Cosplay Repair : Alan Yeh // Photo : Ray Ustelman
Being in cosplay repair can definitely get you into some strange circumstances. Last year at Dragon Con a Mr. Mime cosplayer ran up to yelling “HELP ME MY BALLS ARE DROPPING!” as one of his big red thigh balls was slowly falling down his leg. I got a good laugh out of it as I was sewing his ball bag onto his costume from between his legs.
Back when I was in college, a few friends of mine invited me to come to Dragon Con with them. Both of them came in cosplay so became their impromptu handler for the day. It was really cool seeing their cosplay and watching people recognizing their characters and ask for photos. Getting towards the end of the day, both of their cosplays started falling apart because of all the walking, posing, and sweat. I realized that if I had just brought my sewing kit and some duct tape with me at the time, I could have been able to fix their cosplays then and there. My friends told me that it would be a great idea and that maybe I could help other cosplayers in need too. Thus my cosplay career began the following year when I showed up with a backpack full of tools and supplies.
I have a 50 lbs wooden crate that I carry full to the brim of all sorts of repair supplies that I’ve found use for over the few years that I’ve been doing cosplay repair. The core supplies are – of course – duct tape, super glue, and a sewing kit. On top of that, I also carry things like spirit gum, first-aid supplies, wood skewers, multi-tools, make-up removers, etc. I try to be prepared for anything and everything. The most important thing I carry though has probably got to be my lollipops, I always make a point to always have a huge bag ready. I know how heartbreaking it is to have your hand-built cosplay fall apart on you, so my primary goal is to always make someone’s day feel just a bit better. So, if you ever need help from me, you can expect the best repair job I can give along with a lollipop to help you have the best con possible!
I think cosplay repair has helped me in two ways. Firstly, I like to craft and build as a hobby and seeing how everybody builds their cosplays really helps build up my experience as a maker. You see dozens if not hundreds of ways things can come apart and it really teaches you how, where, and why things break. It helps teach you how to design things to last. Second, I have made so many friends through the cosplay and cosplay repair community. The Dragon Con cosplay medics decided to organize this year and we all chat online to share tips and tricks of the trade. They are all amazing people and I’m glad that cosplay repair helped me meet them.