Saturday, April 22, 2017

Summer Steampunk Patterns from Simplicity and Cosplay by McCall's

Simplicity has two new steampunk patterns in their new collection.

Simplicity 8408 is a pattern for a man's shirt and two vests.    The shirt has two collar options: a band collar or wing style collar.  Other than that, it's a fairly plain shirt.

There are two styles of vests, as pictured on the front.  There's the long single-breasted one and the shorter double breasted vest.

Honestly I love everything about this pattern.  There really aren't enough men's steampunk patterns, although vest patterns are exactly rare.  But I like both vest looks and the shirt is a great addition to make this more than just another vest pattern.  The details on the vests with multiple pockets and nice collars all look nice.

Simplicity 8409 includes a bolero jacket and skirt, both with two variations.  

I'll admit on first looking at this, I wasn't very impressed.  It's a confusing look, especially the blue and red version.   But on studying the pattern a little closer, it's not that complicated.  The bolero jacket is nice, with some interesting details.  It's different from other steampunk boleros in other patterns at least.  (But I'd suggest wearing a shirt or corset or something under it. I don't think the bare skin look really works.)

And the long fringe on the one bolero style?  Well, it probably could work ok with the right outfit.  It'd be good for belly dancing.  But mostly I'm not in love with it.

The skirt comes in two lengths.  I naturally like the longer skirt much better, but that's really personal preference.  Although I'm not sure a really short skirt really screams "steampunk" but I'll try not to judge.  The corset-style belt is built into the skirt.  Obviously it's not actually a corset, just decorative, but I like it.  The skirt itself is made up of handkerchief style pieces, which is a neat look that would look very different in different fabrics.   The skirt would really be good for a casual steampunk look.

So although I wasn't super excited about this pattern on first glance, I'd say it's really kinda neat.  I don't like the way it's styled in the photos that well, with the bare midriff and clashing colors.  But I think it could look cool and be a good steampunk wardrobe addition.

I'll include a mention of Simplicity 8411 which is a version of the red dress from Outlander, obviously.  It's 18th century rather than 19th, but I figure some of y'all may be interested.  It's a pattern from American Duchess, which explains why it looks pretty nice.  The design isn't historically accurate, and I hated that bust in the show, but this is not a bad looking pattern.

In addition to the boned bodice (the pattern calls for cable ties!) and skirt, the pattern includes panniers, which could be very useful.  Maybe I just like panniers.

There are also a couple new Cosplay by McCall's patterns.  The first is Hat Madder which includes this skeleton mad hatter hat, bow tie, collar, and cuffs, and this flower/unicorn horm headpiece.

This pattern is freaking weird.  Just need to get that out there.  The mad hatter hat doesn't look very good in my opinion, mostly because the brim appears to have nothing to stiffen it, so it's just floppy all over the place.  It doesn't give the impression of a top hat so much as a trash can on top of a tortilla.  Like, I think this design could be neat, but it looks like someone tried it out and made a prototype and just said "meh, close enough."

The rest of the pattern is ok, and I like the weirdness of the unicorn horn thing, but I'm not sure any of it is really vital enough to require a $14 pattern.

Secondly there is Abigail by Anachronism in Action.  When I first looked at this pattern I said, well, it looks nice, but I have no idea what it's supposed to be.

The pattern is for a lined and boned vest/bodice, skirt, and petticoat.  From looking at the pattern it seems to be well-constructed.   But I remained confused as to exactly what period this outfit was supposed to represent, and neither the pattern envelope or the website really gave me much of a clue.

I had to go to Anachronism in Action's FB page to actually figure it out.  First she calls this a Renaissance-inspired outfit.  And then she also has an album of the outfit made up in a few different looks.  The album calls this a 16th century style.

So, great, mystery solved.  I can't really comment on the historical accuracy of this, since I don't know a great deal about 16th century costume.  But seeing some of the different renaissance festival stylings of this outfit makes me like it quite a bit more.  It could be a good option if you want a Renaissance outfit that doesn't look like everyone else's.

And I would say that if you're the kind of person who blends Renaissance and steampunk, this could be a good set to have in your closet.  I can picture either the skirt or the vest working with a steampunk outfit.


  1. Thank you! I always really enjoy your pattern reviews!

  2. Great review. I particularly enjoyed the single-breasted vests. The collars are great too.

    Might look really awesome with a pair of these: