But this compendium attempts to do much more than just highlight one (first time) cosplayer/amateur seamstress' journey towards destiny. I'll do my best to leave you with tips and tricks (some learned the hard way: through overcoming failure), links to tutorials I find helpful, and patterns and tutorials of my own.
I hope this might help anyone else who ever wishes to complete any cosplay/costuming endeavor. Good luck, may the Force be with you.
That's what I wrote for the first "profile" text of this community. It's mildly fancy.
Truth be told, this isn't about "fancy" at all. It's about making the best Rock Lee cosplay I am capable of, and helping others to do the same.
I'm sure there are dozens of sites out there directing you on how to make things for your cosplay needs. Cosplay.com's forum is littered with various tutorials to satisfy your every need. But if you're looking specifically for Naruto supplies, you'll have to do some searching. And maybe some buying.
I don't particularly want to buy pre-made stuff. I kind of like the satisfaction of knowing I made (all with my own two hands) the pouch resting on my rear. I didn't buy it from a seller in Hong Kong on ebay (not that there's anything wrong with that...just that I like making my own). Nor will I (hopefully) have to buy the official cosplay vest from Suncoast's clothing section. I can make it to specs (my specs, size and all) from pieced together patterns. I'll make the shoes, the clothes, etc. (Naturally, the wig I'll have to buy, but we can't all hope to become wig makers in a matter of months. I'm driven, not stupid.)
It is ambitious, I know. Slightly less ambitious than waking up one day and deciding you want to be Hokage of a village that hates you, sure, but still ambitious. I want to be a splendid ninja, gosh darnit, and I will work my tail off to make myself one. If anyone optimizes ambition, drive and the raw power to get up and "just do it!", it is Rock Lee.
And Neji is along for the ride. Because he's cool like that. And he(she) makes a mean pair of legwarmers.
Destiny can suck it up. We've a date to keep this summer. San Diego Comic Con, here we come!