Surviving by boring the crap out of all of you….

Well the first couple days haven’t been so bad. My darling dearest is now safely in Portland OR and I’m now just jealous of his being on the West Coast. I’ve been working on my not Tia Dalma costume and have made some great progress. I only wish I could show you. My computer does have a whopping 1.3 megapixel camera and before long I may get desparate and take some pictures with it but I haven’t sunk that low yet. Once you’ve had a 10 MP camera everything else seems kinda paltry in comparison.

In other news? Well there really is no other news. I’m learning how to do (and hate) gathers for this dress. I got the sleeves all gathered and sewed on only to find that a) my rather large arms don’t fit into them and b) that I had one of them sewed on crooked so that the gathers on the right arm were on the top as they were supposed to be, but the gathers on the left arm were nicely lined up with my boob and somehow that just didn’t look right. Go figure, huh? Well I ripped the sleeves off, bought more dye and dyed more fabric for the underskirt and sleeves, but haven’t returned to the sleeve part yet. Instead I spent the evening pinning two extra layers of fabric to the front half of the underskirt (cuz there’s and underskirt and an overdress) so that it looks like theres 4 layers. Is this boring with no pictures? Well I promise it would be boring with them too so I’m sorry.

For anyone who might be interested in making a similar costume, I’d love to share some pointers even if pics are out of the question right now.

Things I’ve learned thus far:

  • Mccall’s pattern 5731 is great for the basic colonial style dress. Just leave out the insert of a second color so that you have sort of a robe instead of a whole dress.
  • a simple drawstring skirt made with 3 yards of fabric is what I’m using for the basic underskirt. Let me explain that better. I bought 3 yards of red fabric, sewed the ends together so that I had a very large tube of fabric, added a hem at on one side of the selvage and inserted a drawstring. Very easy and really long flow-ey cuz the fabric was 45 inches wide. Since I’m a whopping 5’4 this makes it long enough to go over a large petticoat that is actually a bridal petticoat for a wedding dress. Percfect for the poufy skirt.
  • For the extra layers of underskirt, I stitched an old white curtain that had lace detail along the edge to the bottom front of the draw string skirt. This is a little tricky but I pinned it in place with an overlap from the actual skirt of about 6 inches give or take. The rough edges from either end were pinned under the skirt so they don’t show. I added a second layer of another contrasting fabric under this one and sewed it in place with invisible thread. Just little sections of sewing for this layer so that it wouldn’t be so obviously “attached” as I want it to look like I’m wearing 3 layers of skirts instead of just one.
  • The dollar store (In my case the Dollar Tree) is a great place to find cheap island themed jewelry either for embellishments or to wear. I got several necklaces for a buck a piece that will be perfect for stringing around the dress as further decoration.
  • Hobby Lobby (if you have one nearby) has some awesome clearance finds from time to time. I got 10 yards of decorative fringe for 5 bucks so I recommend checking their clearance sections.
  • I made my dress out of muslin from Wal Mart dyed with Rit dyes in Tan and Scarlett. For the dye mix I used all the tan dye as instructed and once the fabric was in the pot on the stove I sprinkled about an 8th of a tsp of the scarlett dye over the whole mess and then stirred it all up real quick. It made the fabric a nice rusty mottled color as if the fabric was very old. This worked about a million times better than the tea bath that everyone swears by. BUT make sure you dye all your fabric in this and a bit extra because otherwise you could end up very dissappointed when you have to re cut a section (like I have to do with the sleeves) and find out your second dye job doesn’t match the rest of the dress.

I will have more for you later. And for those of you who don’t give a crap about my Halloween costume, I’m sorry for all that. *grins sheepishly* but when I get obsessed theres no stopping me.

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