It’s that time of year again when our community gathers and celebrates fandom: SoDak Con is June 23 to 25 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and we at the library are looking forward to being part of the fun! With Cons happening all over the country throughout the year, it’s always a good time to refine or refresh your costume or even come up with that new Instagram-worthy look. The library has some great resources to help you create your unique cosplay ensemble.

First, for inspiration, page through “1,000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas: A Showcase of Creative Characters from Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movies, Comics, and More” by Joey Marsocci and Allison DeBlasio, an eBook on Hoopla (access through our website with your library card). Not only is there a substantial selection of Anime costumes, but there are different takes on characters, such as the DC villain Poison Ivy, to pick and choose from.

“Steampunk & Cosplay Fashion Design & Illustration” by Samantha R. Crossland is an excellent resource detailing design ideas, fabric choices, color schemes and even costume textures. This book is also great at demystifying design terminology in an easy-to-understand layout.

If you are really looking for something unique, the library has a collection of Manga and graphic novels to peruse. You can also check out digital comics through Hoopla.

Once you have selected your character, it’s time to develop your design and sewing plan. “The Hero's Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming” by Gillian Conahan is an exceptional guide with basic fandom costume patterns to build from, such as multiple superhero designs, sci-fi and seifuku. Then you can develop this to your specific fandom and add your own custom touches.

There is even a section on creating boot covers, since hunting down specific shoes can be time consuming and expensive. If you need help with sewing, there are also plenty of resources on our shelves. Deepika Prakash's “1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips”  is a detailed troubleshooter beyond the cosplay resources.

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Of course there is more to making a costume than just sewing. “Make: Props and Costume Armor: Create Realistic Science Fiction & Fantasy Weapons, Armor, and Accessories” by Shawn Thorsson details building props with sheets and tubes, working with Pepakura, EVA Foam, 3-D printing and CNC carving. It even has multiple chapters on working with molds.

At the library, we have you covered with 3-D printing! You can grab print designs from thingiverse.com and tinkercad.com and print them at the library. Or you can design your own custom prop and we will help you make your dream into 3-D printed reality. We even have some printed examples to inspire you.

So once you’ve got your costume, do you know what can you expect at the Con? “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy — a Handbook for Girl Geeks” by Sam Maggs is a guide to everything you need to know to rock your fandom socially and thrive at your first con. Happy creating!

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