Thursday, October 23, 2014

gracie the vampire - part 3: the jacket

In case you missed it ... 
gracie the vampire - part 1: the dress
gracie the vampire - part 2: the slip

And now for part 3 - and I promise it's not boring like part 2 :)

Now that Gracie has a dress and a slip, she needs the next layer, which is the jacket.  Normally, this layer could also be made as part of the dress, but as I explained in part 2, Gracie needs to be able to wear the dress by itself for a couple of Halloween events where a jacket would quite simply be impractical.  Although, I'm not sure there is ever a circumstance where I can call this particular jacket "practical" :)


I drafted the pattern for this jacket based on the bodice for the dress in part 1.  I added a v-front and removed the vampire-ish collar, and I added about 1/2" to both the front and back around the armholes so the jacket would fit comfortably over the dress.  Then I drew up an elbow-length, gathered, high cap sleeve pattern and attached a half circle "skirt" for the bottom portion of the sleeve.  The skirt part of the jacket came entirely from my imagination, and I'm not sure how it even worked out correctly.  I guess fifteen years of sewing with lots of pattern modifications along the way really does come in handy ;)


The sleeves were actually kind of fun to make, although they took way more fabric than I would have thought!  I really should have taken a picture before I sewed them into the jacket, because they looked big enough for an adult's coat :)  But in the end, it was exactly the look I was going for ... you know ... the way over the top, my mom is totally crazy to have spent that much time on a Halloween costume look!


I wanted the skirt to have a lot of volume, but I didn't have a ton of fabric.  I originally bought three yards of the red satin and told myself I wasn't allowed to use any more than that :)  So I decided to cut the lining to the shape I wanted for the final look and use a combination of gathering and pleating to create a modified bubble skirt for the outer layer.  I knew that the satin with the flocked layer on top would have enough body to add the fullness I wanted without a ton of extra fabric.  Okay, if I'm being honest here, I didn't really "know" that it would have enough volume, but I hoped that it would, because I wasn't about to go back to Joann's to buy more fabric in additional to the 15 yards I already bought for this project!


For the final touches I added a velvet & satin trim along the v-front and around the neckline, and I used a frog closure right along the waistline.  I'm not sure that it really needs the closure, but I like the way it looks, so it's there to stay :)  And I already had to attach it a couple different times since I managed to put it on both upside down and sideways before I finally got it right.  There is probably a lesson to be found somewhere about not sewing after midnight, but since I'm pretty sure I'll be up again that late tonight, I don't think I've learned it yet!


Materials:
Everything is from Joann's
Jacket - Red costume satin
Overlay - Black flocked rose print
Lining - Red sateen
Velvet & satin ribbon trim
Dritz frog closure

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

gracie the vampire - part 2: the slip

In case you missed it ... gracie the vampire - part 1: the dress

and what comes next ... gracie the vampire - part 3: the jacket

And now for part 2!  Just a little disclaimer - I realize this is quite possibly the most boring thing I've sewn on this blog, but it is how I spent my hour (or perhaps a bit more!) for Kids Clothes Week yesterday so I'm sharing anyway :)

I would have loved to incorporate the fullness right into Gracie's vampire dress rather than making a separate slip.  But unfortunately, Gracie has a couple of Halloween parties that would make a bulky dress quite unmanageable, so I decided to sew a slip that can be easily removed.  Honestly, I would have skipped it altogether, but Gracie wanted a fuller dress, and how could I possibly say no to that adorable face :)  Just so you know, there really isn't anything special about this slip, so if you continue reading this post hoping for something more interesting or earth shattering, don't bother!  And if you do keep reading, remember that I warned you :)


I didn't need a pattern for this slip since it's just rectangles sewn together and gathered with cased elastic.  I didn't think it was necessary to make anything more complicated than that for a costume!  The netting fabric I used has just the right amount of stiffness (with two layers) to provide fullness without too much weight, but unfortunately, it's incredibly pokey on the ends.  If you accidentally brush up against a cut end, it feels like someone is jabbing you with a bunch of tiny thorns.  Really not the sensation I was going for!  So, to save myself from having the whiniest vampire on the block, I lined the waistband and the inside of the skirt with the same black satin that I used for the dress :) 


Materials:
Everything is from Joann's
Outer - Black Netting
Lining/Waistband - Black costume satin

And, if you got this far all I have to say is I told you it was boring!  Maybe next time you will listen ;)

Monday, October 20, 2014

gracie the vampire - part 1: the dress

Edited to add links for the rest of the costume:
gracie the vampire - part 2: the slip
gracie the vampire - part 3: the jacket

I'm sure most of you already know, but this week is Kids Clothes Week.  Usually I like to sew along, but the last couple of times I haven't exactly dedicated an hour a day.  I guess I kind of figure that since I sew for my kids all year long (often for hours at a time!) I've probably made my quota for Kids Sewing Week for the next few years or so :)  Anyway, the theme for this season is Storybook, but I am leaning towards a slightly different theme - I call it "Gracie needs her Halloween costume by Saturday, so I'd better get sewing."  It's real catchy sounding, isn't it ;)

This year Gracie wants to be a vampire, but not just any vampire, more specifically a "I found it in a catalog and I'm sure my mom has $200 to spend on a costume that will only be worn twice" kind of vampire :)  So, like any other mom that sews, when my kids give me that sad puppy dog face, I hear the words "sure, I can make that" and immediately wonder who said it, until I realize it was me!  And unless I want to be "the worst mom in the whole entire world and even the moon" I'm going to have to sew that costume :) The problem is, once I commit to sewing a costume, I go nuts, both literally and figuratively speaking.  I go totally overboard with planning, buying and sewing until it consumes all of my time and sleep deprivation sets in.  Not to mention, my house (due to sheer neglect) ends up looking like a bomb went off.  I just figure if any adults give my house the side-eye while trick-or-treating with their kids, I can very creatively explain how we decorated our house as a disaster zone this year :)


Now before you say that the costume doesn't look very complicated, take a look at the title of this part and make note of the part 1.  Because this costume comes complete with parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well!  And yes, this costume is absolutely going to consume the entire week on the blog, so if you don't want to see a vampire costume one piece at a time, I'll see you next week :)

The bodice of this dress is self drafted.  It took two muslins to get the right shape, and if it was anything other than a Halloween costume, I probably would have done a third.  But even I'm not nuts enough to do three muslins for a Halloween costume.  My limit is definitely two ;)  I had never drafted a stand up collar that was integrated into the bodice rather than being a separate pattern piece, so that was an interesting challenge.  In fact, the final shape of the bodice pattern almost seems counter intuitive, but it really does fit perfectly and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!  I promise I will have pictures of Gracie wearing the costume in part 5 ... stay tuned!

I thought the drafting would be the complicated part, but it turns out the construction was worse.  I hate working with costume satin in the first place since it frays badly and shifts all over the place while sewing (even with a walking foot!)  But add in a slightly stretchy tulle overlay and it becomes a nightmare.  I couldn't even guess how many times I had to change the settings on both my sewing machine and serger to accommodate the satin on it's own, the tulle on it's own, or the two fabrics together, all of which required different settings.  Then attaching the lining required a forth setting.  If I was smart I would have written down the settings each time I changed them so I would have them for the next time, but obviously I'm not that smart!  It goes without saying that my seam ripper and I saw each other more often than usual while constructing this dress :)


Materials:
Everything is from Joann's
Dress - Black costume satin
Overlay - Black tulle with glitter dots
Lining - Red sateen
Black invisible zipper

Thursday, October 16, 2014

sew it all series link up - let's see what you made!

I would love to see what everyone has been sewing lately!  If you would like to share (and agree to let me post the pictures on my blog at a later date if I do a roundup) please add your link below.  I will add all the projects to my Pinterest board as well.  Remember, anything goes as long as you sewed it!  And it doesn't have to be limited to kid's clothes ... I would love to see adult clothes or non-clothing items as well :)  Feel free to link up as many projects as you would like!