Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Halloween (slightly late!)

So, its a little late for my Halloween costume dramas, but never mind. This year I was determined to make better costumes than normal due to having a working sewing machine, last year I had only just bought it and about 3 hours of battling with inexplicable tension and thread tangling issues and trying to sew difficult fabric left me seriously drained and I didn't touch the thing for months afterwards! This year after weeks of consideration, I decided to be a scary weeping angel from Dr Who (scaring myself slightly just at the thought of it!). I had also in a reckless moment suggested I could make my flatmate Lindseys's foxy Maid Marian from Disney's Robin Hood dress.

So far so good, I had had a look through my (already ridiculous-more on that later) pattern stash, and discovered that my Simplicity 9559 which I had though was a bit of an error was actually perfect for both costumes, with a few alterations (lower neck on Lindsey's, much baggier on mine, both floor length). We went to the shop and bought some nice lilac cotton and fur, and were a bit stuck due to the lack of availability of light grey until Lindsey remembered she had some old sheets she was going to throw out and I could just dye one-perfect!

Then the drama began, Firstly I proved that my understanding of fabric dye is very limited. I tried some black dye on the sheet, aiming to take it out too quickly to get grey. This did not work, it quickly became clear that the sheets were a) too dark after about 30 seconds, and b) more blue than grey. FAIL. I congratulated myself on having only dyed one and decided that the colour was actually quite nice and I would just make it into something else later.

So next day, I reasoned that as I wasn't going to be wearing this again, or washing it, I could try some paint I had instead, SUCCESS! I got an off grey with artistic and helpful smudges on it.

I also then made myself some wings (structure) by cutting out two double wing with back bit shapes out of some really big bits of card that my friend Aaron gave me years ago when he moved, and stapled them together slightly held apart with bubble wrap so that they would stand out from my back. I then stapled on some canvas straps to hold them on, and added some additional "wingy" shape with more bubble wrap.

Now being slightly cocky, I then decided that once I'd tissue fitted Lindsey's bodice, I'd pretty much done everything and the actual sewing could be done on the day. This was not very clever of me.

So the day comes and I (after mooching about and wasting most of the day) start Lindsey's dress about 4pm (for a party staring at 9...hmm). Its all going fairly well, until we try the bodice on and the darts are all wonky. Great. so I fix them as best I can and quickly start to realise that the I've not left nearly enough time to finish hers let alone mine, so all interior finishing goes immediately out of the window, along with skirt fittings etc. I sew like a madmen (failing miserably to hide my panic from Lindsey who is making her ears) and throw the thing together (including almost 20 min unpicking the skirt side seam I've sewn inside out-definitely a case of more haste less speed!) and miraculously it all looks pretty good! . Together with her great furry ears, hastily hemmed veil and AMAZING makeup she looked incredible!

So that's great, only by now its about half 7, my costume is still a pair of stapled together wings covered in tape and a painted sheet and I'm panicking! Luckily during the mad sewing I've decided to not bother with any darts on mine, just make it baggy, and make the skirt a wrap to avoid any further side seam drama! So I chop out a massive bodice and sew the thing together. Then whilst my friend Anna used the machine to put her  wasp costume together I did the world's quickest and worst single layer printer paper paper mache job on the wings so that I could paint over the tape. half and hour in the airing cupboard was followed by the worst ever paint job (seriously it looked like a 5 year old had done it!). Then all that was needed was for Anna and Lindsey to attack the wings with a hair dryer whilst I covered myself in body paint and toxic hairspray (thanks guys for all your help-I couldn't have done it without you!)
Here is me doing my scary angel attack.

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