Two years ago, at the urging of my friends and my wonderful man, Cory, I got back into sewing. That year we had been invited to a Halloween party. For Cory I made a simplified version of the pirate costume, as we were pressed for time. I learned that I have a lot to learn about pattern alteration; the vest wasn’t quite big enough. I made myself a purple fairy costume in literally six hours. I found a pair of purple fairy wings and some glittery make up and we were set. I left glitter all over everything. Call me weird but for some reason I like being glittery. The photo is a little blurry, but it was the best of the bunch. I’ll get a better one when I have the chance.
That Christmas my friend had a great idea of making reusable cloth gift bags. They always have the best themed material at Christmas and Halloween, so we got bunch; a meter of this, two of that, and I sewed like crazy. I also broke my little sewing machine. It’s just a simple hobby machine and couldn’t take all the work I was putting it through. So that was that for a while, until I could afford to get it fixed.
That brings me up to my most recent sewing projects last fall. As I’ve already mentioned, we were invited to a themed wedding reception. What I didn’t mention was that it was a masquerade. My friend, who was a much closer friend to the bride, wanted to go all out to give the bride what she wanted and get costumes made rather than renting. I’ve never rented a costume, but I understand it can cost just as much as we spent on making them, and they’re not usually very good quality, and you have to give them back! She already knew that I could sew, and I agreed to make costumes for the four of us. After getting my machine fixed, $100 later, we picked patterns and got the material. As you’ve probably already guessed, her costume was my favorite. It was easy, she already had the hard part! We bought material to match the navy corset with silver dragons she had picked up at a local trade show a few months earlier. All I had to make was a navy straight line dress with sheer navy sleeves and a soft fuzzy silver over-skirt. It was work getting her into the corset over the dress, then getting everything into place, but it was all worth it.
Her husband requested a kilt in Newfoundland tartan, as that is where he is from. We were lucky and not only did we find a pattern, and the right tartan, it was also on sale. Making that one I learned that pleats are a heck of a lot easier than I thought they would be. I didn’t hold back either, the pattern had matching spats and a hat and I found the biggest feather I could for it. Maybe I’ll be able to talk them into letting me share their picture in a post.
For Cory, he chose a king’s costume with a cape. When I asked what colour he wanted, his imagination must have been on vacation. He said red, the photo on the pattern was in red. What can you do? So I made it in red with gold trim. Again that was a lesson in pattern alteration. The first try was six inches too short; the second fit. Now I have more experience. It was also a jacket so he was able to take it off when he got too warm, not that he did. I think he felt sorry for our friend stuck in her corset who could only sit straight up on the edge of her seat all night; and taking that off was NOT an option.
Last but not least was my costume. As I mentioned in my first post, I had been unemployed for some time by this point and didn’t have money to get the material to make one for me. My friend was fantastic and bought the material I needed as a thank-you for all the hard work I did for their costumes. If you are reading this, thank-you again! The pattern I chose for myself was the most complicated. I learned to read all the instructions before estimating how long it will take to make something. The sleeves took longer than I thought; the skirt took longer than I thought; the lining took longer than I thought. Midnight the night before the wedding and I was still working on my costume. When 2 am rolled around, my wonderful man came to see if he could help. It was very brave of him. As it turned out, I did have something he could do: eyelets! When I gave him the hammer he seemed relieved; until I handed him the tiny eyelets and showed him what I needed. Thank God for his help, he did every one, and that got me to bed about two hours earlier than if I had done it alone. The costume still isn’t completely done, it should have gold trim on the bodice and sleeves, but there just wasn’t time. Here is the finished product:
One more project to talk about: the Christmas pajamas.