Tag Archives: Hallowe’en

Hallowe’en (Epilogue)

Y’know, that slow bit after all the exciting stuff, only read by the true fans who love the characters more than they love good storytelling? That’s kinda how I feel posting this so long after Hallowe’en, when all the excitement, and even most of the candy, is long gone.

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Regardless, because it’s my blog and I’ll blog late if want to ;), here’s some quick and not terribly organized glimpses of my Hallowe’en outfit. It’s not really a costume since I’m not actually anything in specific, but I still had a lot of fun making it and wearing it. Even if I did work the whole damn day AND evening so the only pictures I got were crappy bathroom mirror pics and staffroom selfies. I am obviously not a real “Millennial;” I suck at selfies.

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Man I miss my basement-bedsheet-photo studio! These days even if I might have time to take some decent pics it’s a gamble whether I’ll even be able to FIND my tripod, and that doesn’t even address the complete lack of any thing approaching appropriate space in our current home.

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You can’t have a circle skirt without a petticoat (ok, I can’t, anyway), so of course I had to make a crinoline. As it turned out, I had to make two—the neon green tulle one I made first was, unsurprisingly, woefully inadequate. So I pulled out the black crinoline fabric and ribbon I bought last spring to make a black petticoat, which worked really nicely, although I fear it’s more costume-grade pouf than everyday pouf. I may have to make another, not-so-fluffy one for every day wear. Which means I’ll have four crinolines to store. My husband may leave me, just so you know.

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Also, no circle skirt is complete without horsehair braid. I covered the join in a scrap of my fashion fabric, which, if you can’t tell, was an awesomely over-the-top acid-green taffeta with black spiderweb flocking. Don’t ask me why it needed to be a circle skirt, but can you really imagine it being anything else? Short of a complete eighteenth-century ballgown, anyway. That would also be awesome.

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I constructed my circle skirt EXACTLY the same as my old grey one, even using the same waist template from Elegant Musings. This is the facing for the slit I made for the not-invisible zipper.

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Of course poodles are traditional for circle skirts, but this one had to have a spider. I wish I’d had enough of my green thread to go around the applique a second time so the black edges didn’t stick out—I wasn’t really thinking about that when I bought my thread and only got an itty bitty spool. I used a supplementary (acid-green) cord of embroidery floss under the zig-zag to give it a bit of dimension, and because, ah, the manual for the Rocketeer (on which I sewed all of this) suggested it. I love the little techniques old manuals suggest. Although somehow they never mention all the massive amounts of actual skill it takes to use most of these techniques. So, y’know, your black velour fabric doesn’t stick out on the wrong side of your zigzag.

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I used a skirt hook and a thread-chain loop. We’ll pretend this was a couture touch, and not because I couldn’t find a bar to match my hook. It needs a second hook & bar, too… I confess day of I just used a safety pin. Do you see how wide that waistband is, by the way? I think it was around three inches, finished. Which pretty much brings the top of the waistband right to my underbust. Fortunately I’m fairly cylindrical in that area, so I can get away with a straight waistband rather than a contour one.

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Because I’m bored of detail shots, here’s a slightly naughty pic of my layered petticoats. You can see clearly the sheer inadequacy of the green one (sheer… snork… see what I did there? hyuk, hyuk.), but the black filled it out nicely and the green was still a nice touch of colour.

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And this eye-searing green is actually the little tank-top I made to wear under the black lace blouse. I used my brand-spanking-new walking foot to sew it, and while I don’t sew enough spandex to really compare, it sure handled it nicely. I didn’t get any actual shots of the tank-top, (I used my old pattern… the real miracle is actually that I FOUND all these old pattern pieces), without the ruching, of course, but it went together fairly nicely until I got to the straps. They are ugly. But I can always cut them off and do better at some point, I suppose, and they weren’t exactly a prominent part of the costume. I cut out bikini bottoms at the same time, should I someday wish to own an acid-green tankini.

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I decided, rather belatedly, that what the ensemble really needed to finish it off was yarn falls. Pushes it a bit into anime territory? Anyway, it only took me three different yarn shops to find what I was looking for, which turns out to be 100% wool superwash, whatever that is. It certainly was warm, and the texture was great, although a bit fluffier would’ve been nice. These are ridiculously easy to make, just cut a bunch of lengths and tie them on to a hair elastic. I’ve been trying to look up the knot I use but I can’t seem to find it…

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Oh, look, here you can actually see me edging the applique! (which I adhered with Steam-a-Seam, by the way) I forgot I took this one. I’m using the “Special Purpose Foot” on the Rocketeer, which has a little piping-hole. It seems like a really flimy, cheap little foot, but I guess it’s held up for fify-some years already, so it can’t be too bad. It worked fine, anyway.

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The blouse was made out of a spiderweb lace. This pattern, McCall’s 6467 (view D), was not the best choice. WAY too many seams, all of which had to be finished super-neatly, in this soft, floppy, annoying-to-sew lace. Of all the frilly blouse patterns I possess, why did I pick this one? *headdesk.* To make it worse, the pattern had hella crazy ease and I did not want it to be a sack on me (the way it looks on the envelope model). I made the size 8, a full two sizes smaller than usual. I went a little easy on my usual bodice shortening because of this, but apparently not easy enough because I had to cut down under the armpits to make it fit. In the end it looked fine and the sizing was about right, but it really wasn’t the best pattern for the job. And did I mention that’s a lot of annoying seams to sew in an annoying fabric?

Ah, well. Deep breaths. A week later, it’s all water under the bridge, right? It was a really fun outfit when it was all put together, and I have at least a couple of pieces that will (maybe?) be useful in the future.

Hope you had a scary Hallowe’en!

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Hallowe’en Roundup

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Actual Hallowe’en photo

Okay, why is it so hard to get good Hallowe’en photos? every year I vow that I will, and every year I end up with a couple of fuzzy shots of kids running away to the next house while trick-or-treating. >_<

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The best actual Hallowe’en picture.

Anyway, I’d say the Steampunk costumes were a success, at least as costumes. As costumes for Hallowe’en in Saskatchewan… not so much. I think the last several years in balmy southern Alberta kind of messed with my head in the Hallowe’en-costume-planning department. Note To Tanit: Saskatchewan Hallowe’en costumes should be: showing NO skin, ideally can cover a snow suit. Scarves are a bonus.

It took me the better part of a month to work up the energy to wrangle the girls back into costume (and makeup), and at this point I’m really too tired of all of it to do much introspection. Which is too bad, because there’s probably a fair bit left to say, if only about the jackets.

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Yes, so late the Christmas tree is already up.
(Note—I didn’t put the tree up.)

OK, I know you pretty much saw that one already. Anyway, prepare for pretty much a photo essay, with minimal commentary.

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Tyo, giving me crap for taking the photos so late.

Pocket watches were an important elements of the costumes.

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A long-awaited closeup of Syo’s hat

I must confess, I think Syo’s hat with the painted holly berries actually crosses the seasons nicely.

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Syo’s pocketwatch. All pocketwatches courtesy of my mother. (Without whom these costumes really wouldn’t have happened, I think.)

The tailcoats were adapted from the much-maligned McCall’s 5312.  Originally Syo didn’t want one, but it turned out the size 10 was too small for Tyo, and Syo consented to wear it (thankfully, as she would’ve been even colder than she was already without it). She’s been wearing it at least weekly since, so I think that’s a win.

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Tailcoat and monocle.

Syo requested an internal pocket for her pocketwatch. Tyo didn’t, but I should’ve included one anyway. Oops.

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Internal pocketwatch pocket.

Syo’s monocle actually turned out really cool (and had an actual magnifying lens, too). It’s made from an old earring and some kind of jeweller’s loupe. Unfortunately it spent the entire actual Hallowe’en tucked in a pocket with the pocketwatch.

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Syo with monocle

I had a lot of fun painting the jackets with black, brown, and silver. Why? Well, mostly because. Also, it was fun. I lined the jackets with this fun printed quilted lining fabric I picked up at Value Village on a whim sometime last spring—it was one of those things I really wasn’t sure I should ever have bought, since it’s right on the border between awesome (a cool print) and horrible (quilted lining is one of those things I generally loathe). However, it really came into its own here, I think—giving body to the  wimpy suiting fabric I was using for the shells, and adding much-needed warmth. Seriously, I can’t believe how long my kids wore these outside. It was -7C, -14C with the wind chill, and we were out for almost three hours, with only a couple of warm-up stops.

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Jackets. Also, I want to eat your brains. But your hat first.

My mom offloaded generously gave us a bag of old stenciling supplies a week or two before Hallowe’en, including a lovely, delicate rose stencil. I couldn’t resist adding it to the coats in a couple of places. I just used the same acrylic paint I used on the rest of the coats. I don’t particularly expect a lot from this down the road, but it served the purpose at the time.

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Painted jacket: ruffle trim and stenciled rose.

I think that’s about enough. I added length to the sleeves of the coats, and the tails, of course. I think I didn’t get the button positioning quite right, as the lapels (which I interfaced) rolled nicely but sat better before I put the buttons on.

And now, on to more recent things. I have a backlog building up, as those (few) of you following on twitter or instagram probably know already…

Of course, none of it’s been for me. *pout*

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Hallowe’en Spotlight: High Waisted Shorts

I know. This post (and the next, where I will finish up the whole Hallowe’en costume craziness) are late. Late late late. Late enough that some organized person (not me) has the freakin’ Christmas tree up. This is the post where I tell you about one more bit of Tyo’s Hallowe’en costume: her high-waisted shorts.

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Way back when, when Hallowe’en was just a misty possibility on the horizon, I doodled a costume sketch for Tyo. It included, as a bit of whimsy, a feature completely and utterly alien to children of her generation—high waisted shorts.

As an avid adopter of the low rise myself, I know for a fact Tyo’s never worn anything (pants, shorts, skirts) as high as even her bellybutton, ever, in her life. But there I was, offering to make Tyo her very first pair of high-waisted anything, ever.

Despite my doodling, I was hesitant. They won’t open like jeans you’re used to, I pointed out.

They will feel different.

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She assured me it would be fine.

I went through a lot of different thought processes—even started to draft out a pattern using Pepin. Then, when I found Butterick 7759 in a vintage size 12 (33″ hips, within an inch of Tyo’s these days), it seemed like fate.

Butterick 7759

Well, I can’t say I’d call it fate. I’m not really super-duper-enthused with Butterick 7759. Although it clearly is supposed to rise about an inch above the waist, there’s no flare-out above the waist to accomodate what (I would think) most people’s bodies do. But my biggest quibble is the shaping of the crotch—back and front are almost identical, and there’s not a whole lot of “space” created. After comparing with the fit of McCall’s 5312 (Yes, I actually used that pattern as a fit comparison!?!), I added a crotch length extension. I considered adding my usual rear rise wedge as well, but figured there would be plenty of height in the rise anyway, since the pattern was probably drafted for someone rather taller than Tyo (who hasn’t cracked five feet yet, although she’s getting perilously close.)

Pattern pieces

So, aside from my small pattern mod, and adding the points at the front, I sewed them up as is except for the back darts. In hindsight I might’ve skipped the front darts and saved myself some headaches—they make the front of the shorts a bit poofy, which Tyo was not really a fan of.

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I assume there actually is a person out there with a figure suited to front darts. I just haven’t met them yet. Or maybe that’s how pants/shorts like this are supposed to fit, all poofy in front? How the hell would I know—I haven’t worn anything but stretch denim voluntarily since I discovered the stuff.

This is an actual photo taken Hallowe’en morning before school. Shorts. With snow pants.

When I first started fitting the shorts, Tyo was suddenly very sceptical of the high-waisted fit, and I was very close to tearing her head off. Fortunately for her (and for my continued jail-free existence), once I had the zipper in and they actually stayed up, she really, really liked it. The only hitch came with me adding in my own (made up, half-ass) facing. I had incorporated some above-waist flare when I made the custom-fit back darts, but when I was measuring the facing against the shorts themselves, that flare kind of folded itself up. So the facing rectangle wound up slightly shorter than the shorts had been. It eased in all right and doesn’t really show, but the waist/rib section is a bit more snug. Most of the time she wore it, the zipper was down about one or two inches. Which actually looks pretty cute, but fit, it is not.

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All in all? I don’t know if she’s a high-waisted convert (although my 15 year old niece was asking about shorts “to her waist, to tuck things into,” so you know the times they are a-changin’) but it was certainly an interesting exercise outside both our comfort zones. And the results were pretty darn cute. Even if I do still have a long way to go in fitting what we’ve affectionately dubbed the Gigi booty. (After the paternal grandmother to whom we can trace this particular figure in my husband’s family)

Also, anyone remember when Tyo looked like this? What the heck happened to my baby?

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Hallowe’en Spotlight: lace-up leather shorts

Lace-Up Shorts

It’s been a Hallowe’en sweatshop around here for the last little while. Last weekend was devoted to, as Steph of 3 Hours Past has put it, sewing with hammers. I spent Sunday with the kids at my mother’s, working on the goggles, and also Syo’s lace-up shorts. Rivets and grommets and wire, oh my.

I was already using McCall’s 5312 for the kids’ tailcoats (more on that later), so I decided to use the pants also included in that crime of a pattern.

Cutest pattern ever?

OK, I’ve whined about McCall’s 5312 before. Despite their supremely cute illustration, these McCall’s “Sassy Girl” patterns are dumbed down almost to the point of not being worth the time, IMO. I hate dumbed-down, simplified patterns.*

On the other hand, that makes them perfect for costume patterns, right? This might be why I hate making costumes…

Anyway, since I had the pattern out, I figured it would be a good candidate for Syo’s shorts—basic pants, no pockets, no waistband to worry about.

Laces!

I traced off the size 7 as shorts, and cut them out from my fake leather. This was my first time working with vinyl, and not being able to pin really threw me for a loop. It’s funny, because I tend to think I don’t use pins much. Well, working on this high lighted every single instance I reach for them. Closepins were helpful, but not really satisfying. I made about half the shorts on my machine, and half over at my mother’s; her old Pfaff has one thing none of my machines have—a roller foot. It made a BIG difference in sewing with the vinyl, especially for the topstitching bits. Topstitching was essential since I couldn’t exactly press this stuff in any meaningful way. I also used a lot of Wonder Tape.

Back darts

I used a very quick ‘n dirty pants-fitting method for these where I sewed them up sans darts and then added the rear darts by pinching to fit. I skipped the front darts, which really don’t make any sense to me when fitting any kind of a rounded tummy—something I’d say about 90% of kids have. Though, I don’t think the darts I wound up sewing are hugely different from the original pattern darts. And, yes, they’re pointy. I’m not worrying myself about it.

Front view

To make the laced sides, I just folded over the edge about 2 cm (I ended up folding the front edges over a further 2 cm) to make the placket, topstitched, and added a “modesty panel” attached to the back side. She was not thrilled about this, having wanted “real lacing,” which apparently doesn’t have fabric behind it. She can deal, at least until she’s eighteen. Not that she would ever not be wearing leggings and tights underneath for a Hallowe’en costume. This is Canada, after all. And not one of the warmer bits of Canada. (Although comfortingly free of both earthquakes and hurricanes. I hope all you easterners are doing OK with Sandy.)

Grommets

We added the grommets last. Actually, Syo did the front grommets more-or-less on her own, since by then my fingers were so sore from setting the back ones (plus all the goggle-making). It took her a while, but she got them done, only one ending up a bit distorted. I’m not sure why I am always startled by her strength and coordination. You’d think I’d have it figured out by now.

Back View

I don’t know if it’s a “good fit”, but they stay on, come up more or less to where she wanted them, and the gap between the lacing is a good width. So, really, I should probably apologize to McCall’s 5312. It really came through for me this time.

Except that I just made two tailcoats out of the jacket pattern, and, well, I’ll go into that later. Not horrific, just dumbed down and predictably bad.

And, sorry for the fuzzy iPhone photos. My mom’s house has gorgeous backdrops but terrible light, and I keep forgetting to take my real camera along.

*Note: I have nothing against simple patterns, where simple is called for. What annoys me is patterns for intricate designs that are simplified to make them “easier”, generally at the expense of fit and style.

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Brung Low

I have had the blerg. That is, the the-kids-have-been-back-at-school-just-long-enough-to-incubate-new-strains-of-plague annual fall cold. Blerg.

On the up-side, I have an excuse to do nothing but hunker down, drink tea, and catch up on some of the blog-reading I’ve missed over the last three weeks. And think about my fantasy sewing in a bit more focused way. On the minus side, I haven’t been coherent enough to do anything useful, never mind anything fun.

The kids have decided, and we (most especially Osiris) have agreed, to being a Steampunk family for Hallowe’en. I’m all kinds of conflicted over this.

I really sort of loathe Hallowe’en costumes. I mean, I love a really cool costume. love love love. But. There are few things I hate more than making something that will only be worn once. If we could have Steampunk Club every week, I’d be all over the costuming. But for once a year? Erk. On the other hand, the idea of shelling out money (of which we have very little right now) for the godawful atrocities that pass for storebought costumes fills me with shame and horror.

So, sewing costumes it is. /sigh.

Osiris will be easy. In fact, all he really needs is some goggles (please nominate your favourite goggle tutorial 😉 ) and maybe some other accessories—everything else he pretty much already has, although if I were motivated to finish his frock coat I’m sure he’d happily wear that.

ZOMG I bought a brand-new pattern.

I’m less clear for myself, although I did pick up this Simplicity pattern at the $2 sale last weekend. I love the coat, although my deep suspicion of costume patterns makes me assume that it will be poorly-drafted and lacking sufficient internal structure to look right. I should probably at least read some reviews before I come to that conclusion, though. There was another pattern with a bustled overskirt thing that I also like, but it was featured in the Fabricland flyer and so long sold out by the time I got there. /sigh. Of course it’s the sort of thing I can figure out on my own, but for two dollars, not having to make it up might’ve been worth it. And I have (or rather my mother has) a perfect hat already.) Although my make-life-harder reflex is yammering something about “Steampunk Seamstress” that involves an antique-sewing-machine-looking-backpack…

Sketchies—Tyo’s costume.

Which brings us to the kids. We spent some time sketching on the weekend, although this was a bit frustrating since every time one girl came up with a good idea the other decided she wanted it, too—but they don’t at all want the same costume. >_<

Anyway, Tyo seems to have settled on some high-waisted shorts (over stripey stockings and the boots that started this whole thing) with braces, a corset/bodice thing, and a jacket with short coat-tails. After some wibbling and sorting through my patterns, I decided to try drafting the shorts based on Pepin’s instructions from Modern Pattern Design (1942). I drafted it on Inkscape, which isn’t perfect but is decent for computer drafting. This wasn’t too hard, at least when tackled in twenty-minute stretches as I zoned in and out of blergishness (this was one of those colds where it’s too uncomfortable to sleep, or really do much of anything, for very long), but I have yet to print the pattern and try drafting it, so I won’t declare any kind of victory yet. I have a feeling the hip curve is going to be off and the rear-dart-shaping is going to require work (and probably a swayback adjustment). On the other hand, they have the longer-back/shorter front crotch length like the Burda pants-draft, which seems to be a generally good feature.

Syo is all about the lacing. She wants lacing on her shorts (not high-waisted, though, preferably leather) and lace-up arm covers. This doesn’t strike me as overly Steampunk, but I imagine we can manage. She wants a corset but she’s not going to get one. Maybe a corset-seamed bodice. I’m hoping I can talk her into a cute little vest. They both want tiny top-hats… we’ll see.

Of course, with Steampunk a lot comes down to the accessories. Vaguely Victorian clothing, I can come up with fairly easily (although the number of individual pieces is slightly terrifying at the moment, considering I’ve scarcely stitched in a month). Accessories will require more work. Obviously, some googling is in order. Or, y’know, if any of you care to share your favourite steampunk costume or accessory or tutorial, I’d love to check them out! 😉

Also, it appears there will be corsets. (or things having a generally corset-like appearance) For Tyo certainly, and quite possibly for me. I have plenty of patterns, although not in Tyo’s size. Which brings on the debate—grade or draft? I’ve never made a corset before, but having read obsessively about them for several years I’m reasonably comfortable with the basic ideas, at least for costume purposes. But I’m pretty sure that the patterns I have, which are all Misses-size, are not going to be anything like the right proportions, even if I graded down to her size (which is about a Misses’ size 4). Decisions, decisions.

Obviously I need to sign myself up for Peter’s Hallowe’en Sewalong, stat.

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Hallowe’en wrap-up

(and other odds and ends.)

The costumes, as worn.

It’s been a long and hectic week, finishing Hallowe’en costumes and trying to get the house into something resembling order*. I did, however, spend a remarkable amount of time in the sewing room, partly in the desperate Hallowe’en Final Push and partly because it’s a handy place from which to supervise the children’s attempts to reclaim the basement, aka playroom, aka guest room, into something an adult might be able to tolerate sleeping in.

Anyway, in a vain attempt to impose order on chaos (as with the rest of my life), let’s have Fun With Headings:

Hallowe’en costumes

I'm a Vampire Slayer, yo!

They were worn! (There were no last minute back-outs. This is worth commenting on, as Tyo nearly refused to wear hers to the school Hallowe’en Dance on Friday.)

There were the inevitable snit-fits over wearing tights under leggings. Seriously, kids, why did you think I bought both?

I’m pretty sure Syo forgot to take her yellow and blue pompoms out with her, despite the fact that I thoughtfully attached them to hair-elastics so she could put them around her wrists and have her hands free for holding the treat-bag. And they even survived being worn in her hair all weekend. /sigh.

Tyo never did come up with weapons that were suitable to her costume. Babydoll wields two katanas and a gun with charms hanging from it. We have any number of toy katanas and at least one toy gun in the basement mess, but none were deemed worthy. Or she forgot.

We had the first snow of the season yesterday morning (this is actually remarkably late), and the daytime high was only 6C. It can’t have been more than a couple of degrees above freezing when the kids went out. Nonetheless, Syo survived in just her cheerleader outfit and velvet leotard and leggings (over tights). I really like how the velvet leggings turned out—I’ll have to get better photos later. I’m sure she’ll be wearing them lots, anyway.

Tyo, as you can see in the top photo, is not quite as much of a trooper and added a white bunnyhug. I can’t blame her, anyway.

In fact, I can’t complain about anything, as my mother-in-law and her husband took the girls out for their first go-round and then my husband took them out for the second, so I sat on my butt and handed out candy all night. We had about 30 kids come by, just enough to completely clean out all the candy we had. D’oh.

Also, the kids have no school the day after Hallowe’en! Even though it’s the middle of the week! Man, we would’ve killed to have the day after Hallowe’en off school… (mutter… kids these days… mutter)

Stuffed Chairs:

Bolsters/chair-arms

Tyo has been harping on the chair project, lately. I am approaching this with the same enthusiasm I have for all home-dec projects, but she is remarkably persistent (although remarkably unhelpful with things like pinning pattern pieces and stuff.) Anyway, we got the first pieces cut and stuffed over the weekend: two bolster-type pillows that will be the arms of the chair. I’m noticing that they’re not very big—the chair seems more toddler-sized than my-kids-sized. Ah, well. The kids stuffed them with scraps. They didn’t use up nearly enough. I wanted to start with the arms, since I figure if I stall on the rest of the chair, bolster-cushions are still frequently useful, even when they’re scrap-stuffed and not particularly soft/squooshy.

Upholstery fabric

Incidentally, scrap-stuffed pillows are heavy.

Another hold-up on the chair has been that I didn’t have enough of any home-dec weight fabric I was willing to part with (at least that would be good for sitting on—I have some scratchy curtain-type material pegged for coats). Fortunately, one of the things my MIL wanted to do yesterday was trawl thrift stores, and I nabbed this velveteen-esque fabric. I think there’ll be enough. It’s a little hard to tell as the pattern assumes you’re going to use three different fabrics so it doesn’t give you a total on the metrage. Meterage? Yardage. Y’know.

Since I was going through scraps, I decided on a whim to tackle another uncharacteristically-crafty project that’s been lurking in the back of my head:

Coffee Coats

Coffee Coats

I may have mentioned at some point my extended family’s obsession with Tim Horton’s coffee. This might, alternatively, be termed Canadian Crack. Not being a coffee drinker myself, I can’t tell you if it’s actually good coffee or not, but whatever they put in it (the rumour is MSG, which is probably completely unfounded), people are willing to line up ’round the block for the stuff. Despite the cups having crappy lids and, more to the point, none of those nice heat-shield paper sleeves.

Anyway, back in the summer, whilst creek-adventuring, we found a reusable coffee-cup sleeve, made of quilting-cotton and a thin layer of batting. It was quite cute and I imagine someone eco-conscious was very sad they’d lost it. And of course, it looked stupidly easy to make.

So when I stumbled upon the scraps of my (very, very expensive) interlining from my winter coat, I couldn’t help but scurry upstairs, liberate a Timmy’s cup from the garbage, create a curved pattern by marking off parallel lines on the side of the cup and then cutting it up and spreading it flat. Some bits and bobs of coating and a few interesting construction issues later, I have (almost) coffee coats. All they need is a big button for the elastic loop to fit around. I am holding off until I have another cup to judge the size of so I get the button in (at least roughly) the right place.

Sewing up Scraps:

A cute little tee

Still in a scrap-busting mood, I decided I must do what I could with the scraps from Syo’s costume, and determined to whip her up a little, fitted tee if I could. I pulled out a knit sloper I had made her last summer, traced it off, added cap-sleeves,  forgot seam allowances, and stitched it up (with added band-sleeves.)

Naturally, it doesn’t quite fit. She can wriggle into it, but it’s very snug (the sloper was more for a leotard/swimsuit lycra type fabric). I guess we’ll be passing it on to one of my nieces. Anyway, none of the remaining scraps are more than two inches wide, so I think I’ve done well. I even had to piece the band for the neckline.

Next up? I don’t know! I’ve been ogling my blazer and coat patterns, but I don’t have much time right now so I’m hesitant to commit to a serious project. I’m already pretty sure I’m wimping out on NaNoWriMo despite the best idea ever (next year!). If Tyo’s lucky I’ll finish up the stuffed chair while I’m waffling.

Thrifting

More thrift store finds

Oh, yeah. I bought fabric. And patterns. The patterns are odd—they were part of some kind of set (it looks brutally 80s to me, although the dates are mid-90s), but these were the only patterns that were sufficiently classic to catch my attention. They refer to cards for the instructions (no instructions in the envelopes as far as I can tell), which I assume were part of the larger set, but didn’t seem to be there at the thrift store. I can’t even determine the company with certainty, but the sizing is standard Big 4.

The fabric is a sturdy, non-stretch denim with a bit of a stripe. I’m such a sucker for denim.

And I found Syo winter boots (which she’s wearing in the Hallowe’en photos) for five bucks. So, win.

*as my inlaws arrived Sunday night—incidentally a day before I was expecting them. It has become traditional since we moved away from the rest of the family to try surprise everyone else with your visit—our crowning glory was arriving at 10 pm last New Years’ Eve without telling a soul we were coming—so I can’t complain, as we started it.

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How they keep me hooked

Tyoshirt

Tyo wriggles into the shirt. “Aww, yeah. I love the long sleeves! Ooh, can we put a thumbhole in? I love how long it is—it covers my butt! I love how tight the sleeves are, you never get sleeves this tight. I love how you flare them out at the end, too! I’ll totally wear this! I love the neckline!” (I heave a small sigh of relief. I was worried it would be too low-cut for her taste.)

“Ok, now give it back to me so I can hem it.”

“No, don’t hem it, I like it just how it is!”

“I want one, too, mom!” (that’s Syo)

I made this shirt for Tyo to wear under her Babydoll costume. She’s going to be freakin’ freezing. Monday’s forecast includes snow.

The fabric is from a cotton jersey sheet I picked up at Value Village for $4; not great recovery—more T-shirt than leotard—but no way I was going to score plain white (or plain flesh-tone) jersey from Fabricland for that little, and there’s plenty left over. Like, I used less than two feet off the whole double-sized sheet length. (And it would’ve been less except the sheet seems to be cut prodigiously off-grain to the rib of the knit. Weird.)

The pattern… erm. Technically, it’s a hybrid of Kwik Sew 2448 (sleeve and armscye, size 7) and 1670 (body and shoulder, size 12, lengthened into a shirt), although really once I was done I think either pattern would’ve been embarrassed to acknowledge its bastard offspring. But, I’m pretty happy with the result—a close-fitting, shaped, but not skin-tight tee. I lengthened the sleeve, made it curve in a bit just below the top of the arm for a closer fit, and added my usual flare-out at the wrist. Something about this shape that I just really like. I had graded out the bottom of the shirt to allow for pear-shaped-ness, but next time I’ll tweak the side-seam curves a bit. They are inning and outing a bit too sharply. Tyo’s curves at the moment are all front to back, not side to side.

V-Neck Closeup

I wanted a V-neck to go underneath the costume. It’s my first attempt at finishing a V-neck; I didn’t try to miter the ends of the band, just overlapped them at a right angle. And by some miracle I got the length right, too. So although it’s a little wonky in places, overall it’s pretty decent. I used this technique from Jorth (I’ve seen it other places, too, but this description is nice and recent and sticks out in my memory) although I only did a 5mm seam allowance instead of a 10mm, and my topstitching is consequently closer to the seam.

One Happy Tyo

Of course, for the costume purposes, skin-tight would’ve been better.  But y’know what? She loves it. So I’m going to shut up and enjoy. 🙂

(Also, Tyo wants you to know that she wanted to wear the knee-high boots but we could only find the one, so after an hour or so of hunting around she settled for mis-matched boots. I told her she should keep that to herself, this way it’s a “fashion statement”.)

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