Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Island Girl Costume

My daughter is singing a beautiful song from the musical "Once on This Island". As I'm the only Dance Mom crazy enough not to use professional costume makers for her solos, I had to come up with a costume pretty fast. She changed her mind on her song a few weeks before the competition.

I Googled images for costumes from the show and other Islander styles for inspiration, and came up with Butterick 4889 as a starting point. The pattern only came in Misses sizes, and I thought XS would be ok, but there is so much design ease built in that I took 1" out of the raglan sleeves and another 1" from centre front and back foldline, taking 6" out altogether, and there's still plenty of room for her to dance in!
I bought this pattern before she had completed the dance, and thought I could use the gypsy skirt as a base for a more island style tiered skirt. Then she got to learning the end of the dance, and that involves acrobatic moves including cartwheels and walkovers. A long flowy skirt is not going to work with that choreography, so I needed a quick Plan B. I tried to manipulate the pattern, but it was too messy for me, so I bought Kwik Sew 3698 which came together really well. The yoke was longer, but her teacher wanted the skirt a tad shorter for dancing, so I shortened it 1".

Then there was the issue of modesty! Again, being new to costume making, I hadn't thought about underthings, so my little brain was working overtime again. I decided on Jalie 2105 as it is a leotard with raglan sleeves, which would help keep the top in place as she dances. I made it in a green one-way stretch lycra (1-way stretch is not ideal but the colour matched beautifully) for bottom half and a sheer lycra for the top.

Had I read the reviews of this pattern more closely, I would have known that the leotard was very high cut (think 80's aerobics!), and that the elastic guide was not quite right. Instead, I had to find out the hard way. So I made a snap decision to use the bottom of Kwik Sew 2679 which I knew fitted her very well. I didn't really have the time to muck about with pattern work.

Then is was just a matter of shortening the sleeves of the leotard and tacking the midriff top to the leotard around the neckline and at the waist to keep it in place. I had planned for it to sit across the shoulders, but she didn't like the feel of that, so it just sits around a wide neckline. Finally, a bit if bling!

April Goals

There might only be 2 weeks left of this month, but I'm not letting myself off.

1. Make DD's competition tutu. She's on stage with this one mid-May.
2. Review all my March sewing. There's quite a lot, really. Very proud of myself!
3. Review the classes I've taken on Pattern Review.
4. Finish the pants I'm working on for the Pants Fitting class on PR.
5. Sew 1 top for myself from my wardrobe capsule plan.
6. Lose 2kg.
7. Review the book I read in March.

So let's get started!!

March Wrap-Up (In mid-April!)

Have I been avoiding my blog? Maybe.
Did I meet my goals? Actually, mostly!! (Especially if you let March run into April.)

Goal 1.  Finish practice tutu. Yes I did! And I made a second toile with a better leotard and a wider skirt. The leotard was fine, the skirt was floppy.

Goal 2. Make a tap dancing costume: coat and tails (McCalls 6143) with leotard (Kwik Sew 2725). Yes I did! I used Kwik Sew 2679 for the leotard instead of 2725. Review to follow soon.

Goal 3. Make another character costume as DD has grown out of the one I made 2 years ago (how rude!) New Look 6309. Yes I did! Review to follow soon.

Goal 4. Make DD's competition tutu. Well that didn't happen, but I did make 2 tutus, and learnt a lot in the process.

I did, however, make a Song and Dance costume from Kwik Sew 3698, Butterick 4889,  Jalie 2105 and Kwik Sew 2679. Review to follow soon.

Did I do any sewing for me? No. Those costumes took up an inordinate amount of time.

I did do some things for myself this month. Firstly, the colour analysis I already blogged about. I have spent more time thinking about my clothing choices, both colour and style choices and have planned my "capsule" wardrobe for this winter. The fabrics are washed and ready to go, so when I get this dance craziness out of the way, it's my turn!

Learning has been a big part of March for me. Sarah Veblen's Understanding Knits course came up on Pattern Review, and I wanted to take this class when it became available. Not the best timing, but I enrolled anyway. What a great class! She really concentrates on the "understanding" of the fabrics, so I'm confident I will make better fabric choices for knit garments, and better garment choices for knit fabrics (depending on what comes first!) I liked it so much I immediately signed up for her "More Knits" course...... And now I'm busily sewing my muslin for her Pants Fitting course. Seems like I've become a bit of a Sarah Veblen groupie! All these classes will be reviewed soon.

And finally, did I lose weight? YES I DID!! Just over 2kg, and considering March is my birthday month as well as Easter and the start of school holidays, I'm pretty proud of that. :D