Cosplay is a geek hobby I never really got into. Part of it was because I didn’t have access to my mom’s sewing machine while living in the college dorms. Part of it was the expense. (Because materials cost money.)
But last summer, I got a secondhand sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother, and when my publishing program hosted a Hogwarts Banquet, I decided it was time to break out the sewing machine and asked some friends if they wanted to go as Quidditch players – and make uniform jackets ourselves.
Here’s my disclaimer: this is the first sewing project I’ve taken on in years, probably since I was 15, and to be completely honest? Not only was it the first garment I’ve tried making, it’s the first thing I’ve ever stitched without help from my mom.
Well. Now that I’ve pointed it out.
We started by constructing the outer shells: two red Gryffindor jackets and one blue Ravenclaw one. We constructed the linings separately, and instead of a completely lined interior, we constructed them with an inner long sleeve and a shorter elbow-length sleeve.
Once things were all measured out, the racing stripes needed to be pinned on the back.
Thankfully, I had help: while I did the machine work myself, my friends Emi and Sally worked on other things, like pinning stuff in place and so on.
The racing stripes were a little hard to do, but the bias tape went on fine – very few issues – and it ended up looking great.
My mom had warned me when I started that setting sleeves into the bodice, especially without a pattern, was going to be very difficult for my skill level. Honestly, though, the most difficult and time-consuming part wasn’t the sleeves, and was due almost entirely to my inane sense of perfectionism.
See those letters? All eighteen letters in three names and two thread colors?
Yeah. All of that was done by hand.
All three of us worked on those letters, which took hours between cutting them out, placing them evenly, and back-stitching all the way around each. And of course all of us had Os and Ns in our names. (The Ns were the worst.)
But I was thrilled at how they turned out, especially mine (because it was, you know, mine):
We finished constructing the outer shells last, despite the linings having been almost the first thing finished. The final fitting required a night of pinning, fitting to each of us, and sewing.
But as I said: it was all worth it.
What was the first cosplay you ever made?