Gengar from Pokemon : Spookystitch / photo : dtjaaaam

Cosplay taught me the fun of how transformative clothing and costumes can be. I love looking so different between costumes that people don’t recognize me, and I love being able to have the agency to choose how much or how little of myself I want out there on display. I’ve been cosplaying for about 15 years now, and it’s shaped my whole life. I started off throwing together anime costumes out of altered thrifted clothes at age 13 for fun, and now I sew professionally for theatre and have made so many amazing friends through cosplay.

I’ve loved ghost pokemon ever since I was a kid, and Gengar has always been my favorite. One of my jobs is making mascot style costumes, and I thought that making a giant, huggable ghost would be a fun challenge and also make a lot of people happy. (Including me! I have hugged this costume so many times while it was on a dressform.)

Making this costume was a huge undertaking, mostly because of its size and trying to get proportions right. I started patterning it at 1/4 scale, and moved up to making it full scale out of soft foam and fleece. There are hoops that come out of it so that it can collapse for transit and storage, but getting it through doorways while it’s being worn is an adventure.

Lately, finding motivation to work on cosplay has been a struggle because it feels like my energy has been drained or more useful elsewhere, but I’m hoping to slowly work my way back into making more, and I have some really fun projects planned for the future, both larger more mascot style things and also traditional sewing