruffles to be. Once that is done, you'll need to remove that amount from the dress' pattern. If you don't, you'll end up having your dress far longer than what you originally wanted. Oh and don't forget to add a seam allowance at the bottom.



Hopefully my crappy paint skills are understandable. As you can see, there's two separate pattern pieces and the red reflects where you need to add your seam allowance. Like mentioned previously, the 'ruffles' strip's height is the actual one you want your ruffles to be. However as this is also going to be the end of your dress, you'll need to add a bit more length on the bottom in order to turn the fabric inwards to create a hem. I generally fold the fabric twice on itself to create my hem. This way the frayed threads don't stick out and I don't end up having a mess of fray ends showing.

In short: Height = desired length of ruffles + seam allowance + hem allowance

The width of the rectangle is really easy. You just need to measure the width at the bottom of your dress pattern, multiply it by two and add the seam allowance on each end.

Once you have taken down your measurements and cut the fabric accordingly, you'll be taking them to the sewing machine. First thing first, you'll want to add the hem. Not only will it avoid frustrations but you'll also have an easy time knowing right side from wrong side and what is top and what is bottom. That done, you'll change your stitch settings to the widest straight stitch on your machine and sew a straight line at the top WITHOUT going backwards to lock the thread. It's very important that you leave a long section of thread at each end of your fabric. You'll be taking either the thread from the top or the bottom at each end (it doesn't matter, so long as you take the same one for both) and pull outwards. If you're doing this right, you'll see your fabric folding in on itself. This is what people call gathering fabric, but if you look closely around the pulled thread, it also creates a ruffle effect.

Now I'm not sure how wide or narrow you want your ruffles, so I can't tell you exactly how many straight stitch lines you need to make or how much space to put in-between them. The more you pull the more bunched up the fabric gets, but the further away from the thread the fabric is, the less bunched up it becomes. This is why one generally adds more than one line, it's to keep the look uniformed. The best is to mess around with old pieces and see what fits your wants the best. Sides, it'll give you practice.

Once you're satisfied with the look, sew a tight stitch at each end to keep the threads from disappearing into the fabric and ruining your work. That done, it's time to assemble the dress. Sew the ruffles to the bottom of the dress and cut off the excess (it most likely will be the case, as I don't have this down to a science and I personally prefer to have more than not enough). Now all that's left is to follow the rest of your dress pattern's instructions and you should have a balloon dress with ruffles.


Merlin's beard! This is rather a lengthy post. If you need any further explanations or need something cleared, hit me up on PM or here.

And to JingjoLee, my apologies if I overstepped my bounds.


Rogue, of course not! Thanks for stepping up You just exemplified one of the best parts of cosplay; people helping others :)

Becca, was Rogue's advice helpful to you? Please feel free to ask more questions :)

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Posted 1/31/14

tdp7886 wrote:

ok I wanted to see if I can get any suggestions on making this guys racing miku cosplay since I don't have the legs to pull of mikus mini skirt the race suit seams like a safer second choice the race suit seams simple enough I can buy any real white fire suit pretty cheap and just add to it but what would be the best way to add the logos to the suit I already have a helmet and thought it be easy enough to just get goodsmile decals off ebay but no luck any suggestions would be appreciated I would not be against just buying it either but I had no luck finding one. also I found this pic on crunchyroll forums cosplay highlights of the crunchyroll ambassadors


The easiest way to add the logos would be to buy some of that Iron-on transfer paper at a craft store, then get the images you need off the internet and resize the image how you want it & flip it so that when you iron it on, it's right side out - before you do that though, practice with a smaller image on a piece of scrap fabric made out of a similar material as the suit - that way you know how the fabric will react to the transfer paper before you potentially ruin your cosplay.

If you want to do something a little bit nicer (read, more expensive) there are sellers on Etsy who make custom patches, and you can see if you can find one who'll take commissions and make your logo for you. It might take a little while, and cost a decent penny but the results will definitely show :)
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Posted 2/1/14
Noticed you have Katsucon in your status message, so I'll assume you live in the States and thus should be able to help me out.

I've recently made my first prop using Kamui Cosplay's tutorial on expandable foam. Everything went smoothly until I reached the last layer. She basically says to use papier mache that is sold at craft stores and in her comments she mentions it's some kind of paper powder mixed with water that turns grey when wet. I asked my local craft store, but none of them knew what I was talking about and I ended up buying what they called papier mache. Unfortunately, it keeps itself grainy. I don't particularly mind as it gives character to my staff, however I plan on doing Ja'far's household vessel using this method and I'd really rather have a smooth finish for those.

So if that made any sense, would you happen to know one or two brands that I could look for? Cause as it stands right now, I'm thinking of just buying myself a container of Crayola's Model Magic and hope it won't crack/break off in the middle of messing around at a con.
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Posted 2/2/14 , edited 2/2/14

Rogue-Eaglet wrote:

Noticed you have Katsucon in your status message, so I'll assume you live in the States and thus should be able to help me out.

I've recently made my first prop using Kamui Cosplay's tutorial on expandable foam. Everything went smoothly until I reached the last layer. She basically says to use papier mache that is sold at craft stores and in her comments she mentions it's some kind of paper powder mixed with water that turns grey when wet. I asked my local craft store, but none of them knew what I was talking about and I ended up buying what they called papier mache. Unfortunately, it keeps itself grainy. I don't particularly mind as it gives character to my staff, however I plan on doing Ja'far's household vessel using this method and I'd really rather have a smooth finish for those.

So if that made any sense, would you happen to know one or two brands that I could look for? Cause as it stands right now, I'm thinking of just buying myself a container of Crayola's Model Magic and hope it won't crack/break off in the middle of messing around at a con.


As far as paper mache goes, what you already have should be fine but what you could consider doing is adding a layer of a finishing material to prevent cracking & molding. Good finishing materials to put over your dried paper mache are modge podge, any sort of acrylic sealer (you can find this by the acrylic paint), or gesso. If you want to try gesso though, I'd suggest purchasing it from a hardware store because you can buy a great quantity for less expense than if you picked it up at a craft store :)

Sidenote: when I do use paper mache, I like to make it myself to save some money
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Posted 2/2/14 , edited 2/2/14
Ah I think I've found the problem with my paper mache. Think I didn't add enough water to the mix, hence why I got a pack of grainy bits instead of a smooth paste. Although, thanks for the suggestion, I might look into adding that. I'll definitely be testing on bits before going on the actual prop this time round though lol.

PS: Yeah, that's the one with the newspaper and flour recipe yes? Hum, what I was talking about actually goes on top of that. Here's the video in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bn_RosA4uFc
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Posted 2/9/14
Can anyone help me and give me instructions/help for a Silica cosplay from Sword Art Online? This is my first cosplay soooo I really need a lot of help because it looks sort of complicated
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Posted 2/9/14 , edited 2/9/14

Allie_cat418 wrote:

Can anyone help me and give me instructions/help for a Silica cosplay from Sword Art Online? This is my first cosplay soooo I really need a lot of help because it looks sort of complicated


I don't know how much effort you want to put into it or if you're going to get help from an adult so I went with a basic level design
I've had a look and here's what I saw.



Two layers plus accessories.


The first can be done by cutting the sleeves off a t-shirt and
the skirt can be a regular skirt with vertical strips sewn on the front
and the bands around the gloves and ankle can be a sock cut into a tube and rolled onto it's self.


I guessed at the patterns for the red thing
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Posted 2/9/14

Sir_jamesalot wrote:


Allie_cat418 wrote:

Can anyone help me and give me instructions/help for a Silica cosplay from Sword Art Online? This is my first cosplay soooo I really need a lot of help because it looks sort of complicated


I don't know how much effort you want to put into it or if you're going to get help from an adult so I went with a basic level design
I've had a look and here's what I saw.



Two layers plus accessories.


The first can be done by cutting the sleeves off a t-shirt and
the skirt can be a regular skirt with vertical strips sewn on the front
and the bands around the gloves and ankle can be a sock cut into a tube and rolled onto it's self.


I guessed at the patterns for the red thing



Okay thank you for your help i think i understand how to do it know...sort of lol
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Posted 2/9/14

Allie_cat418 wrote:


Okay thank you for your help i think i understand how to do it know...sort of lol


You should probably wait for op.
I was just bored.
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Posted 2/11/14
I'm a big chick and don't know what I'd be able to cosplay as. Like, I'm really stingy with it. I don't care what other people think. I don't like the idea of cosplaying as someone of a different body type. Anime and mangos tend to have thin female characters, and if the men aren't sticks, they're 7 foot tall behemoths with bulging muscles. I'd be fine with either gender, as long as the character is modest and fits my body type.

I'm female, pear shaped, small tits, everything else big. ~250lbs.
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Posted 2/17/14

UberDanger wrote:

I'm a big chick and don't know what I'd be able to cosplay as. Like, I'm really stingy with it. I don't care what other people think. I don't like the idea of cosplaying as someone of a different body type. Anime and mangos tend to have thin female characters, and if the men aren't sticks, they're 7 foot tall behemoths with bulging muscles. I'd be fine with either gender, as long as the character is modest and fits my body type.

I'm female, pear shaped, small tits, everything else big. ~250lbs.


At the moment I can't think of any characters that would fit what you requested, but I'm still going to put this suggestion up in the off chance that you might be interested. I know you said you'd rather stick to your body type, however I'd just like to point out that there are some females whom are on the thin side, that are still dressed in a way that it'd fit nicely on other body types. For example Olivia Armstrong from FMA who wears the military uniform.

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Posted 2/17/14

Allie_cat418 wrote:

Can anyone help me and give me instructions/help for a Silica cosplay from Sword Art Online? This is my first cosplay soooo I really need a lot of help because it looks sort of complicated

Do you have any basic sewing knowledge or are you also a newcomer to the sewing machine? Because I'm going to be honest, everyone generally recommends to start with simple cosplays to beginners. It's not that we don't think you can't handle it, it's simply because the more complicated the cosplay, the easier it is to become depressed/frustrated and to just outright give up on the whole idea before even getting a taste of it. I don't know how many times I pulled at my hair or shed tears trying to figure out what I was doing last summer trying to do the military uniform from FMA, and that was my third 'official' cosplay.

However if you have prior knowledge with sewing or have someone who can help you along the way, then maybe Silicia isn't too complicated for a first cosplay. Already you can get a pleated skirt from a thrift shop and just sew on a gold ribbon at the bottom. The boots can be made either by buying thigh-high socks and smart shoes or using boot covers, but personally, as this is your first I would go the shoe+sock way. I also strongly advise to buy real cheap fabric like bed sheets and make a first run on those for the whole red outfit, as there's nothing more annoying than screwing up on the good fabric and having to buy a whole lot of it again (and sometimes you might not even be able to find more of it).

I'm a little out of it so I'll refrain from trying to help with the rest of the cosplay for the moment. However I would like to point out that if you have money and are deadset sure on cosplaying Silicia, Arda-Wigs is currently having a 20% off sale on their wigs so if you need a wig, now might be a great opportunity to save a bit of money on a quality wig. The Chibi would be the ideal choice I'd go with as it already has the ponytails so you'd only have to add the red ribbons.
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Posted 3/1/14
Hello! Well you see, soon I will be cosplaying as Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki and the only thing that I'm missing its her phone. I've never built anything before but I have an old Razr motorola phone what could I do to make it look like Yuno's?
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