Red Reign is a pattern that creates an outfit. It’s different from other patterns because it’s not just one design that serves as a base for variations created by switching out a few pattern pieces. In this envelope you get a skirt, hoop, jacket, and corset. You can choose to wear them together or build them for other projects. There’s no reason you wouldn’t have use for at least one pattern in this design.
Here are the specs:
Skill level: Intermediate
Sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12
Pattern number: M2091
As usual, the COSPLAY by McCALL’S line has patterns printed on a thicker paper with blue ink which should make it easier for those who want to trace their patterns onto tissue paper. The directions are easy to follow. Since this package has three garments to make, there are a lot of directions, but you don’t have to worry about following hundreds of steps. These directions are easy to follow and can even give you a few new skills if you’re a beginner pushing yourself into more advanced patterns.
If you follow the directions closely, this pattern will cost you. McCall’s encourages the use of synthetic suede, lace, twill, stretch knits, silk, rayon, mesh, and brocade. This means you’ll need to have a variety of needles ready for the different textures. If you’re using fabrics with metallic thread in it, you’ll need to switch needles often since metallic thread dulls needle points. Basically, be prepared to cough out some dough. If you don’t want to use fancy fabrics, or want to use the corset or skirt for something else, have fun. You’ll still get the same design but without the fancy textures and skinnier wallet.
This pattern has a lot going on for it – the skirt and hoop will certainly be useful for some cosplayers or lolita goths. This skirt combined with the hoop could make for a wonderful petticoat if you switched the fabrics and ruffled a whole bunch of tulle to hang over the hoop instead of a simple skirt as shown on the model. I really like that McCall’s has been introducing patterns with skirts that can be used as underclothes for much grander outfits.
The corset has a solid design, too, that can be used for a multitude of creations. The pattern even calls for steel boning instead of the standard, flexible sew on boning that many bodice patterns call for. While I don’t see any waist reduction in the model, that could be because McCall’s chose to have her wear the corset for aesthetics. With the right back lacing and a flap of fabric this corset could be used for some waist reduction; however, you’ll have difficulty getting in and out unless you add in a hook and eye closure to the front. This corset needs some modification if you want to shrink your waist.
Finally, we have the asymmetrical bolero jacket that has a strip of lacing up the back for some reason – I guess to match the lacing of the corset. This is the piece I am least enthusiastic for. I hate asymmetrical designs and I feel like if you have one bolero pattern, you have them all. This seems like an exaggerated version of the Rove pattern mixed up with some changes. I would probably like this jacket better if it were symmetrical, but I suppose any skilled person could just modify the pattern to their liking.
COSPLAY by McCALL’S Red Reign is actually a good set for anyone who doesn’t have a corset, bolero jacket, and hoop skirt pattern already. I say this because you get three very different garments in one package that can be used for a lot of different outfits. I highly encourage people who are building up their collection to get Red Reign. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you have years worth of patterns, you don’t really need this. I’ve seen all of these designs before, and some of them definitely feel like slightly different designs we’ve seen in earlier COSPLAY by McCALL’S releases.
*This item was provided for review.