The Costume Counselor: Breaking it Down

After you pick a costume to work on, the next step is to figure out what exactly you’ll need to make or purchase. This is what I refer to as the break down process and it can either be a moment when you go “Oh, this won’t be so bad” or “This is way more complicated than I expected.” In some cases, the work may have already been done for you. The 501st in particular does a fantastic job of making sure they have incredibly thorough standards pages. They offer breakdowns of exactly what each costume will be comprised of along with pictures of the pieces. I found it to be incredibly helpful when I was working on my Revan. Unfortunately though, not every costume is going to have the benefit of 501st research.

The first step is to gather your reference pictures. Find as many of these as you can. If you’re working on a costume where you can see the front, the back, and the sides, be grateful for reference as this will take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. (Alternatively, you can be like me and base your costume off of a single image that doesn’t even show the entire costume. It’s my specialty.) I’m a fan of printing the pictures out if I’m going to continue to reference them while actually constructing the costume but I do know that a lot of people will maintain reference image folders on their tablets. Do what works for you.  Continue reading

The Costume Counselor: Sewing 101

Sewing is one of those weird things that, like cooking, you may have learned in some sort of home-ec class or from your parents or that you just randomly picked up because you decided you wanted to learn. If you didn’t learn how when you were younger, it can seem intimidating and look like an insurmountable mountain even though it’s not. Like any skill, it will take time and practice so don’t get discouraged if it’s a struggle early on.

If you’re brand new to sewing, you may think that you have to dive right into sewing garments with a machine. Don’t. Well, you can but I strongly recommend that you get comfortable with the basics of hand sewing first. Get acclimated to working with needle and thread by learning how to sew a button back on to a shirt or a cool patch on to your jacket. No matter how good you get with a machine, you’ll inevitably have to do at least some hand sewing for any given project so you might as well get comfortable with it now.  In fact, there are some costumers who only hand sew all of their work (and they have so much of my respect because wow.) Continue reading