Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Walk Like an Egyptian II: Hat

The hat/crown was the most important part of the costume, IMHO.  I shouldn't have been too hard to draft a pattern myself, but I didn't really feel up to it.  I searched far and wide for a pattern and came up with the long out-of-print Butterick 3587.  The first place I attempted to purchase it from didn't actually have it, and I ended up waiting over a month before they were willing to admit to that.  There were stories of boxes misplaced in a move, warehouses this particular person didn't have the key to, etc.  I ended up purchasing it somewhere else.

Selfie in a poor quality mirror without the flash.  Yes,
this i the best I could do.
Given all I had to go to get this pattern, I was quite disappointed when I received the pattern and found the hat didn't have a top.  This is my fault for not looking at the envelope closely enough, but it was still a letdown.  If still wanted a top for my hat, so I was going to draft one, but then I just gave up.  I could not deal with that challenge in the emotional state I was in at the time.

So.  The gold-red-blue strip on the hat gave me a lot of trouble.  I could not find a gold ribbon that was wide enough except a wired one (which I used), and it didn't hold up well to the machine.  I wanted shallow jewels to sew or glue on it, but I couldn't find any.  The selection at my JoAnn's seems to be decreasing at a rather rapid pace, and it quite upsets me.  I ended up purchasing blue and red ribbon that I slit into strips and sewed on.  I burnt the end of the ribbons and folded them under.  I started with precise measurements and then decided I didn't care anymore, so I just eyeballed it.  Good enough.  I was far more distressed over the gold ribbon not standing up all that well under the machine.

The bottom strip is just more of the same gold ribbon.

The Uraeus is just a piece of gold trim, leftover from my Edgar Allan Poe costume.

This hat is intended to close with hook and loop tape (what most people call Velcro).  Velcro by the hair sounds like a very bad idea.  I used three hooks and eyes instead, and it worked just fine.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Walk Like an Egyptian I: Dress

So...  I still am alive.  I've been jumping over hurdle after hurdle the last few months.  Life has a bunch of surprising twists and turns.  I'm not quite ready to spill the beans yet, so please bear with me for the next few months.  I had planned on doing the contest again this year, but that obviously didn't pan out.  Hopefully, things will be more stable next year.

Anyway, my Halloween costume.  I chose Nefertiti (though a lot of people seemed to think I was Cleopatra, argh) because I felt it would be reasonably easy (compared to Jareth) and mostly recognizable (compared to Jareth).  Several people have actual told me that my profile bears a bit of resemblance to hear, so why not?

The first aspect here is the dress, which is Simplicity 1770, view E.  It's a simple, darted, sheath dress.  Honestly, the most accurate color to make this is in would have been white or off-white, but strictly speaking, the dress also should have been translucent or leave the breasts exposed.  I didn't want to get arrested or fired from work, and let's face it, I am not going to wear a white dress, so black it was.  And my tattoos would show through in a white dress.  I used a cotton-linen blend because it was cheaper and less wrinkle-prone than straight linen.

I forgot to shorten the upper part of the dress, so this ended up being very loose in the back.  I'll need to take this in at some point if I ever plan on wearing it again.  I was surprised at how unfitted this was in the waist.  I was going to take that in as well, but with the waist piece, I figured I could cinch it in enough that it wouldn't matter.

What I did change: this dress is cut to the upper thigh, which is more leg than I want to show, not to mention would be a bit drafty.  I reduced the slit to just above the knee.  I also lengthened the dress by three inches, which still left it shorter on me than the picture on the front, but I didn't want to be tripping over it all night, so no biggie.

This dress is pretty simple.  I threw it together in an afternoon.  I find costume patterns, especially Simplicity patterns, to be easier to sew.  My guess would be because costumes tend to be what casual sewists tend to flock to, and Simplicity is trying to appeal to them.  A beginner could tackle this as perhaps a third or fourth project.