Cosplay Curious: Pokemon Trainers in Training

If you’ve been following along (or if you haven’t- welcome aboard!) I got Cosplay Curious after attending Fan Expo in 2014. I have completed exactly zero cosplays- til now. But I follow more than a few cosplayers and adore the work that people do. Really mind blowing stuff.

What is a Pokemon Trainer?
From the Pokemon Wiki:
Pokémon Trainer is the term commonly used for a person who catches, occasionally names, and trains several different kinds and types of Pokémon.

Yaya Han Pokemon Trainer
Yaya Han as a Pokemon Trainer

A friend of mine has recently joined the cosplay curious club and has me on board again. We are attempting Yaya Han’s pattern for a Pokemon Trainer. We thought it would be pretty simple. And it was when you get right down to it.

You know what is not simple? Finding the right fabric!

Not only are we newb cosplayers, but we are also newb sewers. I am learning to quilt but dealing with primarily cottons/flannel is a whole different beast from knits and fleece and fake stretch leather.

The pattern calls for what I would say is “hoodie” material. The bolero jacket is basically a small hoodie (we left the hoods out this time). It’s summer and our plan was to wear these cosplays to Animartime in Fredericton. So, no hoodie material. Instead we went with a stretch knit. We also bought a faux leather with a one way stretch for the contrast in the body.

Lessons learned:
1) Cosplay is FOR fun. Cosplay is NOT fun. This might be an unpopular opinion, but it made us laugh while we were bent over our machines. Building a cosplay IMO is much more fun with other people. They act like a support group. But in fact, building a cosplay is a lot of work. There were tears and blood (because I stuck myself with pins so many times). Yes, we had some great laughs and good times. Yes, I had a lot of fun wearing my cosplay. I am not convinced I would have gotten far without the others. Because… work. Shout out to Shelby and Polar Cosplay for an awesome time!

2) Stretch knit moves. A LOT. Extra pins are required to reduce movement of material and bunching. We had to redo sooo many seams.

3) Patterns have pieces that say “add or reduce here”- they are not a one size fits all… lesson learned the hard way. My romper requires just a bit of length to make it wearable.

4) Invisible zippers go on differently than regular zippers and looks super cool! I had never used one, so I put it in backwards. Not a huge deal- was just more seam to rip out.

Funny story though. The front of the pattern has the model wearing black tights. Which is fine. Except the body of the costume is also black on the model… so it means I cut out the pattern and sewed it together before I realized it was a romper and not a long shirt or dress. I felt pretty silly dumb- I felt dumb. Yes, it has been forever since I have sewn clothes, no I have never made a romper. I made pants once. But man… maybe I need my eyes checked. Yes, someday I will learn to be easier on myself. Today is not that day.

And then, I finished my boy’s Bulbasaur gijinka in the car… True con spirit, I believe is what that is called.

I originally asked the boy if he would want to join us as a Trainer (representing Team Valor/Red), but he wanted to be a Pokemon- Bulbasaur to be specific.

For Bulbasaur I found a template online, drew the pod leaves out on bright green twill and dark green cotton. I sewed them together and left an opening to flip them then top stitched the opening closed.

bulbasaur gijinka
Bulbasaur Gijinka
Bulbasaur Pod Design Template
Bulbasaur Pod Design Template

I used a black cotton with skulls for the base (cause that’s what I had). I sewed the pod leaves together individually then to the base and finally up the seams of each leaf to close them into a pod.

I stuffed it with paper so it wasn’t heavy for the boy. Note: I should have used more paper. Also, sewing the pod to the shirt BEFORE trying to put on the spots was not my most brilliant idea- my sewing machine hated me. I ended up sewing the spots on my hand, in the car. Just for future reference…

Our Pokeballs were 3D printed (Thanks, Chris!). They were amazing! Perfect size for our debits cards! Oh yeah, they opened! It’s ok to be jealous. But not too jealous- I dropped mine in the street and broke the hinge, so now it’s a sad Pokeball that does not open.

Final Review:
As it turned out the romper was too short for my cosplay partner-in-crime and just a bit too short for me. So we didn’t end up wearing the rompers. We wore cute black dresses. We’ll go back to the rompers for another time. We met some awesome Trainers while we were out and about in our outfits. It was a good time.

The jackets were amazing! I finished mine the night before the con around 1AM… I got up in the morning and tried it on only to find out my zipper was in upside down! D’OH! So, just a couple hours before we left, I was putting in my zipper correctly.

The pattern was really easy to follow. It came with a couple of design options, which was nice. I would love to do this again with the “proper” materials (read: not stretch knits). Thanks for a fantastic pattern, Yaya!

McCall's Pattern 7556 by Yaya Han
McCall’s Pattern 7556 by Yaya Han
Kirito (Sword Art Online)

What’s next?
My next real project is Kirito from Sword Art Online. The boy has requested this as his Halloween costume! I only really need to do the jacket because the character wears black shoe and pants… but do you know how hard it is to find it in the right size?? Seems only adults cosplay as Kirito. Wish me luck!

So, that concludes our adventure in Pokemon Trainer cosplays. Impossible Realities is coming up quick! My goal is to finish the romper so I can wear it there (but the possibility exists that this could change or get added to).

Are you cosplaying at IR?


Pokemon Trainer Cosplay
Shelby (left-Team Instinct) and Tara(right- Team Mystic) at Animaritime sporting our Pokemon Go Trainers-in-Training cosplays


Heroes' Beacon
Heroes’ Beacon is Saint John’s one stop shop for all your Comic and Gaming needs!

We offer pull lists for comic subscribers and play space for open gaming!