Friday, January 11, 2019

10 Finishing Touches and Details that Make Any Costume Look High Quality

Making a great costume – whether it’s for your child’s Halloween, your favorite ‘con, or something else entirely – can seem like a daunting prospect, but you’ll find just how rewarding it is to make something with your own hands! Designing your own costume allows you to be as accurate as possible and include those little details and flair that makes a costume truly unique. Ready to make your own costume? Below are ten finishing touches and details that will make your costume stand out!

1) Button Up

Buttons may seem like an insignificant, albeit functional, part of your garment, but the buttons you choose for your costume can have a huge impact on the quality, and accuracy of the piece.

Rather than using run-of-the-mill plastic buttons and snaps, scan your local craft, sewing and vintage stores for unique and interesting buttons in a variety of materials – wood, bone, ceramic, even glass! The more authentic the button, the more realistic and cool your costume will look.

Take time to carefully sew the buttons evenly and neatly – it will pay off!

2) Pieces of Flair

Whether you’re designing a costume out of a horror movie, a steampunk costume for a costume party, or just polishing up your partner’s favorite vintage jacket, adding a bit of “flair” can make the item really pop. Patches, in particular, are a convenient, easy and inexpensive way to jazz up a costume or hide any tiny imperfections.

Patches can be sewn-on, ironed-on, and sometimes even stuck on a garment, so they are an easy and quick way to enhance a costume. More about patches: they’re affordable and come in a huge variety of designs, colors, and shapes – anything that strikes your fancy!

3) Creative Stitching

You don’t have to be an experienced seamstress to put creative stitching on your costume – all you need is a basic sewing machine. New sewing machines all have a variety of stitching settings, varying from tight and neat to large and loopy, zig-zag and everything in between. Choose your perfect shade of thread, set your machine to a creative stitch, and get sewing!

4) Simple Touches

Unless your costume is from a specific era that requires a lot of specific details (glitter on a 1920s flapper dress or fringe at the bottom of a cowgirl skirt, for example), you’ll find that simple is better with a variety of costumes. You won’t need to go all out on clashing patterns, endless accessories or expensive flourishes. Beautifully designed, carefully stitched, and accented with thoughtful details, your costume will be beautiful enough to stand on its own with elegant, simple

If your costume does require an accessory or two, go minimal. A simple parasol for your Mary Poppins costume, a plastic machete for your horror movie aficionado, or a glittered-cigarette case for your 1940s starlet is all you need to really look the part!

5) Smooth Silhouette

Don’t overlook this important detail when trying on your costume – your silhouette! Whether male or female, having a smooth silhouette under your costume can be the difference between a frumpy, ill-fitting costume and a beautiful piece that you’ll wear time and again.

Finding a body-smoothing undergarment need not be expensive or time-consuming. Many department stores, variety stores, costume shops, and even online stores offer to slim, smoothing, and shaping garments to add that polished finishing touch to any costume. You’ll find that they come in a myriad of colors, sizes, and needs, so you’ll have no problem finding the
perfect one for your costume.

6) Making Up

Facepaint and makeup are some of the most fun parts of costuming. It really adds that final touch and makes you look the part. But not all makeup and facepaint are created equal.

So what to choose? Whether you go with department store makeup, professional paints, and waxes, or something cheap and easy, try to go for products that are made with natural ingredients that won’t make you break out, and are easy to apply and remove. Look for adhesives to help apply things like fake eyelashes and rubber scars, and soft sponges for easy application. You can find a variety of specialized kits with specific colors, designs and more, in department stores and online, especially around Halloween. Taking the time to research the best techniques and come up with creative ideas to compliment your costume is a good idea.

Don’t forget to invest in a good makeup remover! You’ll thank yourself later!

7) Fabrics

Whether you’re designing and sewing your costume from scratch or just adding flourishes on a ready-made garment, the material your costume consists of can make a huge difference – not just in functionality, but the longevity of the costume and its overall appearance.

Choosing the perfect fabric for your costume will make it look as high-quality as possible while remaining comfortable.

When choosing the fabric, consider things like cost, which season you’ll be wearing the garment in (sweating through your costume in sweltering heat or freezing in the middle of winter isn’t what you want!) as well as functionality – whether or not you can move in it, and if the fabric performs the way you want it to. Gingham for a Dorothy-in-Wizard-of-Oz costume is kind of a given, but do you choose cotton or polyester? Taking the time to choose the perfect fabric will go that extra mile to make your costume perfection.

8) Repurposing

Have an old costume hanging in your closet that you’ll never wear again? Maybe it no longer fits, or you’ve worn it so many times you can’t stand the sight of it. Whatever the reason, don’t be afraid to repurpose an old costume! Many professional costume designers will pull apart and piece old costumes back together to make a great new piece.

Cut out pieces of fabric that accentuate the costume, add a little old lace, a creative hem to the bottom; whatever your heart desires! Rambling through your closet for old, unwanted pieces can really amp up that new costume. When cut, designed and stitched carefully, it can take your costume from something amateur to something truly professional looking.

9) Measure Up

This is an especially important step if you’re making the costume for someone other than yourself.

Measure, measure, and measure again. Of course, you take measurements at the beginning of the process but have you ever designed a costume to specification, only for the subject to try it on and it not be a fit? Avoid this problem by measuring repeatedly through the costume creation, and having your subject try on the costume several times. This will weed out tiny problems like length issues or functionality problems, too. Taking the time to do several fittings will result in a perfect-fitting garment.

10) Tailor-Made

You’ve picked the perfect fabric, done your measurements and your fittings, but something just isn’t right. Even the most experienced among us have had issues with clothing just not fitting quite right. We can’t get it perfect all the time, so if your garment just isn’t perfect, why not visit a tailor?

Many tailors are inexpensive and have flexible hours, able to fit you in for an emergency fitting on short notice. They have the know-how and experience to get those tiny little snags ironed out of your costume quickly and easily, whether it’s a messed-up collar, an item that’s a little too tight, or a crooked hem. Spending a small amount of time and money for a tailor will put
the final, amazing touches on your costume and turn it into something that you’ll treasure forever.

Picture Perfect

It doesn’t take much work to easily make your costume look professional and polished. A high- quality, functional costume – whether it’s for cosplay, Halloween or a birthday party – is easily attainable and totally affordable, with just a few simple steps.
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