In June, Sewer Slut Susan N. and I went to our first Santa Cruz Derby Girls (SCDG) bout. It was such a close match between SCDG and the Jet City Roller Girls of Washington and we lost by about four points. Total bummer. Besides sparking an acute interest in roller derby (so much so that we are now in training as SCDG Fresh Meat), we also noticed that the bouts had themes. That night in June was a Hula-themed bout and people (mostly bout helpers) were dressed in grass skirts, coconut bras, etc. Mmmmm.....costumes.... The program indicated that the next bout would be Tutu Army, so Susan N. and I went out and bought tutus. For last night, our third bout, the theme was Black & Blue. Black & Blue? What do you do with that? So we started brainstorming and came up with Black & Blue Cheerleaders, which sent me on a quest for a pattern.
I searched high and low for a good cheerleader pattern. I could have sworn that Simplicity or McCall's had one in their costume section, but nothing popped out in any of my searches. So I started expanding my quest and came across a random auction site with a vintage 1971 Simplicity pattern. I ordered it with a whole month between my purchase date and the bout. Plenty of time to whip up something fabulous, right? Well, the seller took her sweet time sending me the pattern and I only received it this past Monday...a mere FIVE days before the bout! Grrrrrrr. The pattern was cut, but intact. The previous owner had done the long-sleeved variation. I chose to do View 3, the blue and yellow cheer outfit with the varsity letter. I purchased some blue costume satin and black fabric with little white skulls for the inserts.
This was a really fun costume to sew, though I loathe sewing on satin, because of its tendency to pucker slightly at times. I have never put in a godet before (those are the little inserts in the skirt) and it was really easy. I love how those little white skulls contrasted with the bright blue of the rest of the outfit! I decided to skip the lining and just sewed a hem, because a.) I did not buy any lining fabric and b.) I was running out of time!
I was a little wary of the sizing of the costume (I figured it would be too small) and as I slipped it over my head for the first time I realized that it was just slightly too big. Whew. That is easier to fix. The only problem was that the neck was way too high and tight and the shoulders were too big. Hmmmm. So I decided to cut some of the neck away, which then changed how the pattern facing would attach. I figured the best bet at this point would be to just bind the neck with some white bias tape. After that was done, I tried the costume on again and realized that by changing the neckline, the dress had become too droopy in front. Grrrrrrr. I did not want to risk messing up the shoulder construction with more happy scissors action, so I put in the shoulder facings as instructed, but to fix the sizing and droopiness of the dress, I made little ties for the shoulders. (Thanks Susan N. for that brilliant suggestion.) There was one other thing I did not like about the fitting of this dress and that was the fact that you could not see the little godet things. Well, I did have that tutu.... So I wore my tutu/crinoline under the costume and it was transformed! And did I mention the best little finishing touch? Instead of a varsity letter, I went to a local Santa Cruz head shop and found a little black and white skull & crossbones patch. Yay!And here we are together in full cheerleader regalia. Here you can also see the shoulder ties that I made and a better close-up of the skull patch.
And what is the next bout's theme? Superheroes! My costume is mostly complete...I just need a cape and some red tights.