Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Simplicity Produces Alternative Sewing Patterns

From Fae to Lolita: Sewing Patterns for the Alternative Wardrobe

If you haven't noticed, we're quickly finding our way into September. Yes, fall is taking over. It can be seen in the tops of trees, in the rosy cheeks of children and in the costume category of the sewing catalogs. Halloween is back, baby. Sorry, but I've been watching a lot of bad 80's action films lol. This means that there is a whole new batch of costume patterns. I'm happy to see that alternative fashion is yet again weaseling its way into the catalogs. In the past there have been a few Steampunk and Goth patterns available through Simplicity and McCalls catalogs but this year we have more fantasy based costumes. Fae, yes FAE inspired patterns and there's even a Lolita pattern! I might add that although these are listed as costumes much of which appear to be hidden in this category for no reason. Why? Because Simplicity or McCalls do not have the balls to acknowledge alternative styles as real fashion. It might upset a certain part of their close-minded stuffy consumer base. Perhaps one day they'll pull their heads out of their asses and realize that alternative fashionistas make up a good portion of today's sewists.

Now because these are costumes you might be thinking they aren't worth looking at. Well, very soon I will show you how you can adjust a costume pattern for use in sewing ordinary clothing. Let's look at what's available!

Simplicity 1293
Misses' Costume Jacket, Wings, and Hat

Egads! We finally have a pattern for elven and fae enthusiasts that isn't just a tutu with wings! It's refreshing, isn't it? Although I'm not hot on most of this pattern, I do like the embellished green coat, minus the pointed hood. As with most costume patterns, I believe this pattern definitely has potential and can be adjusted to be sewn as an actual garment very easily.

Simplicity 1300 
Misses' Costume Overdress with Skirt

This is another K Rescent Costumes pattern, only this one takes a stab at the Lolita and Gothic Lolita styles. It looks mildly successful, I prefer the look on the right. It's a little disappointing that this pattern is limited to just an overdress and skirt but it's a start. The only other time I've seen Simplicity attempt Japanese fashion was with Simplicity 2522, a girl's Harajuku or Decora street fashion pattern. I can't say for sure what Lolita girls will think of this pattern... Some Lolita chicks just have a massive stick up their ass and won't accept any attempt by pattern companies. At least those looking to go as Marie Antoinette for Halloween will enjoy this. 

Simplicity 1347
Misses' Fantasy Costumes

Okay, so they're clearly attempting to channel GOT with this one but not being a fan of that show I can't comment much on the similarities...other than that horrendous wig. The cincher is cute, as is the tank top and the flowy Grecian style gown. Other than that it's very simplified and would need a lot of work to get it up to my standards of daily wear.

Simplicity 1773
Misses' Medieval Dress in Two Lengths

Again, here we have another fantasy period pattern which is obviously pulling inspiration from today's pop culture. I really like the look on the left. I'm not sure about the puff sleeves but the rest of it is adorable and I would love to have this pattern. It has a weird Joan of Arc, kick-some-ass feel to it.

Simplicity 1558
Misses' Steampunk Costume

This isn't a new pattern, it's been in the catalog for awhile but I had to mention it because it is one of the nicest looking Steampunk patterns available. It looks well designed, I'd like to buy it even though I'm not crazy into Steampunk. I could think of a thousand uses for the jacket and the underbust.

Simplicity 1550
Misses' Amy Brown Fairy Costume

Also not new but worth mentioning is Amy Brown's fairy costume pattern. I know some fae lovers will recognize the name of the artist, these costumes are based off of her designs. They look a little labor intensive with the finish on the tattered skirt but I've seen someone write a review for it recently where she left the edges unfinished and it looked alright.


I'm really impressed with the selection of costume patterns from Simplicity. There isn't nearly as much offered by the competitors and Simplicity at the very least experiments with alternative fashion. I find they are much more in tune with current trends. The other nice thing about Simplicity patterns is that it takes a while before they retire a costume pattern; there are still costume patterns for Pirates of the Caribbean and we all know how long ago those came out! Again, don't be put off by the fact that these are listed as costumes, they can and have been modified for use as daily wear. I will discuss that and the Arkviestry patterns in an upcoming pattern review post (hopefully by the end of this weekend). A special thanks goes to Kim of Steam Ingenious, who indirectly reminded me that I should finish this post - and she is a talented seamstress who has turned costume patterns like these into real life works of art.

Kind regards,


  1. In love with the medieval style ones! And the witchy little fairy! So cute! Not being able to work a sewing machine worth my life this makes me sooo envious of those who can.

    1. I love the medieval ones too, it's a shame I don't have the need for long dresses. I'm happy I took the time to teach myself sewing, but it was a lot of years before I got used to it. It's not the easiest hobby to take up, but it is possibly the most rewarding hobby. :)

  2. Replies
    1. I'm going to get it and make the hood bigger, I just love that detailing on the front of it. It's gorgeous, you don't see many patterns with that level of embellishment.

  3. I definitely have a quite a few "costume" patterns from simplicity and other companies that I've adapted for everyday wear, and no one is the wiser. It's all in the fabric and details, I say!
    I have 1558! I haven't sewn it up yet... ack, too much to sew! Too few hours in my lifetime =P

    1. Omg I love 1558, I look forward to seeing what you do with it!! I too suffer from a lot of sewing projects and very little time. I think combining my vintage patterns with my regular ones I have something like 80 patterns 0.o I've maybe sewn twenty of them.

  4. I love all the styles above, I wish I had all of the clothes in this blog post!

    1. They're pretty cool, huh? I finally bought 1558 for myself and I'm looking forward to using it. :)


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