The McCalls Cosplay debut patterns, first in a fabulous line of expressive clothing patterns, are staple pieces for any cosplayer. Certainly there was a great deal of research involved with the production of this line, right down to the packaging. Lovely, inspiring photography replaces the usual, and sometimes questionable covers of the big pattern companies, but that is really just flavor text tricking out some seriously sturdy, oversized pattern envelopes. Gone is the struggle to stuff the cut pattern pieces back into the impossibly small, flimsy envelopes—and to be sure, we all keep and reuse good patterns. These have room to spare. You could keep swatches, your own sketches, photo documentation, even buttons and trim neatly tucked all together in one package. This is a huge help for costumers and cosplayers, all of whom struggle with storage, no matter if their work space is the kitchen table, or a luxurious separate studio. Don’t we all have that shredded pattern we love to use as a base that fell apart so much we had to resort to using a manila envelope to store it in? We had to write the pattern number on it and maybe draw what it is on the front so we can find it again. I wish all patterns were packaged like this.
Inside the patterns you will find helpful tips—the cosplay tutorial—for novice costumers and cosplayers (or perhaps even advanced cosplayers unfamiliar with a particular item). The materials list for the wings even calls for a wire hanger—a tried and true material, near and dear to all of us. Why does this matter? It matters because it means that McCalls understands stagecraft and costuming, and went with the staple item that works. It means they know the end use of their product. The vaguely Shadowalker/Neo/Final Fantasy/Vash the Stampede trench coat’s tutorial talks about how to work with pleather: very valuable to anyone who has never worked with it—and even more valuable to know that there may be issues before you begin to work with it. How considerate of them! McCalls cosplay patterns will also help you venture out to the costumer’s other “fabric store:”
The hardware store. Floor underlayment, hinges, duct tape, all figure prominently, as they should. The resulting costume will fit right in with the rest of cosplay construction techniques.
There are also clear instructions—not only on how to assemble the garment, but assemble it nicely, with sewing steps like edgestitching, often omitted in costume assembly instructions but yielding a far more professional result. There are also tips on how to get the best finish—like how to get a nice sharp corner in the edge of a jacket. These are the kinds of things that will make your work look far more professional—things that will make you a better and more refined sewer.
One might ask, “Why do you need special patterns. Why not just use fashion patterns?” Looking at the pattern pieces, they are not the usual fashion shapes. The Cosplay cloak is not the same as the Kinsale, and will result in a very different silhouette that looks a lot more “Game of Thrones” or Tolkien elf than the Kinsale, or any other you may find in the fashion section of the pattern books. The trench coat has details and a basic shape that is not found in other trench coats. As for the wings, well, what better way to learn to do wings, than with a tested pattern with step-by-step instructions? As for the garment range, the patterns were thoughtfully chosen for their adaptability. Trenchcoat, wings, and cloak: Three of the most basic and useful items in cosplay. Looking for more? Well your wish is granted. More is coming soon!
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