Mostly Quiet this week.Read Now
Some weeks are quieter than others.
Nothing new and exciting over the past week. The most exciting thing to happen? Cosplayer friends who went to Supercon contacting me with questions about how to modify part of their outfit or prop, or how to fix a break that happened either during transport or at the con itself.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer: Avoid hot glue. It's cheap and easy, but it will not hold effectively on something that is meant to be mobile. It's good for arts and crafts, but as far as parts of an outfit go or props? Not so much. Anything over an ounce or two will likely put more strain on the hot glue than it can handle once you add momentum/acceleration/deceleration to the mix. Otherwise known as starting and stopping motion. It will hold something in place that is stationary, but the shear forces will weaken its grip pretty quickly.
Back to the main topic, the joys of making/repairing costumes or outfits generally boils down to a few questions: What tools do I have at my disposal? How long does the repair need to last? Am I aiming for form or function? How much time do I have to make the repair? My cosplay repair kit almost always has a variety of high-strength cyanoacrylate (aka CA, the older, beefier brother to superglue), gaff tape, double-sided gaff tape, leather punch/stitch kit, zip ties, a power drill/driver, and some stainless steel screws with good grip in various sizes. Those tools/consumables will be able to get just about anything repaired as far as props go that you may need, and they can fit in a relatively small tool box.
For fabric repairs, it's always good to have an older model sewing machine around. They can go through light leather, medium weight vinyl, sheer fabric and normal fabric. Wonderful tools, and are almost always easier to fix a fabric/textile part of an outfit with a machine than by hand, especially in a time crunch. I always say to keep a leather punch/stitch kit, just because sometimes you're going to have to go through something rather heavy duty, likely in an awkward place, and more than likely made of thick foam or leather.
Almost everything will need something different, but this is a short list of quick fixes:
Broken prop - CA glue with a smidge of gaff to keep it in place until the CA sets. If it's something that you can repair from the "inside" use a little CA, and a stainless steel screw from the inside out.
Broken armor - Double-sided gaff, maybe some leather stitches or zip ties
Broken shoe - CA and gaff, make sure they let it set while the shoe is on their feet.
Fabric costume mishap - Stitch it back together, or find someone who can.
It might not be an extensive list, but it's what 4/5 of repairs to costumes usually boils down to. If you ever have questions, shoot me an email or some method of text-based communication. Have a wonderful week!
Your sewing machine guy:
I am a Jack-of-Most-Trades that was roped into working on sewing machines, and managed to find a knack for it. I love hilarity, fixing things that are broken, video games, dogs, cats, most other creatures, and sleep. Especially sleep. On here you'll usually find tidbits about recent visits or ADORABLE CREATURES THAT LOVE ON ME WHILE I WORK. There may be ancient machines, there may be unique machines.