Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cosplay by McCall's

New Collection 2016

I know I said that posting about Cosplay sort of ruined my blogging statistics but I'm trying to embrace it. I still firmly believe that there are some McCall's costume designs that can be adapted to suit basic ready to wear needs in both the Alt and Goth scenes. Today's interesting news is that McCall's has launched a few Cosplay patterns of their very own. Now I bet you're wondering, "what's the difference here? Aren't they all McCall's patterns?" Yes and no. A lot of the patterns I had discussed in the past are McCall's patterns but they're from other designers. For example, Butterick sells Designs by Gertie. Other examples of this are Arkivestry, Jessica McClintock and Yaya Han. The majority of McCall's Brand designs are the historical costumes and of course their various garment patterns. So why am I talking about this? I think that the McCall's Brand has made a major breakthrough with creating their own Cosplay patterns, rather than contracting other designers to make them. It also means they're no longer appropriating their basic costume line and slapping the category "Cosplay" onto it - something that I noted when they launched their Cosplay website. This is indicative to me that they're taking Cosplay more seriously instead of half-assedly trying to market standard costume patterns to Cosplay enthusiasts.

I think we might see a lot more variety coming out of McCall's in the future, but perhaps they're testing the waters with their new exclusive patterns; Flight, Trenched and Cloak X. I'm happy to see that these patterns are unisex friendly. That's not to say that I don't want them making costumes specifically for men or women, it's just a good idea to have the first official Cosplay collection appealing to both sexes. I can tell that in this collection they did their best to entice fans of anime and fantasy. Not being much of a Cosplayer myself, I can't speak to what I'd like to see in their future collections, but I think this is a solid beginning. So, with that being said, let's review the new Cosplay by McCall's collection.

Cosplay by McCall's

Belts and Wings with Harness

Now here's an interesting pattern. In the past, McCall's wouldn't have considered making a pattern for an enormous pair of wings. They would have seen it as far too daunting and complicated for the average sewing enthusiast. This says to me that they're trying to appeal to those who see Cosplay as a serious hobby. This is what I would consider an advanced pattern and only Cosplayers would be interested in tackling it. Some of the patterns required materials and notions include foam, wood, picture hangers, clamps, hinges, wire, screws and a kitchen mat. This pattern was not intended for their average consumer and they're taking a ballsy risk by putting it out there. I'm impressed. Although, I would like to see some improvement on the harness itself, but overall it's a neat piece. I'm not sure what anime or video game it could be referencing, but at the very least you could use it to throw your own Victoria's Secret fashion show.


Lined Coats and Collar Variations

I'm definitely making the connection to anime with this pattern. I can see Vash from Trigun was a major influence for look C. I can't say for sure what inspired look B and look A in this pattern is the coat without any detail on the front. Unlike the last pattern, this pattern is more accessible to the average consumer, in particular those who are looking to sew a costume instead of building one. I can see this coat being modified to suit ready to wear needs. I know there have been similar looking coats floating around the Goth scene for both men and women. I think it'd be a treat to make this in grey wool, although I'm partial to shorter coats as long ones make me look awkward. I would definitely modify the length. I could even see myself adapting this for a Dante (DMC) coat for my brother someday, if I can only find red synthetic leather on sale.

Capes and Detachable Lined Capelets

Out of the three patterns this one has to be the most simplified. I can see this pattern selling well. It's clearly inspired by Game of Thrones, although I'd be tempted to use it for my fiancé's viking costume and maybe my vampire costume. I do wish it came with some additional accessory, like perhaps gauntlets or a waist belt, as it seems to offer somewhat less than the previous patterns. Overall it's an alright fantasy/historical piece and I'm curious to see if they'll make more patterns to accompany this look.

The Vault Collection

M2041 & M2044

Boned Bodice Dress & Petticoat / Square Neckline Dress with Train

Out of all the historical inspired pieces they had to offer in the Vault Collection, I liked these two dresses the best. While I can't see the majority of us using M2041 for ready to wear, it does have a lovely bodice that I think could be used. It's also pretty cool for anyone into Steampunk looking to tackle a different era (I know Steampunk is bound to the Victorian era, but it's daring and something that I'd love to see someone do, how else is that scene going to progress?). As for M2044, it tickles my fancy merely for the fact that it makes me think of all those lovely medieval Goth dresses of the 90's. I'm sure there are some Romantic Goths out there who would love to own a dress like this.

M2024 & M2006
Puff Sleeve Blouse with Detachable Collar / Ribbon Embellished Parasol and Covers

I like these two patterns because they make me think of a few different styles. The first is a pattern I own (and I'm planning on selling). The blouse is Victorian inspired but I can imagine it being used in Lolita fashion by removing the long sleeves and combining it with a JSK. It's also a good piece for Steampunk enthusiasts. There's a matching skirt available too, for any of you considering the whole Victorian ensemble. The parasol on the left is really neat and I'd love one for my wardrobe. I think a lot of us have fancied an embellished black parasol to ward of the sun and keep our skin pasty white. It's great for Goths and Lolitas and I think it's pretty cool that McCall's has made a pattern for this. I should note though that you don't make a parasol, you do require a 15" umbrella to start with. The pattern only gives instructions on how to embellish the umbrella and to make small covers for it when it's not in use.


I think it's cool that McCall's is continuing with the whole Cosplay thing. My hope is that we see more experimental pieces from them and not the conventional costumes we've all seen in the past. I like the idea of a more complex design. I think there's a higher perceived value when you get a pattern with a lot of options and detail in it. I know that would ward off a lot of consumers who prefer basic sewing but this is a niche market and I think there should be a dividing line between the Cosplay costumes and the regular ones. What do you think about McCall's Cosplay collection? Any thoughts on what you'd like to see from them?



  1. Good for them for doing versatile cosplay patterns. I could see a lot of different costumes for these, including historical/goth/steampunk.

    1. I'm curious to see how far McCall's might take this. I hope it gets enough interest to continue because I'd love to see more variety in their costumes. I think this is a good start.

  2. I'm Loving the new collection. I will definitely have to collect these and make up the romantic blouse and cape for sure. :)

    1. I can see that cape being made in some kind of luxurious velvet! Very romantic indeed.

  3. I really, really, love this collection! I hope it continues! I think it's going to be a success!

    1. I hope so too. I'm curious to see where it takes McCall's in the future!


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