Saturday, October 29, 2011

Almost Done With the Costume

Well, all I have left to do is add in a couple of snaps for stability and my Halloween costume, the Jedi get-up, will be finished, but I'm saving them for tomorrow (or technically, later today). I just finished the belt and tabbards finally, thanks to Sarrah and Nicole the Knitter loaning me a Shark Euro-Pro sewing machine.

Pictures to come later, but I'm pretty happy with how they turned out but they were a BITCH to work on! For stability in the belt. I used some InnerFuse, double sided stiff fusible interfacing. It didn't "stick" quite like I thought it would, but it still worked. I almost wished I had more of it to put in the shoulder areas of the tabbards, but for those, I used Heat N Bond Lite. (This was the same stuff I used in the collar of the tunic).

I wanted to get some brown flannel or wool this weekend to whip out a (most likely not) quick Jedi robe to go with the tunic and pants, but I'm not going to push my luck. The Shark Euro-Pro only does one stitch and one length of stitch. It doesn't even go backwards to better secure the end of a hem, so I'm going to leave it as is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Over Last Night's Temper Tantrum

My machine truly is dead. There was the slightest chance, according to one troubleshooting site, that it was a case of overheating and within 30 minutes, it could have started up again. I tried it this morning and there wasn't anything new to report.

Maybe I should set it outside for Halloween with a sign that says, "Beware the haunted sewing machine."

I will be able to do some sewing tomorrow morning after all (got a late morning at work anyway) over at Nicole the Knitter's house on a machine owned by one of her roommates. This is what I was able to get done so far:

I actually sewed this two separate times. The first time, it turned out horribly, even with making several tweaks and taking it in a few times. This is such a nice, simple linen-type material. This is light enough to be comfortable outside during a southern Virginia Halloween, and to probably be comfortable inside at a party with a bunch of bodies (which we will probably wind up at).

One Jedi costume site recommended using ties on the inside for a more secure, tighter fit. I'm actually using snaps on mine. There are partial snaps in the shoulders right now, because I'm going to put the other half of the snaps in the tabbards to keep them from slipping down.

I also put in a set of shoulder pads, but I actually put them in backwards on purpose. According to the Padawan's Guide, "Obi-Wan's tunic has a noticeable "tuck" where the sleeve joined with the shoulder. In Ep. II, particularly in the scene where Obi-Wan is floating in those electric cuffs, you can see a shoulder seam too." In the picture of Obi-Wan here, you can see the arrow pointing up to the tuck. This is why I added the shoulder pads. I tried doing a tuck like this the first time, and it didn't work out for me, but at least I have the overall shape that I wanted.

I am wildly happy with how this turned out. I changed the construction of the collar and added the interfacing.

Gratuitous sleeping kitty shot.
These pants are actually from a woman's pirate costume pattern. Like a dumbass, when I bought the pattern, I grabbed the first one I saw and didn't realize until I was cutting the fabric out that it was a PLUS SIZED pattern. I had to cut it down to the smallest size listed and got it right.

This is the same linen fabric as the tunic. I actually sewed these three times. The first time, they were HUGE. The second time, I eyeballed the fabric pieces, cut them smaller and made them too small. The third time, I cut down the pattern and started with new fabric and got it right.

I thought I had elastic when I was almost finished with them. Turns out I didn't, so I ran down to Walgreens. I was denied there. Their tiny little sewing rack didn't have any elastic and I just didn't feel like going any further. I dug through my stash of stuff and came across a fitted sheet I had used for a different project. I cut a bunch of elastic from it and reused it for these pants.

I really liked this pattern. By leaving the elastic out below the knees (I should have made the pants a teeny bit longer but they do work with my boots), I can do simple capris with this pattern. My husband already decided I'm getting a new machine for Christmas so my goal is to find some fun fabrics at the thrift store in the form of dresses and re-purpose them into pants for next spring and summer with this pattern.

Here is the only thing so far I didn't have to start over on: the dickey and the first thing I made. I didn't even have to tweak the pattern. How the collar was made here is what made me do the collar on the tunic in the same way. This was a random remnant from my stash that I bought for this costume, I just wasn't sure which part I'd use it for. The pattern called for making your own ties, but I had white ribbon so I used that instead.

My husband was tossing out a D ring belt a while back, so I swiped it for Halloween for this costume. I'm planning on checking a local military surplus store on Friday or Saturday for a pouch to add to the belt, since I don't have pockets in the pants.

Eventually, I'll be either making or buying a better belt and "accessories" and a Jedi robe because once I am fully finished with the costume, I want to try and join the Rebel Legion. I'd love to be a regular old stormtrooper from the original trilogy and join the 501st, but I've been looking at trooper armor online. A good set should run about $1500-1600 and I just don't have that kind of moolah, especially since next year it will be time to replace our Blazer. The fun thing is that I'm running into more people who are or know members of the 501st and Rebel Legion. They are more mainstream than I thought. :) And of course, I have my green light saber, courtesy of my husband for my birthday last year. That's what started this whole project, really.

And it's also inspired me to make a Jawa and a gonk droid for the yard for next year's Halloween. I am such a geek. My entire life is one big geek circle. :)

Who's Feeling Like A Halloweenie?

Who's got two thumbs and is feeling like a Halloweenie?


Time for Halloween pictures of this year's decorations around the yard. More pictures to come after I take some more once it's light out again.

I would have liked to get a full sized bale of straw but had to settle for the one little one this year. The Spider-Man yard bags were a giftie from Nicole the Knitter when she went up to New York a while back. The gargoyle came from Target and I have to be very careful with it. These were crazily fragile, and I had a smaller one that broke a couple years back. Two repairs is all it could handle. The two pumpkins were bought years ago on post-holiday clearance from Walgreen's.

The spider attack victim was made from CPR dummy adult legs, dummy child arms and a painted Styrofoam head. She used to have a male torso and sit on my front step, dressed as a witch for a couple of years, but I got tired of that. As the victim, she's wrapped in half a sheet from the Salvation Army Thrift Store, secured with strips of sheet from the other half, then bound in "scary Halloween fabric" (that's seriously what it's called at Walgreen's) and then the whole shebang in draped in spiderwebs. The hanging skellie is new this year, also from Walgreen's, but since yesterday, it's been wearing a Baltimore Ravens t-shirt that my husband ordered from Amazon. He's obviously NOT a Ravens fan (see the Steelers' mermaid?)

My zombie flamingo came from Cheeseburger in Paradise a few years ago. It was a regular old pink flamingo that I "rented" for $5 with the idea it would be used as a prop in some photography contest they were having. Once you brought the flamingo back, you'd get back the $5 and a couple for free appetizers. I couldn't think of anything good as an entry in the contest and just hung onto this. I repainted it and added a noose here.

I love this oddball. This little hanging ghoul is several years old and came from Walgreens too (see a trend yet?). This year, he was looking pretty rough and I haven't seen any other ones like him in the last couple of years. Shit, even if I had, I probably wouldn't be able to let him go. So this year, I fixed him up. His elastic string needed to be replaced, so I re-threaded his head with 550 cord. His cloak, hood and rags just about fell off his emaciated little body, so I hot glued them back on. I added the white fabric pieces this year to give him some more weight and overall size. It's actually very cheap fabric that was part of the packaging from a mattress pad I had ordered. It was stark bright white when it arrived, so to get it ready for the ghoul, I let it soak in a tea bath to darken it. Even through it's cheap fabric, it barely took the color, but it took enough to take away the brightness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Bear with me while I have a little girl, laying on the floor meltdown, kicking and screaming, temper tantrum.

My sewing machine has shit the bed. It's about 11-12 years old and probably not worth repairing.

The bad thing is this: I am FINALLY almost done with the freakin' Jedi costume! All I had left was the belt and tabbards. Now, I have to go running over to Nicole the Knitter's house on Thursday morning before work to try and finish that part. One of her roommates said I could use  his machine.

Why oh WHY couldn't the damn machine have held on for just one more night???

Pictures to come later, but I will try the machine one more time tomorrow morning, just to see if I can get the damn needle to move or the fabric to pull through. :(