The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru


Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Is Buying a Costume Instead of Sewing It Considered Cheating?


Ahh... making AND embroidering a custom kimono.... now you are talking my language! I'm an embroiderer, and for me, making my costumes is not so that I can say I made the costume so much as it is so I can say:[I] "OMG! I can't believe I actually embroidered every inch of this thing myself!"[/I]. I am currently in the process of hand embroidering antique silk to make Lord Sesshomaru's Pink flower furisode kimono (from the movie), and I'm doing it in 16th century Noh Theater style covering every inch of the cloth with embroidery... it's going to take me at least 4 months to embroider, and could take 8 or 9 months.

If you are going for a historically accurate embroidered and layered kimono... OMG! Those things can take up to 4 years to make! Some of the detail work that goes into them are amazing, but hand embroidery is just the slowest thing you could ever try to do. Embroidered kimonos are usually done by 5 or 6 people all sitting around it and embroidering sections of it, and even than it takes 4 or 5 months to finish. If you are talking 16th century embroidery in the Noh style, you are talking a majorly advanced project that you'll really have a hard time finding a seamstress willing to do. Those things are a real pain to make... I know, because, I'm doing one right now.

Weird thing about this is, I'm not doing it to enter any Cons or contests, and I'll probably never go to a Con (haven't been to one yet, but that never stopped me from CosPlaying). I will however wear this as part of my street cloths, as I do with all of my CosPlay stuff.

I do this because I just love to sew and embroider things. For me, personally, CosPlay is all about the actual construction of the costume... the designing, the planning, the hours spent in fabric stores looking for just the right fabric, than the months spent sewing.

However, as I said, that me. Everyone is different. And you know what? You do not have to make it yourself to CosPlay!

In fact the best most detailed costume I ever wore, was one of the ones I did not make myself. It was way to advanced, and I knew my sewing skills would not cut it, so I had a seamstress make it up instead and she did an amazing job on it. It was Miss Piggy from the Muppet Show, and it had a full head mask, that looked EXACTLY like the Miss Piggy puppet on the show, the whole thing was made out of sculpted felt and was utterly amazing. I could have done the dress, but I just let her do the whole thing. It was the mask that really stumped me, because I just can't sculpt fabric and make it look like anything.

A agree with this statement here:


    It isn't cheating to buy a costume. It IS cheating to enter a costume contest with a bought costume and claim you made it.


For me personally, I'd feel like I was cheating if I wore a bought costume, because I'm so damn good at sewing that I'd run myself through a guilt trip over it (unless it was so advanced that I couldn't make it myself). But that would be me judging me, not me judging someone else. I started sewing at age 6, because my mom was a seamstress. I grew up sewing costumes, it's just second nature to me, so for me to buy a costume would just [I]feel [/I]wrong.

On the other hand though, I would never accuse any one of cheating for buying a costume. I know first hand just how much time and money and long hard work goes into sewing a costume, and I also know it's not something every can or wants to do. It takes a lot of work to make a costume, and even people who have the skill, may not have the time, what with school-jobs-family, for a lot of folks, sewing a costume, just really is not an option, even if they did want to sew it themselves.

To me, I feel it's really snobby, for anyone to tell you that yo are cheating it you didn't sew it yourself.

CosPlay = Costume Play, nothing more and nothing less. CosPlay does not mean Sewed Costume Myself Play, it doesn't dictate that you MUST sew the costume yourself. All it dictates is that you wear a costume, not how you came by said costume.

So, my feelings are that you are only cheating if you bought the costume and than said you sewed it.

What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


If you liked reading this blog and want to read more stuff written by me, I have lots of websites, where you can read other things I write, here are a few of the ones I like the best:

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