Today we have an awesome interview with Delaney! She is an exceptional craftsman and her cosplays are amazing! Read her full interview below and then check out all her free resources and work in progress photos!
Hello, my name is Delaney Little, also known as Little Songbird cosplay. I'm from Florida, I'm 21 years old and I've officially been cosplaying for almost 3 years now.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I've always been fascinated with costumes, especially historically inspired ones. As a child I probably wore costumes more than regular clothes! So when a friend introduced me to conventions and cosplay, I instantly fell in love! I finally had a valid reason to wear costumes!
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
My favorite character, Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite is referred to as "Little Songbird" in the Burial at Sea DLC, and my last name is Little, so it just kind of fell into place.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
Currently I'm running an Etsy store and doing costume commissions, but I'm looking for a steady job at the moment. My other hobbies include gaming, hanging out with my friends, and crafting.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
This is a really difficult question, because I generally start to nitpick my own costumes as soon as I finish them. I guess my greatest costume accomplishment is not actually finished yet, but Huntress Widowmaker's coat has taken a lot of very hard work. I guess my latest Elizabeth corset is the piece I'm most proud of right now, as it's as screen accurate as I could make a functional corset, and I really love the silhouette it gives.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
I'm currently working on Huntress Widowmaker (see below), Winged Victory Mercy, a Christmas version of Moxxi, and a secret cosplay of my own design.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
Alyson Tabbitha, hands down. Not only is she insanely skilled at literally everything, she's an incredibly positive force in this community and so sweet!
What is your dream cosplay?
In a way, almost all of my cosplays are dream cosplays for me. I honestly never expected to be able to actually make these outfits that I'm making. It just goes to show that anyone can learn!
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
I had a blast at Momocon this year. It was really laid back and everyone was super nice. All the cosplays were amazing too!
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Oh boy, do I! My biggest pet peeve at conventions is people with no respect for cosplayers as human beings. People who see you're in a group and ask for just your photo top the list. It's incredibly hurtful to everyone in that group, and it tells me that they don't actually care about the source material, they just want a photo of a scantily clad girl.
Also people who don't take no for an answer. I cannot tell you how many times my friends and I will be headed to get food or fix a broken prop and someone will ask for a photo and we'll politely decline and let them know we'll be back later and they'll take a photo anyway. It's incredibly infuriating because not only are they acting like you're not human, they're also getting a terrible picture of people partially in costume instead of a photo where we were all ready.
Another thing that bugs me at conventions is when they have people who have never made a costume in their life judging costume contests. It seems incredibly unfair to the people who spent untold hours and resources bringing a character they love to life only to be judged by someone who knows nothing about what goes into cosplays and will choose a store bought costume as the winner half the time.
I have more but this is more than enough of that for now.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Don't ever carry paint or glue in the same bag with your fabric. I had a can of contact cement manage to spill all over my Huntress Widowmaker fabric (which was discontinued because I saw $1 a yard and couldn't resist the call of clearance).
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
For new cosplayers: Don't be afraid to make that dream cosplay. Talent is always outweighed by skill, and the only way to gain skill is by doing. If you like using patterns, use them, but in my experience your intuition is better than any pattern, and you can do whatever you put your mind to. Thrift stores are honestly your best friend. You'll get tons of fabric in the linen department for a fraction of the cost you'd pay at a fabric store.
Most importantly, don't compare yourself to others. When I started out, I spent far too much time being upset because I wasn't as pretty or talented as other cosplayers. Seriously, don't do that shit! It does not help anyone, it only hurts you. You can't change what someone else looks like and can do. But you can improve your own skills. Focus on improving yourself, instead of being jealous of what others have. I promise, you will learn to bring your cosplay dreams into reality over time. You'll be able to create the image in your head with your own two hands. And when you do, you will feel so accomplished. And then you'll make another and learn even more! Make the costumes you love because that love will show!
The best actual tips I can give when planning a costume is to pay very careful attention to the textures on the fabrics. Texture is often the thing that really brings a costume to life and can separate a good cosplay from a great one. Don't be afraid to add texture if a design is lacking it. My favorite fabrics to work with are cotton twill, velvet, leather, and flocked cotton. I avoid stretch fabric wherever I can, as it doesn't really work for giving a garment structure.
Where can we find you on all things social?
I'm most active on Instagram, @little.songbird!
However, if you want to find my step by step cosplay progress albums, as well as high quality professional photos of specific cosplays, check out Facebook!
If you're interested in commissioning a costume, visit my etsy.
Finally, if you're interested in some free templates and tutorials, or want to support my work, please visit my Patreon. Here's a link to my most recent tutorial, which is available to the public for free, no subscription necessary.
Photos for this interview provided by Delaney, Hian Photos, and Delaney's mom.