Subversive Sewer

{November 1, 2010}   Happy halloween!


Here’s Sofia’s Halloween costume!  I had quite a few, uh, distractions that delayed this project’s completion until the night before she needed it.  But I got it done!

The pattern is Simplicity 2329:

The cape was impossible to figure out so I threw it out.  I also couldn’t make sense of the cobra on the headband so that went too.  I should also note that if that little flap hanging from the waistband is the only thing preventing a wardrobe malfunction!  I didn’t notice until we were out trick or treating, so she had to walk REAL slowly to keep it from flying up!


{September 9, 2010}   Let the Halloween Sewing commence!

Wow, that came up big.  This is what Sofia picked out.  It actually looks pretty fun to make, though I’ll be buying a wig instead of trying to make that one.

What do you have planned for Halloween?

{November 1, 2009}   Simplicity 3680

Here’s the annual Halloween costume for my daughter.  For the last 3 years, she chose to be a different Disney Princess each year, but apparently she’s moved on.  I’m not a fan of the Princesses, and neither is she, so I didn’t mind that much.  However, they were very fun to make, and I really wanted to make Belle’s gown, but she didn’t pick it and I haven’t seen a pattern for it in a while.

Anyway, she changed her mind several times over the past year, and finally decided to be a cowgirl.  This was after choosing various animals and me explaining that we live in Florida and she would be really hot in a faux fur costume.

This is the pattern she chose:

She loves pink, so I bought pink gingham for the dress.  I got some of that shitty suedecloth Joann’s tries to pass off as garment fabric, and the same trim on the envelope.  Total cost, including a $4 cowgirl hat from Michaels: $32.

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I’m just a little paranoid about posting pics of my daughter after I’ve read a couple blogs where folks have posted similar sentiments, but I don’t know how to blur her face, so here  you go.

The pattern itself is good, but I missed a major step due to following the pictures and not reading the text.  On step 16, it instructs you to attach the bodice to the skirt.  However, the picture doesn’t show the bodice, so I missed this step.  I didn’t notice until after I’d put the casing and elastic on the skirt and wondered how I was supposed to attach the bodice!  Ugh.  Actually, it’s not even that clear that it IS a dress, because in the drawings it’s shown with the belt over it, so it could just as easily be separates.  And that’s what we ended up with.  I attached some plush elastic to the bottom of the bodice and made a top.  Thankfully, the belt covers everything.  My daughter loved the costume and all was right in the world.  For about a minute…

{October 11, 2009}   Weekend update

Well, I’m trying to get my sewing mojo back.  Halloween is coming up soon and Sofia is anxiously awaiting her cowgirl costume.  I went to Joann’s on Saturday morning and picked up the supplies, threw the gingham in the wash, and by 7:30pm I was working on the costume.  I stopped at midnite because I was exhausted, but I got a lot of it done.  I finished the top and assembled the skirt; I just need to finish the waistband and fringe trim.  The belt also needs eyelets put in.  Then I’m done!  The whole thing cost $28, plus $4 for the hat at Michaels.  I still need to find some boots.  It figures- Target used to sell cowboy boots for the longest time, and now that I need ’em they’re gone!  Since it’s apparently impossible to post pics from Simplicity’s site, here’s an attempt to link to the pattern so you can see what I’m making.

I also cut 2 things: first up was the Hot Patterns’ free download, Cool, Calm and Cowl-necked top.  I got it from  I cut it from some orange bamboo/cotton jersey that I have grown to hate because it’s really flimsy and holes form at the seams where there is any form of stress.

Finally, I just cut out this apron in a cotton skull print I got for $1.50 a yard:

I also bought 3 new Simplicity patterns.  They were on sale for a buck at Joann’s, and I was surprised to find the brand new patterns in stock!  I got 2 Cynthia Rowley patterns and an embroidered Xmas stocking/ornament pattern, mostly for the Russian nesting doll ornament so I can trace an enlarged version to paint on a floorcloth for my living room.  I was reminded of their existence by a “Decorating Ideas Under $100” magazine I picked up this week.  I think this will solve my problem of needing a rug, but not being able to have one because some cats love to throw up on them.

{November 12, 2008}   Snow White

This year, Sofia decided she wanted to be a Disney Princess again, and she picked Snow White.  I was hoping for Belle because that just looks like fun to make.  However, it ended up being a good thing that she picked Snow White because none of the pattern companies released a Belle pattern.

This was a really good pattern.  My favorite thing about it was that it was authentic.  Even the costumes sold at Disneyworld cut a lot of corners, particularly with the sleeves.  And it’s kind of fun to think to myself that I’m the best mom ever because Sofia has the best Snow White costume!  The costume uses 5 different colors.  I used “Casa” poly satin sold at Joann’s for all fabrics.  I had trouble finding the right shade of yellow and had to go to 2 stores to find it.

There 2 firsts for me making this pattern.  This was my first time using Wonder Under, a fusible web in sheet form.  All who read this blog know I’m a big fan of Steam A Seam, fusible web in thin strips on a roll.  Wonder Under was just as simple to use.  The other first was making my own piping.  It was only about a foot long, so it was no big deal to make.  I used a piece of chenille cord from my stash.

I did make one change, in that I omitted the cape.  I felt it was overkill for Florida weather, and Sofia didn’t even notice it.  A few observations:  this thing is pretty long.  My daughter is very tall for her age, yet this dress is so long it drug on the ground.  I think I overstuffed the headband, because it looked kinda silly and didn’t stay on her head.  (She only wore it for the picture)  I really like that the collar is detachable.  It gives you the option of not wearing it, plus makes it fare better in the wash.

Here are the pics:


{November 2, 2008}   Halloween Pics!

Here’s my Halloween costume.  I know, I intentionally left my face out of the picture, but it’s all about the costume!

OK, fine.  I look stoned, but here it is anyway.

I already gave it to a coworker and thinking about what I’ll make next year!

{October 21, 2008}   Halloween Beauty

I am so thrilled with this costume, and I haven’t even tried it on yet!

This is Butterick 4890.  I used the colors in the pattern photo because I didn’t feel like doing research to figure out what colors were used back then.  In fact, I’m only partially sure this is from the Regency period.  They really should put that on the pattern envelope, because people will ask.

I picked this one out because it uses less fabric than those voluminous renaissance costumes, which I thought equaled cheap.  What I didn’t take into account was the amount of trim required!  It uses 4 kinds of trim, one of which I didn’t even put on (edge of bodice)!  And I had the worst time trying to find trims in the right color and style despite going to a Joann superstore.  No luck at Hancock’s either.  This costume cost me about $70, even though I got everything 40-50% off.  The velveteen alone was $35.

I’ll post a pic of me wearing it on Halloween.

{October 19, 2008}   Project Catch-Up

Man, I don’t know what happened, but I haven’t posted in quite awhile!  And it’s not for a lack of sewing.  I’ve got 3 projects to blog about!!

I finished my Halloween Costume, but somehow lost the pic I took of it.  So I’ll put it back on the dress form and take another.  This is what I made:

For some reason, I thought this would be cheaper to make than those voluminous Renaissance gowns… $70-80 later, I realized I was very wrong!  About half the cost were the trims!  Everything was 50% off, so it would’ve been worse if I wasn’t a frugal shopper!!

et cetera