Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baby Flower

Halloween is over, and before we get crazy about Yule/Christmas/Hanukah, I guess I should present my Halloween projects. I had three this year: a Logan’s Run type green dress for me for Nancy-Raven’s party, to finish a tartan skirt from my stash (begun for Bicolline 2005) so I could wear it to go trick-or-treating, and of course, my daughter’s Flower costume. Let’s start with this one, because as usual, it is the cutest. (Besides, I have no full length and/or non-blurry picture of me. Who would have thought it is tough to be both photographer and model at the same time?)

As some of you may know, I was originally planning to make this costume for her for
Montreal ComicCon back in September, but we ended up not going for various reasons, so I did not make it at the time. I did however have all the material, so it was the obvious choice for Halloween.

At the time of planing for this costume, the idea was to find something for her to wear as she accompanied me wearing my Buffy Halloween dress. I watched the episode in question (
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 6, Halloween) to find out what costumes the kids that Buffy takes Trick-or-treating wear. The lamb was cute, but the little flower that holds Buffy’s hand was just perfect.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 6, Halloween

And so I bought yellow poplin to make the hat and petals, green tulle for the tutu, and later, once it was decided that this would be the Trick-or-treating costume, green polar fleece for the jumpsuit/PJ (remember, it often snows on Halloween in Québec – though I must say, this year it was a lovely 10°C). As trim, inspired by the second series of pink petals on the Buffy flower costume, I used leftover fabric from my Buffy Halloween dress (to match the theme). Also, since ComicCon was in September and was to be inside, I had bought her a green long sleeves tee and almost matching leggings to be worn in place of the fleece jumpsuit, and that is what she wore to Nancy-Raven’s party.

Flower costume fabrics: green polar fleece, green tulle netting, yellow poplin and deep pink faux Dupioni

Because I was too lazy to figure out a pattern by myself and from other patterns I own, I bought McCall's 6416 (on sale for 2.99$ - well worth the lazyness) and used view B as a base.

I have to say, the hat pattern fits great, with no gap at the back of the neck (as with most of the hats/coif patterns I have used for her to date). The jumpsuit was also easy to make and fits great. I did have too much fleece in the end, and it is not just from not using the shoe cover piece, but I have plans to make a parti-coloured cape from the leftover.

And now on to the costume breakdown:

The hat

Flower Hat

The pattern asked for one layer of fabric and one layer of contrast lining for the hat, with lightweight fusing. Instead, I cut two layers of fabric and sandwiched one layer of Fibre Fill (the type that comes in a roll so you can cut shapes out of it) to make it fluffy and warm. Two strips of Velcro are used as closure at the front.

For the petals, I used two layers of Fibre Fill (one sewn to each piece of fabric) instead of the fusible webbing recommended on the pattern. All the petals were closed with a zigzag stitch. A box pleat was then pinned on each one and I proceeded to hand sew them to the hat (all the while listening, but not so much watching,
1963 Doctor Who – Marco Polo Series). In order for them to stand up nicely, I tacked them to one another where the petals stopped touching. I do love the finish result.

As for the trim, I used one piece about 12 cm long by 115 cm wide (the width of the fabric). Closed it in length to create a tube, flipped it over, pressed it so the seam would be centered in the back and closed the ends. Then I gathered it down the center, aligned with the seam and sewed it by hand to the hat, while watching more 1963 Doctor Who – Marco Polo Series*.

*For those of you who are not crazy Doctor Who fans, know that the original
Marco Polo series video have all been lost, but that somehow the soundtrack has been recovered, so some more crazy fans have made a montage of pictures from the original episodes, taken during filming, with the soundtrack so that other crazy Doctor Who fans can almost watch the series. Since there is not much action to look at, it is perfect for hand sewing nights so you can listen to it without needing to actually watch.

The Petal Skirt

Petal Skirt

The petal skirt is not included with the pattern, but it was worn by the kid in Buffy, so of course I had to make one as well. Using the hat’s petal pattern, I cut as many as I could in the fabric I had which turned out to be seven. I used only one layer of Fibre Fill for these as they did not need to stand up the way the hat’s petals did, but I did not want them flat either. Each was baste-stitched close and lightly gathered so that all seven could fit on the waistband piece I had cut.

The waist band is another strip of fabric 12 cm long by 115 cm wide to which I sewed the gathered petals. It was folded and closed into a casing into which I inserted an elastic. The skirt without the elastic is wide enough to fit me, so if need be, I can replace the elastic as she grows so she can still wear it in a few years.

The Tutu

Green Tutu

Once again, the pattern does no ask for a tutu, but the Buffy flower costume has one, so I made one. I used strips of green tulle netting twice as long as the length of tutu I was going for (which was knee length) and tied them to a ribbon using a lark’s head knot (I will make a tutorial one day). Because the netting is so stiff, it puffs out around my daughter’s waist, but is looks awesome with the petal skirt.

By the way, on the night following the completion of the tutu (which was the first item I finished in this costume), I tried it on my daughter and she immediately proclaimed herself a ballerina and started twirling around the living room.

PJ Ballerina

I have known of this tutu making technique for a few years now, I even posted about it before (see Confessions of a Costumeholic: Costume Tutu, posted March 5, 2010), but this was in fact my first attempt at making one and I have to say I am pretty satisfied.

The Jumpsuit

Green Jumpsuit/PJ

I used the pattern as is, but without the shoe cover piece as I intended for this to become a PJ afterwards (note to future parents: feetless PJs last longer! As they grow, the leg may be a bit shorter, but it will still fit which I would not if it had feet). This was actually assembled in one hour on Sunday night, with my overlock machine. It was really easy: two front pieces, two back pieces and two sleeves. Add a zipper, finish the neckline with bias tape, hem the sleeves and legs, and you are done. Since this was made a little oversize for my daughter (in case it was really cold and I needed to fit her coat underneath), I threaded a piece of ribbon in the bias tape to close the neckline tightly for trick-or-treating, and took it out when she decided to wear it to bed the next night.

I really, really love this pattern for PJs. I intend to use it again!

The Jumpsuit alternative – Green Clothes

Green clothes for indoor flower

As I mentioned, this costume was originally meant to be ready and worn at Montreal ComicCon, and with this in mind, I had bought my daughter some green clothes to wear with the rest of the costume pieces. Now I don’t know if anyone realizes how tough it is to find a matching set of long sleeve top and pant in ANY green, even for a child. It is equally difficult to find clothes that are just one colour, with no prints or added whatnots. I ended up buying the only two I did find. The long sleeve tee I found in the boy’s section at Zellers. The leggings are from l’Aubainerie. Just as for the jumpsuit, these clothing pieces can be worn on their own throughout this winter.

And now, what you have all really been waiting for, the cutesy toddler pictures!

At Nancy-Raven’s (where she decided to pose for pictures, making funny faces and taking different poses, before snatching up my camera to take headless shots of everyone).

Toddler Flower

Cuteness attack!

"You talkin' to me?"

Sugar Rush!

"Listen to me mommy"

Just adorable

Rear view

Mother / Daughter

And here are a couple from Halloween night (once we came back home from trick-or-treating).

Posing for grandpa

Emptying the bag of goodies

Contemplating the loot

While trick-or-treating, I received many lovely comments on just how cute she was (what is not to like about those?). One neighbor even asked me if I take commissions because her daughter is pregnant and her grand baby will need a costume next year (Hello neighbour!). It was the first year my daughter actually went trick-or-treating (last year we were partying on the streets of old La Prairie with all our Alliance Impériale friends), and she loved it! Even once her legs hurt from so much walking, she still did not want to come home.

Can’t wait till next year!