Cosplay by McCalls, The Nabokov Set, or The Butterfly and the Babydoll.

McCalls 2035 Mannekin, and 2084 Papillon

Two more really useful patterns from Cosplay by McCalls are now available. The first is a cute tailcoat that works for Black Butler‘s Sebastian, Tiny Tim, your personal Steampunk character, Prince, Goth, or just to toss on over a pair of jeans. Yes. Get rid of that tired blazer and wear this instead; it’s got far more personality. Eschew “on trend” fashion. It feels fabulous—but you know that because you are a costumer. Don’t be afraid to own it all the time.

The second pattern is a Lolita dress ensemble that has an easy pullover elastic-backed dress, apron, double bow, and a cute blouse. An easy fit, this pattern can be used for anything from a Lolita or Raggedy Ann to office wear, or a fun ruffled summer dress. The blouse alone certainly deserves a place in your school or office wardrobe.


2084 Papillon (intermediate skill level), the lined tailcoat, comes in size sets 6-14 and 14-22. This little jacket is really adorable. It’s another pattern by Seattle Cosplay, who also designed the M2079, Bow & Brine Blouse. A quick pin-up of the pattern pieces on a dress form reveals a softly curved torso shape with broad shoulders and very pointy tails—or the adorable shorter, high-hip, tailless version with soft pleated self-trim in place of the tails and the same at the sleeve hems. Either way, the lovely bodice shape is the same. I’d advise taking a look at the back neckline when you build this jacket, as it looks to be a little lower than standard.

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The instructions do not call for shoulder pads, but you will get a much better result installing a thin shoulder pad as a support. Since this tailcoat is lined, you don’t want a covered shoulder pad. You will want an uncovered pad like this one: . Don’t be afraid to make your pads yourself. It’s even kind of fun in a zen sewing back-and-forth kind of way. To get the best fit, be sure your shoulder seam is accommodating the height of your shoulder pads—no more and no less— so you will avoid that droopy look.

“Tips for Sewing Jackets” is the tutorial for this pattern. It takes you through making your sample muslin and choosing interfacings and linings. Sew this pattern up without fear. You have backup here.


The second pattern is 2935 Mannikin (intermediate skill level), is in sizes 4-12 and 12-20, a slightly smaller size grouping than most of the other in the Cosplay set of patterns. It’s made by the McCalls patternmakers and as such, is very well set to make itself useful in all sorts of applications.

A Lolita-styled pattern, it’s filled with ruffles and ribbons and trim. Go crazy with the trim. It’s what this pattern was made for. The basic dress is an improved variation on the summer staple that is the shirred-bodice sundress. The front is neat and flat, with bust darts, and the back is shirred by way of elastic you set into just a few channels. The front of this dress is a perfect place to add embroidery or appliqué, or perhaps a small quilt block. It’s a dress where you can get very expressive with your needle arts. You will wear it everywhere, with or without the pretty pin-tucked blouse.

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The semi-fitted blouse has laces at the back so that you can adjust the fit for the outfit. Lace it up to wear over dressy pants. Loosen it up to wear with jeans. Repeat the embroidery motif you put on the front of your dress on the collar of this blouse. Use up that pretty piece of lace you have been saving for a smaller project, and showcase it here on the collar and cuffs.

Finish it off with the adorable wide-waistband apron and the big double neck bow. Try it in silk organza with pale organza trims so you can see all the trims on the dress layers beneath as well as the trims on the apron. Got a bit of quilt top that you are never going to actually quilt up? Use it here in the apron for a satisfying way to finish that project.

Your tutorial for this Lolita pattern is an examination of trims, and how to sew with them. It has a lot of “not obvious” advice, like making sure your presser foot does not get stuck in the trim as you sew. Seriously good stuff.

Cosplay by McCalls continues to impress. The line is very adaptable, size-inclusive, and has fabulous large sturdy envelopes that will hold project notes, sketches, and swatches. There will never be that fight to get the pattern back in that tiny envelope again. Offered online only, it’s never out-of-stock, and you never have to brave the lines at JoAnn’s. Get them at

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