Red Reign (M2091 Sizes: 4-12 and 12-20) This latest design from Ichigo Black is a simple corset and quirky one-sleeved bolero, over a gathered high-low skirt with short hoop support. The crown is not included. It’s a versatile pattern with more options than they illustrate. You can cherry pick sleeve bits to make your own look. You can make them the same or not, with puff or without, with ruffle or without. You can swap the ruffle and the sleeve cap if you want. Just pull the pieces you like and put them together. Try as I might, I can’t find a pattern piece for that cap sleeve under the wing sleeve on the bare right arm, so I don’t know what that is. The available pieces are right sleeve, sleeve puff, upper sleeve (goes under the puff portion to support the puff), lower sleeve, and sleeve ruffle.
The applique on the back is a bat, but there is so much trim down the center back that it’s hard to see. Add in that the center back also laces up, and the identifiable bat shape gets lost altogether. The corset has five pattern pieces. It laces in the back and is without a busk. The skirt has three pattern pieces. The hoop is straightforward, and simple to make.
This pattern is meant to get you out-of-the box and open to using many different kinds of fabrics in your work. It’s a great way to add interest and texture. The pattern tips help you choose needles that will help you sew this wider selection of fabrics.
Cloak: Phantasy (M2092, sizes S-M and L-XL) is an inspired set of cloaks that are worthy of the purchase of an actual pattern. For the most part, not a soul needs a pattern to make a cloak. Most of us have been making them from towels since we could walk. These, however, are not just square pieces sewn together. These have an actual shape.
View A is set on a pretty nice neck corset that you could use on its own. The cloak is reminiscent of an art deco cocoon coat, leaning hard toward elvish. The sample garment on the envelope is not showing the pattern to its best effect. The pattern pieces are not just rectangles gathered onto the neck corset. They are gracefully shaped. The fabric choice does not show this well. I’d love to see this in a softer, floatier silk habotai—perhaps hand painted— with the neck corset in an underlined gold lamé. In short, it’s not your basic cloak.
View B suffers from a poor photo shoot. Don’t let the picture fool you. The vest-front piece is not just a flat piece with shirring on top, as it appears. If you look at the picture closely, you will see that it’s been laced too tightly so it’s pulling at the bottom waistband and it’s not fitting over the bust. An examination of the pattern pieces shows that there is indeed a shaped bust, and if there had not been an attempt to lace the front closed it would not be gaping at the sides. Granted, this is a size XL on a size 10 form, but it’s clear that there is a bust shape.
The point is that it’s not actually a top. It “is a dramatic cape with an adjustable bodice piece designed for keeping your cape in place when fighting super villains.” Anyone who has worn an asymmetrical cape/cloak knows why one would need the vest front to keep it in place. It’s left open in front so that one can see your actual costume underneath. The top strap is actually sewn to the cloak. It’s a fantastic idea, and it’s from the amazing designers at McCalls. I think I might ignore the smaller size range, and just use the L-XL no matter what size you are aiming for. Be sure you baste the vest-front pieces and check the fit before you place the shirred pieces on top to make sure there is enough bust cup for you. You might even just leave off the shirring and cut the base pieces twice and give it a simpler corset look. Any way you approach it, it’s da bomb. Sewing tips for this pattern inspire you to repurpose old jewelry for special details.