I went to NerdCon a couple weeks ago and we found some really cool people. First up is Sgt. Swift Stitch, who along with Sgt. Cross-Stitch, offer free cosplay repairs at the cons they attend.
Then up, we have the Concon App. This app lets you find the closest and soonest con to you and you can even submit your own con. let's dive
Thank you for taking the time to write with me, and it was truly a pleasure to meet you for the first time at Nerdcon. I just want to start off by saying you and team provides a wonderful and thoughtful service to the cosplay community.
What initially inspired you/your team to start cosplay repairs?
I personally have been sewing for about 20 years and have been enamored with the cosplay community since the early 2000s. In 2014 I read an article about a man in Australia that went by the name Captain Patch-It who started offering free mobile cosplay repairs at his local conventions. I sent him a message asking if I could borrow his idea for the conventions in my area and apparently I wasn't the only one. Together starting with about a dozen others all over the world the International Cosplay Corps was formed. Today there are 26 active members in 5 countries. My co-worker and friend who has had years of experience with technical theater and costuming joined me at our first con, San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Together we formed the San Diego Stitches, he Sgt. Cross-Stitch and myself Sgt. Swift Stitch. Since then we have attended 11 conventions and helped 100s of cosplayers.
I'm sure cosplayers are very appreciative of your services, has there been any repair that has stuck out to you the most?
The love we get back from the cosplayers is what fuels us to keep going. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they can go about their day as good as new drives us to keep going. With so many repairs under our belts its hard to pick out one in particular but the most recent one that has stuck in our mind was a Mystique cosplayer from this years San Diego Comic-Con. We had gotten a call on our Repair Line and found this gal with her back pressed against a wall trying to pose for a photographer but obviously she was in distress. Come to find out her custom made sheet latex body suit was not made to fit her as well as she had hoped and there was a pretty big tear right on her bottom. I shuffled her into the ladies room with the help of Sgt. Cross-Stitch acting as a human shield. We had to spend a good 5-10 minutes researching different adhesives reactions with sheet latex and came to no good conclusion for what we had on hand other than just taping her up and calling it good. She walked out of the bathroom with a 6x6 inch patch of black gorilla tape on her bum but she was decent and the patch survived the rest of the day till she made it home.
You guys have saved so many people and there's such a comradery and gratefulness in what you guys do for the cosplay community. When you're at these conventions, does cosplay repair feel like work or more of a rush? And I know you repair costumes for free, but is there anyway to give back to Cosplay Corps?
I'll be honest some times it does feel like work especially when we are on our feet so much but its ultimately worth it. We walk an average of 50 miles in 4 days at San Diego Comic Con but to know we are making a difference in these cosplayer's day makes makes our achy feet meaningful. The work doesn't stop when the convention is over either. We spend our time off season researching other convention opportunities, keeping afloat in the brutal world of social media and staying up to date with techniques and trends in the cosplay world so that we are mentally equipped to fix anything that comes our way. To my knowledge out of the 26 active members of the International Cosplay Corps Sgt. Cross-Stitch and I are the only "team" which is very helpful when is comes to splitting hotel costs and travel responsibilities. We are fortunate to be considered "Guests" or "Professionals" at most conventions which helps us not have to put the money into the tickets themselves but save that money for supplies and travel. As a duo we have an Amazon Wishlist of supplies if any of our repair-ees insist in donating to us. We feel like a wishlist shows the donator that their money is going right back into what we do and isn't going towards shwag in the dealers hall.
Well I know there there are a lot of cosplayers who greatly appreciate the hard work and appreciation you guys put in. It's like a on-call job when your at the cons. I'm definitely going to share this link with my followers to help get some more supplies you guys may need. Thank you so much to the International Cosplay Corps and yourself for showing us all the work and preparation that happens on your end at cons.
Please add theses amazing people on all the social media you can and keep their number handy in case you need a quick repair!
Sgt. Swift Stitch
Repair line: 760-394-6724
Repair line: 314-782-7677
Sgt. Swift Stitch and Sgt. Cross-Stitch do so much for the cosplay community. It's rare when you find gems like them, who go above and beyond to save your day. If you see them at a con, stop by and say hi, maybe snap a photo and tag them in it, and share their generosity with others.
At NerdCon, I also got a chance to meet the CEO and Founder of Concon App, Chalsea Chen. She informed me that this new app will help people find conventions (comic, art, pop culture) around your area or designated area. The Concon App lets you choose from these categories: Congoer, Cosplayer, Artist and Exhibitor, and this app even gives you a heads up if there's an Artist Alley you can apply for at the convention.
During an email exchange with Chalsea, she mentioned another project she has, Creatabu. This site lets you upload art and receive constructive feedback on your creative project. Creative minds have a different way of thinking and having a hub of artful individuals who can give insightful and thought out feedback, really helps the growing process.
Since ConCon was brought about from your original website, Creatabu, what was the trigger that sparked the idea for ConCon?
How Concon was conceived actually was through talking to our potential Creatabu users at anime/comic cons such as artists, con-goers and cosplayers. Two years ago we embarked upon a journey to support amateur artists. We built creatabu.com as a place for artists to share their art and get constructive feedback. After spending some time with fan art, comic, and anime artists, and their art on our site, we really came to understand the unique needs of our amazing community. And so Concon App was born. By connecting with artists at many conventions, we found that one of the biggest struggles was figuring out the right conventions to attend and then planning for them. This process includes general research, looking for an affordable price range for artist alley booths, commutable distance, ability to secure the artist alley spot, etc... Creating art is not easy and managing convention planning definitely took time away from creating art. That is why we created Concon app, a anime/comic convention app that helps artist, vendors, and fans to discover conventions of interest to them.
So, once you revised and perfected you art with the help of the Creatabu community, you can use the Concon app to find the closest con to start showcasing your work. Both are fantastic and useful tools, and I personally have found a lot of conventions around me that I wouldn't have know about until it was too late. When you get a chance, download the app today and check out their various social media channels.
Concon App: conconapp.com
Concon App Instagram: @conconapp
Special thanks to @SgtSwiftStitch, @SgtCrossStitch, and @Conconapp