Cosplay is an innovative and creative outlet for many pop culture super-fans around the world. From red-underwear Superman, to Mary Popins-Yondu, costume design is pushed to the limits at
every con. And without the cosplayers, so much magic would be missing from these conventions.
Since her very first cosplay in 2008, Callmesmitten Cosplay has been the designer for many different outfits. Jumping from armoured designs and LEDs, to intricate fabric layering, her cosplays pop with her amazing talent.
And she’s here to share some of her wisdom!
So far I’ve cosplayed (prepare yourselves, it’s a bit of a list) …
- Yuki from Vampire Knight
- Homura Akemi from Puella Magi
- Rin Tohsaka from Fate Stay
- Little Sister from Bioshock
- Zelda from the Twilight Princess
- I cosplayed my guardian from the game Destiny
- Soraka from League of Legends
- The Living Doll from Bloodborne
- Rapunzel from Tangled
Which was your very first cosplay?
My very first cosplay was school girl Kairi from Kingdom Hearts and that was way back in 2008, I think.
You seem to cover a lot more gaming cosplay than the others. Do you have a favourite game?
Yes, Zelda will forever be dearest to me. Ocarina of Time being my favourite.
Is there any piece of cosplay that gave you the most difficulty in making?
So this is a hard question to answer, especially if you’re making a fantasy cosplay and/or cosplay from an anime. Whether it’s fabric or armour, most of the time you have to make your own pattern. The cosplay that gave me the most difficulty making was definitely my destiny cosplay; it fought every step of the way. I think the main reason was because it was my first time making a whole armour set and me being me I decided I wanted to finish the cosplay before the next con which was in 2 months.
To be honest, it was easy for me because with lighting effects on cosplay (e.g. creating lighting circuits for LEDs) I was able to pick up basic circuiting skills within a couple of hours just by watching YouTube videos, mainly Kamui Cosplay. She has videos and a book dedicated to LEDs for beginners. The main struggle I had for the LED inside the ghost was fitting a battery pack inside it and making sure it could take the weight. I ended up making a removable back on the ghost so I could replace the battery with ease.
Your destiny cosplay also has a fair bit of armour. What materials do you use to make this?
So I’ll say we, meaning the cosplay community, all mostly use EVA foam which is the greatest discovery for cosplayers ever. You can actually buy it at Bunnings or Ikea. I’ve heard you can get it at Kmart as well. EVA foam are floor mats, they’re about $10-12 for 4, which essentially you could get ½ – ¾ of a basic armour set. We also use craft foam (also EVA foam) which you can buy at Lincraft. Or online it’s around $10 for 10 sheets of A3. It’s becoming a lot more available though, the Hero Studio (they have a Facebook page and website) you can actually order EVA foam in rolls in different thicknesses.
Was the Zelda armour made with similar material? How do you get that level of detail with the shoulder pieces and tiara?
Yes, my Zelda armour was made from craft foam (EVA foam). That’s including my pauldrons (shoulder pieces) and the sash/hip armour bit, but the tiara was actually made out of polymer clay. I bought both from Lincraft. The detail in the pauldrons aka shoulder pieces was done by layering the craft foam. So that’s done by making multiples of the same piece and cutting a pattern in one, then gluing them together. The tiara was a lot easier because that just required moulding and shaping clay.
Your Living Doll cosplay looks to have the most layers, and greatest detail in the material used. How long does something like this take to plan and make?
Haha oh boy, the living doll cosplay was a nightmare. It took me a good 5 months (approx. 200+ hours) of drafting and sewing. Planning a cosplay with that amount of detail required a lot of research which meant I had a book filled with photos of her character in every possible angle. A struggle is finding fabric trims/fabric that look similar to the character’s outfit – fabric that is similar but also practical.
Where do you go to find material for these cosplays?
When I start a new cosplay project I usually go fabric hunting. A lot of the time I can find a material in Spotlight or Lincraft which will work but there have been times where I’ve found second hand fabric in Op shops.
Any characters planned for future cosplay?
I have a few: Wonder Woman from the new movie is one I’m really excited for, Aloy from Horizon, I would love to do a new destiny cosplay, and I have a Hyrule warrior princess Zelda which I’m dying to finish when I get the chance. There’s a whole long list of possible characters as well. As a cosplayer it’s annoying because every time you see a cool character you add it to the list!
And finally, what tips and tricks can you offer the young cosplayers out there? Any quick-fix tools they should take with them to conventions?
Make yourself a little emergency sewing kit with a roll of thread, some sewing needles, safety pins and (if you can) a small hot glue gun and a few glue sticks. Cement adhesive and hot glue is your friend and remember the more you do something, the better you’re going to get at it. Believe me I was terrible at sewing when I first started. One more thing is to go on YouTube, or google some of the tutorials on there. They are amazing. And don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a bit when making your cosplay, if you think it looks better a certain way, do it that way, that’s the beauty of cosplay.
Sydney Supanova is currently underway and will no doubt be over run with cosplayers! If you’re one of the lucky ones to attend this year, be sure to snap a selfie with your favourite characters walking the floor and share them with us on twitter @NovastreamAU.