Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013: A Good white witch - the younger Glenda

For my oldest daughter, when she said she wanted to be a white witch, I thought that sounds so familiar. The phrase "white witch"...then I realized, it sounded familiar because that's what the evil lady/queen Jadis in the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe was called. I asked if that's who she wanted to be or if it was just a witch dressed in white rather than black. She said Jadis, so I started pinning movie shots to inspire me as I planned her costume. And, having not found another great at Goodwill for the dress or fur mantle she wears in the movie...and not even icicle ornaments in the (yes - already out at walmart) Christmas section (to make the icicle crown), I pushed her costume off til last.

I'm glad I did, because she told me later, she wanted to be a good witch, not a bad witch. (Yep, like me...we only want the fun good parts of halloween - dress up and pretend and evil yucky grossness). Glenda the good witch.

So, I looked up Glinda (Glenda?) the good witch from The Wizard of Oz (who wears a very fluffy pink dress that would be so expensive to make and I have nothing to pull from like free fabric or a petticoat or anything for a base). Fortunately, what also came up were the NEW good witch pictures of a younger Glenda from OZ the Great and Powerful. (Who happens to be wearing a much calmer dress and has long flowing blond hair) Win!

So, that's what we're going with. She's outgrown the dress up stage and growing too fast to reuse a costume in a few years, I'm not wanting to spend much on her we're not aiming for perfection. Just a close enough resemblance to please.

She'll wear this dress I've had a few years (it's one of those shirred tube top style dresses - I bought it purely for taking photos of our family on the beach all in white a few years ago.

but it really doesn't flatter me (even less so in the past year or so) - so if it gets a little Halloween chocolate on it, I'm not gonna cry...and it's so stretchy that it's snug enough to stay on my nearly 9 year old.)

Under the dress, she's wearing a gold shirt. I couldn't find one at my normal 2nd hand places, but Hancock's came through with this awesome gold shimmery fabric that was on sale for 3.49/yard, so for under $5, a shirt. (It is see through so I cut up an old white t shirt of mine that got stains while in the laundry to line the front/back. And the shirt looks cute on her by itself -  that's what I love about her costume - it's just another shirt she can wear later, so I don't feel like I spent any money on her costume.)

The feathery V shape she's got going on down the bodice - yeah, we're skipping that. My daughter said no thanks.

For the wand, she painted a dowel gold and hot glued on some trinket (is it odd that my kids find trinkets lying around the house? Clearly, our "baby" is no longer a baby. We are so far from baby proof these days!)

I think she did a great job. (I did do the hot glue part for her)

Then, for the crown, we were going for something like what we saw online:

So, I had already gone to the fabric store more than enough and I wanted to make progress on this right then, so going with what I've got. I had some sheer fabric (I keep leftover "fancy fabrics" in a gallon zip lock bag - now in 2 gallon zip lock bags for occasions just such as this). And I had some leftover stabilizer. (Some gold tissue lame would have been nice, but didn't have any of that.)

I also had some fusible webbing ("wonder under" - this paper with a web of sticky stuff you iron on and after you peel the paper back, you iron that fabric to another fabric - kind of turns the fabric into a sticker to fuse two fabrics together). That wasn't too good of an explanation  - might want to google it. :)

I used this wonder under to fuse a layer of sheer white and sheer yellow to my stabilizer (heavy weight interfacing). Then, I cut out the pieces for the crown from there.

I printed out a bunch of pentagons in 3 sizes (I did a quick and sloppy job of making them all touching for easier tracing/cutting. Here's a pdf of what I used, and it's not fancy or evenly aligned, but it is already made for you!)

I cut out each of the 3 rows of pentagons and traced around that onto the back of the interfacing (not the side with the sheers fused). Once I did that, the lines dividing those pentagons were easy to draw in place.

 Then, I just cut them all out.

And arranged them how I liked them over a piece of felt (it's grey).

I have this annoying clear plastic-y thread that I can't remember the name of right now nor why I originally got it, but I have never had luck with using it, but for some miracle it worked for me Saturday afternoon.
(I had stopped during the kids' quiet time to read my maybe it was a little blessing for me.) :)

Anyways, I sewed a bunch of lines to keep it all together - first across the bottom (where they all were based), then up at semi-regular intervals, then around all the points at the top...then I decided to go along all the points. It was a lot of stopping, put the needle in the fabric, pick up the presser foot and turn, drop it again and sew til the next turning point. But it really only took me about 5-10 minutes to stitch it all down.

I cut away all the felt that stuck out except for a bit at the bottom to fold around the wire base of the crown.

Then, I fought with a children's hanger to shape it to the size circle she wanted.

Those little hangers are tougher than you'd think

I couldn't quite get all the pokey parts to lie flat even with all my jewelry tools. 

I even tried to clip off the excess sharpness so there was less of it...
 next time I'll use my husband's REAL wire cutters.

Moving on...
I put the overlapping wires towards the front so the back of the crown is smooth and won't get caught in hair and I folded the excess felt over the wire to cover those parts.

(Another idea would be to sew on a curved piece/strip of fabric - preferably cut on the bias so it's got some stretch - and sew it right sides together at the base of the crown and then flip it towards the back, going over the wire and stitching it down in the back.)

Then, I used a zipper/piping foot to get as close as I could to the wire.

 (Note, the overlapping areas will be so big, that you just can't get that close - unless you have better wire tools that I have, which is likely. I just picked up the foot and moved it or sewed farther away at those points.)

The front (before decoration added hanging down)

The back view

On her head finished:

I was going to add the hanging on her forehead thing but after all these costumes, I lost a little steam on the details...maybe later.

And I'm done with kids costumes....until next year :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costume 2013: Tinkerbell

The youngest of my crew wanted to be tinkerbell. I have a pattern I bought years ago (someone was going to be silvermist but then that idea changed. glad I probably bought if for $1). But like most patterns for costumes it wasn't made for a preschooler who intends to play dress up in it. (It has a back zipper or other closure no 3-4 year old can do alone and that inevitably will catch hair.)

*Disclaimer: This isn't a "real" tutorial with pictures of every step of the way but how I did it with as much explanation as I could without going on and on forever. If you ever need help, just comment and I'll answer your questions.

So I wanted a costume that would be dress up later (might as well while I'm spending money). I'm not as excited about hers as about her sister's, but I couldn't find ANY stretch green fabric of the right color in JoAnn or Hancock Fabrics...even in prices I was unwilling to pay.

So, I went with the tutu idea I planned for the other two girls (my girls like fluff - especially this one), but attached the bodice to the waistband so that it's all one piece for dress up sake. I also added in the skirt of leaves above the tutu into the on for order.

First, I prepped the tutu through the point of sewing the waistband in preparation for adding the tulle. (I'm not re-writing her tutorial - she did a great job - check the link. But I'll keep referring to it.)

Then, I worked with my satin - making the bodice and leaf-skirt...

For the bodice, I cut a rectangle of fabric [19"wide x 12.5" high for back and 11.5" high for front] and cut sleeve holes and neck hole (normal sleeve holes shape/size but really wide neck so the shoulders were typical width - the neck will be gathered with elastic).

I sewed the front/back bodice together at shoulders (right sides together). Then, I opened it out flat to add sleeves...

For the sleeves (because dressing exactly like Tinkerbell's form fitting tube top is not going to happen around here) - I cut out little leaf shapes one end pointed, one end flat (at random sizes/shapes, but I cut both front/back at the same time so it would match for need for them all to be identical - they're leaves!) I sewed these right sides together, leaving the flat end open for turning. Then, I top stitched all around and down the middle top to bottom after I flipped them right side out. I sewed these onto the top of the arm hole with the raw unsewn edges towards the raw edge of the arm hole. The entire arm hole was serged. Satin frays so much!

For the neckline, I zig zagged a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" elastic stretched along the inside of the neckline (right along the raw edge). Then, I folded the elastic neckline towards the inside to hide the elastic completely and zig zagged all around again. I don't like making casings around curved edges with fabrics that don't stretch and I was too lazy to make a little binding or facing for the neckline. It looks fine! It was a little tricky getting it to align correctly without puckers, but hey - it's elasticized - no one can tell if it did.

Then, I sewed up one of the side seams. [I might go back and sew a little more into the sides or add elastic at the bottom of the sleeves because I think it looks a little frumpy here (puffy, not well fitting)...I'm going for easy to slip on with no closure clothes without stretch fabric - it's complicated...] I left the other open to align with the open tutu I left half finished.

Once I had the top together, I used what was left of the fabric to make as many leaves as I could (I started with 2 yards of costume satin). I left some for come later. I did make a pattern and trace - again, flat on one end, pointed at the other.

For adding in the leaves and bodice to finish off the tutu:
You need to see where the stitching line is that was made on the waistband, so after trial and error, I realized that I needed to sew the leaves and bodice onto the waistband with the waistband on top so I could follow along the same stitching line.

So, leaves or bodice first - doesn't really matter.

For the bodice, leave 1/2" on each end extended past the waistline (which already has been seamed) so that you can close up that side.

Choose one (bodice or leaves), put it right side toward one side of the waistband and stitch with raw edges even (follow the stitching line!).

Then, add on the tulle layer. (You'll be able to see the stitching line on both sides now, so it doesn't matter which side is up when you put it under the needle.)

Repeat for the other - (bodice or leaves) - oh, for the leaves, you do need to arrange them to look nice - think artistically and place them how you think they look good as a skirt.

Again, sew with the right side of your green satiny piece towards the waist band, raw edges even and follow the stitching line. Then, sew the tulle layer on top of that (just as in the tutu tutorial, but you've got an extra layer of something between the waistband and the tulle.)

Make sure you like the way it looks, then you can serge all these raw edges of layers. And flip everything down again.  (The bodice side seam is still open on one side.)

After that, I stitched up the open side seam. Then, I inserted my elastic into the waistband casing. Once I had it fit the way I liked it, I stitched the ends together. I also pulled together the waistband edges and zigzagged over where they met so they wouldn't come apart. And to make the leaf skirt not look like it had a gap on this side, I overlapped two leaves and put a stitch there to keep them overlapping.

For the neckline, I zigzagged over 1/4" elastic put along the inside neckline edge (I had folded the fabric at the neckline in once first, and left a little gap between the edge of the elastic and the edge of the fold so that when I flipped it towards the inside to enclose the elastic I would have a little bit of fabric beyond the elastic to sew on, but you can also just sew it directly onto the inside neck edge and then when sewn on and folded to the inside, zig zag again to keep neck line and elastic in place but still stretchable.)

(One other thing I added not listed above was I added a little "tag" made from folding a 1" piece of grosgrain ribbon in half and sewing the raw edges into the neckline. So she can tell where the back is. I'll use a fabric marker to write the size on it later to match the rest of her clothes for reference for later. (I always have to think, now how old was he/she when this was worn? to figure out about what size it is when digging through the halloween box later!)

Be sure to re-stretch out the elastic as you sew so that the fabric is not bunched up.

The shoes...saved for last. They scared me. :) But I found a great tutorial for that too. I just have to modify the sizing a little for my girl's feet. But they will have little white balls added!

well, that was a pain in the neck! I have never been good at slippers/shoes (I failed in the past completely, so I am actually excited that these worked out at all. I plan to get some more practice with Christmas gifts...)

I followed the same order that the above link did sewing the upper and upper lining together around the foot opening.

When I did the upper to the sole, I added little gathers in the toe area because the outer sole fabric did NOT stretch (I used black vinyl).

I made a 3/8" casing so that I could fit a safety pin in it. So instead of elastic cording that the other tutorial used, I used 1/4" elastic to fill the casing.

inside out view

Before the elastic

I had to adjust the casing and the sole size by making both smaller so I was glad the sole lining was last to sew on...

Also, I added 2 layer of batting to the wrong side of the sole lining for comfort. She'll be wearing these walking around outside on cement.

For the white balls, I used scraps of white fleece that I had 5" diameter. (I traced a lamp head behind from the desk behind me.)

I sewed a basting (machine) stitch around the outside of the circle.

And pulled the thread on one side to gather the circle (gently because the fleece was slow and stiff to gather).

It started coming together...

And then I stuffed it...

And tied it shut

Top view

Go all the way around the white puff ball, grabbing a little front the green satin then a little from the underside of the white ball nearby...pull tight to bring them together. (The stitching shouldn't show.)

And I guess that wasn't so bad afterall now that I got the hang of it...