I'm about to be a neophyte in the world of cosplay and I'd like to have a place to ask some questions or just chat about others various projects without diving into the deep-end of dedicated cosplay forums. My girlfriend and her daughters are huge cosplayers and going to anime conventions are kind of their thing. They took me to my first small local anime convention earlier this year, we're going to another in a couple months, and then we'll be going to Dragoncon in September. They were afraid if I went straight into Dragoncon as my first experience I'd just flat-out die. Gotta' work me up to this.
They've been encouraging me to get involved and decide on a costume I'd like to work on for almost a year now. I finally landed on one and we've begun working on it. The sheer amount of work that goes into real costuming is just astounding to me. I had no idea. Luckily my girlfriend and her daughters are all insanely skilled artists (my girlfriend actually makes her living in graphic design, painting, and sculpting), and her daughters are amazing seamstresses and they've all agreed to do the heavy lifting for my costume.
Through them I've found local makers groups, costuming guilds, the local 501st legion, etc. This whole subculture that I had nothing but a passing knowledge of is really interesting to me. So, to get things started, do we have any goodjers who also cosplay and any tips for a neophyte?