Sewing Machine Poster Once upon a time I was a kid in highschool, taking part in an art class. Now in this class I got to experiment with paint, paper, clay, and everything else in between. Were my projects the best projects? No. Not at all. But I had that creative outlet and security net to try anything under the craft world sun. Skip forward a few years and I'm in the real world. The real world doesn't offer that creative outlook on a silver platter. So I lost my knowledge about the arts. If I wanted a silver vase I would go out and spend the money (probably far too much) on a pre-made vase. Suddenly I lost ALL my creativity and just became dull.

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Along with loosing my creative outlet I also lost a lot of my imagination too. Granted, I still played Dungeons and Dragons, but that was never something I would manifest into reality... like crafts. To begin with, I never had the gift of seeing something and saying, "Hey! I can turn this into that". It was something I always thought I'd never have. Sewing and I never got along either. For the past twenty plus years there has been a war in my home between my sewing machine and I. So when it came to new things it was simply a pipe dream. If I couldn't buy it already made, I didn't have it! Simple as that. Yet my whole world changed when I went to my first con.

Jenna Say What - Captain America
Going to my first con was truly terrifying. That past Halloween I spent $100 (£65) on a Captain America costume. Honestly. It's my most expensive cosplay to date! But of course, I didn't see it as expensive. I saw it as, I have no clue how to make an underbust corset nor a body suit, so I have no choice but to buy this! To no avail, I hit up every store in the whole area trying to find a Captain America Shield. I was a Captain without her shield. I felt like a looser if I didn't have a shield, so I made my own.

I bought a flat wreath body (basically a thick cardboard circle with a hole in the middle), as it was honestly the only thing I could think of that was a pre-cut circle. I took it home and decided to wrap it in a bunch of white fabric that I had from a terrible attempt at making a skirt. Now, when I say terrible, I mean it was so bad that it was a tube that I hand-sewn onto myself, and couldn't get out of until I cut it off. But I digress. I wrapped this fabric around and spray glued it down! I looped this flimsy wire around these two pre-cut holes in the cardboard for my handle. The back, it was a monstrosity! So now all I needed was the logo. I took a ruler and measured out the red and white rings, and proceeded to paint them with acrylic paint. Then stars, the bane of my existence. I still to this day can't draw a perfect star to save my life -- and this star wasn't even close to perfect. But it was done, my very own shield. I was embarrassed by it to be honest, it was ugly and I knew it.

Heading around the con in a store bought costume (there's nothing wrong with store bought) and this awful shield. But to my surprise no one called it out. No one made fun of me or my shield. Although I still was intimidated by all the much better cosplays, I would go up to others and ask them how they made their costume. I'd hear things like worbla, cintra, hot glue? What do you mean? Is this English?

I didn't go to a con for 3 years! 

Jenna Say What - Captain America
Over time I finally decided to take the plunge again. With a peace treaty in hand I approached my sewing machine. "We are working together in harmony and we will make this Ms. Marvel cosplay", I said. My machine never answered back. But then again if it had I would have known I had lost it. My Ms. Marvel came out WAY better than expected! Day one: Cosplay was complete. Day two: Captain America with her brand new store bought shield. And I was finally ready to jump the gun and be a real cosplayer.

Sadly, I threw away that shield, and I regret it from time to time. It honestly shows how far along I came.

All this time I thought I couldn't bring something in my head to reality, or see something for it's potential, not what is just in front of me. I finally found those abilities in myself, they just needed that creative outlet to be able to flow through. Trips to the thrift, fabric, and home improvement stores are now an adventure! Although, sometimes I watch the TV show Hoarders and wonder if that will be just my craft room one day. Going shopping for items is a different experience. I now say, "You want WHAT for THAT!?", and it gives me that boost of confidence because I know I can make that. And without my cosplay driving that car, I would have just kept going with my art-less life.

This article was brought to you care of the one, the only, cosplaying queen herself, Jenna Say What!?!? Please stay tuned for what she has in store for us next month, right here, on Jenna Say Blog.