Sunday, October 24, 2010

Elizabeth Bennett: Zombie Hunter

Zombie or vampire?  These were my options for last night's themed event of "Zombie vs. Vampires".  Last year, I went as a nasty zombified prom queen, complete with rotted flesh made with liquid latex, which smells incredibly similar to Parker's cat box.  Not wishing to douse myself in urine for the second year in a row and also realizing that I have no recollection of ever wanting to dress as a vampire in my 34 years of life, I decided to try something a bit different.

I already had pattern 4055 from Simplicity's historical collection.  This pattern covers the 1795 to 1825 period and the small print reads "Sense & Sensibility Patterns."  Perfect for an interpretation of that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book that came out last year.  Admittedly, while I have not read this mash-up of Jane Austen's classic, I have read the original and feel more inclined as a zombie hunter than as a gross and hideous undead creature.

So I whipped up this dress over the course of a week, putting the final touches on it just hours before the event.  The overall fit of the pattern was pretty good, though I had to sew the bust with a smaller seam allowance to accommodate my heaving bosom.  I chose a heavy light green fabric for the dress (six yards of it were picked up at a yard sale last year!) and the overlay was from the remnants pile at Beverly's.  Here are some close-ups of the details:
The buttons on the back are just plastic from my stash and the white is a bit too harsh, but I didn't see the point in buying anything I didn't have to for a costume. 
I tried out the scallop stitch on my sewing machine for the hem of the overlay.  The pattern suggested a narrow hem, but I wanted to use a darker green scallop to give the dress a little bit more decoration and to match the braid at the neckline.  Speaking of which...
I sort of love how the sleeve just slightly slips from the shoulder.  It totally reminds me of all of the Regency Romance novels that I love to read.  I mean, can't you just imagine Mr. Darcy getting a bit too friendly with Miss Bennett, pulling the sleeve from her shoulder to place a very improper and daring kiss?  Um, yes please!
And here I am about to chop the head off of the zombie Walt Whitman.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Baggage

It was getting down to the wire and I had not sewn anything for my wedding.  I mean, what kind of Sewer Slut would I be if I didn't handcraft some fabulous fabric item for my very own wedding?  My dress was vintage and, though I did not create it myself, I did reinforce the beading, but that doesn't really count as making something new and unique for the wedding.  I kept trying to think of little things to make with needle and thread for the ceremony...did people need little fabric flags to wave or what about fabric flags lining the path to the ceremony?

Weeks ago I decided that I would need a garment bag for my dress.  I already had the pattern, Butterick B4156, which seems to now be out of print.   I also chose the fabric...a gorgeous vintage print from my new sister-in-law.  So I set both the pattern and the fabric aside, but did not touch them for weeks.  I spent my time crafting paper flowers for the centerpieces and just ignored my sewing machine for the month before the wedding.  

So Friday morning at 5:30, I woke up and made the garment bag.  With three panels of fabric, a zipper, and loads of bias tape, I figured that it would take about two hours and that was all the time I would have to myself until after the wedding.  And I was was about two hours on the nose.  I got a bit exuberant about ripping out basting stitches, so that I now have a small bit of bias tape to repair, but otherwise the bag is fabulous!

And here we are...