Interview with Steff Von Schweetz

It’s time for another interview, this time with Steff Von Schweetz! She’s a well-known cosplayer from Nevada, who loves playing with fabric to bring characters to life!


Steff Von Schweetz as Vileplume from Pokemon, photo by Flash Photo

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I go by Steff Von Schweetz, which is actually a recent rebranding from my previous cosplay handle, Anti Ai-chan. The previous one was hard to pronounce and no one understood what it meant; so two years ago I decided to rebrand. Steff is my real name but I didn’t feel comfortable putting my last name out on the Internet. I chose Von Schweetz since Vanellope (Wreck-It Ralph) is my favorite Disney character and we have a lot in common.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started cosplaying back in 2003! I’ve always been a fan of dressing up on Halloween and school spirit days. My mom used to make my costumes from scratch; so I could be whomever I wanted. When I discovered that anime conventions existed, along with cosplay, I knew I wanted to try it. Nearly 14 years later and I have yet to stop dressing like a fictional character.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I am very much a fabric person! While I don’t mind working with foam and plastic or even jewelry, there’s just something about working with various fabrics that gets me excited! Haha, I never thought I’d have a favorite fabric either, but I love working with suedes and suiting. I find the textures on suede give a lot of depth to the overall look of a garment while suiting tends to have very rich colors and the blacks are so nice a dark.


Steff Von Schweetz as Winter Soldier from Captain America, photo by Ron Gejon

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I have a costume on my list that has a lot of scaling on it. I’ve actually had the scales now for nearly a year, along with the rest of the fabric for the costume, but haven’t started it. It’s made me nervous because I have no idea what I’m doing with it! So while I’m nervous to start it, I’m also excited to push myself. Hopefully this summer it will get done. Someone please hold me to it!

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Again, because I’ve become a huge fabric nerd over the years, I enjoy when people layer textiles and textures together to make something visually stimulating. I love watching Enayla Cosplay! The level of detailing is insane and her use of fabric is out of this world.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think the cosplay community could use some help. Maybe a wakeup call? I think there’s a lot of negativity and drama that is unneeded and can be sifted out if we all put in some time and effort. I do try to be as positive as I can within the scene though. One person at a time can make all the difference.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Like I mentioned before, there seems to be an uprise in drama and negativity across the board. I think, since cosplay has become more mainstream and trendy there’s been a bit of a switch in how people within the community see each other. There’s always been a healthy amount of competition but now it’s all about gaining followers and growing in popularity. There is nothing wrong with wanting either of those things, but I see more and more people getting into cosplay for just popularity reasons and not with the craft or community in mind. While I obviously can’t speak for anyone but myself, I think a lot of people who have been with the community for several years are frustrated with that kind of mentality. I don’t have an answer to get past the issues that have come up within the community but I think we should all remember that at the end of the day, we are all just nerds in costume.


Steff Von Schweetz as Sonic from One Punch Man, photo by Mangabomb

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Just go for it. It doesn’t matter if you buy it online or make it yourself; it doesn’t matter if you have a social media following already. If it’s something you’re interested in, you should just jump in. If you like it, you can worry about how to sew or improve of things later. If you want to make social media pages dedicated to the hobby, you can do it later. But you’ll never know if you don’t give it a go.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I love Anime LA. It’s a convention I’ve attended multiple times and always come out of it feeling great. The staff is always friendly and Chaz is the sweetest man on the planet and always wants what’s best for his attendees. I love the ribbons you can obtain and I more so love that it started as a way for attendees to meet new people. They provide chairs and beanbags for people to sit on so security won’t hassle them about being on the floor. I hope ALA continues to grow and improve.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
As I mentioned previous, Vanellope is my favorite Disney character; so, when I decided to cosplay her standard I wanted to get in as many details as possible. I purchased the artbook for the movie and it gave me the insight that her sweater is supposed to come across as dirty. So when I got the sweatshirt fleece, I did a number of dye baths to get a teal I liked and then did a quick wash in black dye to get some gritty tones into the fabric.


Steff Von Schweetz as Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph

Thanks for the interview, Steff Von Schweetz! You can check out her Facebook page here, her Instagram here, and her Twitter here!

Posted in article, interview | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daenerys from Game of Thrones Make-Up Tutorial

This tutorial was created by Carli Bybel, and is pretty easy to follow, especially if you’re a make-up junkie! ;D

Hope this helps! 😀

Posted in article, tutorial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cosplay Melee Episode 1 Review

Ok, guys, after the Heroes of Cosplay mess, I was less than thrilled to hear about another SyFy show about cosplayers coming to the airwaves. I had friends posting they’d be on it, and that it was more like the show Face Off, but I was still very anxious about it.

Holy poop, I was wrong. The show features 4 cosplayers per episode and they construct props for a prompt. One cosplayer gets eliminated, then the final three make a full costume from the prompt. The judges are varied… One’s a super fan, another is a cosplay model, and the last is a studio creator.

I was blown away by the constructive criticism from the judges being actually useful, followed by the actual pieces made by each cosplayer. The fact the winner is congratulated by the other contestants made me ecstatic and tear up. THAT is what I’ve experienced at competitions that has kept me in this community so long. The appreciation and love from others. THAT is what should be shown on television.

While I don’t want to go into a ton of details, as I don’t want to spoil for anyone who has yet to watch the episode… DO IT. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Thanks SyFy, for doing the community right this time. I’ll be looking forward to episode 2!

Posted in article, review | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Cosplay Time Management by Maridah

This post was originally done on Maridah’s website and blog here! I highly suggest checking out her work and giving her some love! You can see the original post here!

Time management for cosplayers can be a huge challenge. Here’s my tips for staying on track, even if you don’t have a lot of time to work on cosplay.


I’ve balanced full time jobs with cosplay, running a small business, and taking on side jobs with varying levels of success over the years. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about how to be more efficient! These are steps that have helped me stay on track.


Organize your Work Area

Having your supplies and tools accessible will improve your efficiency when working on a project. By cutting down on the time spent looking for things you need, you put more time back into your construction.


Invest in Tools

Having the right tools is important not just for the quality of your costume, but also the speed at which you finish it. If you find yourself routinely making bias tape or ruffles, having tools such as a ruffler foot or a bias tape maker will improve your workflow. Owning rotary cutters can speed up cutting out patterns.


Take Breaks

Take short breaks regularly while working. This will help you avoid burn out and improve focus. (Just don’t take a break doing something that is a time sink!) Give yourself 10 minutes every so often to disconnect from your project. You’ll produce better results by avoiding overworking.


Calendar Out Projects

Using a monthly calendar to chart out deadlines for costumes will allow you to visualize just how much work needs to be done. It also can help you rationalize a realistic timeframe for making something. Writing out notes and estimates on how long you think you need to complete a project will help you make better choices on how many costumes you obligate yourself into to making.


Time Scheduling

Commit to a time block to work on tasks. Sticking to a schedule every week makes projects more manageable. If you set aside 2 hours each night for 5 days a week to work on cosplay, you may be surprised at what you can get done. This is especially critical for those of us who work full time jobs but have an active interest in this hobby.


Use Apps that Help with Planning

There are a number of organizational applications available for smart phones, computers and tablets. Making use of calendars, project planners, and list applications can help you stay on track. The application Cosplanner is one app that is geared towards cosplayers specifically, and contains a number of features that are extremely useful.



Be honest with yourself about what projects are more important to you. Taking on too many costume plans can sabotage all your projects. Many cosplayers will opt into making too many costumes and end up not finishing or not being satisfied with what they make. It is important to consider what projects matter more to you, or you may bite off more than you can chew.


Outline your Goals

Visualize what matters to you, and write those goals down. Make choices on what you work on next with your goals in mind. For example, if you want improve your skill with Worbla, pick a costume with armor to move up your project list. Maybe you want to cosplay something that challenges your sewing skills, helps you break out of your comfort zone, could win best in show at an event, or helps you get more traction online. Any goal is a valid one, so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself when outlying your goals.


Avoid Time Sinks

Imgur or Wikipedia might be really engrossing but allowing hours to slip away online can sabotage your progress. Identifying time sinks that do not benefit you is important. Cutting out behavior that wastes time helps you work towards your goals.


Balancing life with cosplay construction isn’t easy if you work long hours or have a demanding schedule. You won’t be a superstar at scheduling and time management every week, but if you pace yourself and prioritize it is possible to do more with what time you have.


Best of luck on your projects! ❤
Posted in article, guest | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mermaid Seashell Bra Tutorial

This tutorial was created by Pro-Shower-Singer and while lengthy, will teach you how to create your own mermaid seashell bra! And the results are absolutely beautiful!


Mermaid Seashell Bra Tutorial Part 1 by Pro-Shower-Singer


Mermaid Seashell Bra Tutorial Part 2 by Pro-Shower-Singer

Hope this helps! 😀

Posted in article, tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seiya’s GoFundMe to Cover Unexpected Hospital Bills

One of my best friends, Seiya, had a very unexpected hospital stay right around the beginning of the year that resulted in her gall bladder being removed. Due to her wife having to help take care of her, money wasn’t coming in, and they had to close their online stores as Seiya recovered. Now, their stores are open again for simple orders, but, bills are still popping up.

If you have anything to spare or could even help spread the word, their GoFundMe is located here. Thanks for reading, and let’s try and help one of our own! ❤

Posted in article | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Fabric Resource!

Today, I’m sharing a new fabric resource for ordering online that I stumbled upon!

  1. Fabric Depot – This site has a nice variety of fabrics to choose from, ranging from bridal, to spandex, to flannel! The pricing is pretty much average for the cost of the variety of fabrics, such as spandex ranging from $9 a yard to $20. There’s free shipping in the U.S. for orders over $65, which is awesome for big orders! Otherwise, shipping looks average compared to other fabric stores online and yes, they do ship international!

Hope this new resource can help someone out for their next cosplay! 😀

Posted in article, resources | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments