Halloween is coming fast, and if you’re the type to sew your own costume, now’s the time to start! We took a look at the different pattern companies and found a lot of ideas for easy cosplay costumes. Of course you don’t need to use these specifically for cosplay, but with a few changes they would make a costume that’s perfect for Halloween.
Just a note: We usually like to include a focus on independent pattern companies, rather than focusing on the main companies that you can find at the major sewing stores. However, most of those companies focus on modern, everyday garments, so when looking at costume patterns it’s necessary to look at the big companies (and a few others), as the smaller, indie companies don’t usually have costume-specific patterns. Of course, you can always turn to them to look at putting together costume pieces for modern characters (and as a bonus, you can rewear those garments after Halloween!).
Simplicity costume patterns are a great resource if you’re looking for fun, intricate fantasy/sci-fi costumes that probably aren’t historically accurate. They also have a lot of licensed costumes, so if you want to look just like a specific character, check them out. One of the neat things they have going on right now is alternate-era takes on beloved characters, like 1930’s style Snow White (oh, do I ever wish I had the body for that dress!) and Rockabilly DC Superheroines.
McCall’s costume patterns have a similar faux-historical/fantasy/sci-fi vibe. They’ve also partnered with cosplayer Yaya Han to produce a series of cosplay patterns that are meant to act as bases for creating more specific characters. If you can’t find exactly the character you want, check out the Yaya Han patterns to see if there’s something you can hack or alter to make the perfect costume.
This is not to say that Simplicity and McCall’s don’t carry historically-accurate patterns, but it’s not their focus. Butterick, on the other hand, does carry a range of costume patterns, many of which are quite accurate (or at least as much as they can be when working with modern bodies). The historical patterns go as far back as medieval times, but really focus on the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. If you’re a history buff, you’ll have fun looking through the Butterick costume patterns.
If you love historical garb and accurate traditional ethnic garments, you’ll want to look at Folkwear patterns. They’re based on authentic vintage and ethnic patterns, so they’re very accurate, and they’re fun to make and wear.
BurdaStyle is a great resource for costume sewing as well. They have some costume patterns, but more importantly they have a wide range of patterns in every style you can imagine that can be tweaked and hacked to make exactly what you need.
Of course, if the 20th century is your jam, you can always look for vintage or faux-vintage patterns to sew up for your look. Check out Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book for a collection of ’50s-style looks with modern patterning techniques. Or pick up The Unoffical Downton Abbey Sews, filled with garment, accessories and home-dec patterns inspired by the beloved TV series.
There are a lot of great options out there for costume sewing! Who or what are you going to be?
Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!