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.
Few fabrics do “deep and mysterious” the way velvet does. The subtle luster and rich colors make it perfect for witchy, gothic looks like the two newest designs in the Cosplay by McCall’s collection, or for the regal garb of kings and nobles. Although not always the most beginner-friendly fabric, working with velvet doesn’t have to be painful either. And if drama is your thing, you’re going to want to learn to sew with it. So let’s talk about some of our favorite tips for getting the most from this tricky-but-rewarding fabric.
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.