Vampire Costume Patterns

Dracula Costume

For those who want to sew a classic costume, vampire costume patterns are readily available. Most of them revolve around the standard high-collar Dracula cape, but there are some variations. If you're making the costume yourself, you can add your own variations to vamp it up.

Vampire Chic Patterns

The top sewing pattern companies like Butterick, McCalls and Simplicity, all offer something in the way of vampire costumes, although you may not be able to access the full collection year-round.

Butterick has a "vampiress" pattern that is paired with a "Miss Maid" French maid costume. Both are sexy. This is an old-school female vampire costume with an off-the-shoulder dress in long, uneven sleeves and a long skirt in an uneven hem that you can cut well up to the thigh. For male vampires, you can get a Dracula costume for adults or kids. The pattern includes pieces for the long, lined cape with bow tie, a loose vest and tapered trousers.

McCall's has a fancier men's vampire costume pattern. It includes a cape, jabot, vest and shirt for an 18th-century look. Instead of sticking to the standard black and red, choose an embroidered fabric for the vest and include colors like purple (if it's Dracula, he is a count, after all).

Simplicity's vampire costume is also just for men. It comes with an array of patterns for other costumes. Its cape is shorter and instead of a vest, the costume features a high sash.

From Dracula to Modern Vampire Looks

Except for small children, most people who want vampire costume patterns these days want to go for something a bit more scary or sexy. Vampires in the Twilight or True Blood series don't tend to wear distinctive costumes. Even many of the vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer don't have a specific look, with a few exceptions. If you wanted to be the insane female vampire Drusilla, for example, you could use a costume pattern for a basic empire-waisted gown from the 18th century and combine it with long brown hair and vampire makeup. Drusilla works best paired with a Spike. If you can't find a long black coat to distinguish Spike, a pattern for a Matrix coat will do just as well.

Many professional seamstresses and Cosplay addicts will post their patterns online after an event. A costume lover posted pictures and instructions for creating a Lucy Westenra costume on Threads magazine site. She used a vintage white wedding dress and made an elaborate headpiece. Many pieces were stitched from different patterns she had on hand. This is a useful note for any would-be vampire. If you have a particular look in mind, don't confine yourself to hunting just one pattern. You can usually pull it together with bits and pieces.

Furthermore, "real" vampires don't wear anything standardized! That said, a very common look, especially for female vampires, is a Gothic Victorian or even Renaissance look. You can add features such as a high collar or cape to distinguish yourself beyond the required white makeup and black-lined eyes. Basic cape patterns are easy to find for free or at low cost. The Costumer's Manifesto has some instructions for making simple capes. If you just want the high collar, you don't even need a pattern. You can just trace a design on cardboard, cut it out and then cover it in the fabric of your choice. Be aware, however, that a full cape requires a lot of fabric to have a satisfactory swish and lie nicely, so while it can be simple, it is not necessarily an inexpensive item, especially if you want to line it in a contrasting color.

Some Final Tips

Finally, be aware that many vampire costumes are either distressed or blood-spattered. If this is the look you wish to have, you might prefer to acquire the bulk of your costume from thrift shops and piece it together that way, as the application of blood will usually stain permanently. Add makeup of your choice and fangs if you like, and go to town!

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Vampire Costume Patterns