About the Madness

Welcome to the blog home of Shear Madness!

Shear Madness was started in 2013, in a fit of irritation.  I was a member of several costuming groups on Facebook, many of which were historically based.  I saw a lot of passion for projects and historical genres, but I also saw a lot of things missing.  Things like encouraging members at all ability levels, commentary without criticism, and plain old fun.  There were some groups that were better than others, but they were all specialized.  There was no one group that provided support and encouragement for all kinds of costuming.

Most people don’t fit neatly in one box.  I know people who are crazy for Elizabethan costuming, but also like to dress up in Star Trek costumes.  People who love fantasy and gaming, but have a soft spot for 18th century.  People like different things, and I wanted a spot where people could share ALL the areas they loved, and not be criticized for it, but instead, celebrated.  A place where Victorian AND Sci Fi could be equally loved and respected.  And most importantly, I wanted a place where people had FUN and encouraged one another.

There is an awful lot of snark out there in the costuming world.  Some people focus on it as their thing, and it can be a good time, if done in a manner of joking and fun.  But too many people take themselves and their costuming way too seriously, and lose sight of why they started doing it in the first place – because they loved it.  Because it was FUN.  I very angrily posted about this on my Facebook page, and a good friend challenged me to create the very space I was looking for.  I thought about it and decided that that was what I was going to do.  Five minutes later I had a group page, invited my friends, and they invited their friends, and suddenly I was running a support group for costumers of all kinds.  A support group that mainly focused on being kind, being encouraging, and having fun.

It is now four years later, and it has turned into a group beyond my wildest imagination.  If you have a question?  Someone in the group will have an answer.  You might get an answer from a newbie, or from an expert in the field.  If you just want to share something you made, you will get tons of encouragement and kudos from people who are cheering you on.  It is an international group.  It is a hugely diverse group of people from all walks of life who like all areas of costuming, and every single person wants to help others.  There are no wrong or dumb answers, and we all learn something new every day.  I am so hugely proud of what the group has become.  It is one of my favorite costuming places to visit.

I sincerely hope that you find it to be a wonderful place as well.  May it challenge you, may it encourage you, and may it support you in all your costuming endeavors.

Laura Ulak

Founder of the Madness



This group is for those who love costuming in all it’s crazy forms. If your costume is off the beaten path, cannot really be defined, or makes people say “WHAT IS THAT THING,” then this is probably the group for you.
We only have a few rules:
1. NO SNARKING. We love all costuming of all kinds here, and if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything. DBAD, folks. Your momma taught you better.
2. NO NAKEDNESS. Lee-lo from the Fifth Element? Acceptable. Topless dancers? No. This is about costume. If you are not wearing a costume, you aren’t wearing a costume.
3. BE RESPECTFUL. Everyone has their own taste and style. Something here may not fit in with your aesthetic, but it is still welcome.
4. SITE YOUR SOURCE. Please post information about the maker of the costume, where the costume was worn, etc., so that we can tell the maker/wearer how awesome they are.
5. ORGANIZE. Please put any photos of costumes into an appropriate folder on Flickr so that people can find them more easily if they want to reference something. There is plenty of room in the costuming sandbox kids. Let’s be supportive and have some fun.
6. OK, SOME SNARKING. You are, however, allowed to snark on your own costume in terms of “Dear God, what WAS I thinking??!!”

About selling, advertising, etc.:
1. No SPAM.
2. No selling things (please clear it with me first), but you can recommend books, patterns, etc. you use, your friends use, your friends have made, etc. that you think are useful.
3. You CAN post projects you are working on, ask questions about construction, etc. We have folks of all different levels of skill and experience here, and likely someone will have a good answer for you.

Welcome to the Costuming Sandbox!


Anyone with a love of costumes and friendly attitude is welcome to send a FB membership request! The Facebook group rules are the same as those listed above. You don’t have to be a member of the Facebook group to participate in challenges, but if you would like to join a community where you can get answers to costuming questions, share your tips, and meet others with similar passions, we would love to have you join us!

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