Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hand Sewing

In between costume construction, I've tried to get a little hand sewing done. Once again, the Little Helper has to be in on it.

Mainly, though, because my vision is currently kind of messed up, I can't do this kind of sewing for long. Bummer.

Sewing the Genie

We spent three weeks at it, broke a sewing machine, and made lots of modifications, but DD summed it up well when she said, "This was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but I've learned so much!"

I agreed. The pattern really was much more complicated than I had anticipated, and it just didn't lend itself to the shortcuts that I had thought we could do. But it was fun working on it with DD, and she was justifiably proud of the end result!

 Here is the completed costume, minus the hat and veil. It was constructed out of hot pink costume satin with overlays of light pink organza. Gathering the organza for the sleeves and the bust overlay was a trying experience! The edges fray terribly, and the fabric is so crisp that it resists any gathers or pleats. Nonetheless, we fought through it and completed those parts.

The bodice and waistband are lined. I was going to skip this, but it became clear that lining was going to be the best way to contain the fraying edges of the organza and satin. I dipped into my stash of recycled fabrics from thrifted clothes, and so it is lined with purple silk! DD reports that it is soft and nice against the skin.

We modified the embellishments substantially: There are multiple overlays on the trousers asked for by the pattern, but we only added one on each leg. The bodice calls for fringe trim at the bottom, which would have been nice, but we didn't find anything suitable and just left it off.

We added a strip of sparkly fabric between the upper and lower sections of the bodice, and after it was all constructed, sewed on the gold sequin trim. Instead of making shoulder straps from the satin, we used ribbon.

The pattern calls for buttons to close the top and a zipper on the trousers, but we made velcro closures. Not sure if that really saved any time, though; I had to concoct a facing for the velcro in the trousers.

I liked the way this project was able to use up some of the trim in my stash! Glad to see it adding sparkle to this.

She made a lovely genie!

Halloween Wrap-up

I am long overdue reporting on the genie costume, how the sewing went, and Halloween in general. Here is the genie, flitting by:

The costume was fabulous, and the weather cooperated enough that she was able to wear it (with long underwear beneath the trousers!) with only a coat draped over her shoulders while walking. A complete report on the construction will follow in another post. It took a long time, perhaps because of the continued assistance of our eager helper:
Her penchant for pulling out pins was not helpful.

Finishing details were delayed in the week before Halloween because of the necessity of creating this monster:

The skeleton creature had to be ready in time to appear in the school's Haunted Hallway during the Halloween festival. I made the mask out of papier mache, made the hood out of a thrifted black skirt, and supplied some black sweats, also thrifted. It was topped off with an old graduation robe, probably one of the handiest garments to keep in your dress-up closet. Reports were that the skeleton terrified every single kid who came through the hall!

We then hung it on a lamp in the living room, where it continued to terrify us, especially late at night ...