Sunday, October 31, 2010
I imagine that if I had daughters, my experience as a seamstress would be entirely different. New twirly skirts every week, lots of pretty dresses, and ruffles on everything. Don't even get me started on the custom bedding ideas.
But I don't have daughters, I have sons. And sewing for sons is just. not. the. same. When it comes to Halloween, however, my boys indulge me. I permit them to pick ANYTHING, and then I try to figure out how to create it. My oldest almost always picks something inspired by a LEGO mini-figurine. This year was no exception. He wanted to be the dementor from the Harry Potter set of LEGOs that was released some 10-15 years ago. (Those are grey and the ones released this year are black.)
My youngest wanted to be a mouse, specifically Jerry of Tom and Jerry fame. This I fretted over.
When needle came to thread, however, I found that the mouse costume was a piece of cake. The dementor costume was like a wedding dress. 10 yards of chiffon!
For the mouse costume I followed Simplicity 2506 -- which is a baby costume -- and altered it to fit my very big 4-year-old. I still could have added length in the crotch and legs, but the arms were perfect. The helmet/ears headdress thing was another story all together. My children have HUGE heads. I tried to accommodate this, and it was a little wonky. I think if I were to make this again I would follow an adult size balaclava pattern and just add ears. I also did not piece it together in the way Simplicity instructed. I elected to finish the sleeves and finish the body and then ease them into each other. I believe this makes for a much nicer fit. The pattern called for sewing the flat sleeve piece to the flat shoulder of the body pieces and then sewing a huge side seam that runs from wrist to ankle. Wonky!
The mouse in the pattern could just as easily pass for a monkey. But there is a monkey included in the pattern. I will hang on to this pattern, but my children will have outgrown it by next week. Maybe I'll have nieces and nephews who make a request from it. To Angelina Balerina fans, it would be a great base to put a tutu on. Very cute possibilities there.
For the dementor costume I followed Simplicity 2486. Biggest problem with this project was that it was an adult size pattern and I had to resize it and reshape it for my very skinny 5-year-old. That being said, his head is the same circumference as mine. The pattern called for 10 yards of chiffon. I knew I was in trouble when one of the pieces of the pattern instructed that I cut 12! Each layer has a lettuce-edge, rolled hem. This took hours. And about half way through the adventure it occurred to me that I could have done the entire thing raw edge. In fact, I would recommend this. That being said, this will last longer. But god-bless-it that took me a long time.
Were I to make this costume, again, I would make some fabric choice changes. I would create the first under layer (there are two) of knit. That would include the balaclava piece. Then I would pick varying shades of chiffon to layer. Otherwise all those layers and all that work is rather one-dimensional and looks a little bit like a burqa.
I feel fairly strongly that the pattern could be modified to create fairies and angels. Could really be a cool pattern to have in my stash.