Using Clothes You Already Own

Using Clothes You Already Own

Cosplay materials can be expensive and sewing outfits can be a difficult process. Having the skills to make your own outfit is seriously impressive. However, sometimes buying pieces can be just as effective.

There are ways we can adapt our cosplays from things we already have on hand.

The first method is to alter an article of clothing from your closet.

For this, there are ways to temporarily change your clothes so that it can be worn normally again later, or even adapted for multiple cosplays. Roll up the sleeves of a t-shirt for a muscle shirt look. Fold the bottom of the shirt and secure with fabric tape or safety pins for a crop top. Cuff, roll up, or fold in bottom like pants and skirts. Fabric tape is a really good temporary way to secure your clothes. It’s even handy to bring some with you to your photoshoots and conventions. There are also ways to temporarily hand stitch with thread. This works not only for alterations, but appliques and designs as well

Permanent alterations may involve cutting things out, painting, or ironing on decorations. If your clothing is cheap, old, or just doesn’t matter to you, that might be the route you take. You might also want to buy something specifically for your project. Michael’s has blank t-shirts in just about any color between $4-$15 depending on your preferred style and material. They go on sale often and can be bought online.

The second method for using your own clothes is meant to help you measure for an original piece.

When making a cosplay guessing on the dimensions can be a bit difficult. If you have the fabric, an easy way to make a pattern is to simply trace an article of clothing that you already know fits well.

Lay out your piece on top of your fabric. Make sure it’s flat so the seams are on the edges and the fabric is smooth and not bunched or wrinkled.

Take a pencil or crayon and draw around the piece. Leave about ¼ inch or ½ cm for seam allowance or add it on after the outline is complete. To be safe you may want to do ½ inch or 1 cm.

You can make it all one piece or mark where the internal seams are. For a t-shirt mark where the sleeves are sewn on and connect the dots when you pic up the shirt. You can trace the sleeves in a separate place and mark the seams the same way. Remember that anything you trace will need to be cut out twice.

Once your initial item has been traced, make necessary additions or alterations for your character. Draw on parts that might be cut out or added on to your characters outfit that aren’t in your piece of clothing.

This method will work even better if you can mark on pattern paper or mock-up material first, cut your pattern, and then trace two sets of everything onto the fabric.

Here is a video on the topic from Mira Scarlet on Youtube: