Cosplay by McCall’s CARPATHIA Pattern Review

Carpathia is an advanced pattern from McCall’s cosplay collection. This pattern includes instructions and pieces to create a waist cincher and ‘neck corsets.’  I think I’ve seen this pattern before in other reincarnations from historical collections, but I’m willing to consider this since the pattern is different enough that it isn’t a copy. What sets this apart is the addition of seams that hug the hips as they protrude from the body. It’s an added detail that isn’t really necessary but for the sake of making this a unique pattern does its part. The neck corsets are an extra bonus. 

Here are the specs: 

Skill level: Advanced

Sizes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16

Pattern number: M2103

I’m going to get this review started by saying this pattern isn’t going to greatly minimize your waist but it certainly will give the illusion that you lost a few inches. I say this because McCall’s suggests using spiral steel but at the end of the day this is still waist cincher, which is a slimming design, not a garment that actually reduces your waist significantly. If you already have this pattern, what you could do, like I eventually did for Yuuko, is make the waist cincher as an over-garment(I used zip ties for the boning to save money) and wear a real corset with steel boning under your clothes as your first layer. This is an extra step in the changing process but the result is worth it if you have a corset on hand and just need something with a different design for cosplay purposes. There is potential to make this waist cincher fit tighter like a corset if you desire, but doing this will require some pattern modification since you’ll also want to make each panel slightly smaller so you can get the hourglass you want. McCall’s makes this easier since there is an entire step in the directions devoted to adjusting the waistline. McCall’s suggests purchasing a corset fitting aid to make it easier to adjust as you near completion. 

This pattern is listed as advanced because there are a lot of seams and panels to be dealt with, even though this isn’t a massive pattern like a jacket. From my own experience with similar patterns, I can say that this will be tedious and a little time consuming if this is your first time working with a corset/bodice pattern. The waist cincher is made up of 11 pattern pieces and you’ll also need steel boning, a corset fitting aid, eyelets, waist tape, and a stud busk. There are 29 steps to garment A, confirming that the cincher is one of the more time consuming patterns you’ll work on because of the various steps involved plus the adjusting necessary to get the fit you want. 

Once you create the cincher, the rest of the pattern is a breeze. The neck corsets use far less pattern pieces and only require zip ties or plastic boning. Neck corset C is my favorite from this pattern and I can see it being useful in a series like Tokyo Ghoul. While I’m not a huge fan of the waist cincher, this pattern offers lots of options for anyone looking to cover their neck. Corset C is slightly more difficult than neck corset B, but that’s because it covers more skin. If you’ve already made garment A, both B and C will be very simple and quick to sew. Corset C can also be used to attach to a dress or wear over one, if you need it for that purpose. If there is anything from this envelope I want to make, it’s the larger neck corset because the construction of it is sturdy and I like the shape it creates. 


*This item was provided for review.

About The Author

Elizabeth Lotto

Elizabeth is an avid reader of manga and enjoys attending conventions in cosplay. Please follow me on social media to keep up with my latest reviews and cosplay progress.