Sometimes somebody asks me how she/he can get so many costumes like I do. Well, the answer is very easy… I make them by myself. I’m into sewing since I was 16, so I have a bit experience now in costumemaking.
But what can you do if you don’t have a sewing machine or you can’t sew very well? Here are some tricks that I want to give you:
- Customize ready-made clothes! It’s really easy just to decor for example a ready made corset with needle and thread and some lace or pearls. You can buy really nice and good corsets on ebay. Just look out for “steal boned corsets” if you would like to wear your costume several times. Plastic boning is cheaper (and so are also the corsets) but they can easily break or peek through the fabric, which can be very uncomfortable to wear and ruin your corset. So better invest 30 to 50€/$ for a simple steel boned corset! You can also buy some second hand dresses and customize them by adding for example lace, flowers or some jewelry. If you can’t handle needle and thread you can also hotglue your decor. The gluegun will become your best friend! It’s the easiest and quickest way to attach something.
- Try to mix your existing costumes! You don’t need to buy every time a new costume… take a look at your wardrobe and try to create new outfits with clothes that you already own. The old black lacetop in your corner? Try to match it with an existing corset or belt. It’s really easy when your pieces have the same color.
- Ask your skilled friends. 😉 Maybe you have someone in your circle of friends who is able to sew. Maybe you can make something in return for them if they help you a make a costume for you. I have some friends who aren’t the best in sewing but gorgeous in painting. So they will paint my armorparts and I will sew for them. Just start to share your creativity and time!
- Rent yourself a costume. Many designers offer the option to rent costumes. You need to pay for them obviously… but on the other hand you won’t have the difficulties to make a costume by yourself. Just keep in mind to be careful with rented costumes! Nobody wants to get a dirty or even damaged dress back.
- Learn to sew (I know, I know…)! But if you would like to start with fantasy photoshoots it’s really helpful to know at least the basics of sewing and make some basic skirts or accessories by yourself. You can attend a sewing course or even ask your grandmother/friend/parents to show you the basics (if they know them of course 😉 ) You can also try it with internet courses or books. Just don’t be afraid to try it. 🙂 The most important stiches that you need are the basic stich (to sew the parts together) and the zig-zag stich (to prevent fraying). Get a sewing machine (maybe someone in your family has already one?) and start with something easy like a plain skirt and go further when you feel confident. Youtube is a great source to start with!
(picture by Hanny Honeymoon Photography)