We all remember the joy of dressing up on Halloween– although maybe some of us had better costumes than others. If your getup made you the belle of the local trick-or-treating circuit, there’s good news: cosplay can bring that feeling back. For those not familiar with the hobby, cosplay (a delightfully intuitive contraction of costume’ and play’) is the practice of creating and wearing a costume with the goal of personifying a character from a book, comic, movie, or television show. Cosplay takes role-playing to a more refined level, and the costumes used are limitlessly creative and elaborate. Some of the most impressive and
convincing cosplay outfits cannot be bought at a store.
Best sewing machines for cosplay
However, making your own costume is an experience unto itself, and you’re sure to learn a lot along the way. When tackling the production of a cosplay costume, it’s important to begin by selecting high-quality materials. If you are an amateur seamstress or tailor, stick with non-stretchy materials such as pure cotton, wool, and linen. Elasticity in your fabric will create bunching along seams and puckering that requires more advanced stitching techniques to eliminate. If you’re set on stretchy or knit fabrics, make sure you’re well
acquainted with your sewing machine, the types of needles you’re using, and the stitches best-suited for your goal. For example, a ball-point needle will work far better than a standard needle if you’re using a knit fabric. If you’re sewing a seam in stretchy fabric, use a zig-zag stitch which can expand like an accordion as far as it is well known ever.
Making your own cosplay costume, of course, requires a sewing machine. If you don’t have one and aren’t sure which one to choose, don’t worry: by considering a few key features you can choose the right machine for your needs. First, decide on your budget. While sewing machines vary hugely in price and quality, you should expect to pay at least $150 for a decent-quality buy (that said, there are some very affordable options that fulfill the needs of most cosplayers). Next, consider the stitches you’ll need for your costume. As mentioned previously, tidy stitching of knit or stretchy fabric can be accomplished with a simple zig-zag stitch. However, a much less challenging and time-consuming method is a machine that features an overlock stitch, which creates a stretchy seam automatically.
Finally, think about what other features might help your costume creation. One relatively new addition to the world of sewing is the modernization of sewing-machine interfaces.
Machines featuring computerized controls allow for easy experimentation with machine speed, stitch length and width, and stitch pattern.
If all of this sounds intimidating and expensive, don’t be discouraged– as a first-time cosplay creator, your primary goal should be to have a great time, and there are plenty of sewing machines that can help you do just that at a very reasonable price. Brother’s CS6000i, which I consider the best sewing machine for cosplay, possesses all of the features highlighted above and comes for just $159. While more expensive options might seem appealing, remember that you’re likely to spend a lot of trial-and-error time on your first costume, and that’s just part of the fun! Creating a truly unique and customized cosplay outfit is one of the best ways to get in touch with your inner hero, villain, or sidekick.