Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to make a small costume bigger {The witch}

Technically I had 364 days to get this finished. So why, on the eve of our school's Halloween party, was I up sewing until the bewitching hour?

In a word: crazy overambitious

Two years ago I was a witch. Found a black wig, bought a witch hat, borrowed my sister's black dress and bought some striped tights. Ugh. Those blasted striped tights. Let's just say "one size fits all" only applies if you're crotch comes down to your knees. But hey, we teachers are inventful right? Nothing some scissors and rubber bands can't fix. Who needs blood circulating through your legs anyway?

Flash forward to this year. I borrowed my sister's black dress again.
I thought I had it in the bag, until I ran across my niece's old pre-teen sized witch costume.

If only I had an off button. 

It wasn't too bad, actually, other than a wee bit of cursing and a little midnight sewing. (I am a witch after all, what do you expect?)
Here's the before (pre-teen size):

Alteration plan -
1. Cut to create short sleeves, since moving my arms at the party might be necessary.
2. Add panels, using sleeve material, to the chest area, since I might need to breathe during said party.
3. Add extra pieces to shoulders, using sleeve material, to drop neckline and eliminate armpit squeeze.
4. Re-attach waistline to new bodice and pray for a miracle that it all fits.

Drumroll's the after:

It actually worked. I know it only appears like I cut the sleeves off, but there's a lot more room in there. No stuffing, squeezing or bodily smashing required. Now it fits.

Okay, here's the madness of it all:
*Tip: don't wait until the night before your party to do this. haha. Yah, joke's on me.

1. I separated the bodice from the skirt, cut off the sleeves, and used the extra sleeve material for the shoulders and bodice width

2. I cut the shoulder seams

and added two strips from the excess arm material, by sewing each piece in half, turning it right side out and then attaching it to the shoulder seams

which brought the neckline down. Goodbye armpit squeeze.

3. Next, I cut the side seams

and added panels of fabric (leftover from the sleeves) on either side of the bodice which gave me room to breathe

5. Then I sewed the puffy tulle sleeves back on the new bodice

6. I got a little more room in the waist by popping a few skirt seams (there wasn't any elastic) and sewed the new bodice back to the skirt.

I was so glad it worked! And with only a few hours to spare before the party. Why do I do that to myself? I'll definitely need some Halloween candy in order to recover.

I found some spooky jewelry at an estate sale that I'm going to wear. Bats, skull and crossbones. Perfect.
And yes, I did buy some new tights. No rubber bands this year.


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  1. So cute! What a good teacher you are to spend all that good sleeping time making a cool costume to wear! Hope you got lots of candy to make up for it. :)

  2. Okay, now I know that my problems are genetic. You know, the problems where I see potential in everything and create tons more work for myself, usually at the last minute. Maybe we got it from Grandma???


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