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This is up on the SLC site as well, but the link is sort of buried and I know sometimes people have a harder time reading light text on dark backgrounds. So, repost!

I wrote this essay in order to correct some misconceptions among the newer members of the cosplay community. It is, actually, a history of hobby costuming in general, but with a slant toward connecting it to what cosplayers perceive as the state of the hobby today. Given that in some corners of fandom there are now rumblings that people need to somehow "prove" their geek cred in order to "earn" the "right" to wear a costume at a convention, a history lesson is what everyone needs right about now. And yes, I put all those words in quotes because I find them all to be ludicrous. No one needs to prove how geeky they are in order to be allowed to cosplay. As long as they're following the con rules and basic social etiquette and aren't, well, stealing the costume from a store or anything, everyone is free to do as they please with their costumes.

But now, your lesson for today: nerds have been wearing costumes to cons a lot longer than you might think!

the history of cosplay from 1939 to present )
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..how to do.

This is a more detailed version of the "Ten Things" panel that I have presented at cons before. It is by no means a required list, but a suggestion, though most of these techniques and tricks are pretty basic for anyone regularly building their own garments from scratch. Integrating these techniques into their repertoire is how any costumer/cosplayer can take their stuff to the next level, to start building costumes that dazzle and wow, fit and flatter. Because let's face it, we all like to look good. No matter what kind of costume it is, a well-made costume shows. Eyes pop and cameras flash, and you simply feel better when you look your best. These ten areas of sewing knowledge are crucial for anyone making cosplay a long-term hobby and wanting to improve their skills, whether for the satisfaction or the attention.

Ten Things every cosplayer should know how to do )

So there you have it. Go forth and learn and be beautiful!

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