The Planning Stages
by, Chelsey Barnes
You guys… I’m really lucky. I think up a costume idea, and it just comes to life. It’s pretty awesome…
*sigh* Isn’t it pretty to think so?
To really execute a costume well takes at least some amount of planning. The amount of planning depends on a few things, namely how detailed the costume will end up being and how fastidious you are. Everyone has their own methods, so I thought I’d share a few ideas with you all.
Starting with myself, I am not all that detail-oriented. I have two organization methods for planning my costumes:
Method 1: Ye’ Olde Bookmarks: Prior to switching to Chrome, I just used folders to organize my different costume ideas. Now I find Google Bookmarks to be a pretty slick way to save tutorials, images, and websites. When I add the bookmark, I give all the pages for the same costume one label (the plus side is that Google saves your previously used labels, so once you start typing one, you can chose it from the drop down list). Once in my Google Bookmarks, I can choose for it to organize by label, and find everything at once.
Method 2: Paper and Pen. I have a notebook that has a page dedicated to every costume bouncing around in my mind. I write down pattern numbers, fabric ideas or SKUs if I can get them, a list for accessories, and a list of places to find what I need. Maybe I’ll make a little sketch, but that’s highly unlikely, as I have zero artistic ability…
Now, I know for a fact there are better ways to plan. Take, for instance, a friend of a friend who happens to be a pretty fantastically enviable costumer. She may not be a MN costumer, but we here at MNSoC strive to make all costumers feel loved, not just ones that may or may not pronounce their O’s a little “funny”. This post may have been a little inspired by her, since she blogged recently about how she keeps track of her costume plans. Let’s just say, her screenshots put my little notebook to shame:
I know, right?
Taking it a step further, our former MNSoC President and current blog mistress had this to say about her costumer plans:
I use a spreadsheet. Also, when I am in the final stages of said costume, I make a list of every little thing that needs to be finished on the costume and work my way through the list. One other thing I do that seems to hold up other costumers, is when I am trying new things. I wanted to make a wired collar for my Queen costume for last year at MNRF, and I knew that having never made it before I could be in for hours of work. What I did was set a timer (especially since I was working on it the night before) and gave myself an allotted period of time to figure it out and get it done. If I hadn’t made any headway or still wasn’t sure how to do it by the end of that time, it got removed from the costume. If I had figured it out and was progressing, I would continue. But it saves me a ton of time to limit those sorts of things. That way you don’t spend hours on something that doesn’t work out when you have tons of more important things to do. Also? I prioritize things so hand-stitching is done at the same time, serging, etc.
I saw this spreadsheet firsthand when helping out with Project Tudor. Seriously, folks, it definitely takes way more planning than I’m capable of to bring this into the world:
So now it’s your turn: How do you plan out your costumes?
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