Common Questions about Costume Making

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#1 godsavethequeen on 10 years ago

Lately, I've been seeing quite a few people asking questions that I'm positive have been answered in other places. In an attempt to answer some common costuming questions, I've started a list below. Please post anything other common questions/tutorials that I missed.


* [URL=""]Applique Basics[/URL]
* [URL=""]Andrea Zuill's Blog[/URL]

Bias Tape
* [URL=""]Simple Method[/URL]
* [URL=""]Continuous Method[/URL]
* [URL=""]Handy Gadget[/URL] - These are awesome! I've got a few and they work just great!
* [URL=""]DIY Handy Gadget[/URL]
* [URL=""]Mitering Corners[/URL]

* [URL=""]Bow Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Bow Tutorial #2[/URL]

* [URL=""]Useful Thread #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Useful Thread #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Boot Cover Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Boot Cover Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Boot Cover Tutorial #3[/URL]
* [URL=""]Boot Cover Tutorial #4[/URL]
* [URL=""]Bootcover Topper Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Bootcover Topper Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Bootcover Topper Tutorial #3[/URL]

Sailor Collars
* [URL=""]Sailor Collar Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Sailor Collar Tutorial #2[/URL]
* Sailor Collar Tutorial #3 (Page [URL=""]1[/URL], [URL=""]2[/URL], & [URL=""]3[/URL])


* [URL=""]Hakama Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Hakama Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Hakama Tutorial #3[/URL]
* [URL=""]Roundearth Hakama Pattern[/URL]
* [URL=""] Hakama Pattern[/URL]


* [URL=""]Useful Thread[/URL]
* [URL=""]Kimono Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=",1"]Kimono Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Folkwear Kimono Pattern[/URL]
* [URL=""]Butterick Kimono Pattern[/URL]

Other Patterns

* [URL=""]Janchan Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""][/URL]
* [URL=""]Simplicity Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""]McCalls Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""]Folkwear Sewing Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""]Butterick Sewing Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""]Vogue Sewing Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""]KwikSew Patterns[/URL]
* [URL=""][/URL]
Pleated Skirts

* [URL=""]Pleated Skirt Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Pleated Skirt Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Pleated Skirt Tutorial #3[/URL]
* [URL=""]Pleats Won't Stay In![/URL]

Dyeing Fabric

* [URL=""]Useful Thread #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Useful Thread #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Dying Polyester with iDye[/URL]
* [URL=""]Can I dye acrylic fabric?[/URL]
* [URL=""]How about stockings/nylons?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Can I dye fur?[/URL]
* [URL=""]How long should the dye set?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Leatherworld Leather Dyeing FAQ[/URL]
* [URL=""]Dye Remover Thread[/URL]
* [URL=""]How do I dye spandex/lycra?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Acrylic paint instead of dye?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Can I dye polymer fabrics (neoprene, polypropylene)?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Gradient Dyeing Tutorial[/URL]

Painting Fabric

* [URL=""]Painting patent leather[/URL]
* [URL=""]Removing fabric paint[/URL]
* [URL=""]Fabric spray paint[/URL]
* [URL=""]Painting on Silk[/URL]
* [URL=""]Stencils and Stamps[/URL]
* [URL=""]Painting on stretch fabric[/URL]

Fabric Applique

* [URL=""]Heat-N-Bond[/URL]


* [URL=""]Zipper Installation Tutorial #1 (visible sport zipper)[/URL]
* [URL=",2025,DIY_14143_2277030,00.html"]Zipper Installation Tutorial #2 (fly zipper)[/URL]
* [URL=",2025,DIY_14143_2277028,00.html"]Zipper Installation Tutorial #3 (invisible zipper)[/URL]
* [URL=""]Zipper Installation Tutorial #4 (invisible zipper)[/URL]
* [URL=""]Zipper Installation Tutorial #5 (lapped)[/URL]
* [URL=""]Shortening a Zipper Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Shortening a Zipper Tutorial #2[/URL]

Sleeves of All Sorts

* [URL=""]Useful Thread #1 (poofy)[/URL]
* [URL=""]Useful Thread #2 (poofy)[/URL]
* [URL=""]Sleeve Tutorial #1[/URL] - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
* [URL=""]Sleeve Doesn't Fit in Armhole![/URL]


* [URL=""]Petticoat Tutorial #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Petticoat Tutorial #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Petticoat Tutorial #3[/URL]
* [URL=""]What are they made of?[/URL]
* [URL=""]Useful Post[/URL]


* [URL=""]Tutorial List[/URL]
* [URL=""]Working with Fur[/URL]
* [URL=""]Working with Foam[/URL]
* [URL=""]Animal Feet[/URL]
* [URL=""]Mascot Building Tips[/URL]
* [URL=""]Beetlecat Originals Tutorials List[/URL]
* [URL=""]Livejournal Community[/URL]


* [URL=""]Taking in a Garment Thread #1[/URL]
* [URL=""]Taking in a Garment Thread #2[/URL]
* [URL=""]Taking in a Garment Thread #3[/URL]


* [URL=""]Gloves[/URL]
* [URL=""]Hats [/URL]

Tailored Jackets/Menswear

* [URL=""]Useful Thread about Suits/Tuxes[/URL]


* [URL=""]Wing Design Tutorial[/URL]
* [URL=""]Facing a Garment[/URL]
* [URL=""]Fiber Glass Armour[/URL]
* [URL=""]Hidden Pocket Tutorial[/URL]
* [URL=""]Various Tutorials from Taeliac[/URL]
* [URL=""]More tutorials[/URL]
* [URL=""]Alicehana's Tutorial List[/URL]

Need to add more! Make suggesstions![/B][/CENTER]

#2 Ashbrie on 10 years ago

This is a good thread and you are a good person for making it!

Dying fabric seems to be a fairly common topic--if anything, I think this thread is worth posting: [url][/url] about the recently discovered polyester dye~

#3 godsavethequeen on 10 years ago

Common Questions[/B]
* Why can't I find a pattern like the character I'm cosplaying?[/B]

Commercial patterns are made for...commercial/mainstream looks. Rather than looking for something exactly like your character's clothing, look for basic pattern shapes that you can modify.
* I don't have a sewing machine. Are gluing & hand sewing feasible options for me?[/B]

It all really depends on your patience level and quality expectations. Glue isn't really designed to piece fabric panels together in the same way as a sewing machine (latex being the exception). It can certainly be done, but you simply will not get a fantastic quality costume. Hand sewing is feasible if you have the patience, but do realize that your stitches will not be as consistent as those on a sewing machine and again, the quality of the garment may suffer.
* What kind of fabric should I use for my costume?[/B]

Popular choices tend toward cottons, garbadines, lycra, dull satins, etc. Most people would recommend staying away from ultra-shiny satins (difficult to photograph well). Broadcloth tends to be frowned upon as well, due to its thinness, but when full lined or paired up with light interfacing or flatlined, it can hold its own.
* Can I dye (insert name) fabric?[/B]

As a general rule, natural fabrics take dye pretty well while synthetics don't take dye very well (if at all in some cases). For more specifics, view the linked threads above.

* Alternatively, can I bleach fabric to make the color lighter or to make the fabric white?

Bleaching out your fabric will give you one of two results: (1) damaged from from oversaturation of bleach or (2) splotchy bleach stains. Additionally, you can never be sure what color your fabric will turn once you bleach it. Remember those favorite black pants that now have pink spots on them from bleach? There is always the possibility of a dye remover, however. See linked thread above.

[CENTER]Need to add more! Make suggesstions! Continued below.[/CENTER]

#4 The Hag on 10 years ago

I would add these two to the list. I refer people to them all the time:



#5 nathaara on 10 years ago

This is an excellent thread and very helpful.

#6 Eidolon Bird on 10 years ago

I wish I had known about this list when I started my own [URL=""]resources/tutorial thread[/URL] (on LiveJournal).

I don't have time to copy/paste all my links right now, but I can do so later if necessary.

#7 D001 on 10 years ago

Well here's a post that's going in my bookmarks. This is fantastic! Thank you for doing all of that work!

#8 Riyunah on 10 years ago


You save the queen and the whole cosplay community!
We can now find useful tutorial/information in a snap!

Great job on putting all of this together. ^^

#9 Beetlecat on 10 years ago

Just a quick revision. Under fursuits/mascots, my name is misspelled 'bettlecat'. Thanks for the correction :)

#10 The Hag on 10 years ago

GstQ: I would add a link to this thread:


under Tailored Jackets

#11 Zetsubou-Sensei on 10 years ago

Thank you SO MUCH! I'm glad I checked here- I was freaking out over a Lucky Star seifuku, but now that I have references, I can rest easy. <3

#12 Calico` on 10 years ago

I'm fairly new at making costumes, and i'm having trouble creating a curve to sew on. I heard something like cutting a slit into the fabric so you can turn it along the edge to sew something. Does anyone know what i'm talking about? >.<

#13 godsavethequeen on 10 years ago

It is called clipping. It can be used to either eliminate bulk in a curved seam, or to help ease a curved shape as you sew it to a non-curved shape (side front and center front of a princess seamed bodice, for example).

For the former, clip your seam allowance after you've sewn your line of stitches. I like to clip in "V" shapes.

For the latter, do a stay stitch along your curved edge. A staystitch is a basic, straight line stitch that prevents your fabric from stretching out and gives your fabric piece a little stability. Make the staystitch allowance just slightly smaller than your regular seam allowance. For example, if your seam allowance is 5/8", make your stay stitch about 1/2". After you've made your stay stitch, make a small clip (don't cut past your stitch line) about every 1/2" to 3/4". As you sew both pieces together, it will be much easier to match them up.

Note: As you begin to sew more and more you can elect to make your staystitch allowance the same as your regular seam allowance, just make sure you line everything up or pick out any visible staystitches when you're finished =)

Hope that helps!

#14 The Hag on 10 years ago

Here's a tutorial from Burda showing what GStQ describes:


(My only quibble with it is that a concave curve does not really have an "apex". It would be more appropriate to use "nadir" or the more general "inflexion point" for both curves. /grammarNazi)

#15 Dy1ng0fL4ught3r on 10 years ago

are their any sites with a collective of concept images; something that shows original sketches and designs of individual people. you can find pics like that here and there but i've never been able to find one comprehensive site. I doubt [U]one[/U] exists but maybe a mix of sites have a good collection.

Also, i've been thinking into doing a cosplay for captain tyler... get back to the roots sort of speak and i was wondering if anyone had any good information on that since good images on that seem to be hard to find now or days as well.