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Ask Ani-Mia: Bodysuit Logos, Commissions, and Ventilation Tips

This week's column tackles attaching logos to bodysuits, cosplay commission costs, and proper ventilation.

Ask Ani-Mia

Hey there cosplayers and cosplay enthusiasts. Welcome to Ask Ani-Mia, a running advice column where you can ask questions on any topic that may be cosplay related and get an answer. Hopefully my years of cosplay experience can help shed some light on questions you may have been dying to ask but for some reason or another haven’t. So let’s get started.

Dear Ani-Mia, What’s the best way to put a logo on a bodysuit? – Teresa H.

There are a number of ways you can attach a logo or patch to a bodysuit and it really depends on the type of fabric you will be putting the logo on and what you want the logo to look like on the fabric.

Iron-on transfers are one of the easiest ways to add an image to fabric and only requires a printer, transfer paper and an iron. You can also find premade iron-on transfers on sites like Etsy. The potential cons to this method are 1) the iron-on transfer will not stretch, so you don’t want to use it on any stretchy fabrics and 2) the logo will be a flat image on the fabric as opposed to a raised patch.

For stretchy fabrics, patches or fabric logos work best. You can still use an iron-on method but you will need to have the base fabric stretched while ironing. Prep the patch or fabric with an iron-on adhesive like Heat n Bond. Throw on your bodysuit, place the logo where you want it and pin it in place. After carefully removing the bodysuit, you will iron the logo down while keeping the fabric stretched flat. To make the logo more secure after you’ve ironed it on, you can sew around the inside edge of the patch or use a decorative stitch around fabric logos.

Dear Ani-Mia, How much is a cosplay commission? What are usual prices? - Anonymous

There’s really no set answer for how much cosplay commissions cost but if you look at how commissions are generally priced, you can get an idea of what the price may be.

There are two main factors in commission pricing: supplies and labor costs.

Supply cost encompasses everything from fabric, foam, worbla, thread, embellishments…basically, anything and everything used to make the cosplay. If 3D printing or other advanced techniques that require specialized equipment need to be utilized, the use of these machines might also be factored into the cost.

Labor costs are dependent on the commissioner. $15/hr is a good number to start with but could be more or less based on the experience or demand of the commissioner. A known and reliable commission with top-notch construction, could charge more per hour than a commissioner who is just starting out or doesn’t have as much experience with constructing for others. I make this distinction because making cosplays for people of various heights, shapes and sizes is much more complex than making one for yourself, especially since the person isn’t there for fittings.

You also want to take into account the difficulty of the cosplay itself. The more complicated a cosplay is, the more time it will take to pattern out and/or construct; so this will affect the amount of hours necessary to complete the project.

Adding up those costs will give you a general idea of the costs give or take 10-15%.

Hi Ani-Mia, What does it mean when instructions say proper ventilation? Is it enough to open windows in my room? - Anonymous

I honestly wish instructions explained this better considering how important ventilation is in situations where working outdoors isn’t possible. The key to ventilation is ensuring that there is a way for toxic fumes to escape the room you are in and for clean air to come in.

You want to work in the largest room you can and start with opening all the windows. Use a fan to direct the fumes out one of the windows. If you have a second fan available, you can position it in front of another window to bring fresh air in and create better circulation throughout the room.

Make sure to also wear a mask or ventilator. Try to keep your face as far away from the fumes as possible while working and if you can’t, then use goggles to keep fumes out of your eyes. Leave drying projects outside, if possible, or position it as close to an open window and fan as possible.

If you start to feel weird at all, leave the room or house immediately. The last thing you want to do is make yourself sick from fumes.

About the Author
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Ani-Mia has been cosplaying since 2008 and her love for video games, comic books and anime are reflected in her wide variety of cosplay costumes. She has been a cosplay guest at over 150 conventions across the globe as well as judged championship cosplay contests, appeared in both online and print magazines as well as television appearances. She’s also the Cosplay Writer for Otaku USA Magazine, the premiere print magazine about anime and manga in the United States, and an official video host for PreviewsWorld catalog and Sapphire Studios.