I’ve decided to start posting every Saturday about my adventures in costume making. I will also be crossposting this on Cap’s blog, The Geek Registry.
Adventures in sewing…
Here’s the deal, I love costumes. I don’t know if it’s because of my love of old movies, or all of the books I read when I was a kid, or maybe my interest in history or quite possibly something else entirely. I am sure it’s the result of some crazy combination of things, whatever it is, I really enjoy making costumes.
I can sew pretty well, I am not the best ever but I am definitely not the worst either. My mother was an amazing seamstress, a fact that I’ve just only begun to appreciate in the last several years. My mother sewed for the holidays, costumes at Halloween and dresses and decorations at Christmas and Easter. She made clothes for herself and the rest of us, including swim suits. She also did a lot of sewing around the house, like curtains, tablecloths, bedspreads, dust ruffles and anything else that was needed. My favorite was an elegant set of scalloped, sheer roman shades for the formal dining room.
When I was young, probably 7 or 8 years old, my mother taught me how to sew. I wanted to make presents for family members for Christmas. She started me on straight stitches and then a little zig zag. That year I made fabric pouches that held individual tissue packets for everyone in my family for Christmas. I wish I had a picture so that I could post it here. They were super simple but I was very proud of myself.
After that, my mother went over how to cut out a pattern and properly pin the pattern pieces onto the fabric. She explained how to match up the different pieces following the various match points, and dots. Then I learned about clipping edges, sewing darts and a bunch of other stuff. After that she just let me venture out and work on my own projects. After that I learned a lot just bumbling my way along, I suppose at some point I should have asked her for more lessons and pointers. I have some blind spots, like zippers, I am still in the process of learning how to put in a zipper. I am very proficient in adding snaps, hooks and velcro though, so that’s a good thing.
The silver lining to all of the trial and error is that I developed really good problem solving skills. I’ve learned I can tweek almost any pattern, and at this point they’re more like guidelines really. It is not rare for me to combine one or more patterns to create one piece or outfit. Sometimes I end up using tissue paper or muslin to create my own patterns.
My biggest sewing project was my wedding in 2000. When we were first talking about getting married I suggested we have a Renaissance themed wedding. Luckily enough, my then fiance/now husband was all for the idea. I made my dress, all of the bridesmaid dresses, my Dad’s tunic, a robe for the minister, as well as six other dresses. Next week, I’ll go more in depth about the wedding. Here’s a pic though, to tide you over.
Costume Corner will be cross-posted at Cap’s blog, The Geek Registry.