Cosplay Conversation – Casey Renee Cosplay

Tell us about yourself:

Name: Casey Renee Cosplay
Location: Atlanta, GA
Website: caseyreneecosplay.com
Facebook: Casey Renee Cosplay
Instagram: caseyreneecosplay
Twitter: @caseyreneecos
Other: Twitch.tv/caseyreneecosplay

Special thanks to Alexandra Lee Studios for photos.  You can reach her at:
www.alexandraleestudios.com  www.patreon.com/aleestudios
www.instagram.com/aleestudios  www.facebook.com/Alexandraleestudios  www.twitch.tv/alexandraleestudios

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

This is my Rococo Belle costume, it is my own original design of Belle in the 18th Century made back in 2015-2016. I was inspired by historical dramas that I loved watching while crafting as well as Disney. Ever since I was little Disney has been a form of inspiration in my artistic life and as an adult the inspiration continues.

How long did it take to make your Cosplay?

Rococo Belle took over 450 hours of patterning, sewing, beading, wig styling, worbla, foam, wiring and love. At the time this was the hardest costume I have ever made and is still the costume that has the most “wow” factor.

What was your biggest challenge?

At first, constructing the garments was the biggest challenge, getting the proportion right, the fit right etc. But once I finished those and moved onto Lumiere that was by far the hardest thing for me. I knew very little about LED’s and wiring lights before this costume and I opted out of buying some tools that would have made soldering much easier, needless to say it took 10 hours and 4 attempts just to properly wire Lumiere and get all three of his lights to flicker when he was turned on. Even though I struggled I learned a lot and I am hoping to apply that to future costumes.

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

The initial budget for this costume was $300 and I spent all of that, then a year and a half after it was “finished” I made some upgrades that cost another $100 so I spent a total of $400 on this costume.

What special techniques did you use?

I learned and used several different hand sewing stitches, especially for the beads as well as more math than I could have ever imagined. Getting the watteau pleats in the back of the dress was a pain and broke my brain for an entire day but was so worth it in the end.

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

The most satisfying part of this cosplay is probably the shoes, footwear is typically painful for women and also just hard to make accurate and I made some stellar shoes that really helped to sell that this costume was from the 18th century.

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

I actually have plans to remake this costume, the first thing I am looking at is more historically accurate fabric choices, beading details and really pushing the silhouette to align better with the time period.

How often do you Cosplay?

For me costume making is my full time job, whether I am working on commissions or making someone on stream for myself. The actual act of wearing costumes I would probably say is once or twice a month. I dramatically cut back on conventions to focus on building my costume making business so I only go to about 6 conventions a year now but I do photoshoots in between so I get to dress up more.  

How many cosplay do you do?

Last year I made 19 costumes for myself, a couple of them were only worn of an hour or two and some of them were worn for over 50 hours.

What do you want to make next?

I’m currently working on Amethyst from Sakizou to debut at Twitchcon in October, I predict the build to take between 600-800 hours (I’m over 100 hours in and maybe 10% there). On the side I am also working on a Goddess Ariel costume I intend to throw underwater for a photoshoot at Colossalcon. I’m also always making myself new clothes to wear or outfits for vintage parties like the Gatsby Garden Party I will be attending in May.

Favorite cosplay moment? 

My favorite cosplay moment was probably Phoenix Comic Con 2016, I broke my foot 3 weeks before the convention and had intended on going by myself until the brake so my Mom volunteered to go with me. She had never seen me in cosplay before or been to convention and to see the joy on her face every time a person asked for a photo or wanted to talk with me about my costume really made me happy. She even cried when I won first place in the master category at the masquerade that night. It was incredibly rewarding to share this part of my world with her.

Favorite fandoms to follow?

Disney, anything Victorian Gothic, Historical dramas, and some Marvel and Dc, I kind of fell out of the comic book collecting when DC redid their universe in 2016.

What sewing machine do you sew on?

My two main machines are my Bernina 801 sport and my Singer Heavy Duty 4423 my serger is the Brother 1034D I am clearly not brand loyal.

What materials do you like using?

Sewing and fabric manipulation are by far my favorite but I also like using Smooth on Resin, Worblas Finest Art (black is my go to) and if I am going to use foam I would do with TnT Cosplay supplies but I rarely do foam crafting.

What materials do you want to try?

I actually have some sewable foam on my “to buy” list sitting on my desk so I would say that’s at the top of my list of things to work with. Also I would love an embroidery machine to level up my sewing game.

What materials do you wish were easier to work with?

Hmmm, thats a hard question to answer because all material gets easy to work with once you have the right knowledge to work with it. I guess if I had to say I would say that I wish rhinestones were easier to apply. I recently bought the HotFix tool to apply 10000 3mm rhinestones to a dress and the tool seems to hate to work properly.  

What techniques are you dying to learn?

I’m in the process of learning tambour embroidery and crochet for my current project but my next venture would be to learn millinery, I’ve always found Derby hats to be lovely and I would love to make some myself.

Thanks, Carey Renee, for sharing your cosplay and photos with us! Want to be featured on our site? We would love to show your cosplay to the world!  Check out our Submissions page and send us an email! 

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