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Cosplay Basics: Fabric Materials

Cosplay Basics: Fabric Materials


Welcome one and ALL to Cosplay Basics: Getting Started with me, your tutorial hostess, ThermoCosplay! As someone who is just getting into the groove of this costume community I understand how daunting it can be. In 2014 I looked at the big, wide world of cosplay and said “Holy F@$IN S@#T!!!!”. Ok, maybe I wasn’t QUITE as startled but it was A LOT to take in. There are so many avenues one can take with costuming from focusing on genres to becoming a champion for inclusive characterization, whatever your desire it’s possible with cosplay!

Materials Research: Fabric

Materials are KEY in composing your cosplay. Start by breaking down what your character wears. Nora Valkyrie in RWBY Volume 4 and beyond wears:

  • 1 White Turtle Neck Shirt
  • 1 Pink Skirt
  • 1 White Underskirt
  • 1 Pink & Blue Jean Jacket
  • 1 Pair of Pink Socks
  • 1 White Elbow Sock
  • 1 Pair of Pink, Fingerless Gloves
  • 1 Pair of White Boots
  • 1 Pink & Silver Belt

Since this costume needed to stretch I used the following materials:

  • Spandex (shirt and jacket lining)
  • Stretch Jean (jacket)
  • Elastic (skirt, jacket & belt)
  • Stretch Knit (skirt, jacket & gloves)
  • Scrap Fabric (e.g. spare tights for the socks and details)
  • Acrylic Paint + Americana Textile/Fabric Medium (for the symbol on the jacket)
  • Fabric Chalk + Measuring Tape (to draw out my patterns)
  • Pins (to keep your fabric together as you sew)
  • Sewing Machine + Needles + Thread + Bobbins
  • Fabric Scissors (USE ONLY ON FABRIC)
  • Velcro (to keep the belt on over the skirt)

I used about 6 yards of fabric total for all of the elements. When purchasing fabric it is always best to use the guide on the back of your pattern book. They offer information on best materials, how much stretch is needed and the # of yards your size requires. I make my patterns from scratch but I would advise against this until you have some practice.

NOTE: Sizes on Patterns don’t match U.S. sizes – PLEASE KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS!!!

Materials Research: Where to Buy Fabric

Since fabric shopping tends to be tricky here are a few places I’ve shopped with great success…

  • JoAnn’s – Be sure to check their online coupons!
  • Spandex World – Their 4 way stretch is AMAZING.
  • Payless Fabrics – They sell through Amazon.
  • Hobby Lobby – They are more expensive but they have high quality materials.
  • Walmart – They work when you’re in a pinch.
  • Goodwill – WHAT?! Yes, grab some old clothes and get to work!
  • SAS – An Arizona exclusive, this whole sale fabric provider has a HUGE warehouse of items.

As always, questions are welcome in the comments below. Good Luck and happy shopping!



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