Simplicity "Outlander" cosplay sewing patterns ..... by ME!
Last year Simplicity contacted me to do a promotion. I pitched them the idea of doing some historical patterns and they said they were working on a whole new Cosplay category, and that they'd like to include something inspired by "Outlander." I jumped at the chance and submitted several designs for jackets, gowns, and underpinnings.
With the restrictions on the patterns - things like tissue size and complexity/length of instructions - we came up with two pattern packets that work together: the underpinnings packet with a chemise, bum pad, and stays; and the ensemble packet with a gown, petticoat, bodice, and stomacher.
|My original drawings for the patterns, with ideas on how to share pieces and get the most out of the limited pattern tissue and instruction sheet space.|
Additionally, all of these patterns had to be designed for beginning sewists, easily made using a sewing machine, from materials and notions readily available from chain fabric stores like JoAnns. This is where modern construction with bag linings, application of metal grommets, top stitching, etc. came in.
While these patterns are "just" costume patterns from one of the Big 4, hidden in the tissue paper folds are the makings of a historically accurate ensemble. I referenced all our favorite sources - Janet Arnold, Costume Close-Up, The Cut of Women's Clothes, Jean Hunnisett- and looked at myriad extant garments from the 1740s and merged that information with Terry Dresbach's original designs for "Outlander" season 1. What I came up with was a very basic Italian gown (sometimes called quarter-backed) with a single piece sleeve darted at the elbow, laced over a stomacher in front. The gown and/or bodice is designed to be worn over stays, which are of the more conical shape of the 1740s.
So now what? Now it's time to "HACK" these patterns. What do I mean by that?
I mean that here starts a blog series that will show you various techniques that you can use to take these patterns to the next level. Such as:
- Hand-stitched eyelets instead of metal grommets
- Creating robings and closing the bodice with pins
- Interior lacing, buttons, and other bodice closures
- Drafting and applying a 1740s winged cuff
- Redrawing bodice seams and stays boning patterns
- Drafting skirting for the bodice, to create a jacket
- Extending the front edges for a center front closure
- Setting sleeves with the 18th century method
- 18th c. hand stitching techniques for finishing edges and sewing seams
- Fitting through the side back seams the mantua maker's way
- Proper silhouette through bum pads, petticoats, and more petticoats
- Binding and facing the stays with chamois leather
- Proper materials - wool, linen, cotton, silk
- How the heck to get dressed
And plenty more. I have a huge list. It's going to be great!
In the meantime, go and hassle your local Joanns to get those Summer catalogs out and the patterns in the drawers so you can purchase them, and stay tuned for the first installment of "How to Hack the Simplicity Outlander Patterns."