Seattle Cosplay and J. Hart Designs are back again with two new Cosplay by McCalls patterns. J. Hart Designs’ Edwardian Chapeau (M2119) is a basic hat pattern and contains all sizes in one envelope. Seattle Cosplay’s Frost (M2113) is a unitard (they call it a jumpsuit) in sizes 4-20. It has acres of room for self expression.
As an old-school hatmaker, Josh’s Edwardian Chapeau (M2119) hat-making technique is not familiar to me. There is a lot a fusible web, steaming, and the lining installation is not as I had learned way back in college. His finished pieces look neat and are nicely shaped, and do include actual hat making buckram and millinery wire, so it seems to work just fine.
One option is a trim little boater that is a good beginner hat. It’s not overwhelming in size or construction and it would be a great base for your Mary Poppins ‘cherry’ hat. The second is a more dramatic version with a taller crown and sweeping Mae West brim. Aside from more millinery wire on the Mae West, the construction methods are the same. Josh has you fusing bias buckram to your fashion fabric by way of fusible web. It’s easy to deform the buckram in this step, as you have already fused the buckram crown into its final cylindrical form. Make sure you have a light hand here. Once the buckram is deformed, it’s not going to go back into shape. In other applications, it’s meant to be wet, and pulled over a form. When dry, it will hold that form’s shape. See my earlier article “‘Oumuamua Starman Headpiece, an Adventure in Old School Headpieces and Polycarbonate” for a detailed pulled-buckram build description. With that in mind, be sure not to crush your buckram or your finished hat. Although it would be fine for pulling over a form, once crushed it may prove unsuitable for flat construction like these two hats. Go crazy with the trims. Just be sure it always looks “as if it has been blown together by the wind.” Then go to Ascot.
The other pattern in this release, Seattle Cosplay’s unitard (jumpsuit) Frost (M2113), is a basic pattern meant to fill a broad range of unitard needs. It is pieced, with the idea that you can make this totally your own, for whatever use you might need. It really has beautiful lines. There is a hood, and although there is no pattern piece offered for a plain neck, you could easily make one should you elect to not use the hood.
There are a lot of details to exploit including an open spot in the back at shoulder blade height. I was wondering why it was there, when it occurred to me that that slit would allow you to easily wear a pair of corset-supported wings under this unitard, with the wings poking out of the shoulder slit. If you don’t want that opening, you can just sew it into the top yoke. Check out the cool mitt sleeves! The hip-purse belt pattern is included, too!
McCalls suggests the use of a coverstitch machine, but a serger is just fine. The directions are for a conventional sewing machine so you are good-to-go no matter what machine you have on hand. You will, however, have far fewer headaches with a serger or coverstitch machine. McCalls has a whole web page filled with tips for sewing with stretch fabric: http://cosplayblog.mccall.com/?s=stretch+fabrics. Resources. Use them! The blog address in the instructions for the pattern appear to have changed. Use the current link here. Be sure to take a look at it. It’s a kick-ass tutorial on sewing stretch fabrics.
Don’t be shy with this pattern. Because of its pieced nature, you can line that a-little-too-light-weight lycra in just the places you need, leaving the rest cool and light. You can add things like ruffles, a cape, or a skirt to it. This pattern is wide open. I can see everything from a quirky Frozen leotard-clad gender-bent Anna or a Guilty Crown Tsugumi based on this pattern.
Cosplay by McCalls continues to impress. The line is very adaptable, size-inclusive, and offers a broad selection of expressive clothing options you can use in cosplay or streetwear. Offered online only, it’s never out-of-stock, and you never have to brave the lines at JoAnn’s. They ship world-wide. Get them at http://cosplay.mccall.com