The Hero’s Closet

The Hero’s Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming, by Gillian Conahan, with photos by Karen Pearson. Out from Abrams on April 18, 2017.

Cosplay sewing isn’t quite like any other kind of sewing.

There’s more embellishment, for one thing. The shapes are more dramatic, sleek and skintight or built up with padding and crinoline. You’ll need to get comfortable with stretch fabrics, and quickly. And there’s all the alterations, tweaking, adjusting, and tooth-gnashing that tend to occur when you’re trying to copy a fictional character’s outfit exactly instead of just making something cool to wear.

A few years ago, I realized that the average sewing book wouldn’t quite do the trick—and there weren’t many options out there for people who would rather make a catsuit than a cute dress (or, for that matter, for people whose idea of a cute dress comes with a magical girl transformation sequence.) It’s not that cosplay sewing is necessarily more difficult than any other kind—and cosplayers are an ambitious bunch, so that wouldn’t stop us anyway! But I figured it was about time cosplayers had a real reference book.

This is my answer to that. It covers all the basic sewing skills you’ll need, including the weird spandexy ones most sewing books don’t cover. It also includes a chapter on planning your cosplay, a guide to fabrics and notions to help you find the best materials for your project, pattern alterations for better fit and verisimilitude, and some useful techniques for embellishment. Plus, it includes patterns and instructions for basic pieces that you can adapt into your own costumes, and a selection of example costumes to show you how it all comes together. I hope you’ll find it useful!

Available April 18 – but you can pre-order now!

AmazonBarnes & Noble • IndieBound • Powell’s