Having been deemed as the writer with the most costuming experience, I am here to share with you–
A Short History of My Own Costuming Experience.
Part Two: College
The next few years saw a little improvement in my costume-making skills. Of the sewing I did at this time, my creation efforts were mostly redirected to making normal clothing, and I only made three real costumes during my years of college. One was a cosplay of Victoria Everglot from Corpse Bride, one was a Queen of Spades costume, and the other was a new, more awesome pirate costume.
Unfortunately, I realized at this time that costuming couldn’t be a huge part of my life. I simply didn’t have the money to buy quality fabrics and notions. I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to sewing. I didn’t own my own sewing machine and my roommates had sewing machines of variable dependability, to put it kindly. The more discouraging thing, however, was that I didn’t like spending so much money and effort on a costume, only to wear it once and then have it hang around in my closet taking up space.
These costumes represent a shift in my views towards costuming. I had even sworn off costuming for a few years—because I had simply been taking it too seriously. I worked too hard on making these costumes as amazing as I possibly could. They were stressful and time-consuming, and I felt that the mild amount of appreciation I earned from others during the single events that I wore the costume just weren’t worth all the work I put into them. So yes, these costumes are pretty awesome—they’re definitely much better than the ones I had made previously. They represent a peak in my costuming life; doing nothing for one and a half years, then an out of control sewing frenzy of blood sweat and tears, to create a complicated costume in just a few days. It was intense.
It was also at this time that I got my hot hands on a number of sewing textbooks—which, of course, I read much more thoroughly than my textbooks for class. I can trace an improvement in my ability and determination to sew directly to these books.
This is some of what I learned during this time:
1. On shiny fabrics do as little topstitching as possible
2. For gathers, gather the edge before you pin it to the other piece
3. Put in linings whenever you can, instead of finishing seams (especially good for shiny fabrics, to further avoid topstiching and to stabilize the fabric)
4. Don’t be afraid to do some interior finishing by hand
Part 3 will be the final section of this report, where I discuss how my attitude towards costuming has changed.