Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Elf Esteem

I turned 33 last month, which would have been my coming-of-age if I was a hobbit (despite my large feet, I am not).  I threw a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-themed party, which meant I had to make myself a costume.  Female hobbits tend to be a bit frumpy, so I figured an elf was a better way to go.

There are a couple of elven dress patterns, like Simplicity 1551 and 4940, I decided to have a LotR party (which was over a year ago), I went with 9891 simply because I had already purchased it.  I suppose it would be a combination of views A (for the length) and B (for the sleeves, though I did the lacing differently and skipped the tie on the back).  I was rather enamored of view A, but since I was hosting the party, I knew it would only be matter of time before I dragged it through chili or knocked something over.  Instead of making the dress a solid color, I did the center parts in navy blue and the rest in black.

Due to a variety of reasons*, I ended up with only a week to make the dress and ended up having to make it out of sheets.  I felt kind of bad for cutting up perfectly good sheets, but that's my frugal side talking.  I cut the pieces Sunday, sewed the front Tuesday night, the back Thursday night, and sewed the front and back together Friday morning.  I put it on and... it was rather tight.  I managed to zip it up, but it was so snug that the armscye ripped.  I patched the tear, put the sleeves together, sewed them on and called it a day.

When The Boyfriend came over the next day, I put on the dress to show him and... I couldn't zip it up.  While I have put on a couple of pounds in the last few months, the zipper got stuck on my ribs, which aren't all that fatty.  This is the same thing that happened with my Jareth vest, and I was much trimmer then.  My only guess is that Simplicity costume patterns tend not to be as well-sized since they are usually one-off things.  (Or maybe I'm just a crap seamstress.  The sleeves on this made it SUPER TIGHT, and I had to yank them up past the elbow for them to be at all comfortable, which made them even shorter than they usually would have been on me.)

This happened at 8:30 on Saturday night, with my party starting a noon the next day.  My initial solution was to pout, but then the cogs started turning when I said the same thing had happened with the Jareth costume.  I figured the same solution would work again, so I pulled the dress back on and took some measurements.  This pushed us up to 8:45, and the JoAnn's closes at 9.  Luckily, it's practically across the street from my house, so I ran over and grabbed some more trim.  Ten minutes with the seam ripper, five more with the pins, and ten with the sewing machine led to looped trim stitched up the back.  I put the dress back on and had The Boyfriend lace me into it.  Boom, it worked.  Went from crisis to solution in under an hour.

I wore the dress at the party the next day and got loads of compliments.  The trim isn't intended to take the stress of lacing, so one of the top loops broke.  I think I will sew ribbon loops inside the dress or use grommet tape .

*: Lydia, one of my cats, went missing for a week and a half.  I was spending every waking moment (that I wasn't at work) searching for her, handing out flyers, and asking my neighbors if they'd seen her.  After an agonizing week and a half, I got a call from a neighbor who said she'd seen Lydia in a storm drain.  I lured her out and took her to the vet.  She was perfectly okay, if a little skinny.  But I spent the time she was gone bawling my eyes out and not sewing.  The day I got her back was the day before Easter, and my afternoon was consumed by ensuring that was healthy and safe.  So when the next day rolled around and I was able to sew, nothing was open except Wal-Mart, hence the sheets.

This little brat has no idea how much I missed her.

My missing cat, combined with general lack of mojo over my (now finalized) divorce is why I didn't have the thing started in February, like I should have.