Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring Sewing Patterns!

McCall's has just released their spring patterns, which include this steampunk offering;

 Have to admit, my first impression was not great. Mostly because I think the example dress is terrible, from the materials to the quality of construction. I'll admit I hate pastels, so someone else may feel differently.  The underskirt is pretty boring and steampunk-standard.  I really love the back of the jacket, but the weird front that seems to be trying to do a 1910's style looks really odd to me.  Of course the bustle cage is cool, but I wonder how practical it is, attached only at the waist.  The ruffles are apparently "raw edge finish" which I personally dislike because so few fabrics really look good that way.  It also feels lazy in a pattern, IMO.

Butterick has released this Downtown Abbey-esque pattern, which I feel a bit "meh" about.

Again it could just be an unimpressive sample dress.  But I feel like there are better patterns out for this period.

Vogue has this interesting dress, which I feel could be a good base for casual steampunk.

Simplicity has a couple interesting offerings.

They seem to be making a more serious attempt at a real corset pattern.  The front of the pattern tells you all the details of their corset that are good.  Like steel boning and busk and back lacing.  They include different cup sizes, but apparently some only have boning going to the underbust?  But both drawings appear to be a cupped corset with no boning in the cups?  I'm confused.

But okay, the cups might actually be useful for a cupped corset.  But the corset still appears to mostly just stop at the waist.  The actual photos look better than the line drawings, which look like bustiers.  But there's still not much waist-to-hip curve, which means anyone with natural curve will find this uncomfortable or won't actually get any waist cinching.  Plus it's very short, so really more appropriate as the top of a dress, as it's shown here.

I don't know.  This might be fun to play with, but I think it would require a lot of modification before really being good.  I also wonder if they've stopped adding ease to corset patterns yet.  If not, you'd still need to automatically go down two sizes from what their chart recommends.

Finally, Simplicity has this AWESOME vintage dress pattern.  I swear one of these months I'm going to make myself a 50's dress and I keep changing my mind about which pattern I will use.  Not steampunk, of course, but still.  Plus, plus sizes!

ETA:  As pointed out in the comments, Simplicity also has pattern 1392, which is for steampunk doll clothes!

  They also have a free tutorial for making goggles and a fascinator to go with your doll. I'm not a doll person, but these are really cute!


  1. I'm not sure how I feel about the exposed cage, it looks really unfinished. I also think the treatment of the front is kind of weird, like how the peplum becomes elongated and tapers downward. It seems that between 7071 and 7140, McCall's designers just didn't know what to do with the front of the dresses, they put all this jazz in the back and then the front is really blah. But I'm happy that they at least try.

    I've always wanted a 50's dress with a shelf bust but I'm hesitant to use repro patterns. I'll have to keep my eye on this Simplicity and see how successful it is with other sewists. :)

  2. I could see doing something with an exposed cage or exposed bustle, but … this is not it. Given how decorated it is, it's clearly not an undergarment, but given how unfinished it is, it's clearly not an overgarment. I have seen some really cool stuff in goth, lolita, and steampunk that relied on a visible cage, and they didn't mess around with finishing the undergarment with beads and bows.

    Actually, the longer I look at it, the more it looks like they tried to hit Easter, Downton Abbey, and steampunk in one pattern, and it is a vile, unholy mess as a result. Doing the sample in different colors isn't going to make it look less like an Easter basket.

    The Vogue pattern is nice, though; if I hadn't already bought a slightly-vintagey-feeling McCalls for a cosplay coming up, I'd grab that one.

  3. Welcome back. I'm glad to see you are feeling better.

    It might--might, I said--be fun to throw a contest to see if anyone can mod M7140 into something interesting. It almost looks like a polonaise gone wrong. Re-integrating the poufs that make a polonaise, well, a polonaise, might be a start. I'm not honestly a fan of the exposed cage look, although I respect those who can pull it off.

    On a related note, did anyone notice Simplicity 1392?

  4. Mccalls 7140!watch the kids film the secret of Moonacre the main character wears this costume and it is stunning