Cosplay Tips: Shopping for Fabric

I went to Jo-ann’s yesterday. I wanted to try to find something for a t-shirt DIY I was working on, but they didn’t have any in stock. I also wanted to check out fabric for one of my possible C2E2 costumes: the Enchantress, from Justice League Dark.

Specifically, I was looking for material to make her dress/top. C2E2 isn’t until April, but I’m making two costumes and I wanted to get started early. “Getting started early” for me means that I also do all of my pre-fabricating work earlier, as well. I’ve already gone through and done my research (a process that I will address in the future), so my next step is to find fabric for the costume.

How do I do this? Just check out this list of steps.

1. Remember how I said to do your research in advance. I really mean it. Do your research on the character, the character’s costume, the way that the costume hangs and moves in different positions. Also make sure you’ve done your research on different types of fabric. You don’t want to go home with four yards of a fabric that won’t work for what you want it to do. Don’t know much about fabrics? Read this article.

2. Bring a few reference photos with you to the fabric store. Today, I brought Justice League Dark Vol. 1. This way, you’re able to hold up the fabric to the pictures themselves and match colors. You can also see if the fabric falls in the same way as the fabric in the pictures–within realistic parameters, that is. The older crafting ladies will give you strange looks, but just ignore them.

3. While it’s important to match the color of the fabric to the color in your reference photos, that’s not your last step in picking out your fabric. You should also take a picture of it. Each of the fabrics below matched (or nearly matched) the green in this picture of Enchantress:

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But if you look at them under the flash, they differ dramatically. One becomes lighter, and one becomes more teal than green.

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4. Do you think you have a match, but you’ re not ready to commit to buying it without looking at a few other places? Then take a picture of the fabric and its information so that you can find it again more easily. You can also use it for reference at different stores, or online.

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Well, there you go! I hope these tips are helpful, and that you can use them the next time you shop for cosplay fabric!

5 thoughts on “Cosplay Tips: Shopping for Fabric

  1. This was so useful! I’ve definitely brought in wigs and figures to the fabric store before. I also keep all my reference photos in an Evernote file – I’ll be doing a post on that soon! :)

    • :) I bookmark photos in Google Chrome and then bemoan the fact that I’m not more organized when it comes time to really start working on my costume. I do have one little trick, though, which I will be talking about in an upcoming post.

    • Thanks! And it’s an important thing to consider. Few things are more heartbreaking than working for months on a costume and then have it appear a totally different color under the con’s fluorescent lighting!

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