Thursday, September 3, 2009

Evolution of a garment

The Theatre company I worked for the last two summers kicks off the season with a themed Gala, which is the one really fancy event of the summer. Last year the theme was "1940's Red Carpet", as the cornerstone show of the season was "City of Angels", but as I was new, I didn't realize what a big deal the Gala was. My outfit left something to be desired. I was determined not to let this happen again.

This summer, the theme was "Witches and Wizards". The fact that I don't have a workroom, cutting table, or serger, means that the finishing on the garment isn't quite what I'd like. But it was done, so there ya go.

I decided, rather than go with the broom-wielding, orange-and-black stripe wearing witch, or the Gryffindor sweater vest-wearing type, I'd go for more of a medieval kind of feel, bodice and skirt kind of thing. The color choices... well, I made them for one reason, and that reason is named Professor Snape. I heart him. As you can see from the photo at right, it's sort of the Slytherin colors. I decided to do a bodice from the brocade, and a green skirt with a sheer black overlay.

The pattern I chose was Simplicity 9966. Of course, I purchased this even though I chose to make lots of alterations to it. Like I do. I guess it's all the same, since nothing fits me right anyway (I'm pretty curvy).

I started out by cutting all the pieces from muslin and putting it together the way I wanted (as opposed to how the pattern wanted me to). Then I severely altered it, doing all the pinning myself, through some contortion and clever usage of multiple mirrors. I have to say the fit left a little bit to be desired in the end, but that's what I get for trying to pin the back of a garment on myself (already altered in pic).

After I was satisfied with the mock-up, I retraced all of the pieces on the only large paper we had: a leftover roll of Christmas wrapping paper. That's when I discovered the brilliance of this! The wrapping paper has a grid printed on the back, which is to theoretically help you cut and wrap your presents more neatly, but this was perfect for placement of the pattern pieces and to keep me true to the grain lines.

I don't have any further photos of the process because, well... I put most of it together the night before I drove up there for the summer (as in, was up till about 4 AM sewing on the living room floor) and finished it the afternoon of the Gala, so I had zero time for photo ops. And I don't have any decent photos of myself wearing it yet, but I should be getting some in a few days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are a few photos of it on my new dressmaker's dummy! It fits me better than the dummy. Oh, and please excuse the wrinkles... I don't have a proper steamer.


Top, close-up

No comments: