Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY boys pirate costume... how not to do it

I am sometimes a weeee bit ambitious in the sewing department.  I like to think because I've watched a few seasons of Project Runway that I can work my way pretty handily around a sewing machine.  I assure you, I cannot.  However, I love making the boys Halloween costumes and this year Dave and Frank decided that they wanted to be pirates.  So pirate costumes... how to do it.  Or read this, then read someone else's blog on how you really do it and follow their advice to a tee while laughing at my sad creations. 

First off, let's get a pirate joke out of the way...
This is my favorite from the Hasting's Pirate Day website in the UK...

-What's a pirate's favourite letter of the alphabet?
....I've always had trouble with me alphabet, mate...I always get stuck at C!!

Alright onward with this riveting drivel...
The first and by far largest mistake was taking the boys with me to the fabric store.
I don't know what I was thinking. It was crowded with the rest of the amateurs trying to piece together some costume and I was the only one stupid enough to bring three boys with me.  They picked out the craziest Halloween fabrics that make them look not at all like pirates, but like Halloween hobos.  They were super exctied to pick out their fabric though, and I had to keep reminding myself that I was not making a costume for me but for my little hobo wannabes. Aren't I just the most selfless mom? (loads of wink with that one)

Pants -
First thing I did is get a pair of Frank's pants and fold them in half and cut out around them.  I then repeated this process four times.  Mistake #1 - don't do that.  After I cut everything I figured out that I really only need two of that shape and then I should've flipped the pants over and cut out mirror images for the other two.  Oops.

Ok, so then I had to sort of cut and shape something that I thought would work without having to go out and buy more awesome flame fabric which Frank insists are ghosts, not flames - whatever matey.

Now I'm showing Dave's pants instead because Frank's were a bit of a mess after my first misstep. Which was followed closely by my second misstep which was sewing the inseams together.  Seriously.  I sewed the edge and lifted them up to look at my awesomeness and instead saw what a tool I was for sewing the legs together.  I wish I would've taken a photo of this but I was so mad I immeadiately attacked the "pants" with my seam ripper. (they can't in reality be called pants because they weren't at all pants, more of an awkward tube at this point)

So let's start again with Dave's skull head pants
Step #1 - cut two of this shape...
Step #2 - take one of those pieces and flip it over onto the fabric and cut two of the flipped shape.
Step #3 - take a fuzzy photo of it for the worst how-to blog ever
You should have four pieces that look like below now. If you don't I would encourage you to join me in sewing class.
Step #4 - Pin just the crotch part together and only sew that part together.  If you go down further you will not have pants, you will have the weird tube (see above)
Step #5 - Open the pants up and admire that you are not in fact the biggest idiot on the planet and can visualize where pants get sewn together.
Step #6 - Sew the outside edges together. And then finally sew the correct portion of the inseam together to make two pant legs.  Is this perfectly disorienting and not at all making sense?  Good, that's how I felt making them too.
Step #7 - Fold over a waist band and sew that up. 
Make sure your fold is big enough to accomodate whatever size elastic you found laying around in the drawers that your kids ransack and pillage on a regular basis. Make sure to leave a two inch space open so you can get your elastic in.
Step #8 - Thread the elastic through. 
Step #9 - Take a break for a manicure.  Those hands look tired and could use a little snazzy polish, no?
Step #10 - Sew the elastic together using a zig-sag stitch (I have no idea why this is important, but I remember that the blog tutorial I used to make crib sheets emphasized this and she knows what she's talking about and I don't so let's just go with what she suggests).  I think it is muy importante to have elastic that will hold or else your little pirate will be mooning the entire neightborhood in his quest for more candy booty.
Step #11 - Finish off closing the waist band
Step #12 - admire your handy work.  Oh! and I didn't finish the hems on the bottom because I haven't decided if I'm going cut them all ratty and ship-wrecked style, stuff them into felt "boots" that I bought 2 yds of black felt to make and will probably never happen before the big All Hallows Eve, or if I should just let them hang and go with it because they are for a Halloween costume.  I've seen worse construction go down the runway in front of Nina Garcia and Michael Kors, so maybe I'll just leave it.
Take a break to play dress up yourself.

Ok - now can you even handle the how-to for the vest?!?  I know, chomping at the bit and all that.
Step #1 - lay out a shirt on your fabric and cut around it leaving a little extra for seams and so you don't cut your perfectly good shirt. This is now the back of your vest.
Step #2 - cut out another piece like the first, but leave more on the side edges so there's some room to make the vest overlap in the front.  I imagined a sort of Diane von Furstenberg type wrap at the front because I know pirates are concerned about being fashionable too.
Step #3 - cut along the middle of the second piece with the wider edges
Step #4 - cut a v-neck into the front pieces.  No rhyme or reason to this, just how much pec do your boys want to show off
Step #5 - Sew a finished edge onto the arm holes, along the neckline (front and back), and down the front edges.  Wow - look at that precision. I really can't imagine how many seamstresses I'm making sick inspiring right now.
Step #6 - Pin and sew the shoulders together and the sides, while not sewing the arm holes shut.  I'll not go into the details on why I know this to be an important reminder.
Step #7 - talk your tantruming toddler off the ledge. Stan was pretty ticked that I had not started his kitty costume yet.  Lots of agony in that face.
Just a bonus photo of G takin'a ride and chillin' in the Costco cart.

Want to see the finished product??  You'll just have to read up on the Halloween post I'm sure to bore delight you with.  Actually that's just my lame excuse.  I really just forgot to take a picture of the boys once they had the costumes on because I couldn't stop laughing at them.  Hobos of the High Seas they be indeed.

Aaaaaand, you lucky readers get to be amazed at whatever I cobble together for Stan and George too.  Hang on to your seats, I know you can hardly wait.

Later - I've got some sewing to do

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