Category Archives: Tips and Tutorials

Tutorial: Hand-dyed lace details

How to hand dye lace and make easy accessoriesWe love lace! Not only is this fabric beautiful on its own; it’s a costumer’s best friend when it comes to adding detail and design interest. If you need the look of embroidery but don’t have an embroidery machine or the time and inclination to do it by hand, a carefully-selected lace motif can fill the gap. Or use it for trim, overlays, or cutout details on a bodice, hem, collar, anything you can think of. It can even be used alone to make delicate accessories.

Although most laces are only available in white or a handful of colors, you can dye the lace yourself to achieve any color or combination of colors you may want. And if you just need a few pieces for small details, you can spot dye them instead of making up a whole pot of dye. This also gives you more control over where the dye is placed, so you can dye specific areas in different colors, almost like painting. To make it extra easy, our Cosplay by McCall’s designer created this tutorial to take you through it step by step. And stick around for a simple, pretty accessory project at the end!

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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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