Sunday, 2 September 2018

Cosplay by McCall's Patterns Summer of 2018

Cosplay by McCall's Patterns Summer of 2018

I took a long time to tackle this one as I've been on vacation, trying to buy a house, and fighting problems with my computer and internet.

So at the beginning of summer McCall's released two new cosplay patterns featuring a Steampunk and Dystopian aesthetic.

WESTERLANDJacket with detachable sleeves and gloves

This is a kind of samurai inspired dystopian, Mad Max, kind of costume. It's a leather jacket with detachable sleeves and fingerless biker gloves. I'm assuming it's trying to emulate the samurai shoulder armor called "sode", however, it also looks a lot like football shoulder pads, so it's really anyone's guess. It's a fairly basic design, not much to say, it looks like something out of a dystopian universe. There's a couple of rather arbitrarily placed pockets, I think with some drafting the design could be refined.

Top, Bloomers and Overskirt

This is another Steampunk design, this time by Ichigo Black. It just gets a big "meh" from me, it seems to pale in comparison to Ichigo's earlier Steampunk attempts. I've seen the bloomers and overskirt done multiple times by both the McCall's in house design team and Simplicity when working with Arkivestry's designer Karen Fleisch. It feels painfully referential and not well executed. I'd rather recommend Belle Rogue, Belle Noir or even Hitched, and McCall's Vault Collection M2062, M6770, or M6911; all of which have more elegant design elements and more a sophisticated level of execution (some of which sell for cheaper than the above pattern). This is not my bag, but I've also steeped myself into the alternative fashion scene and I'm finding Steampunk isn't nearly as popular as it had been a decade ago. With that being said, you can only reinvent this style so many times before you end up rehashing old ideas, it makes me wonder if McCall's would be better off exploring new subcultures.  

What are your thoughts?


  1. I completely agree. The men costume looks a bit corny and I don't like the neckline on the female costume.

    1. It might just be me, but I've noticed the men's costumes are never as nice as the women's. I mean, they probably assume women make up the majority, so they largely try to market to us, but we sew for our partners and children too!

  2. I can only speak to what I see at conventions (anime, sci-fi , gaming, etc) but Steampunk is pretty much done. There are those dedicated airship groups still doing it, but you don't see it among general attendees much anymore. The vendor/artist tables are still full of the stuff, but I don't see people buying it. I'm surprised that the Big Four keep putting out new patterns for the style. Maybe there isn't a new subculture yet to replace it, or the pattern companies are behind the times.
    The Mad Max style is pretty cool, though! That's a unique pattern that hasn't been rehashed for years.

    1. It's not really a convention kind of thing is it? I've only really seen it come up on things like Meetups where a very small handful of enthusiasts use it to network. There was something like that in my own city awhile back, a sewing shop clerk was trying to push it on me, I didn't go but I wonder what the turn out must've been like since I never heard anything afterwards. There were going to be prizes for the best sewn costume which was a decent incentive but nothing if you're not into the scene. To be brutally honest, I think the Big 4 are far behind trends. I have seen Simplicity trying to bring out more en trend items, but they're usually a year behind, if at that. When it comes to costumery it's just not a hot ticket item, so they're probably not going to invest as much thought or research into what's popular in cosplay now. Dystopian fashion is certainly an interesting one, I don't know if you've noticed but it's been making it's way into the mainstream, there's been a lot of moth eaten, threadbare shirts and layering on runways. I'm a fan of it but I wouldn't even know where to begin when making practical dystopian fashion.


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