Author Archives: Gillian

Cosplay Sewing for Hot Weather

Fatale pattern from Ichigo Black for Cosplay by McCall's

The right costume makes you look cool even when it’s blazing out. Fatale pattern from Ichigo Black.

As we slog through some of the hottest days of the year, it’s hard to think about getting all dressed up. Sunny days may be great for the beach, but they’re definitely not ideal for wearing complicated multi-layered outfits. Sure, if your costume involves a swimsuit you’re all set, but that seriously limits your options. So what to do if your favorite convention lands smack in the middle of the summer heat? Do you have to sacrifice cosplay splendor in the name of comfort? Here are our best tips for keeping cool in costume.

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Working with Bias Binding

Power Brace cosplay sewing pattern from Seattle Cosplay for Cosplay by McCalls

Bias binding is used to finish most of the edges on the Power Brace pattern by Seattle Cosplay

If you pay attention to character designs in anime, games, and other animated media, you’ll probably notice a lot of bold, stark detailing at edges and seams. It’s a detail that tends to read well even in very simple art styles, and helps to create graphic, memorable looks. Depending on where and how these hard edges are depicted, you can replicate them on your costumes with applied trims like ribbon, braid, and cord; with piping, or with bias binding. Today we’re going to take a look at bias binding, which is the go-to way to create pieces with contrasting borders or outlines.

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Embellishment How-To: Corded Appliqué

Couched applique tutorial from Cosplay by McCall's

My favorite part of almost any costume is in the details. That may mean quilting, fabric manipulation, embroidery, appliqué, trims, or other techniques depending on the feel of the costume, but I always like to find some way to add texture, richness, and depth to each piece. Today I’m going to talk about a cording technique that’s been used on a few of the Cosplay by McCall’s patterns to give decorative appliqué a more dimensional look. You can see the effect in the sample above, which is a detail of the appliqué that our designer created for M2081.

This is a useful method if you have a little bit of a fancy brocade or tapestry fabric that you want to highlight but not enough to use it for the main fabric; if you want the look of large-scale embroidery without having to do it all by hand; or if you’ve found a great print, but it’s too lightweight or the wrong type of fabric for your project. The couched cord embellishments cover the edges of the appliqués, giving them a neat, finished look with a hand-worked effect. You can see how our designer used this corded appliqué technique on Cosplay by McCall’s patterns here and here, and read on for the full tutorial.

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