Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Print Patterns on this Blog


I’ve had an usually high number of requests recently on how to print patterns from this blog.  I use Adobe to print.  I’ve tried some of the other PDF readers out there and have not been satisfied with the results.

Go into print, select poster, and print.  You will have to cut out the pieces and tape them together with this method.  I have also uploaded the files to local print shops when pressed for time and had them printed on wide format printers.  It’s usually about the price of a new pattern msrp. Most of the time I have enough leeway to spend the time cutting and taping.

how to print

This will give you a preview on the right of how it will look and how many pages it will print.  If you are on a mac, I’m sorry I really don’t have the experience to help you.

I draft all patterns at full size so they should print full size under Adobe.  Good luck and please keep the questions coming.  I answer more quickly if you put your questions in the comments under the post.  I’m having some technical difficulties with the email address associated with this blog.

Thank You!


Children’s Hooded Robe


Sorry for the extended absence.  2012 has been hard on a lot of families including our own.  My husband had an extended lay off and now has decided to be a foreign worker in Canada to support us, so hopefully I can get back on the ball now.  Effectively being a single parent to two little ones is an amazing change in my life and props to all the women raising children on their own out there.  I had no idea.

For patterns, I have a lot of ideas and I love getting requests.  If they are for kids, I don’t mind trying to put together free patterns and sharing them.  In August, someone requested the pattern for a hooded robe like I used on my kids Jedi costumes.  I’m horrified it took me so long to get to it.  I do a lot of side jobs and two of them sucked all my time this fall.  I finally finished it this morning.  Please let me know if you have any problems with it.  The hood is one size fits all because it pleats into the collar.   My kids have giant heads so it should work.

Here it is:

boys and girls robe

Anime Basics Patterns Preview


Here is a preview of the patterns under immediate development at this time.  The schedule has one pattern a week under development for the year.  There are over two dozen designs coming out with Steampunk having about half of the upcoming development.  The Steampunk patterns are more complex, please have patience while those are on the drawing board and stay tuned.

Today some of the patterns should be ready for pick up at Office Max.  They have a new upload site where you can send the files and apparently the bugs have not been worked out of it yet.  Fortunately for them, their in store personnel is fantastic and provides great customer service.  I will be using the patterns to do the mock ups for some of the upcoming anime designs and one of the goth designs.  When I get the kinks worked out of the patterns, they will be available on cd.  I’m just starting up, later this spring, I will put this business on Kickstarter to hopefully raise the funds to sell these patterns on paper.

The first pattern I’m working on for mock ups is the basic sailor uniform seen in numerous series.

Women's Sailors Suit

Preview of Women's Sailor Suit outfit

The final pattern cover may change slightly from this, I haven’t decided whether to puff the sleeves or if it will be a shirt to tuck in.   I’m not nearly as obsessed with Sailor Moon as I used to be.  (But did you know the manga is  about to be re-released with a more accurate translation? Also being released alongside a new edition of Sailor Venus?) I like the untucked look from that show, but few people have the midriff that merits showing off.  It might be the number of pictures taken where the photographer hasn’t waited for a good pose on the person wearing the outfit.  Supplies on hand dictate that the mockup will have a light blue plaid skirt with a dark blue collar.

When that is perfected, the next one on the list is the anime pin up.

Anime Pin Up

Anime Pin Up for Women

This one is very exciting.  A backless sailor halter with a full circle skirt gives a skimpy option for ladies wanting to look sexy.  The other provides the v-shaped waist line found in some series like Sailor Moon after they transform and some other fun options with the peek a boo shoulders and wide cuffs at the wrist.  These two patterns combined should give costumers the starting off point to mix and match pieces to create the Japanese school girl look that they are going for.

Also coming is this one for the tough women out there that want to look hot and be bad:

Ladies Thug

Muscle and short shorts

I’ve been reading too much Tu-LOVE-Ru.  I’m all about tails recently since the main character is pretty cute in that Manga.  Lala is a really awesome character, and all the girls are really cute.  (Of course that has nothing to do with this pattern, but I’m a pretty hard core geek.)  I think the design on the right would work really well with the sleeves from the anime pinup design.  I’m not sure where the fit dress shirt and shorts idea was inspired from or the main idea for the design on the left, but I really like them.  All of these are drawn in with knee socks and you will see that as a them in my designs.  Ravelry has many patterns for knee socks available if you enough of a masochist to knit them.  Otherwise, I highly recommend Sock Dreams for you knee sock needs.  I have tons of their socks and they are awesome and hold up well.

Lastly, I need an outfit for an upcoming con so I skipped ahead to a goth pattern to mock up for myself.

bustle skirt

Bustle Skirt and Corset

I love this bustle skirt.  I think it’s terribly awesome and cute.  Why is this under goth?  I really don’t have a better classification for it.  There are so many fantasy/sci-fi comics out there that have a dark and gothic theme to them.  I’ve created the goth category for those things that can be used across a pretty broad selection of other categories and have a gothic flare.  I have patterned the long sleeve shrug, but I’m not sure if I wouldn’t prefer to knit it.  There are quite a few patterns out there that could be altered to create this look, but I will be going for some fabric first.  10 years ago I made a goth wedding gown.  The bride wanted to be the image of a crow with Victorian influences.  This dress is very similar to the dress I designed for her without all the feathers.  She wore black wings with the corset and skirt and looked amazing.

This weekend I will be running Maggie Bruce Medieval and Fantasy Tailor (my costume sales) at the Calontir Crown Tournament in St Louis, MO.  I should have credit  card sales access up and going by then, I just signed up for Square.  I know my credit cards have been down for a while, but now they are back.


Body Shapers


Body Shapers are the best kept secret of Hollywood. Diets can make you crazy and generally don’t work. Stay healthy, be fit, but don’t kill yourself trying to be perfect. We are inundated every day with images of people who have personal trainers, live on lettuce, and can afford cosmetic surgery to get rid of flaws. Emotionally healthy people have other tools at their disposal to create the look they want to create. For hundreds of years, women and men have worn body shapers of different styles. When weight was gained, the weight would distribute according to the styles of the day and the restrictions they placed on the body. This can be seen now a days with the low rise jeans women wear. As they gain weight the weight distributes in the area of least resistance and they get “muffin top”. Fortunately, technology has advanced as well and we don’t have to apply daily shaping to get closer to what we want to do.

If you want a better looking costume, you can use this new generation of shapers to create a better image of what you want. One of the first keys of undergarments is creating a smooth surface that doesn’t detract from your clothing. A simple bra or panties can ruin an entire look. If you have on the wrong size bra you can create unflattering lines on your back, awkward cup action in the front and even spill over. The cup shape can drastically change the look of the outer garment. (We will address bra shapes in a future post however.) Panty lines can totally ruin a pair of pants. Shapers can address these problems however. A lightweight shorts type shaper can eradicate panty lines in an instant (but so can a thong). Shapers that cover the torso can control bra strap lines. If you have muffin top they make shapers that can cover and control the torso and smooth it towards the bottom. If you have no bottom, they make shapers with enhancements built in. The options are almost limitless.

It might seem like a radical step in your costuming, but a good body shaper is a worthwhile investment and will take you to the next level.

Here are some simple methods for purchasing the correct body shaper.

1. Have someone take pictures of you from a few different directions.

  1. Look at the costume you are recreating, analyze how your body differs. Do you need lift, a little more padding, a little more shaping like more waist?
  2. When you determine what you want to do decide which area of the body this is in. Different shaping garments are made for different distinct areas of the body. By determining which area of the body, you can narrow down your search dramatically.
  3. How much of a difference do you want to make. Do you want to smooth, take off inches, or add inches? If you want to take inches off your waist, you need a piece with firm control. If you only need to smooth your waist, you will need light control.
  4. Look for shapers that will not loose their shape over time. Better quality fabrics make for a better investment and longer wear.
  5. Avoid shapers with visible seams. Visible seams can show through clothing, especially many of the lightweight fabrics chosen for cosplay.
  6. Avoid shapers that are too tight. Firm control and tight are too different things. Discomfort, breathing difficulties and decreased circulation can hinder your ability to have fun and become the character of your costume.

So take some time, google “body shaper styles” and click on images, you will get a huge selection. Take your full figure and make it into something that will drive other women green with envy. You can do things with this technology that can’t be done with exercise and diet. Make your costume the best it can be and Good Luck!

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