Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Cosplay by McCalls Nov. 2017

New Patterns for November 2017

Looking for project ideas for this winter? Look no further, McCall's has released three new patterns for November. A Lolita pattern called "Charm School", a Fae pattern called "Pixie Sprite", and a Steampunk pattern called "Romantique." Shall we look them over?



Charm School
M2112
Jacket, Skirt with Suspenders, Necktie

I actually love this pattern. I can rarely commit that much affection to anything but I'm very impressed with this jacket and skirt combination. It's from their in house design team, and it's very well structured. I'm not noticing any glaringly obvious flaws or poor aesthetic choices, it just looks polished, like something we'd see in Lolita ready-to-wear. The only exception that I might make is that the armscye on the jacket looks like it could be very steep, and an armscye that sits too low will create tension across the back and problems when lifting the arms. It's obviously one of those fit issues that each individual will have to tailor to their specific requirements, but it is something to be aware of. This is what I want beginner sewists to take note of, when you look at a pattern be critical of how it fits the model because it can help you identify problem areas before you even start sewing.




Romantique
M2109
Bed Jacket and Cami Tops

This is an odd choice, you can see the third top here, it's apparently like sleepwear/negligees for Steampunk enthusiasts?? I'm not sure why you'd be cosplaying as a Steampunk going to bed, but someone might find this of interest. The bed jacket is nice but it has a distinctly 1920's or 30's vibe to it. If it wasn't pictured on a saloon girl I wouldn't make the connection with Steampunk at all. The other two camisole tops do have a Steampunk vibe, they're pictured with bloomers from Prelude (M2082). The tank cami isn't terribly flattering but then again I don't find bloomers flattering either, so it's clearly a personal bias. If I had to choose between the two I'd go for the vest like cami, which I imagine (minus the flat collar) could even be paired with a sheer blouse underneath for every day wear.


Pixie Sprite
M2108
Dress

This is another design from Ichigo Black. There are good parts and bad parts. The underskirt is okay, there are rather large round circular tiers  (shown in white above) that don't fit with the handkerchief layering. I would omit them completely, it would look great without them. Likewise, the pleated overskirt just looks odd. I think what bothers me most about it is that I couldn't imagine a fairy wearing something as formal as a pleat. When we think of pleats we think about office attire, school girl outfits, structure, it just doesn't fit into the world of Fae. I'm not even sure what to replace it with, other than perhaps continuing the handkerchief layering into a yoke with a basque shape or an over-hip corselet, something with a hard edge to maintain a good contrast. The top is okay, I like the ruffled edge across the bust, I feel like there could have been more play with texture in the straps.

Conclusion

Overall not bad, I think I even like the Charm School jacket better than M2084 Papillion.
What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

New! Halloween Costumes from Cosplay by McCall's


COSPLAY COSTUMES OCT. 2017


I know that my last post was a bit dreary, I had to not only vent my frustrations but put a voice out on a subject that I think is being greatly overlooked. I've been reading hundreds of articles by economists and I'm floored with how incredibly naive some of these people are. Can you believe one woman defended the minimum wage raise saying that it'll work better for the economy, prices generally won't inflate at a quicker rate - except for housing. While she acknowledged that the housing/rental market will continue to balloon she somehow, mind blowingly, failed to make the connection that these minimum wage workers would continue to find affordable housing just out of reach. If people are spending well over half their income on their housing, and the hydro rates continue to climb, exactly when is it expected to balance out? Laughable, isn't it?

But you can rest assured, we're not in such dire circumstances that we'd take up residence in the mold infested college house we just looked at (with the body hair, the stench of weed and the ceiling peeling and crumbling). We'll sit and wait and hope for a break in the storm. Until then I plan on busying myself with many a sewing project. Winter will be upon us faster than we think and I'm in need of a new wardrobe.

And what better time than now with the release of four new Cosplay by McCall's patterns? Halloween is just around the corner and I've taken up my fairy costume once again (despite not having any plans). Perhaps some of these pattern might inspire your next costume?



SHE CUT
M2107
Top, detached sleeves, skirt and belt.

Another design from Seattle Cosplay, although I'll be damned if I can tell you what it's from. Some kind of high flying Kung Fu film no doubt, but if you're into Wing Chun this might be the style for you. The costume features a top with keyhole front, frog closures and appliqués; detachable matching sleeves that also have appliqués and bias trim; and finally a belt and skirt. Overall the design is aesthetically pleasing. I like the asymmetrical cut of the top, dupioni wouldn't be my first material to choose from (more like brocade) but it's still nice.




ALA GLOW
M2104
Wings, stockings, hat

This is another accessories pattern, this time for a fairy. My first thought when I saw this was that I liked the organza skirt, however, it's not available in the pattern, bummer. I thought using a bustier for this photo shoot was an odd choice, it looks like a bra lol, like someone forgot to give the poor girl a top. The stockings are hideous. I don't get it. It's just some elastic trim carefully applied to some pantyhose, you could do this at home without needing a pattern, it truly feels like an afterthought. The pillbox hat is decent, I have seen better elsewhere, but this is the first of its kind in this series.  The wings are quite nice, but I'd be tempted to refashion the way it sits on the back, the exposed wire is rather home-made and unpleasant looking. It wraps around the shoulders and back around the waist. The selected material kind of works against it, if you view it from the side like here, it loses definition. Maybe organza would have been better? Overall it's an okay pattern, you'd really be buying it for the construction of the wings.




Bouquet de Fleur
M2096
Corseted top, apron, skirt and panniers

This is a really intricate pattern from J. Hart Designs. It's rated Advanced and we can easily see why. I love the choice of materials in this pattern as well as the trim and embellishments. Lolita girls I believe would adore this ensemble, although it might be a bit short and sexy for their liking. The top is made separate from the skirt, which is cool because you could just use it on its own. The overskirt and apron are attached as one, and the panniers made separately. This outfit is well constructed, it has boning in both the top and the panniers. Perfect for a Marie Antoinette costume, Queen of Hearts, exaggerated period costumery or Lolita. Well worth the money!




Spiritquest
M2105
Vest, detachable hood and tunic

Ummm, another viking man costume? I'll assume it's inspired by Vikings, or GOT. Something I don't watch. This pattern features a vest with detachable hood and tunic. I'm surprised those boot covers didn't make their way in? They look easy enough, just some fur leg warmers wrapped and tied on, but still, easy enough to include? I guess I'm nit-picking, I tend to want an entire outfit when I buy a pattern, but I don't know the rules at McCall's, maybe that would've been slightly over budget? The vest has a lot of trim and embellishment. I'm not a fan with how open it is in the front, it doesn't have a smooth transition to the tunic and it feels bulky. It's just too wide and blocky, the small princess cap sleeves add to the weirdness of this design, and the choice of blue suede makes him look more like a gnome and not a badass viking warrior. My thoughts: ditch the damn cap sleeves, go sleeveless but keep the trim, make it in a more appealing colour, and redraft the contrast front to flow with the curve of the chest with a steeper angle as it opens outwards. The contrast also appears to cut too highly, in terms of practicality a warrior would probably want his belly protected and kept warm, I feel like it should be at least four inches longer. Overall it has potential, it just needs refining.

CONCLUSION

It's nice to see such a variety here. I know that men don't make up a huge percentage of home sewists but I'm always pleased to see men's costumery. I know I would love to make something for my husband and I can easily see myself using an amalgamation of all the Viking/fantasy warrior patterns I now have in my stash. I loved to see J. Hart Designs ensemble and I'm curious to see if they release any other collaborations with this designer in the future.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, 5 August 2017

New McCall's Cosplay Patterns for Late Summer

New Cosplay Patterns!

McCall's has released three more women's costume patterns for your enjoyment; a women's harem style gypsy girl in BEDLAH BEAUTY, a sexy armored warrior in POWER BRACE, and unique headdresses for the mysterious evil villainess in HORNERY.


BEDLAH BEAUTY
M2016
Bolero, Top, Belt and Skirt

I like that this gypsy costume features a whole lot of embellishment and texture. While I'm down with a cage bra I don't think it fits this ensemble, it's a little too contemporary to make sense here. The slouching midriff cut top has a 70's boho vibe to it, and the layered skirt comes across as very successful with it's mixture of textured fabrics, however, I imagine with that much velvet has some weight to it, which might not me the most practical choice for a character that dances.


POWER BRACE
M2102
Halter Top, Overskirt, Leg and Arm Armor

This makes me think of Mortal Kombat, although I don't know how comfortable you would be fighting in a full length underbust. The underbust comes in two sizes attached to a fabric halter bikini top. The overskirt fits over purchased shorts. The arm armor consists of two bands each with snap closures. The two leg armor accessories have corseted backs which look sexy as hell but I imagine are a bitch to put on. This one is designed by Seattle Cosplay. I like the aesthetic, the execution could stand some refinement.


HORNERY
M2101
Headdresses

Now serving Power Ranger realness, if you're looking to emulate the villainess, Rita, this pattern could be right up your alley! Pattern features two different styles of headdress and one cap with organza dreads! Let's get real here, I'm not feeling Look A, it looks like a hot mess, especially from the back with the sloppy hand stitching and the tubes going every which way. I'm sure it looked good on paper but execution wise it looks like a busted robot costume. I would appreciate it more without the weird silver ram's horns and dangly earrings. It's overkill. I'm also not a fan of the unicorn dreads which look too arts and craftsy for my tastes. However, I am interested in the handcrafted vinyl horns, they have a fetish ball feel to them and if handled by an adequate craftsman they could look pretty sick.


Conclusion

Not a bad set, nothing stands out as a clear favorite of mine, maybe some of the accessories in POWER BRACE. Overall it's interesting and definitely different than what we've seen before which is always welcome.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, 3 July 2017

Simplicity Does Lolita *AGAIN!*

Simplicity 8444 and 8443

It's true, you're not seeing things, Simplicity has yet again released two Lolita patterns. They get better every time they try Lolita, which I find very encouraging. These two patterns are adorable and well made. The fit, the finesse, when did they get so damn good? I mean, look at the preceding patterns, they've come a long way:


THEY FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT. 

The model looks like a Lolita girl. Her makeup is right, her hair isn't a glaringly obvious wig, she's young and doll like. But can we get a hell yes to them using the right kind of printed fabric?! She looks like she stepped out of a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright catalog. My head is spinning!


Simplicity 8444

Let's get one thing out of the way, they made a boo boo, they refer to this as a Cosplay costume and yes, despite having placed the rather ugly Simplicity 8233 in their apparel category, they are yet again selling Lolita clothing as "costumery". That's a damn shame. This pattern features a number of items: a blouse with mandarin collar with corset fastening in back, in long sleeve or short; a ruffled underskirt; a jumper with over-skirt or a jumper with a full skirt, both with elastic shirring in the back, can be made with bows or lace and corset detailing. You get a healthy amount of quality designed pieces in this pattern, it is well worth the money. In fact, despite not being into Lolita, I'm probably going to buy this pattern at some point.




Simplicity 8443

Like the previous pattern, this Lolita pattern also provides you with a variety of designs. Two bonnets, three head-dresses (hair bands), two purses and three medallions. They look cute, well constructed and are in keeping with the Sweet Lolita aesthetic. 

Conclusion

Please gods, let this mean they're willing to try more alt fashion designs in the future, and to push themselves to the point of getting it right

What are your thoughts?

Best,

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