Cosplayers JediManda and Fiercekittenz give their best cosplay advice

Left: Cosplayer JediaManda. Right: Fiercekittenz. Composite: Dork Side of the Force.
Left: Cosplayer JediaManda. Right: Fiercekittenz. Composite: Dork Side of the Force. /

One of the most beautiful things about Star Wars is how it inspires and encourages fans to express their fandom in a variety of ways. We’ve seen it all from unique items sold in Etsy shops to handmade costumes for conventions and parties to even gorgeous makeup tutorials.

There is no limit to the devotion of some of the most dedicated Star Wars fans.

From Star Wars cosplay to commissions, these two fans put their heart in their passions to create breathtaking work. And from cosplaying as their favorite characters to creating embroidered items, JediManda and Fiercekittenz were kind enough to tell me more about their work, upcoming projects, and of course their love of Star Wars!

JediManda’s cosplay advice

Photo credits: Alexandra Lee Studios /

Episode I: The Phantom Menace brought Amanda Haas (JediManda) into the world of Star Wars. While she loved Queen Amidala, her favorite Star Wars characters are Ahsoka Tano, Padme, Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Grogu.

But how did she get into cosplay? Her journey into cosplay started off with making costumes for the stage.

“I’ve always loved Halloween but needed another excuse to go costuming, so comic cons came into my life,” Haas tells us in an email interview. “I went to my first one in 2012 dressed as Kitana from Mortal Kombat 3, and I haven’t looked back!”

When I asked who her favorite character to cosplay is, she replies, “This answer changes every year it seems, but it’s either Grogu or Doctor Strange.”

Photo credits: Alexandra Lee Studios /

She loves the entire cosplay process and chooses characters she loves to cosplay from their personality to the colors. While the easiest part of the cosplay process has been buying the materials she needs, the hardest is finishing the costume itself.

Haas had the most fun creating the iconic Anatasia ball gown. She has the most fun wearing her Doctor Strange costume at conventions and appreciates the positive feedback she receives while wearing it.

For those who are thinking about cosplay, she leaves wonderful advice:

"PATIENCE young padawan. You must have patience. No one is amazing at this hobby right away. You must build your skills and create many cosplays. Also, if you want to make cosplays to wear to a convention, try attending that convention first not in costume, and observe the folks in costume. You’d be surprised at the daily life of a cosplayer at a convention. You need to ask yourself if you are ready for that many photos being taken of you and being “on point” all day in your cosplay. There are many factors of cosplaying, just research about it a bit more and go out and HAVE FUN!"

Did you know Haas wrote a book? Creative Cosplay: Selecting & Sewing Costumes Way Beyond Basic is available on Amazon and other booksellers!

I asked her about the process of writing her book, and she explains: “It was a long process. [It] took about a full year and a couple of months from me signing the contract to touching the book in person. I’m a first-time author, so writing was a bit of a learning curve for me. But with the help of an amazing editing team, we accomplished a pretty stellar book.”

Haas looks forward to traveling more and meeting cosplayers. “That’s honestly my favorite part of this world, meeting new friends!”

Fiercekittenz’s cosplay advice

Fierce Kitten Studio
Photo credit: Georgia Nelson /

As a wife and mother of two daughters, Anne and Olivia, and four cats, Luna, Diana, Minako, and Ahsoka, the only other fandom that could rival Star Wars for cosplayer Georgia Nelson (Fiercekittenz) is Sailor Moon.

Nelson’s introduction to Star Wars began when her parents took her to see Return of the Jedi. “I was just shy of 5 years old at the time,” she writes to us in an email interview. “I was obsessed with Leia and the Ewoks and had just about every figurine and toy you could think of back then! I stored them all in my R2-D2 toy box, which rolled around and could fit my little sister when it wasn’t busy storing figurines. Sadly, the only original figurine I have left is my smaller Kenner R2-D2. Its stickers are all worn off!”

Her favorite Star Wars character has been Rey ever since “she took the saber from Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens.” She then continues to add: “Mostly because my then-7-year-old looked at me and incredulously shouted ‘MOMMY! Girls can be Jedi too!?’ in the theater.”

Her favorite Star Wars television series is The Mandalorian and her favorite Star Wars film is The Force Awakens.

Nelson has quite an extensive background in doing Star Wars commissions. Some examples include the Emperor Palpatine black robe she made her mother for her classroom and the Rey costume based on her outfit from the ending of The Force Awakens she made for herself for her first DragonCon in 2016.

Her favorite Star Wars commission is “the vintage, 1950s styled Porg dress that I made for myself,” she tells us. “I based it off a Vogue reprinted pattern from the ’50s and used an officially licensed fabric flush with Porgs from corner to corner. It was a frustratingly glorious dress!”

Nelson is working on her embroidered goods, whereas costumes are going to be delayed due to COVID. However, she hopes to continue on a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order cosplay she is working on with streamer Bloodyfaster.

In regards to her upcoming projects, she wants to make another vintage-style dress with Grogu fabric. With the pattern already purchased, she hopes to make this dress subtle compared to the Porg vintage dress.

If you have taken a peek at Nelson’s shop, you may have noticed some Star Wars-inspired items. Keep your eyes peeled for hopefully more items in the future.

Fierce Kitten Studio
Photo Credit: Georgia Nelson /

I asked Nelson what advice she’d give those interested in crafting and sewing. She replies:

"Start small. Don’t feel like you have to go out and buy the biggest and best equipment. Learn what you like to do on starter gear before you invest. You may find you do not like a particular hobby, so then you get stuck with expensive equipment collecting dust in your closet. Oddly specific… because I’ve been there, done that. I don’t suggest getting CHEAP tools; just don’t dive all in and buy top-of-the-line anything until you’re certain it’s something that you enjoy. Also, understanding it’s OK not to enjoy something is very important!"

In the future, Nelson says she hopes to design and test several bag patterns adding, “I have one going into testing soon that will be free as a thank you to my community on Twitch for raising so much money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital last fall.”

She would like to add more sewing and machine embroidery tutorials videos on her YouTube channel.

Next. Star Wars just dropped a new Mandalorian-inspired streetwear line. dark

To follow Haas, aka JediManda, you can find her social links on her official website. And to follow Nelson, aka Fiercekittenz, you can find links to her social profiles on her official website.