Is it possible to make a Cosplay in a week with a full time job?

I guess not many people know that when Cosplay events happen especially in the Summer time here in Ireland few events tend to happen quiet close to each other like Experience Japan always happens near Japanese Film Festival times and Q-Con fell this year with Lighthouse Cinema Spirited Away screening with Ghibli fancy dress party only 6 days between two events.

If you got an arsenal of Cosplays done and dusted it's great as it means just pull them out of your wardrobe and BAM you're ready for the night, but if you've got to stick to specific theme or maybe got a short schedule its often a question of:

"Can I make something up on such a short notice and in time?"

So this is an entry of my own adventure of making a cosplay in roughly a week (6 days in my case) just to show that anyone can make a decent not so much *half arsed* cosplay in a week!!

So what comes first in these sort of situation?

1. Take your current time and funding availability and be reasonable on what you can achieve on a specific funding and in given timing.

I work in a day job full time so I can easily have 39-40 hrs a week spent in work on top of another 10 hours roughly spent on travel on public transport alone not counting dropping over for usual pick up groceries every few days, walking to and from public transport etc. to work and so on.

So usually in my kind of case some people can come up with an excuse of being *too busy to make anything in a week* ,but you know its more a question of what do you do after work if you're working and how much you can be arsed to achieve your goals.

So what was my availability for this project: Monday taken off work after Convention in Northern Ireland to relax before being back in work. Honestly my Monday turned to go to town to gather a list of materials than relaxing, but I cant complain as I had carrot caaakee break!!! Tuesday - Friday in work so had few hours to spend after work about 20.00 - 02.00 (and be slightly zombieish in work for a week,but who caares) and few hours on a Saturday before the event was on approx 17.00 would have being my deadline on Saturday 25th of June to get everything done!



Goals of the following: Princess Mononoke character from Studio Ghibli movie. It's not the easiest but not the hardest of cosplays to do. I had to be realistic on the funding and time/material availability side of things as no way I would build a huge armour piece in a week and also I had to take my own limited skillsets into consideration for the following project. Making projects like these especially in a week should be *affordable* on a budget kind and not huuge mind blowing projects. Sure it doesn't mean you cannot bang on something great and wow worthy in a week, just genuinely be reasonable especially when you have tight deadlines for events themselves because the more incredible something looks on a reference picture the more time you would like to put into it to test run it and make it perfect or do any finished tweaks on it.

Day 1 Material gathering : It would be all fun and games if you could gather all materials you need from one place or in one day, but sorry never works that way. You can always make a list and check it twice or whatever ,but for this project I had to go out for 3 days to gather materials. Main ones on Monday and then on Wednesday,Thursday to pick up more materials because you never know when you'll run low or need to pick up more of something last minute...

Day 3 When things *kinda start to take shape*: I guess I wish I could do this whole BAM I picked up everything on day one and look at how far I have gotten in day two with progress,but depending on what you do you gotta be realisting. My Cosplay Didn't take any *recognisable shape* until day 3 actually which was like halfway through the week, but main headpiece for the Mononoke's hood did take me a day and a half to sculpt and then another day to paint and laquer it. By day 3 I had a set of shoes and head piece of the hood done up tho. Only then it felt like something was done, but panic was there as it was day 3 of 6 and only 3 more days to go  to complete it fully.


(Day 3: When it finally is taking some sort of shape...)

Yupp it may not seem much at all, but this was how far I have gotten from Day 1 - 3 of this project. So you can probably see why I was shitting myself about not being sure if I get everything done in time.

Day 4 - 5 I think I'm getting there: One thing about these sort of projects you're always constantly questioning if you will have it done in time or will you need to compromise on things etc. for me I have being running low on hot glue gun rods and ran out completely out of white thread as I use black the most so never actually restocked on extra spools of thread that I don't use the most because lest be fair there is always the mentality of "I'll pick it up when I start on another project" so yeah I had to hold on specific parts of cosplay till day 5 because of limited supplies of this and that and it ended up in a way I wasted time needing to wait for next morning to pick up more material after work "lesson learned!" so most things to "finish up completely" ended up being postponed till day 6

Day 6 OH SHIT ITS ON TODAY!!!!: I like to think of this day as "assemble all pieces together and hope for the best day" I guess this morning helped not being in work and actually waking up early ish (10.00 am or so....) and just binge sewing and putting stuff together overall I finished everything by 15.00 and had time to pack it all in my bag for the event and get my sleepless self into somewhat of one piece. Did I have time to test run all the pieces together? HAHAHAHA NOOOO!!!! SO I just had to hope what I build will work ok through the night!


(Trying out pieces bit by bit just to make sure they're working ok no time to try everything on tho)

So overall outcome of this project!

Sleepless Jay, but the cosplay was a success!!!! Would I have done some things differently? I guess when you achieve your goal you always find room for improvement and I do have few *things planned for the future* to amend or change things around for the following cosplay because you know what, any cosplayer I know goes back few months or years later and remakes specific cosplay to make it better, but you still cannot be hating having achieved something in a week when you've other things like day job to worry about too! Seriously I was happy with the overall cosplay and cant complain having something like this done just in a week!


(My friend Lucy also "McGivered" Kiki cosplay on a short deadline for the same event!)


(Overall Finished cosplay at the event in Lighthouse Cinema on Saturday!)


I do keep looking at it and think I could have done it in a day hahaha, but yeah it took about a week to get this all done and dusted between sewing , sculpting painting etc. 

So do hope you guys get some enthusiasm and challenge mode on if you are considering making something happen for cosplay events on super tiiight deadlines, but aren't too quiet sure if its doable. Because no matter how busy you are if you got enough drive to get your ass in shape and miss out on week of scrolling on facebook boringly or TV (bear in mind you can binge watch something like dubbed anime and sew) you can make pretty neat cosplays happen in a week and share work in progress and finished piece with the world to inspire more people to take on the challange!


Overall Happy Cosplay Making and wishing you all the very best of luck with your projects and never ever let your crappy day lives get in the way of cosplay because we work to live not live to work!





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