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.
From Fae to Lolita: Sewing Patterns for the Alternative Wardrobe
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ConclusionI'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.