Officially, my costuming carrier started in 2001, unofficially, it started in the mid 90's. Back in those days anime based costumes were hard to find and decent quality work was practically impossible. If one wasn't well connect or didn't have money to blow, they were left with taking on the full project themselves. Many started by purchasing more readily found pieces or items that could be easily altered, leaving few parts that need to be made from scratch. With each completely costume the bar slowly began to rise, as confidence increased so did the desire for a greater challenge.
Many of my earlier work involved patterns designed by trial and error and make-shift draping techniques. The sewing machine was rarely, if ever, used, leaving hand sewing as the only option. Blood was spilled, tears shed, fabric thrown across the room yet, the determination never wavered and lessons were learned. Little has changed since then. The sewing machine is in use but I still fine myself using the hand needle from time to time. The projects are less aggravating but the drive for a bigger challenge still remains.