Introducing Patterns from Becka Noel
This week we’re thrilled to announce the first pattern from artist and cosplay phenomenon Becka Noel. (Get it here!) Becka grew up in Colorado and studied drawing and painting at Pratt Institute. As a cosplayer, she specializes in armor and prop building and is completely self-taught. Her work has appeared in Cosplay Culture Magazine, iCosplay Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, Business Insider, Otaku Magazine, and elsewhere. She placed second in her category at the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in their inaugural year, and co-hosted cosplay panels at New York Comic Con and Katsucon in 2015 and 2016. She rung in the NYSE bell as part of a selected group of cosplayers for New York Comic Con in October of 2015. You may also recognize her work from the My Little Warrior Pony and Valkyreevee group cosplays that she organized at Katsucon in 2014 and 2015. Click through to meet the designer and see lots more photos of her work!
When did you first get interested in cosplay?
I was first introduced to Cosplay in 2009 when my fiancé brought me to New York Comic Con. I walked into the convention and saw all of the amazing costumes and knew right away that I wanted to dress up and be a part of this world. I’ve always loved dressing in costumes and so was super excited to find a world where costumes existed 365 days of the year!
What was the first cosplay you made?
My first Cosplay was Arkham Asylum Harley Quinn, which I made almost entirely out of duct tape because my sewing skills were pretty non-existent back then. It actually came out pretty awesome!
What’s your favorite cosplay?
Ooh this is becoming tougher to decide with each year as my costumes grow in number. I love my Valkyreevee a bunch because it’s not only my own design but also one of my most intricate Cosplays. A close second is warrior Red Riding Hood because I just feel so amazing and badass when I wear it! It’s the first worbla armor I ever made, the first cape I sewed, the first a lot of things, haha. It’s got a close space in my heart.
How did you learn to sew?
A family friend taught me to sew during my sophomore year at Pratt Institute. I was participating in the student fashion show and had designed three dresses that she helped me make. It was super basic sewing (think straight lines and that’s about it). I didn’t touch sewing again until after I started cosplaying and realized that if I wanted to make my own costumes, I’d need to teach myself to sew… so I did. I used online tutorials and trial and error until I figured stuff out.
I loved making Sailor Mercury for my cute friend, Lua Suicide! Making sailor fukus is kind of therapeutic for me :).
What inspires you?
A lot of inspiration and drive comes from my love of horses. I infuse them into many of my designs because they’re such beautiful and graceful creatures. I grew up with them in Colorado so they’ve always been a huge part of my life. I’m also inspired by Scandinavian design, Norse mythology, and video games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends.
Tell us about your creative process?
I always start a new project by scanning the internet for lots of references and inspiration. Once I’ve collected enough images and research, I’ll sketch my design out. After the design is final, I pattern it out using the good old Saran Wrap and masking tape method. Then comes the fun part where I get to cut my pattern pieces out of my material and start the sewing and/or building process. When I actually start sewing and building my piece, it’s always the most fun!
What was the most labor intensive project that you made?
By far, my most intensive and intricate costume is Blue Viennetta, designed by the artist Sakizo. There were over 560 hours put into this project and it involved more than a football field’s length of fabric in the skirt alone! I chose this specifically to teach myself to sew.
What else have you worked on?
Oh man, too many things to include here. Some that people might recognize are the Goddess My Little Pony and Valkyreevee groups, or my Wonder Woman and Vegeta Cosplays. I’m always working on what seems like a million costumes and commissions all at once. At the moment I’m working on my next big group cosplay which will debut in February at Katsucon.
Why do you think cosplay is so popular?
Cosplay is only getting bigger and bigger, and it’s also changing. I think people love to be kids and dress up. I mean, who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up as their favorite character or superhero?!
Fun fact about you?
I could ride horses before I learned to walk! I’m also a closet “Peeps” collector but I never eat them… you should see my freezer…