Saturday, 23 July 2016

Cosplay By McCall's Valor, Spectral and Resistance

New Fantasy and Post Apocalyptic Costumes

Hello again! It's time for another wave of Cosplay by McCall's costumes. We're looking at two fantasy based costumes and one post apocalyptic/utilitarian style costume. My first impression is that they look ok, but let's deconstruct them.

Valor M2052

Men's Viking Costume

While I'm not blown away by this costume it's not as bad as its female counterpart, Intrepid. I would describe this as a generic viking costume, it's not an outstanding design. I suppose it offers up a good foundation for individuals who may desire a project that they can build off of. The vest and gauntlets are what help this costume, the lace up detailing around the back and shoulders kicks it up a notch. I only wish I could see something to that effect brought into the trousers. The fit looks alright, it's a tunic so there's not a whole lot of room for error. Similar to Intrepid, the pants seem a little off to me. I'm not sure what it is, they just have this tapered 80's look to them and they don't fit in the ass as well as they could (and that's a shame, everybody loves a good ass).

Spectral M2053

Women's Robe and Nightgown

***UPDATE*** I hadn't known the source for this previously, it is from the movie Crimson Peak. I gave it a watch, it's not a great movie by any means lol. I was disappointed to see that this robe is practically non-existent in the film. I planned to watch for the robe but I don't remember seeing it. I find it a little odd that McCall's chose to include the robe, it's not necessary and detracts from the costume. I think this pattern would've been fine with just the nightgown, which is very similar in design to the actual costume. I'm also disappointed that some of the other costume designs weren't used. This film is known for its exceptional visuals (especially given its lackluster script), there are many great dresses worn by the sister. As featured in the promotional poster she wears a crimson dress. I think that would've been interesting to include with the nightgown.

Okay, so I'm a little biased when it comes to this one. I hate this style of nightgown, I always have. But I recognize that fans of historical sewing and Edwardian fashion will enjoy this pattern. The lace along the cuffs and the pearl buttons are cute. The robe looks decent enough. I have a costume pattern from McCall's that features a similar sleeve style and I can see from the promo photo that they've improved the cut of it. I should note that the robe is lined and sewn in brocade so it ramps it up to an intermediate skill level. Otherwise I would think advance beginners could tackle the nightgown on its own, or maybe try the robe in more forgiving materials. I'm sure the costume is referencing some popular TV show but being the non-conformist that I am I can't identify it. I think it would make a good vampire costume though, it reminds me of Dracula's three brides.

Resistance M2054

Unisex Jumpsuit

No, not the game! Although I suddenly find myself wanting to play it. It's a jumpsuit! With all the belt loops and pockets you would expect it to have. This was a very good move on McCall's part. I think unisex patterns are good idea regardless, but here's a pattern that can be used for many purposes. You could use it for a military, SWAT, or NASA costume, a post apocalyptic costume, a Metal Gear Solid Snake costume, a Ghostbusters uniform (the original one, not that shitty fucking so called "feminist" one); the list goes on! I mean how many films, video games, anime or comics can you recall with characters wearing jumpsuits? TONS OF THEM. Hoorah! And the fit doesn't look that bad either. All you need is a pair of combat boots and you're good to go.


It seems as though Valor and Spectral should've been released with Intrepid (the viking women's costume). They have a similar style and design quality to them. Overall these are decent patterns. I like the jumpsuit but I hesitate to use it for the Ghostbusters costume because I do not want to be associated with that horrid film. I guess I might have to wait a year to see if this shit blows over. Who knows!

What do you think?


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Summer Fashions 2016

Slick Summer Picks

It's been awhile since I've sat down and devoted some of my time to fantasy shopping. There have been a few items that I adore, and I've seen them appearing on various social media store accounts. I enter contests whenever I can, hoping and praying I might be a lucky recipient of a new frock or pair of pants. Sadly nothing yet! Boo hoo. I guess I'll settle for mood boards. Here are my faves for the summer of 2016!

Pretty in Prints

I love garments with fun prints. I was drawn to the Wishbone Tank Dress because of its unusual asymmetrical design. At first I thought it looked unfinished but after seeing it a few hundred times I'm enjoying it more and more. It's quirky. People will stop and look at it. Likewise, this button up chiffon blouse features mirrored images of skeletons and is sure to draw stares. I love how they look conjoined! Lastly, the Holly Heartbreaker dress is sweet and simple, it features a keyhole back that's sexy and feminine.

Left: Wishbone Tank Dress by Iron Fist
Center: Stellar Skulls Chiffon Shirt by Fearless Illustration
Right: Holly Heartbreaker Dress by Killstar

Plaid to Meet You

It's no surprise that plaids have made their way back into my mood boards again. I have an affinity for them. I have always desired a plaid moto jacket and I just might have to splurge some day and buy this Jawbreaker jacket, aptly titled "Plaid to the Bone". I would also really like to add another plaid skirt to my wardrobe. I drafted one earlier this year, sadly it's much too warm for the summer months so perhaps this micro mini tartan bondage skirt will fit the bill. The only beef I have with the mini is that it's a little too short...I might have to size up just to cover my ass! Perhaps I should try this delightful high waist circle skirt with suspenders instead. I hope to create a knock off of it someday.

Left: Plaid to the Bone Jacket by Jawbreaker
Center: Skull Tartan Mini Skirt by Jawbreaker
Right: Tartan Highlife Pinafore by Banned Apparel

Fierce Footwear

And naturally we need a footwear mood board. At first when I saw the Bat Wing Boot from Iron Fist I was a little weary about it. It made me think of those hoodies with bat wings jetting out of the armpits, but I've grown to like them. Now they make me think of Morrigan from Darkstalkers. I like these platform mary janes because they look a little like creepers only more feminine. The bat detailing on the front is quite cute and I'd like to see this in a Pastel Goth outfit. The anklets on the end are sexy, I love how embellished they are but I'm hestitant to buy Demonia shoes ever again. I'll have to keep an eye on the reviews for these!

Left: Bat Wing Platform Boot by Iron Fist
Center: Demonia Bat Platform Shoes
Right: Demonia Poison Ankle Boot


I hope you're keeping cool in the summer heat! What do you think of these fashion finds?


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Simplicity Vintage DC Bombshells

New Cosplay Patterns by Simplicity Summer of 2016

I'm going to forgo the long drawn out observations on these. I'll sum it up with, I like 'em! What a concept; vintage is hot, cosplay is hot, why not put them together?! I think the most successful pattern is the Wonder Woman costume, it's totally adorable. And I love the vintage Joker costume, mind you I'm biased as I adored the 60's Batman series when I was a girl. Hey, Adam West sounded hot. But that brings up a good question... How can you have a vintage Joker and not a vintage Batman pattern? I hope that means they'll be bringing out more Batman characters, like a vintage Catwoman *drool*. We ♥ Julie Newmar!

There were three other "cosplay" costumes released by Simplicity, but they were so fucking hideous and poorly designed I wouldn't dare post them to my blog lol. Also, they seem to be riding out that Doctor Who fad still... producing some pretty ugly clothing patterns. I think it's time to move on Simplicity, how many variations of a Dalek can you possibly make? Jesus...

What do you guys think??

Gothic Greenthumb: Doomed Dahlias

Calling it Quits!

One of the most defeating experiences a gardener can have is when their plants simply seem to give up and die off. I've grown dahlias before, it's not like I'm new to them. I knew things weren't going stellar once my one plant started to bloom...and the other three were going leggy with no buds in sight. I tried a stiff watering schedule, fertilizing, pruning and moving the pots around, but still it ended in tragedy. 

Last year my problem was earwigs. I hate those crusty looking fuckers. They chewed up my blooms and the foliage, leaving holes in just about everything. The hot and humid weather had created prime living conditions for earwigs, who normally feed off of dead plant life and other insects. When conditions are right, earwigs will inhabit containers (because they are kept warm and moist) and they will feed off of new vegetation for no other reason than because they can. Yep. Assholes. But the big difference is that last year my dahlias still bloomed and survived. This year they grew leggy, pale and deformed. My Sunburst (right) and Cupcake dahlia (photo above), were the only dahlias to bloom. I noticed the Cupcake was growing more pale in colour. What was once a rosy pink was slowly becoming white. I figured something was happening to the soil. Changes in the acidity or alkalinity in the soil can often have effects on the colour of blooms, particularly in plants like hydrangeas. This is sadly not the case for my plants.

It turns out that when blooms begin to lose their colour the plant has a virus. I looked over the leaves of each dahlia plant yesterday and sure enough there were signs of disease; the leaves were spotted, veiny, curling, deformed or dying off completely. I knew that my dahlias had been leggy but I assumed they weren't getting enough sunlight, instead I guess they were so ill they were trying desperately to get their nutrition from the sun and the virus wasn't allowing that. What are my options? Well, some botanists are doing trials using chemotherapy. *Scoff* Because that's how far I'm willing to go for my garden. The only option is to dispose of the afflicted plants, all of them!

When throwing away my orange dahlia, I caught a disgusting sight of nearly 100 earwigs festering in the bottom of the container. There's no doubt in my mind these wretched creatures caused the demise of my beloved dahlias and in turn decimated 2/3 of my garden! And before any entomologists come to their defense, it's known that insect bites to plant foliage leave the plant susceptible to viruses! Sadly, other than killing each earwig by hand or through oil traps (which only catch a couple at a time) there's no solution. Even soap sprays can only kill on contact. It's hopeless. :(

All you can do is mourn the loss of your plant and throw it away. I'm not sure about growing dahlias next year. If the projected forecast calls for another hot and humid summer I won't even bother buying dahlias. Instead, I think I'll buy more snapdragons and pansies. These are the only flowers that have grown without issue. They bounce back readily with a good thorough watering and they're beautiful in their simplicity. I highly recommend them. In fact, one of the ways I coped with my loss was to eat a piece of gluten free vegan carrot cake, drink a cup of strawberry tea and admire a bouquet of Halloween Pansies!

Sending best wishes and good gardening luck your way~

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