I am an amateur costumer and designer. I’m in my mid-30s, and I work a pretty unexciting real-life job that is totally unrelated to costuming in order to fund my cosplay activities.
Making art with our hands is in my blood. My grandfather on my father’s side was a tailor, both my parents sew, and in addition, my father is an expert in woodworking.
I learned how to sew when I was 14, when I took a home economics class in middle school. There, we learned how to make a plushie, which covers a lot of the knowledge needed to make a lined garment. I also learned from my teacher how to stitch by hand, and the slipstitch technique she taught has served me well for my costumes. In addition, I hold both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and the process of getting the degrees has been instrumental in the way I think when I make costumes.
The skills that I learned 20 years ago are the same skills I use today to make my costumes. Over the years, I have had to pick up a couple of extra techniques for special cases, but overall my costumes are made with simple techniques that anyone can easily learn. It is my philosophy that a costume must be good in the fundamental aspects, and frills and extras should only be done as an optional complement.
For a listing of awards I have won at costume contests, see this page.