We’re almost there. I’ve been working on our under-the-sea costumes for about three or four weeks now. Thursday was the first day that I had several hours of uninterrupted time. What a rare treat to have an afternoon dedicated to getting my creative juices flowing.
Things were humming along with my dress but then I hit a snag. The original plan wasn’t working, or more accurately, I didn’t like it. The overskirt looked bulky, not the smooth, draping look I was after. Furthermore, the layers of sequined panels, reused from part of a thrifted child’s dress, looked messy. What to do, what to do?
Overskirt, front panel, seaweed and gardening tools
I went to bed in a funk. It’s a bit of a let down working on something for so long, only to have it disappoint you. The next day I realized the problem: the outer skirt, removed from an extra-large dress, was simply too much fabric. With that sorted out, I removed the original waistband from the skirt and redistributed the fabric more judiciously. Rather than keeping the gathering uniform all the way around, I lined up the side seams of the dress with the over skirt and created a box pleat in the back. Now the skirt flows but without the bulk. In the front I stitched just a few inches of the overskirt to the waistband, then let the excess fabric fall in waves down the front. Much better.
Gardener of the Sea Dress
After removing the sequined fabric from the front of the dress, I replaced it with a panel of material I’m using for the cape. I had just enough left over to make the panel without compromising the flow of the cape. Serendipity! It’s all trick of the eye, as the panel is only 14 inches wide but it works.
With that sorted out, it was time to add some bling. I cut three narrow strips of the cape material, then stretched them to capacity. This created a curled edge and a distressed finish. The idea is to suggest seaweed. After sewing the strips to the front panel, I added a few green glass beads, some jewelry findings and tied a few knots in the ends.
One of my thrift store finds is an aqua eyeglass lanyard. I sewed that to the front panel as well, and attached my tiny spade key ring. I bought it at a clever shop in Victoria, Canada. I hope to add another gardening tool but that’s still working itself out in my head.
My cape: It’s almost done, but I need a pair of buttons and a bit of elastic to attach it to my dress.
Headpiece. I’ve been gathering bits of material and some netting. I’m trying to make something that I can attach to a hair band.
Gloves. I’m still working out the details, but I have the material and a general idea of where I’m going with it.
Mike put the finishing touches on his helmet this weekend and it looks great. He glued bits of moss, some gold jewelry findings and just a hint of glitter. It looks a bit menacing to me with the full mask, but he likes it and that’s what counts.
Guardian of the Sea Mask
I finished his cape on Thursday, trimmed the tunic and added a few small touches. His costume is essentially done with one exception: I need to sew loops on the cape so it’s removable.
Guardian of the Sea Cape
Guardian of the Sea Tunic
We attend our first of three Halloween parties next Saturday, so with my busy week ahead, I need to carve out time for these last details.
As my 31-day, no-candy countdown continues, I’m enjoying the feeling of being more in control of my food choices. I hope those of you joining me on the journey are feeling positive as well. Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.
Pumpkins on Parade:
Nothing reminds me of sewing more than a bright red pincushion. Today’s pumpkin should feel right at home.
Thank you for the additional suggestions for pumpkin dress up. I’ll be working on a few of them later this week.