Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Neo Classical Costume - Never Alone

Even though we had seen plenty of Neo costumes on stage at dance competitions, it was still tricky to come up with a concept for my dancer's first Neo solo. I clicked through many costumes on Google Images, but couldn't find inspiration. We eventually settled on Kwik Sew 3774 View B for the leotard, with a skirt inspired by Kwik Sew 2733 View B. She particularly liked the neckline and I liked the curved waist seam.

Fabric choice is always difficult. The music is a very sad song about being lonely, so the fabric needed to correspond with those feelings. We went looking for a murky, moody, stormy grey, but found this wonderful blue/brown tie die polyester/lycra with a floral print over the top. For the skirt I decided on navy over tie die brown chiffon. We chose plain blue nylon/lycra for the contrast strip and neckband.

Once I started cutting out, I realised that the leotard fabric was a little bit sheer, so decided to underline with the blue lycra. I "fussy cut" the leotard panels to make the most of the tie die effect.

When I assessed the fabric for stretch I noticed it didn't have much vertical stretch. Now, most people would have adjusted the pattern at that point, but I carried on, and the result was that the leotard stopped right over her bust line! Not a good look! My solution to that problem was to make the contrast fabric a "design feature" empire line band, and cut out a new top band out of the main fabric. This looked lovely until I put it on her, and the band went right over her bust rather than under it.

Wider top band over contrast band
Workaround number two had me cutting that section off, and redoing the band 1/2 inch lower, with a larger top band. Fortunately I have a habit of over buying fabric, so had plenty left over to find the "right" part of the pattern to place it nicely with the lower bodice.

Then it was time to attach the skirt. I did use the Kwik Sew 2733 pattern, which is basically a square with a circle in the middle. As my daughter wanted a longer skirt, I folded the chiffon in half and placed the pattern centrally to cut out the circle. I rolled hemmed each square, then basted them together in as offset manner, so the points would be even. And though I was very careful in doing this, and in pinning it to the leotard, the front point was still not quite right once I put the costume together and the staystitching was exposed right at centre front . Unpicking zigzag in layers of lycra is not fun. However, second time round and the skirt is falling nicely.

And she danced beautifully.

Monday, 1 July 2013

July Goals

Moving into the second half of the year is exciting. I'm pretty proud of my sewing year to date. This months I aim to:

1. Review the rest of the dance costumes I made

2. Make a dress from my Sure-Fit Designs dress kit.

3. Make some knit tops using the Sure-Fit Designs dress kit.

4. Get back on track with my weight loss.

It's time to concentrate on sewing for me.

June Wrap-Up

I've had very busy little fingers this month. It seems like I never stopped sewing. How did I go?

1. Make body board for sequinning leotards. Ummmm, no. That will need to be done for the end of year costumes, though.

2. Make tutu bag. Ummmm, no. It is cut out, ready, but didn't get it done in time for her performance last week, so the tutu was unceremoniously transported in a big black garbage bag :(

3. Finishing touches on dance costumes. YES yes yes yes. I ended up with such sore fingers that I cut the fingers off latex gloves to protect my poor fingers from the needle, and the fabric from my fingers!! This always takes much longer than you expect. And there's always MORE you can do...

4. Sure-Fit designs blueprint. Yes, I did! I made a knit top using the dress kit, but the neckband needs redoing (again) before I can wear it out of the house.

5. Update blog. Yes, more to come.

6. Weight loss? Ummmm, no. Too stressed with dance costuming deadlines and very late nights.

All up, a pretty successful month.