Cosplay Coversation: Fox Arcada

Tell us about yourself:

Name: Ashley
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Instagram: @FoxArcada

About this specific Cosplay:

Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?

Raven has been one of my favorite characters since I was 8 years old. Even back then, I was begging my parents to buy me the Halloween costume for her because I just HAD to be Raven. They never did, and I kind of gave up on being her until someone I was hanging out with said I’d make a really good Raven and I was like “Wait… Yeah, I really want to be her. I’ve always wanted to be her.” And so, I finally completed my childhood goal of becoming Raven, at 21 years old.

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?

This one only took me about three days overall, it was a fairly easy construction, I just had to wait a while to get materials in.

What was your biggest challenge?

The wig. I was being very cheap with this one and didn’t want to buy a lacefront wig, but also didn’t want the cheap-looking false widow’s peaks that most Raven wigs have. So, I bought a wig in the right color without bangs on eBay and trimmed it to the correct length, and then I made the fake lacefront widow’s peak with tulle and gluing the excess hair that I’d trimmed off onto the tulle piece. I’d never tried something like this, and it was kind of scary, but it turned out alright for a first try! I’d like to go back and fix it up a bit, but I was proud of my efforts.

What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?

I wanted to spend under $100, because I was already making a competition costume for the con I was making her for, and I couldn’t afford to make Raven really expensive, as well. I ended up spending about $70 total.

What special techniques did you use?

Custom “Fake lacefront” wig styling, clay working, stretch stitching.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?

Definitely the most satisfying part was just being Raven, and fulfilling my childhood dreams. What made me most proud was my cloak, though. It’s so beautiful, especially in motion.

If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I’d like to fix the wig and keep it a little longer, I trimmed it a bit shorter than I really wanted.

About Cosplay in general:

How often do you Cosplay?

Pretty often, I go to cons and photoshoots throughout the year, and at least get into cosplay once a month.

How many cosplays do you do?

I’ve done 24, but only 15 of those are still ones in my con/photography rotation.

What do you want to make next?

I’m gearing up to work on Widowmaker from Overwatch, Empress C.C. from Code Geass, and Keith from Voltron right now.

Favorite cosplay moment?

My friends and I were cosplaying from League of Legends, and so we were all in very cumbersome, very warm costumes, but we had to go outside in the hot Georgia summer sun for a photoshoot. We suffered through it for a little more than an hour, as we had more photos to take after the shoot was officially over. So, we all finally go inside and start moaning and screaming, then one of us sits down and realizes the floor is cold, so we all end up laying down on the floor, basically sob-laughing because the floor feels so good. Bonus: we got some excellent death pictures as we lay there, actually dying.

Favorite fandoms to follow?

Danganronpa, Voltron, League of Legends, My Hero Academia, Kakegurui

What sewing machine do you sew on?

I use a Brother PC420.

What materials do you like using?

Faux fur, faux leather, and spandex are my favorites. I like matte satin, too.

What materials do you want to try?

I kind of want to work with PVC and Neoprene, but I can’t think of any cosplays that would suit those fabrics at the moment, so I’ll have to wait on it.

What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

EVA foam and worbla. I know they’re easy in theory, but I have the hardest time with them.

What techniques are you dying to learn?

Proper armor making. I can make gauntlets and small things but I have no idea how to even begin tackling a full armor build.

Thanks for sharing your cosplay with us, Ashley!  Want to be featured on our site?  Check out our Submissions page and send us an email! 

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Interview with Fantasy Photographer Bonnie McCaffery

We sat down with Bonnie McCaffery after seeing her incredible fantasy and magical portraits online.
Bonnie is a portrait photographer and artist from Hawley, PA. You can see more of her incredible work at

What made you decide to incorporate fantasy style photos into your regular photography work?

I love Magic and fantasy. There’s something about the beautiful and slightly surreal that I find intriguing. I’m an artist. The camera and Photoshop are the tools I use just as a painter uses Paint and a paintbrush. After taking a bunch of model photos, I have a collection of my own Stock photos that I rearrange to create a scene. I love being able to create a piece of Art for someone that includes themselves.

On average, how long does it take to edit one of your photos to what we see on the screen?

I might spend a couple of hours playing with a photo or I could spend days. The ones online don’t have to be perfect. Those for print need to be more refined so I might spend several days on those.

We know you from the fiber arts world, where you are a celebrated quilter and author. Do you make any of the dresses in the photos? If not, where do your dresses come from?

Even as a quilter I had a love of Fairies and Fantasy. I don’t have the passion for sewing that I used to have so I don’t sew anything. Salvation Army, Goodwill, yardsales…those are the places I find costuming. The shape of the garment and the movement of the fabric are what I look for. It doesn’t matter what size it is because I have pinch clips or elastic clips (used to hold an ironing board cover in place) that will hold a dress on a model.

The color of the garment doesn’t matter either because with the Magic of Photoshop, changing a dress color is possible. I also love making the flower crowns.

The flower shawl below was made by gluing artificial flowers to tulle. Her wings are from a bird photo.

For the creativity of “fashion design” I do play with combining elements. The shoulder adornments on this are necklaces I picked up at Walmart. Her headpiece and arm tattoos were Photoshopped in.

What’s your favorite part of this style of photography?

I love taking the photos, making people feel good about themselves. And then sitting down to Photoshop and playing with the photos to make Magic happen. Anything is possible. I can make Magical Fantasy Photos that might not exist in reality.

Have you worked with any cosplayers?

I have not yet worked with cosplayers. It would be so much fun to collaborate with cosplayers who make these awesome costumes and I could set them into a Magical and mystical scene. I’d get to play with their photos and they’d get a beautiful piece of art!

To see some of Bonnie’s videos on how she makes her Magical Portraits, click here!  Be sure to follow her on Facebook too.

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Cosplay Conversation: Devon Bell

Tell us about yourself:
Name: Devon Bell
Location: Calgary
Instagram: @werewolfprincev

Character: Deku (My Hero Academia)

Photos by: Mackenzie Shaw (twitter @magitrash, WyvernPhotography)

Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?

I decided that I wanted to cosplay Deku pretty quickly after I started reading the series; as a protagonist, he’s very easy to relate to, and it’s not very often I find characters are shown to be both physically strong and broad but also have very round and open faces, so I felt he was a character I’d look good as, as well.

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?

I actually decided to make him fairly last minute, and so I only had about 2-3 weeks to get him done.

What was your biggest challenge?

Building the leg armour was something I really didn’t have much of a plan for and ended up winging completely. Also, I ended up having to make a number of adjustments to the body suit that I hadn’t anticipated.

What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?

I didn’t have much of a budget, since I already had almost everything I needed besides the green fabric and a few accessory things. I even had the wig already by the time I got to making the hero suit. In total I think I spent probably between $80-$100 over the course of the entire cosplay? It was spread out, so I’m not entirely sure.

What special techniques did you use?

This cosplay was actually my first time using Worbla, and that was quite the learning curve.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?

The leg armour was probably the most satisfying, as well as the hood of the suit, which while I have no photo evidence of it, it does actually fit over my head like a real hero mask!

If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I would probably start with a different suit base; I pieced the pattern together and it ended up being more difficult to fix than I had hoped. I’d also like to think if I made the face mask again it would go a little smoother now that I’ve had some experience with it.

How often do you Cosplay?

As often as I can find cons to get to, but not as often as I would really like considering the amount of time I’ve put into some of my cosplays. I have three local(ish) conventions that I go to and cosplay at every year, and I travel to others when I can manage it.

How many cosplay do you do?

Usually a different cosplay for every day of a con, but that depends on if I’m with a group, or whether I have the funds/time to get something new together.

What do you want to make next?

I have a few cosplays that I have the materials for but haven’t gotten together yet, such as Giorno Giovanna from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Judal from Magi; I’ve also got a few that I’ve been stewing on but haven’t had the funds to start.

Favorite cosplay moment?

It’s tough to pick any one moment; I’ve been cosplaying for 10 years now, so there’s so many to choose from. In general though, any time I see someone getting really excited by my cosplay, or any time I get to just hang out with my friends in a group cosplay and goof off, those are the moments that make all the hard work worth it.

Favorite fandoms to follow?

I don’t really follow fandoms all that much, but I definitely have some series that I’ll always return to cosplaying from; D.Gray-Man and HunterxHunter are two big ones, as well as Persona 4 and Persona 5 for the group cosplay shenanigans.

What sewing machine do you sew on?

My main sewing machine is a Pfaff that is probably older than I am; it’s the machine I learned to sew on when I was a kid, and it’s tough enough to get through vinyl and stretch leather. Thanks to my mom being a prolific quilter all my life, I’ve also got a back up machine and a serger.

What materials do you like using?

I’m partial to a lovely structured twill for jackets, and while sewing it is a pain, I love the way fake leather looks. I’ve also had some real fun with foam, but in all reality my biggest love is the bargain bin at fabric and craft stores.

What materials do you want to try?

I’ve got some plans that involve LED lights that I hope someday will come to fruition, and I’d love to work more with resin.

What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

Stretch leather and spandex. They look amazing and are comfy to wear, but getting zippers into them is a skill I’m still mastering.

What techniques are you dying to learn?

Prop making; I’ve dabbled in it, but never done anything super elaborate.

Thanks for sharing your cosplay with us, Devon!  Want to be featured on our site?  Check out our Submissions page and send us an email! 

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Check Out These New Geeky Fabric Lines That Debuted at Quilt Market

Cheryl took a very quick tour of some of the booths at Quilt Market, a sewing industry trade show where new fabric lines and machines debut.  Here are just a few of the coolest licensed fabrics she saw at the show!

Justice League has hit the fabric lines with some awesome panels and prints of the DC superhero lines.  You can see on the wall that Wonder Woman is going to have a few solo fabrics too.

How cool is that new ladies of DC print?  Plus the Superfriends panel is sure to make a few folks happy to have classic Flash and Aquaman in the mix.

The Game On line designed by Elizabeth Silver is great for the gamer in your life.

We must have that controller fabric!!  The “cheat code” fabric dots are also pretty great.

The one that really blew us away was the new fabric line for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Bold in black, red, and grey, the styling of this booth wanted us to take ALL of it home or make it right away!!  We loved the “Chewie, we’re home” welcome mat! The character panel (under the TV) is going to be a bit hit.

This pillow and wallhanging needed to come home with us right now!  This booth also had Cosplayers in it for photos, but Cheryl was not able to catch any because she was running through so quick.  Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper, and Chewbacca were all on hand to take photos with sewing machine and fabric store owners.

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of the new fabrics coming out in the spring at a sewing store near you!

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The Sew Much Cosplay™ Line of Products is Here!

IT’S FINALLY HERE!  The day we have been waiting for has arrived!  The Sew Much Cosplay™ line of products is out and we couldn’t be happier.

The line debuted at a major sewing trade event in Houston, TX called Quilt Market.  It’s not just for quilting as all sorts of sewing vendors are there, and this is the set up and booth by Sew Much Cosplay™!

You can see the new Purple Mage cosplay Cheryl has been working on and teasing over on Instagram for a while, as well as the Steampunk cosplay and Game of Thrones cape that was made recently.   The Purple Mage costume has every single one of the cosplay line of products in it, so we are excited to have it finished for the show.

It’s a real treat to see the products in their retail packaging and in the displays that retailers can order.  Here’s what our Hero Foam looks like in it’s display!  We are super proud of this foam made specifically for cosplay.

Here’s the full display of products!  Including our Power Boost Interlining, Super Structure Foam, Power Shine Glitter and Foils, and yes, that’s a 3D printer that retailers can carry along with the rest of our products!!  How cool is that?

Want to check out the line?  Click HERE to see the line.  Want to see retailers who are picking up the line to buy it? Click HERE to find our list of retailers.  It’s growing every day so check back often. And be sure to ask your independent sewing or comic store to carry it if they are not on the list!

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Shopping For Fabric For Cosplay

We are no stranger to fabric stores. We hit our local quilt shops or Joann’s weekly. But what happens when Joann’s just doesn’t have what you need for a cosplay? We had this happen recently, so we hopped in the car and headed to Chicago to visit two amazing fabric stores that have been around for decades.

We are lucky. We have many great fabric, quilting and sewing machine stores near us, but we needed some unusual supplies this time. So we drove over an hour to visit Fishman’s Fabrics and Vogue Fabrics. These two stores specialize is garment sewing products, so they were ideal for our needs.


For Tracy, going to these stores was fun but a little intimidating at first. She had never been to either and likely would not have gone on her own. Why? It was just a little outside of her comfort zone and she had the idea that somehow they would be expensive or maybe the staff would be pushy. Her fears could not have been farther from the truth.

Fishman’s was elegant. This store has been in business since 1903. From the looks of the store, we can see why.



It was extremely clean, beautifully organized and they had a well-curated selection of fabrics. They featured wool suiting, brocades, lamé, leather hides, silks, faux furs and lots of evening wear materials and upholstery fabrics. The selection of lining fabrics alone was staggering.



Prices here ranged from $6 per yard for lining fabrics up to several hundred dollars for leather hides. The selection was great, the staff was friendly and helpful. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and we will gladly come back to Fishman’s in the future.

Next we  drove further north and hit Vogue. This store was sprawling. There were several rooms in this large store, and each room is filled with fabrics, notions, patterns, machines… It was pretty cool.


What we found most impressive was the selection of notions. They pretty much carried anything you could need for your sewing projects. They even carry boning for corsets. And not just the plastic kind you find at Joann’s. They carried steel boning – both the spiral and the flat, in several lengths.



In both stores, the staff was very helpful and they answered all of our question. The stores had a great selection of fabrics in all price ranges. Some of the fabrics were only a few dollars a yard, so don’t be afraid that a non-big-box store will be more expensive. On the contrary, both stores had a great selection of fabrics in all price ranges, with plenty of staff to help.


We found plenty of things a cosplayer needs at each of these fabric stores. If you have one near you, why not venture in? It was an adventure we strongly suggest you take!





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Cosplay At The Original Sewing And Quilt Expo


Have you been to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo? They take place around the country and they are starting to feature cosplay classes. Last week they were in Schaumburg, IL and Sew Much Cosplay™ was in the house! That’s right, Sew Much Cosplay co-founder, Cheryl Sleboda was teaching “Working With Unusual Fabrics for Cosplay.” The class taught how to sew with stretch fabric, lamé, liquid lamé, faux fur, brocade and building armor out of foam. Students learned about the correct needle and thread to use with each of these.



Have you ever attended a sewing convention? Or taken a sewing class at a con? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!


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Cosplay Conversation: Randie Allen Wagner

My name is Randie Allen Wagner and I live in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Facebook: Randie Allen Wagner/Randie Allen

Insta: @starcomplexcosplay, @randieallen

Website:  StarComplexCosplay — coming really soon!

YouTube:  Starcomplex Cosplay (tutorials coming soon)



After much thought about which cosplay to feature, I decided to go with Beatrice from the manga Umineko Higurashi  (When they Cry).  Beatrice is known as the Golden Witch.  We get to to watch her grow up in this series which gave me an opportunity to use items created for multiple cosplays of this particular character.


The inspiration came from the wig.  We were visiting our favorite local anime store in Colorado Springs (Rainy Day Anime). They had just received a new shipment of wigs so I grabbed one in a strange yellow color because I hadn’t used that color yet.  My daughter (and model) immediately said “You have to do Beatrice”.  I  immediately commenced research collecting any image I could both from the web and the actual manga series.  I also watched the anime just so that I could see how the cosplay would need to move and to study Beatrice’s characteristics..  I also decided that this would be a good opportunity to compete in a cosplay competition.


How long did it take to make your Cosplay?


From start to finish about 6 ½ months.  I really wanted to have the time to plan this out.  I needed fabric, I needed tools, I needed all the stuff!

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge with this cosplay was the copper detail work!  After running many tests on different types of fabric, I knew I wanted it to be be shiny to really make the flames and scalloped trim around the skirt, the sleeves and the bodice stand out.  The only fabric I really liked for drape and color of the dress was a rayon taffeta.  Getting that to behave was a fun ride..  I also decided to make the center section of the cosplay as a corset.  Instead of sewing it into the cosplay, I made a separate piece that held on the front with Velcro (yes I said Velcro) so it wouldn’t move.  I really like being able to make things that can be worn by different cosplayers so any corseting I can do, I will.

I had done prop work before but this cosplay gave me an opportunity work with new materials.  I discovered the wonders of craft foam, thermoplastics, sculpting clay, you name it I was game.  I even tried gold leafing the prop pipe.

What was your budget?

I set a budget of approximately $300.00 – this isn’t particularly high but I always have a stash of extra things (fusible facings, boning, threads, etc.)


Approximately how much did you spend?  

That depends on who you ask!  I got most of the fabrics locally (the white cotton for the bell sleeves and neckline was easy, the taffeta I purchased at a chain store with a 50% off coupon and bought all they had which was around 8 yards at $5/y.  The burgundy chiffon was purchased at a local big box store for $1.50/y and I bought 7 yards). Thermoplastics can be pricey so I went with heat form sculpting clay for the pipe.   I purchased the wig for $20 and bought a second to make it thicker.  So technically I spent about $175.00.

Then, I decided I really  needed a semi-industrial straight stitch sewing machine so tack on a quick $750.00.  (I called it my Mother’s day gift so I don’t think it counts?)

What special techniques did you use?


Turning the copper lame into usable fabric.  It does not stretch (even on the bias) nor does it like to stay together (it’s woven with nylon and real copper) and is not at all heat resistant!  I purchased the copper lame fabric online.  I bought 5 yards, folded it incredibly straight and basted it on my sewing machine, I then cut 3 inch strips and fused it with a flexible fusible interfacing to give it stability without changing it.  I then mitered those strips together and folded them in half and ran them through a serger.  I hand sewed all of the copper fabric onto the cosplay and then heat pressed it down with a fusible quilting tape to make it curve.  Remember the fabric melts…


What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?

I sewed this right up to the minute it walked.  The cosplayer (my daughter Chloe) walked the runway in the cosplay competition.  Seeing that gown float across the stage and the character come to life was just mind blowing.  The wind hit that full skirt and she appeared to be floating.  Noise stopped as she twirled all the way down the competition stage.   Yes, I cried.


If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I would’ve started the props and the copper work first.  I spent a lot of the time facing the taffeta so it wouldn’t fray and building the sleeves and (they’re actually stuffed with batting).  Any cosplayer will tell you it’s never perfect.

About Cosplay in general:

To me Cosplay is an art form with limited rules (not applying to competing of course).  It’s a collective group of creative people expressing themselves in a way that makes them confident, it makes them powerful and in many ways and  it makes them invisible to the “outside” world.  After you’ve been to a few cons (conventions) you recognize people.  They are in different cosplays than the last time you saw them, but you know them.  It’s such a fantastic family like group to be around.

How often do you Cosplay?

I create one new piece per convention.  So – 3 main cosplays a year. I’m now planning on doing a main cosplay with different looks (like with Beatrice, I made the main gown costume and the skirt for the younger cosplay) I used the same wig for both. The items in the younger Beatrice cosplay came from a local thrift store during a .99 sale where I got the jacket, white shirt, vest and necktie and simply changed them to work.  I think they called that a Two-Fer cosplay?

Main cosplay events in Denver start in late February (AnimeFest, Wasabicon) and go through to September so there’s time in between to tweak and add other elements.  (DCC is July 4 weekend and NKD Labor Day Weekend). There are many anime and movie events and other small gatherings throughout the year.  One could cosplay full time (and many do) with the right scheduling.

How many cosplay do you do?

This depends on the con.  If it’s a 3 day and I’m attending all 3 days, then it’s 3 different cosplays.  If I’m only going one day, we’ll choose one for that day.  I just go into the cosplay closet and rotate.  Many cosplays are created from current anime releases or movies.

What do you want to make next?

After much deliberation and voting Rohan Kishibe was chosen from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part IV.

Favorite cosplay moment?

Princess Jellyfish from NDK 2016.  I like to create things that people recognize but wouldn’t necessarily think to do.  Walking into the main convention hall and being surrounded by fellow cosplayers is an amazing experience.  It’s like being famous.  It’s family and friendship all rolled into one.

Favorite fandoms to follow?

Game of Thrones

Ouran High

Black Butler

Gudetama is my hero.


What materials do you like using?

I love working with very difficult fabrics.  It’s like I get to remake them in a way that I would want them to be.  They don’t always cooperate.


What materials do you want to try?

I recently purchased a rechargeable hand tool and heat gun so I’m looking forward to working with heatable materials (thermoplastics, clay and foam).  I created a cosplay emergency kit for travel and would like to create a portable cosplay tool kit as well.

I’m currently obsessed with resin casting and silicone appliance making (for face pieces and cowls) and have started researching those (there are classes in my future)

What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

Thermoplastics and heatable foam.  They can be pricey depending on where you purchase them.  I could spend 4 hours in a large home improvement store looking for tools and  materials so it would be nice to have a one stop shop to get them all at one time.

What techniques are you dying to learn?

I want to make a full face cast mold so that face and head pieces could be done accurately.  I will probably have to stick my face into a mold at some point!  For now I just use my styrofoam heads and my wig form.

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Back To School Blog Hop: Tips For The Perfect Seam


We are very excited to be participating in the Back To School Blog Hop this year. Thank you to Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio for organizing this amazing 32 day event filled with fantastic tips for better sewing and quilting! If you don’t know Sam, please go check out her site  and while you are there, take a look at her quilt patterns. Specifically, check out her General Organa Quilt, her BB-8 and Rey inspired quilt  and her Police Box quilt. Pretty cool, eh?

Thank you so much for stopping by if you are new to our website! Please take a look around Sew Much Cosplay™ while you are here. If you like what you see, please like our Facebook page and please tell the cosplayers in your life about us too!

Now on to our tip. We wanted to offer a tip that would be beneficial for both garment sewing and quilting – because we love both! Seams to me that we should talk about seam allowance!

If you are new to sewing, you might not know that there is a difference in seam allowances for garments versus quilting. In garment construction, the seam allowance is almost always 5/8” seam. In quilting, the seam allowance is always ¼ inch.

Garment sewing is slightly more forgiving because you generally have larger sections that you are sewing together. If your ¼ inch is off even slightly, the needle width adds up as you stitch together many pieces over the course of a block or quilt top. For example, a classic mariners compass or a feathered star block can have as many as 18 pieces in just one block. If your seam allowance is off by 1/8th inch in every seam in a block that has 6 seams, your block can be off by ¾ inch by the time you are done. That’s crazy!

Now chances are that you aren’t going to be off by 1/8th of an inch, but you get the idea about how it adds up right? So what can you do to make sure your seam allowance is more accurate?

Let’s start with taking a look at the sole plate on your machine. There are usually marks on the metal that tell you where to line up your fabric.

Now, this particular machine has 9mm stitch width capabilities so the 1/4 inch mark is the edge of the foot. But you can see the 5/8th mark very clearly on the sole plate. This is great, but I will admit that even after sewing for 25 years, I still need a little help to ensure an accurate seam.

Here are a few of the things we have tried over the years, starting with our very favorite product. Try them and see what you think. Be sure to leave a comment if you have a tip we did not include!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links to the products on Amazon in the photos to show you where to find them. If you purchase the item through those links, we earn a few cents for recommending the product. You are not charged extra for using the link. It’s kinda like Amazon giving us a tip for offering you a tip!)

Ideal Seam Gauge and Ideal Seam Guide

Sew Very Smooth SVS54951 Ideal Seam Gauge* Affiliate

Sew Very Smooth Ideal Seam Guide* Affiliate Link in photo


These two products work perfectly on any machine. You simply lift up your presser foot and slide your needle into the hole on the Ideal Seam Gauge next to the seam allowance you want.


Next, leave the needle down, turn the gauge and drop the presser foot.

Now line up the Ideal Seam Guide right next to the gauge. It has a tacky back that will temporarily adhere to the bed of your sewing machine.

Remove the Ideal Seam Gauge and get ready to sew! Line up your fabric with the seam guide as you sew. That’s it!

Ideal Seam Guide* Affiliate Link in photo

Its really easy! In my photos, I used the Student Edition which comes with everything you need in a compact version.

You can find more information about this product on the Sew Very Smooth website. We just love them!
If you need to sew TODAY and you don’t have a store that sells the ideal seam guide, what do you do? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

First, you need a ruler. A quilting ruler is just fine. A measuring tape is fine too if it has the mark you need. (just be sure to compare whatever you are using to a second ruler to make sure that the markings are correct)

Line up the ¼” or 5/8” marking with the needle, just as before. Using washi tape, painters tape or even moleskin (shoe insole section of a drugstore) line it up on the edge of your ruler.


This method provides a visual mark for you to line up with the edge of your fabric as you sew. Moleskin is about 1/8 inch thick, so it actually gives you a slight lip to butt the fabric against.


Depending on your sewing machine, you might be able to purchase a ¼ inch foot with a guide…

1/4 inch foot with guide*

Adjustable Seam Guide*

Your machine might come with a screw in guide for garment sewing. It looks like this…

Seam guide*


Or you can buy a magnetic guide that you can apply just as we did above.

Just remember to measure from the needle, especially if your machine allows you to adjust the needle position, to ensure that you get the perfect seam allowance.


That’s it! Pretty easy right? Do you have another tip that we didn’t mention here? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!

Be sure to visit the other stops along the rest of the blog hop and thanks for stopping by!


Don’t forget to check out everyone else in the Back to School Blog Hop 2017!

Day 1 – August 15 – Sam Hunter: How to spray baste a BIG quilt –

Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting –

Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling –

Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine –

Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle Freedman: Machine throat plates –

Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching –

Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo –

Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique –

Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around –

Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines –

Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips –

Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children –

Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution –

Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric –

Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam –

Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread –

Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots – www.

Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1) –

Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2) –

Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?! –

Day 21 – September 4 – Lynn Krawczyk: Build a simple design with hand stitching –

Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs –

Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room –

Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine –

Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch –

Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding –

Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro –

Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips –

Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips –

Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them –

Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué –

Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting –


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Cosplay Conversation: Mandy Schnecke


Name: Mandy Schnecke

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Facebook: Dins Forge Cosplay

Instagram: @dinsforge


Tell us about your cosplay. What was your inspiration?/why did you choose this character?

This cosplay is a character named Ophelia from the Nintendo series Fire Emblem: Fates! For this costume instead of doing her default outfit, I decided to create her reclassed Sorceress outfit from the cipher card because I wanted to challenge myself! I made a couple of modifications to the design including the color of the characters hair and the crown. In the game, Ophelia’s father is a prince from another kingdom so I chose to make my wig blue instead of blonde, and I used chose to give her the Crown of the Exalt as a throwback to that lineage.

I chose to cosplay Ophelia because she and her father Owain are my favorite characters in the series!

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?

I would say that it took me about a solid month to put together Ophelia.


What was your biggest challenge?

Fantasy costumes can often be a challenge to bring to life because they aren’t really created with practicality in mind, they’re just made to look cool. So for me patterning was the biggest challenge, especially when it came to the body suit. They were actually created to be like a pair of legging that extended up my torso and tucked under the band of my bra. A lot of time went into drafting them so that there were as few visible seams as possible. Since power mesh can be delicate to work with, one of the other interesting challenged of the bodysuit was top stitching the pleather diamonds on without ripping the mesh. They actually had to be made twice since I accidentally tore a hole in the mesh initially trying to top stitch them down.

What was your budget? Approximately how much did you spend?

I went into this project knowing that I wanted to compete with it so I didn’t give myself a budget for this project. All of the elements of the combined (two wigs sewn together, over 250 individually set Swarovski crystals, resin embellishments, feather trim, etc.) I spent around $550 creating my costume.


What special techniques did you use?

One of my favorite techniques is satin stitching, which I was able to use in quite a few spots on the costume including the veil, hip guards, tabard, and collar.

What was the most satisfying about making this Cosplay/What made you proud?

To me, one of the most satisfying parts of this costume was the cape. The base is a stiff suiting that started as a half circle that I modified to look more like wings. From there I sewed down lines of feather trim on both the inside and the outside of the cape.


If you had to remake this Cosplay, what would you do differently?

I would completely redo the collar piece. I wasn’t really satisfied with the way it sat and I would have liked to add some additional applique on the front, since everything I added on the back was covered by my wig.


About Cosplay in general:

How often do you Cosplay? 

Very frequently. Right now I attend about 5 conventions a year in addition to doing location shoots.

How many cosplay do you do?

Oh gosh haha! Between the ones I’ve made and the couple that I’ve bought, about 50.


Series: Bravely Default Characters: Ringabel (myself) and Edea Lee (Grace Somerset ig: rage.and.roses) Photographer: Anna Lam

What do you want to make next?

The next big costume I’m working on is a character named Lydia from the podcast The Adventure Zone!


Favorite cosplay moment? 

One of the most special cosplay moments for me happened at Anime Central 2017. I’ve been a huge fan of the book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians since I was in middle school and I managed to organize a group of friends to cosplay it with me. We had about 18 characters from Camp Halfblood, 5 from Camp Jupiter shirts, and 3 Hunters of Artemis. All of the camp shirts were custom designed and made using heat transfer vinyl and cut out using a Silhouette. This series meant a lot to me growing up, and it made me unbelievable happy to have so many of my close friends get together to make this dream group come true.


Favorite fandoms to follow?

Fire Emblem will always have my heart, but right now I’m very in to The Adventure Zone and My Hero Academia!


What sewing machine do you sew on?

I sew on a Husqvarna Viking Rose 600, and my serger is a Janome New Home.


What materials do you like using?

I love working with peachskin, matte satin, and velvet.


What materials do you want to try?

I’ve always wanted to try working with leather.


What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

Velvet haha. I love it but it isn’t always the easiest to work with.


What techniques are you dying to learn?

I’d like to try more projects that involve pieced seams in body suits. I got to work with this technique while I was working on the under suits for a Voltron cosplay, but I would love to try more complicated designs in the future.

Series: Bravely Default
Characters: Ringabel (myself) and Edea Lee (Grace Somerset ig: rage.and.roses)
Photographer: Anna Lam

All of the profession photos are taken by Anna Lam, here are her pages:





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