I started making costumes in earnest in 2003. I have since won several awards at anime conventions and don't plan to stop winning anytime soon.
My first competition costumes:
I'm on the left, dressed as Haruko Haruhara of FLCL and my two buddies next to me are Naota Nandaba and Captain Amarao of the same show. (I LOVE his eyebrows!) These costumes won Judge's Choice Awards at Anime Iowa 2003 and by myself at Anime Reactor 2003.
My next costume was made the day before the convention, but I still adore it:
Here I am as Maria of Silent Hill 2. This costume was hard due to lack of good reference pics, but I managed to convince my friend to replay sections of the game while I hid under a fuzzy blanket (to protect me from the monsters, of course).
After that, I made a set of Naruto costumes, which are really fun because they are simple, colorful, and easily recognized.
After 6 months of use, my little brother's gourd had started to deflate, so he left butt-prints in the gourd for this pic. *sigh*
I'd done plenty of easy costumes, so I was ready for another challenge. It just so happened that I couldn't think of anything cooler-looking or more challenging than this:
My efforts, about 80 hours worth running up to the very last minutes (as in sewing fasteners into the garment on the car ride to the competition 10 minutes before curtain call) resulted in:
If I ever make this costume again, I will not use 100% cotton twill. That fabric has an amazing capacity to wrinkle after sitting in it for 4 hours. However, the judges didn't seem to mind, as I still won Anime Iowa 2004's Prestige Award (the top prize) and received a Costume Merit Award (essentially 1st runner up) at Anime Central 2005.
Uff da. Back to easy costumes:
For some reason a bunch of people at the con thought that was my real hair. Either my first attempt at cutting & styling a wig turned out better than I thought, or people find it easy to believe I have ugly hair.
Lack of money can be great inspiration, so this costume was made from pieces of a homecoming dress I made in high school. This I first wore while I was judging the cosplay at Anime Iowa 2005:
And here's my latest major costume project (still adding details now and then). This is Hinoto of X/1999 (the manga version). I won Best in Category at GenCon 2006 and the Hall Costume Contest at Anime Iowa 2007. The skirts are 9' and 10' in diameter.