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Character Research Sources
Where to Start: Choosing a Cosplay Character
Anime Character Database
A database containing over 70,000 Anime characters, with galleries and physical descriptions of each character. Unlike most databases, this one will let you search a character according to their attributes, so you can make it as crazy or as close to yourself as you like!
Founded in 2001 as the first anime & manga recommendation database. Create lists for what you've seen & read, watch over 40,000 legal streaming episodes online via Crunchyroll, Hulu & Viki, and meet other anime fans just like you.
Ideas for Creating Cosplay Costumes
Need some references? Recommendations? This is a wonderful reference for the cosplay community, including forums, tutorials, and recommended sites for purchasing or modifying items for cosplay!
Need to learn to make armor? How about style a wig? Or drape a sleeve? This website has thousands of tutorials for everything from weapons and props to beginning and advanced sewing techniques.
Epic Costume Power by
Publication Date: 2016-09-01
If you need a place to start building your cosplay costume, this is it! The book is written and illustrated by a veteran sewer, anime illustrator and cosplay designer. It provides patterns for very basic costumes which can be a jumping off place for your personal embellishments!
Use this site to assist you in creating 3D elements of cosplay costumes from paper.
Background Information on Historical Japanese Clothing
Many cosplay costumes reflect the design and style of Japanese clothing. These texts are suggested references if you are interested in the history and development of garments in Japan.
An Anthology of research and resources by the late Dr. Anthony J. Bryant, Japanese historicy scholar and translator. Great resource for clothing and culture of earlier periods in Japanese history.
Japanese costume and the makers of its elegant tradition
A detailed history of Japanese costume and textiles, dating from the earliest recorded histories of Japan
Publication Date: 2003-12-01
A beautiful tribute to kimono and how to wear them. Includes wonderful illustrations and a detailed history of kimono, their context, and how they are worn.
Costume History and Pattern Research
There are numerous books and web-sites related to costume creation, pattern making and sewing. Several classic patterning and costume history books are listed. Internet searches using key words like basic sewing, how to make costume patterns, theatrical costuming, and costume history will provide additional avenues for research. Additionally, many commercial sewing patterns can be found for both cosplay and costumes at local fabric stores or on-line.
Historic Costume For the Stage by
Publication Date: 1935
This is an excellent source book for historical costumes. If you want to cosplay Elizabeth Tudor, this is your go-to research tool. It discussees and illustrates costumes from 4000 B.C. through World War One.
Patterns of Fashion, 1660-1860 by
Publication Date: 1977-12-01
Vol. # 1 of Janet Arnold's patterns of Fashion series. Her series provides patterns to construct historically accurate garments.
Patterns of Fashion 4 by
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
Ruffs and stuff. Finishing details for your period costumes.
Publication Date: 2006-05-15
An illustrated basic costume history providing silhouettes of garments from 1066- the present.
Fundamentals of Theatrical Design by
Publication Date: 2011
Veteran theater designers Karen Brewster and Melissa Shafer have consulted with a broad range of seasoned theater industry professionals to provide an exhaustive guide full of sound advice and insight. With clear examples and hands-on exercises, Fundamentals of Theatrical Design illustrates the way in which the three major areas of theatrical design—scenery, costumes, and lighting—are intrinsically linked. Attractively priced for use as a classroom text, this is a comprehensive resource for all levels of designers and directors.