Members of "...And Sewing Is Half The Battle!" left to right: Alena, Mark, Laura.

Members of “…And Sewing Is Half The Battle!” left to right: Alena, Mark, Laura.

“So who are these weird people in the pictures?”

“…And Sewing Is Half The Battle!” is a team of three cosplayers from Indiana. They started costuming because they didn’t know what they were getting into, and despite having no formal training of any kind, eventually developed a life-altering addiction to sewing and crafting (though they use their powers only for cosplay. Don’t ask them to sew a button back on a shirt or anything practical.)  They take themselves about as seriously as you’d expect for a group named after terrible 1980s G.I. Joe PSAs.

Initially founded as a competition group, ASIHTB has won more than 40 awards for their costumes and performances at fan conventions around the country. Although they still compete occasionally, their primary focus has shifted to teaching and helping other cosplayers improve their craftsmanship skills and stage presentation. ASIHTB can usually be found presenting cosplay workshops, teaching seminars and judging masquerades at conventions around the Midwest, as well as offering educational programs for local libraries and museums.



“…And Sewing Is Half The Battle!” Member Profiles

Shinteetah or Hagane Hakushaku (a.k.a. Laura)Laura chibi

“If I don’t get some dark chocolate NOW, these sleeves are going on with duct tape!”

Laura is a professional animal trainer and behavior analyst and bestselling author. She talks a lot about behavior in all species.  Her hobbies include writing fiction, various competitive dogsports, and eating chocolate.

Cosplay duties:

  • machine sewing
  • machine embroidery & free embroidery
  • defiance of known laws of physics

Favorite costume: “Honestly, I don’t think I have a favorite anymore.  I like stuff that I’m proud of and in which I have some connection or identification with the character.”

Worst cosplay moment ever: “Arriving at Animarathon 2006 and realizing we’d left a favorite costume piece, Ed’s red coat, at home. My so-called friends Anna and Melissa consoled me by flaunting digital photos of every other Ed Elric cosplayer there, mentioning casually, ‘These Eds all seem to have something you’re missing…’!”


AVA or AVAAntares (a.k.a. Alena)Alena chibi

“This costume defies all known laws of physics! It cannot exist in real life! This character designer should be eviscerated with a seam ripper!”

Alena is a professional animal trainer and fine artist, and also runs a convention-planning company. Her hobbies include photography, writing fiction, and gaming (when she has the time — which isn’t often).

Cosplay duties:

  • wig styling
  • pattern design and drafting
  • hand sewing and detail work
  • props, jewelry and accessories
  • threading the serger

Favorite costume: “Seriously? That’s like picking a favorite child.”

Worst cosplay moment ever: “Winning Best In Show at Ohayocon ’07… and falling down the stairs on my way to the stage to receive the award. Ouch.”


Mr. Melchoir (a.k.a. Mark)Mark chibi

“I’m in UR baste, ripping UR seamZ”

Mark is a programmer/developer by day and a gamer by night. His hobbies include tabletop RPGs, designing video games, and reading.

Cosplay duties:

  • pattern tracing and cutting
  • notions such as buttons, hooks and eyes
  • refilling Laura’s chocolate

Favorite costume: “Cosplaying [Midou] Ban without a wig [from Getbackers]. I had huge hair spikes that managed to stay up without the entire day. Made getting into my car hard though….”

Worst cosplay moment ever: “Discovering (pre-having long enough hair to do it without a wig), that I’d left my Amon wig at home…after I’d arrived at Acen.”


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