Sew Easy Costumes (Part 1): Meet award-winning cosplayer Kristie “Karmada” Good

Get ready for Halloween or your first cosplay convention with tips and tricks for making easy sew costumes from award-winning cosplayer Kristie “Karmada” Good. Throughout September, Kristie will share her strategies for designing costumes, taking the best pix, attending cosplay conventions, and more.

Did summer blockbusters leave you and your kids dreaming of becoming a superhero? Although we can’t promise super strength or telekinetic powers, award-winning cosplayer and Epic Cosplay Costumes author Kristie “Karmada” Good can help you look the part—whether you’re getting ready for a costume party or gearing up for your first cosplay convention (an event where people dress up as a character from a movie, book, or video game). To kick-off her Sew Easy Costumes series, Kristie and I sat down for a quick chat to talk about how she got started with costume design and where she finds inspiration.

SD: Congratulations on publishing your first book. What inspired you to write Epic Cosplay Costumes?

KG: I wanted to write the book I wished I’d had when I was starting out. I was daring and didn’t mind diving head-first into projects I knew nothing about, but I would have loved having a book that offered a friendly introduction to sewing basics and costume-making techniques. I also wanted to write a guide on how to make pieces without having to rely on buying the right pattern piece—things that could be made on the fly!

SD: How did you decide on the projects you included in Epic Cosplay Costumes?

KG: I chose basic costume garment shapes that I’ve used over the years since I began costuming—capes, pants, skirts, a stretchy shirt and gloves, fabric boot covers. I wanted projects that were not only easy to make but easy to adapt to many other things. Customizability was a must!

SD: You’ve won multiple awards for your cosplay. How did you get started with sewing and costume design? 

KG: I actually started with making my own Renaissance Festival garb and Halloween costumes. It was after that I found out about conventions and this thing called “cosplay.” I was hooked after only one trip!

Photo of Kristie Good as Nora Valkyrie courtesy of CosFame.
SD: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

KG: Most of my ideas come from the media I’m watching, reading, or playing. I love recreating costumes from animation, comics, and video games! More often than not, it’s a character I’ve come to like and want to bring to “life.” I am an avid tabletop RPG player and like to take inspiration from my own character. I have been known to create my character’s costumes for conventions.

SD: You have so many different costumes. Do you have a favorite item or items to sew?

KG: Coats! I’m a big fan of jackets, coats, doublets, and the like. The more buttons the better, I say! Until I have to sew all those buttons on… Dress pants, fancy shaped pants, and fluffy skirts are my next favorites. I love a well-tailored garment, and who doesn’t want to be fluffy sometimes?

Photo of Kristie Good as Peter White courtesy of Liquid Cocaine Photography.
SD: What advice would you give readers who want to try designing their own costumes?

KG: Have an exit strategy. No, seriously! It’s tempting to make a costume EXACTLY like the picture (many artists don’t draw in seams), but you have to remember you need to get in and out of your costume! Also, keep trying on your costume. Make sure it fits, that it’s comfortable, and won’t fall apart as you walk around. Test runs can be very helpful. Make sure you can move your arms and your legs!

Photo of Kristie Good as Agent Texas courtesy of Karmada Cosplay
SD: Last question: What sewing tip has helped you the most?  

KG: When sewing multiple pieces with the same seam shape (such as a lining or sides of a bodice), sew them at the same time. For example, sew all the side seams (outer shell, lining), then do all the front seams. I’ve found that once I’ve done a seam I’m in “the zone” and if I have to repeat the same line, I’m already in the mindset and muscle memory to do it again! This helps keep your outer shells and linings the same shapes in the end.

Happy Sewing!

— Jodi Butler, Content Editor – Craft Books

For costumes directions and tips on attending a convention, check out Epic Cosplay Costumes.

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