Thursday, October 18, 2012

This is what the muslins look like

It's Wonderwoman, Supergirl and one random anonymous fairy!

Some notes:
  1. You must promise NEVER to do what I did with the necklines, OK? Swear it, on pain of death!!!! What is it I did with the necklines, you ask? Folded down the SA and machine-basted it, that's what. Without facing it. See the horrible puckers? This is extremely bad seamstressing, friends. It is the first thing your mother (or any person with half a brain) will tell you: face every armscye and neckline before even trying on your garment for the first time. Don't even depend on staystitching. Face them. Face them! The only reason I committed the Neckline Sin then, is because fleece is quite a robust fabric and can be eased back into shape quite easily, compared to real garment fabric like, chiffon, silk or wool. And the SA is quite wide- 1/2" - so still plenty to trim away after the real facing is put in. Plus I split the seams in lieu of snipping the SA. Anyway, just don't do it. Please.
  2. When cutting out and sewing these "muslins" last night, I struggled with whether to do full circular skirts (as in the photo) or half, or two-thirds. The Wonderwoman skirt is a soft drapey velour so it worked well but a full-circular fleece skirt is so heavy. I couldn't decide so I went with full circular. I hope I don't regret it. I will almost always (unless it's for a dance costume) choose a half- or two-thirds circular skirt because it is far more flattering a shape. But I know my girls will want to do the crazy twirling thing, so....
  3. Of course these are nowhere close to what the costumes will look like when they are finished. These are just the inner layers. The pretty, shiny fabrics go over these. Even the invisible zippers in these muslins are the wrong color. I persuaded Emily to let me do an off-shoulder asymmetrical fairy dress because it seemed a little bit more exciting than her original spaghetti-strap sundress idea. Not that this design will keep her any more warm. In fact, just so that I don't feel like a negligent mother, sending her out in frigid midwestern temperatures in a summer party frock, I am very tempted to sew her a flesh-colored fleece catsuit/unitard/whatever those bodysuit thingies are called. 
  4. Today the girls have their fittings. There are usually just two: the first is this one, early in the construction process, where the costume is only its fleece underlayer, machine-basted together and with the zipper basted in. The outfit is tested for overall fit and placement of appliques and other embellishments but I ignore things like the skirt length/evenness of the hem. I save that for the second fitting. If the draft is well done, it doesn't require more than one fitting for the actual fit. Let's hope we need just that one fitting today!

Now, if only I lived in Texas or California or somewhere normal, these would count as completed costumes - just one-layered non-insulated things to be whipped up in a single night. Easy! In Minnesota, though, the same outfit would merely be "the inner thermal underwear", with the real work looming several sleepless nights ahead. 

And here I must beg your indulgence and forgiveness if I ignore your email messages and comments till early November. I'll get to the urgent ones* right away but the ones that require me to actually use my brain**  will either be completely trashed (especially if it reflects poor fashion sense or is anonymous or demanding) or waited upon till I have my life back again. I'll be posting projects here that are related to Jenna's birthday party because some of them are Halloween-centered and thus fun to share before the 31st itself but I'm going to be in my cave otherwise, trying to avoid twitter, pinterest and other general time-wasting internet temptations. Thank you for your understanding and for cheering me on, friends!

*e.g. "Help! I bought your pattern and the download failed. I told my husband to get rid of Internet Explorer but he gets it free with cereal purchases at the supermarket, so he likes it. Can you please send me the link again?" 

**e.g. "Hello! I love your blog! How do you draft a cowl neckline with one single piece of fabric for the front part of a jumpsuit, and is it a good idea to use bright shiny pleather for it? I want to be Princess Leia for Halloween but I love ruffles."



  2. You are so good and so bad. (Which is all good in my book, by the way.)

  3. Charge on in your cave, my friend! You're off to a great start! And I'd better get started on Miss C's costume, too, since I just found out she needs it THIS MONDAY for Show 'n Tell! Yikes! At least it's nothing as complicated (or fabulous) as yours, so in my famous last words, "it shouldn't take long"! Ha! (Now where's that panic button? I NEED it!)

  4. Lately with costume parties and stuff I too have been using the opportunity to make costume muslins! At least I get a wear out of the dress :D

  5. Looking good so far. :) Thanks for the tip about circle skirts! :) I finished my daughter's costume and actually drafted the front sloper (okay, so I did the back too and was way off. I will have to corner my three year old another time and try again) using your tutorial. Thank you!!

  6. We're having a little Supergirl here, too - plus Captain America. I'm afraid that I probably broke every rule in the book making those costumes, though. The good news is that they do NOT have to be lined here in California, which is very lucky as I only had a couple of days to churn them out ready for this weekend, thanks to having an uninvited guest to stay last week... I keep telling myself that they only have to last a couple of wears...

  7. I'm catching up on your blog here and I have to laugh... it seems your girls and my girls have the same ideas about Halloween. Mine have chosen to be Batgirl (in an incredibly brilliant costume that my mom sewed up for her), and an anonymous fairy princess. Totally love it! But like you, I struggle with keeping those girls warm on a cold Minnesota Halloween night. Good luck getting all of those costumes finished!


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