Here’s a couple of patterns from the talented pattern makers at McCalls that everyone will want—even people who do not costume. M2081 Notched is about the grandest men’s overcoat you will ever see. It comes in sizes MWW 38-44, and MQQ 46-52, a pretty broad range of sizes. It’s rated at the intermediate skill level, only because they do not ask you to pad stitch the lapels, a technique that would bring this design more gravitas, make it a legacy coat, and put it into the advanced category. However, pad stitching and good hair canvas interfacing is highly recommended.
A quick search of the big three pattern companies reveals a dearth of men’s patterns, and no overcoats. This pattern will serve your Victorian outerwear needs quite well, and yet it’s so timeless you will be able to make a dashing entrance in it all winter in everyday life, and no one will know you are in costume. Seriously, as ZZ Top said, every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp-dressed man—and this overcoat is ever so sharp. Keep hankies embroidered with your initials on the pocket to lend to the less posh and less prepared men and women around you on a cold sniffle-filled day. Make it interesting and embroider your phone number on them too. Who could resist calling to return the hankie? Dr. Jekyll, Crimson Peak, Dickens, and anything steam punk, are well served by this pattern.
The tips on this envelope are hints for sewing with wool and velvet. They are pretty generic and would leave anyone who actually needs these tips without much help. No suggestions as to type of wool or velvet are included. For wool fabrics, they mention the use of steam, but do not mention a clapper, or how to shape the pieces with steam. Wool melton or Donegal tweed would be fabulous choices. Anyone who has worked with these will tell you it is a heavenly, magical experience. Real wool. Not polyester. It’s worth it. I’d also offer Harris tweed as a fabulous option, but I think it is possibly too narrow in width for this project.
On the velvet hints, they address everything but how to press it. A needle board is the best pressing aid, but a bulky terrycloth towel can also be pressed into service as well. This serves to keep the nap from being pressed flat, which will make you cry rivers if it happens because it really can’t be undone. Lightly press from the wrong side only, with the nap resting on the needle board or terry towel. Personally, if you want velvet for this project I’d avoid silk or rayon, which are very hard to work with—and will need underlining to support them so the coat will not look like a limp bathrobe. Cotton velvet or velveteen, which is generally firmer and more forgiving, is a better choice.
Cosplay my McCalls M 2081 OBI: GADO is a woman’s lined kimono, with variations (sleeves, detached sleeves, or none), under shirt (juban) and 2 obi options. There is only one sleeve shape, so this would need to be altered for use as a man’s kimono. The size sets are B5 8-16, and F5 16-24.
The pattern, though pretty accurate in overall shape, has some fun little options, such as detachable sleeves that are worn with the aid of elastic armbands, not unlike ballet sleeve poufs. The pieces are graded for size, with the largest back width being a little over 14” on the size 8-16 size set.
Of course, the kimono has long been the canvas for fiberartists because of the basic square shape of the garment. A lack of shaping seams or darts make quilting, dying, shibori, embroidery, trapunto—anything you could do on a quilt, or the like, work well on a kimono—and you get to wear it. Sized for western bodies, this is a great choice for costuming many anime characters, as a canvas for textile art, a fun wrap top to wear with jeans, or just for kicking around the house
The Cosplay by McCalls patterns continue to provide great, adaptable pieces with large, durable envelopes that can also house your swatches, sketches and trim samples. They offer an inclusive size range so everyone can get in on the fun. Give them a try. You can get the entire collection of Cosplay by McCalls on their website at http://cosplay.mccall.com/cosplay-by-mccall-s-brand-collection-pages-5923.php