Sunday, October 23, 2011

Costume Sewing and McCalls 5954

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you all left me about the rabbit dress that I made my little friend. I’m very impressed with my NY stash additions as well. So much so that four pieces were washed and are in rotation for upcoming garments. One piece is done and I will blog about it soon so stay tuned. Tiny, in my last post you asked me if I made my labels. The answer to your question is no. I purchase my labels from Namemaker.

I’ve made my final decision on the lace for the skirt project. It will be in the works soon, but I have a few things I need to finish up first. A co-worker asked me to make her daughter’s costume for Halloween. The costume is Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Picture is courtesy of www.chasing-fireflies.com

I used McCall 5954. I started on this project last weekend and worked on it this past week to deliver it this past Friday. 22 plus hours of work later and that's with a day job that's very demanding. I delivered a finished costume to a very happy mother. This project and I mean project took some planning and shopping for trim, because let me tell you, this project was not a walk in the park and there were a few scary moments. Below is a mini diary of my escapade. I hope you enjoy.

On Thursday (Oct 13th) the Mother tells me oh, my daughter is in a contest next weekend and we have stuff planned for her the following weekend. I think to myself (OH Sh.., she finally brought me the fabric last week and I haven't started this project yet. OMG!!!) Nothing like her telling me at the last minute that I didn't have another week to get this baby done. Hello!!! (Why did I take this project on? Project Runway here I come.)

Thursday night I started cutting fabric and did the markings.

Friday at lunch I started basting the bodice during lunch, so far every things looks pretty good. I also used Wonder Under for the first time. It's webbing that you attach to fabric if you want to make it an applique/iron-on. For those of you that don't know it, it's like stitch witchery or steam a seam, but it comes on a bolt like fabric. I’m not crazy about my client’s fabric choice, but hey, I didn’t buy the fabric. I feel that there should be some crushed velvet in here somewhere, it would make the costume look a little more richer and this kid would be a lot warmer. I’m trying to pace myself on this one because it’s so elaborate, but I also want to get it done. I want to work on my own stuff.

Tuesday ( Oct. 18) When I accepted this job, I knew that it would be time consuming and involved, but I didn’t realize how INVOLVED it would be. I sewed on Saturday morning for about 4 hours before I had to head over to my mother's and did some handwork over there in the middle of doing stuff for her. Sunday I did not sew anything. Took the day off to rest. I did go shopping at Joanns Saturday for a heart charm to make her choker. All I found were 2 fairly large red heart buttons. I think this will do with some Mod Podge and red glitter, the ideas are endless. Sunday I glittered the buttons. They look fantastic. My brain is flying all over the place. In the time it took me to make this costume, I could have made at least 3-4 new pieces of clothing for myself or a new blazer or coat, by now, and don’t let me get started about the sleeves and the painstaking slowness that I had to take to get them attached to the bodice. If you ever have to do sleeves for a 3 ½ year old, attach them flat. I followed the pattern directions and realized afterward that they don’t fit on the sleeve arm of my machine because they’re TOO SMALL/LITTLE. I can say that I was questioning my skills on getting this one done, and so far I haven’t had a problem. I guess I just needed to know that I could do it. Every time I look at this dress, I’m like Wow, I did that, and I’m loving the trim I picked out. It’s really made this costume. (Note to self, run over to Jomar and get some more of that trim, I need to incorporate it into a project for myself. I love it.)

Wednesday (Oct 19) Through trials and tribulations, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the hard stuff is done with not too much mishap. Last night I finished sewing the other sleeve on to the bodice and this one went on a bit quicker as I knew what I was doing. I also added the peplum. I have to say, this is some of my best work yet and I’m still amazed that I can do this. I’m still not use to sewing for others and it freaks me out a little bit. I’m always afraid that something will go wrong like getting grease stains on the white portion of the skirt while machine stitching on the hearts. Tide stick and baby wipes are a beautiful thing. I woke up this morning and the stains were gone. I almost had a heart attack just thinking that I might have to start part of this project over.

Thursday (Oct 20) Last night I sewed the back of the skirt on, attached the skirt to the bodice. That was not easy. With all the gathers in that skirt it was crazy trying to attach the skirt to the bodice and peplum Stitching it was not too hard. When I went to serge everything to make it look clean, that was another story. I thought at one point I broke my serger. The dag on fabric was just too thick and bulky. Bias tape is a beautiful thing. It hides things that you just don't want seen and can clean up a garment like nobody's business. I called my knitting students last night because I am going to need tonight to finish up this baby. This morning before I left the house I cut out the striped fabric for the choker a striped piece for the back of the collar, ironed on a piece of interfacing and sewed both pieces before walking out the door. When I talked to the mother earlier in the week, I told her I didn't need the striped fabric. She looked at me and asked, is there anyway you can fit it in anywhere on the costume. I don't want the fabric to go to waste. (Is she freaking crazy? I've been working on this costume till 12:30 every night this week. I'm holding my eyes open with toothpicks here. Oh, and did I tell you, Mr. D. hit a pot hole in the wildlife refuge near our house while riding his bike Tuesday night and flew over the handle bars? I had to clean him up when he made it home.)

Thursday night I installed the zipper to the dress. Did all the hemming and attached snaps to the collar and dress. I was going to add striped fabric to the hem of the dress per her agreement, but now looking at it, it would ruin the dress and since I'm the designer here, it's my show and I don't want this dress to look tacky. Also made ring to match choker. Every queen must have her accessories.

Friday, delivery of dress on schedule, my mini project runway is over and I'm exhausted, but I do have one happy customer/parent.

By the way, major shout outs and thank yous go to my girls Sheila and Cennetta for keeping me on track and sane this past week.

16 comments:

Valerie said...

The costume came out beautifully! Thank you for sharing it.

couturearts said...

WOW! Very impressive! Isn't costume sewing fun? I totally get into it every year. I'm on target to get my kids' costumes done by their first party on Friday.

Adelaide B said...

Nicely done!

KID, MD said...

Wow, it looks great!! Fabulous work!

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

It was worth every minute but I am so glad I don't sew for people.

Faye Lewis said...

Nice job Andrea.

Myra said...

Honey, you should be dusting your shoulder & patting yourself on the back! This is perfection in sewing & what it's all about, "creativity"! Great job & I truly know how you feel with it being over too! (glad it's done, but happy you did it!)

I'm really behind on my blog reading & just wanted to say I what a cute outfit for your small friend across the street, she really look like she loves it too!

Also, what a great sweater! I can definitely see why you have so many offers... It's a WINNER!! Love everything about!

I need to get my butt in gear...got a little burn out with my day job!!!! Congratulations unblemished well done!!!

Myra said...

GEEZ!!!!... I hate auto correct sometimes! I meant, Congratulations on projects well done!!!

Bonnie D. said...

Wow, that is IMPRESSIVE! Love it.

Rosie said...

Holy crapy girl friend this queen is a is a gorgeous queen! Fantastic job under pressure Andrea! Hats off to you!

Lisette M said...

Fantastic! You rock!

Cennetta said...

Girl!! Outstanding! The dress is beautiful.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That is amazing! I cannot believe you knocked that out so fast. There's no way it didn't win best costume.

Monique said...

Wow! You rock! This is great work.

SEWN said...

That costume is amazing! Great job!

fabricateandmira said...

What an adorable dress. You are a very good friend.

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