Frequently Asked Questions


How do you pick the characters you cosplay?
- I'm sure everybody gets asked this question at least once, but I usually pick characters that I am familiar with and whose costume I enjoy. Occasionally I see a costume that really impresses me, and I try to find out what it's from so I can get more information about the character. I also try to decide which costumes I want to work on for fun and those I want to work on for competitions before I start making them, so I can better allot my time for each costume.

Where can I see you/What conventions are you going to?
- You can see my Convention Schedule here: Convention Schedule. My staple conventions are usually Katsucon, Anime Mid-Atlantic, and Otakon. But I do tend to make it to several new conventions every year, so if you'd like to see me in your area, email me with a suggestion!

Where did you learn to sew?
- All the women in my family are creative in one aspect or another. My mother and grandmother mainly taught me to sew, knit, crochet, embroider and cross-stitch. The rest was self taught. I remember going to the public library and getting books on crafts, and ordering books from book orders for drawing and project making. When I first starting cosplaying, I didn't have a sewing machine, and I ended up hand sewing my first three costumes. My mother bought me a sewing machine for a birthday present in 2006, and I've really snowballed on the sewing since then! I had never used a sewing machine before then, and it was very daunting, but I read my manual and played around a lot until I figured everything out.

Where do you get everything for your costumes?
- Short answer, everywhere. Long answer can be broken down into fabrics, patterns, wigs, and extras. Fabrics are mainly purchased from Joann's Fabric store, though sometimes I venture to Hancock Fabrics, G-Street Fabrics (when I need some expensive or hard to find material), and online from stores I've been to (like Spandex House). I very rarely try to buy fabric from online companies, as I am very touch oriented when it comes to fabric; I like to see and feel it before I buy it, and little swatches don't really cut it for me. Patterns are usually purchased from Joann's when they are having their $.99 sales. I mainly acquire my wigs from Ebay and Cosworx. Extras are everything else that I need for a costume - shoes, props, beads, stockings, make up, etc. I try to stay thrifty, so I hit up Wal-Mart, Target, Payless, party stores, Michael's, Home Depot, and commonly found items around my house or work (like cardboard and plastic odds and ends).

Do you make all your costumes by yourself?
- Yes. As I am very detail oriented and somewhat the perfectionist, I wouldn't feel comfortable with having anyone help me with a costume. It's just something I have to do on my own. I do ask for advice on specific techniques, though, if I'm in a tough spot, and I make sure to credit those individuals for their valuable help. In fact, every costume page has a detailed account of how I made my costumes. Feel free to ask me if you have more specific questions regarding their construction.

How much do you spend on making your costumes, and how long does each one take to make?
- Well, I have learned to pare down my expenses the longer I've been sewing, especially since I now have a plethora of materials in store for me to use. Generally, my costumes hit the $150-200 range, though some may end up being more or less. I am a sucker for sales and try to do all my buying then, but sometimes creativity doesn't wait for sales. As for time spent, I've gotten costumes together in two weeks at a leisurely pace, or in three months at a no-time-to-spare pace. It all depends on how intricate or involved the costume is and what techniques I'm utilizing at the time. If I had to keep count of how many hours I spent on each costume, I think I'd go crazy...

Can you make a costume for me? Or can I buy one of yours?
- At this point, I am now comfortable taking commissions for costumes, clothing, accessories, and other items! You can look at my Commissions Page for a current booking schedule and examples of my work. I also don't mind giving advice, so don't hesitate to ask me if you have a question on fabric choice, general contruction, prop tips, whatever! I am happy to share my knowledge and help out. If I decide to sell one of my costumes, I'll either list it on this site or on my Deviantart Journal.

If you don't see your question here, contact me at questions@firelilycosplay.com and I will try to give you the best answer I can!

2010 D^2 and FireLilyCosplay