Just a bit of background...
Hi! I'm Jesschii, cosplayer and costume maker.
It all started with my Grandparents. I used to play dress up with spare fabric and makeup from my Grandmother's wardrobe.
My family lived in Botswana, Africa for many years, so my Grandmother had a large collection of African clothing, as well as jewelry, scarfs and fabrics. My sister and I loved playing with these and would often play shop with them. My Grandfather also taught me drawing and encouraged me to develop draftman skills. Growing up, I was often told that eventually I would become an animator, but I enjoyed designing clothes more and often found myself designing outfits in my free time.
I started cosplaying while I was at college. I was already a fan of anime and manga, so when my friend Kelly told me about an anime convention in London, now Comic con, I jumped at the chance to attend. We decided to try dressing up for it and at the time I was reading Chobits by Clamp. It was pretty awful, I didn't have a sewing machine and I had no idea that you could buy wigs or costumes online so I put something together and made myself a pair of Chobits ears.
Eventually I found better resources and started buying costumes and wigs, but I was never happy with the quality of the costumes; the materials were cheap and looked obviously bought, the fitting was often poor and most of the sellers were Chinese, so communication was an issue.
In 2009, with my own sewing machine, I made my most difficult cosplay: Miu from DearS. The costume would be form fitting, with leather, pvc and lycra, so the fit would have to be exact. The result was a huge success and I entered it into the Eurocosplay competition. I didn't win, but to me that didn't matter, it was a huge achievement just to complete it.
In 2013 I made the decision to take my skills further by taking on commissions, after getting requests from other cosplayers. Today, I create bespoke custom outfits and props for my clients, from, concept to construction.
When I started cosplaying more obscure characters, I quickly realised that I would need to start making the costumes mself. I learned quickly with the help of my Grandmother and together we started making my cosplays, with her instructing me along the way.
There were problems though. Many sewing patterns didn't fit the character designs, so we had to get creative and adjust them. I soon found that my skills in design could be used to help with this, so I started using basic patterns as a guide to create my own. I used this technique to create a number of my own costumes.