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Tell us about your first cosplay experience. Who, what, where, when, and how did it go?

Halloween in 1999, I dressed up as Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, and ohhhh man, it was such an amazingly awful costume! I had a great time though, and from there, I started going to conventions with friends and... it was pretty much all downhill after that.

Did the hobby grow out of an existing skill with sewing or crafts, or did those skills come as a result of wanting to make costumes?

The latter. I wanted to make costumes and so I sort of picked up things along the way by making lots and lots of mistakes. I'm still going by that way of learning and still making loads of mistakes. Every now and then, it's fun to look back on older costumes, cringe and wonder what I was thinking.

There’s no lack of variety in your collection, but have you consciously tried to maintain a common element throughout your choice of characters? (For example, something noticeable like a certain color or hairstyle, a clothing style, a weapon, etc. or something less obvious like a personality trait, back story, astrological sign, etc.)

Ha ha ha, no. There's nothing consistent in my choices- though I do have a weak spot for white-haired, snarky characters. Other than that, I pick costumes for different reasons ranging from, “Oh hey, that character is faaabulous, I should do that,” to “Well, you said I wouldn't so I did.”

What type of costume do you enjoy the most and why? (frilly, rugged, uniform, extravagant, etc.)

That's tough. Generally, I think I like uniforms the most. However, they can get boring after awhile and there's something to be said for frilly and extravagant costumes. Lately it seems that I've been going for a ‘the-uglier-the-better’ approach on things. Clashing colors, stripes, fringe, sparkles, and feathers? Bring it on.

Some of your outfits use unusual fabrics. Where do you do most of your fabric shopping?

For most of my fabric shopping I use local fabric stores, but when I'm looking for something specific, I'll use online stores (and hopefully I’ll remember that I need to order swatches first).

What’s been your favorite cosplay moment so far?

Ack, you know there really hasn't been just one- whenever I'm dressed up I'm generally having a great time. However, I've got to say that children have some of the best reactions to seeing people in costume. I'm always entertained when kids come up to me and ask me if I'm a pilot, angel, princess, etc.

How do your career path and your hobby get along – best friends, polar opposites, enablers?

For me they aren't really related at all – I currently work for the government and
my job has nothing whatsoever to do with costumes!

Name one costume that you’d love to make yet can’t at the moment because of funds, skills, or physics? Do you think it’ll materialize in the future, or will it remain a nice dream?

There are a few costumes that I'd love to make, but don't feel anywhere near talented enough to pull off. I've been trying for a few years now to get an Aelia (Valkyrie Profile) costume underway, but somehow, I never get there. I also sort of think I suffer from costume ADD. If it takes me longer than two weeks to finish a costume, I lose interest and get distracted by other things. In a way, it's kind of nice to have those 'dream projects' floating around in my mind, always a little out of reach. It gives me something to work towards.

Do you think you’ll still be cosplaying 5 years from now? 10 years?

I want to say no... because I'd kind of like to have more free time and get my life together a bit, but I've been trying to stop for awhile now, and I just enjoy it too much. Ha, that makes me sound like some sort of addict! So I'd like to say no, but I probably won't get out of this hobby for awhile.

In a scenario like this: rain blows in through an open window and ruins your in-progress costume, your sewing machine breaks down, you lose your cell phone, and your dog runs away; how would you cope?

Honestly? At that point, there's really nothing to do but laugh. I can't blame the dog for running away though; I didn't even know I owned one.

As for the costume being ruined bit.. it's one of those, “Don't cry over spilled milk” situations. If the costume's already ruined then there's nothing I can do about it, so there's no point in freaking out over it. I can either start over or give up on it- and maybe in remaking it it'll turn out better than it did the first time anyway. Jeez, that makes me sound like such an optimist.

How do you see that cosplay as a “scene” has changed since you began?

The community has gotten a lot bigger, and the quality of the costumes (and the quality of the photography) has improved! It’s also a lot easier to find costume resources online now (tutorials, materials, etc.).

When you attend conventions, what do you like to do the most, and what’s one new thing you’d like to see introduced?

My favorite thing to do at conventions is ... well, just kind of hang out and see people that I don't usually get to see. Once in a while, it's nice to be a part of the cosplay, but depending on the convention, that can take up a lot of time, and I've started to treat conventions like mini-vacations so I enjoy the freedom of not being on a schedule.

I can’t really think of anything I’d like to see introduced to conventions. I’m happy with most of them the way they are.

Here’s your space for additional comments or the dispelling of rumors.

I'm not really aware of any rumors right now (then again, I can be kind of oblivious)... but if you hear of any feel free to let me know, it’s always funny to hear what people come up with. :D

See more of Sarielchan's costumes.

Sarielchan, you project a fairly laid-back attitude that I think a lot of mature cosplayers share. It's nice to know that it's better to not have a conniption over cosplay adventures (or misadventures as the case may be). You're having a great time with costuming, and it shows. Even though you might ease out of the scene eventually, we're glad you can share a lot of fun & lovely costumes while you're still in the thick of it.

~Mrs. Tomoe

 
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