Monday, 27 April 2015

Filthy Mouths & Bad Attitudes

That's right folks! 

It's almost that time of month again!

Cult Classic Friday (first Friday of the month) at the Regal Cinema is less than a week away, and this time they're showing The Blues Brothers!!

I know, I know, I missed the April Cult Classic. But as it fell on Good Friday, I just wasn't able to make it there. Due to the Religious element of the day, they showed Monty Python's Life of Brian, and my friends went, with the whole family rocking rather spiffy beards.

But back to the point at hand.

The Blues Brothers!!

Not one to take the easy option, I decided to whip up a penguin (nun) costume from scratch. Luckily I keep a well stocked fabric stash, and was able to make the costume without spending any money. I started work on it on Saturday morning, and was done by Sunday afternoon, even with going out for a few hours Saturday afternoon to do a mosaic class at Bunnings, not to mention Church on Sunday morning.

I started by making the white hood piece, or Wimple if you will. To make things easier for myself, I decided to use a stretch fabric for this part, so I wouldn't have to go crazy trying to get it to fit. I found this picture while doing a bit of Google research, and based my pattern off it

Nun Wimple from Google

I drew out a pattern freehand, cut it out of some fabric, sewed it, tried it on, then tweaked the pattern in a few places to make the fit better. I then cut it out 4 times, so that it would be fully lined and I wouldn't have to worry about stretching out the edge around the face when trying to hem it.

I then made the collar out of white cotton. This I also lined, to make the white a more solid colour against the black, and to also make sure there would be enough stiffness to the fabric, which I achieved by applying iron on interfacing to both the outside piece and lining.

The front and back pieces were sewn together at the shoulder seams, then the outer and lining were pinned right sides together.

The 2 back edges and bottom edge were sewn, then all the curves and corners clipped. 

As this is quite a curved edge, I clipped the seam allowance every 8-10mm

It was then turned right side out, pressed, then I sewed the narrow collar piece on. This whole thing was very similar to the construction of a circle skirt, just smaller and stiffer. A press stud was then hand stitched to the back where the collar overlapped.

Then I tried on the hood and collar together, and draped some black fabric over my head and took a selfie.

Then I got started on the Tunic. Rather than draft something from scratch, which would have been easy enough, I decided to use a pattern I had used before so I knew the shoulders and sleeves would fit well. So I got out my graded up version of Frock 8853 from a 1956 Home Journal that I used to make my Dress for Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival, and simply added length, a bit of width at the waist, and of course a higher neckline.

I also used the sleeve pattern piece and  just continued it in a straight line to the length I wanted. I then cut out 2 rectangular pieces for the sleeve cuffs.

I then did something I very rarely do. I changed the thread on my overlocker. This black polyester-ish fabric wanted to fray, so I overlocked around the edge of all my cut pieces, then began the process of sewing them together. It is a very basic tunic, so I didnt take any progress photos, as the process is much the same as it would be for anything else. First the shoulder seams, then the sleeve heads, then the sleeve edge and side seams. I used a scrap of red gingham bias tape to face the neckline, then put a zip in the back and sewed the back seam. Then I put on the hood, tunic and collar, and again draped some fabric over my head and took another selfie. Then I went to bed

I managed to get the cuffs done before heading out to church Sunday morning. The sleeve was gathered in, then the cuffs were folded over and sewn over the raw edge. When I got home from church, I hemmed the tunic, then searched through my stash for more black fabric, as I only had about a 20cm width of the black polyester left. The best I could come up with was some satin fabric with a matte finish on the wrong side of the fabric. So I cut off a section of fabric, overlocked and hemmed 3 sides. I then put on the hood, held the fabric to my head and drew a placement line on to the hood, that way I know it would be sitting at the right spot above my ears, then took the hood off, pinned the black fabric to the hood and stitched it on. After top stitching over where I had just sewn the black on, I hemmed the fabric edge on either side. Yes I know It should be more of a circle than a rectangle to get the shape right when it is draped behind me, but I figured I could do it this way, then I could potentially re-use the fabric at a later date.

So that's how you make a nun costume in a weekend. I still have to find myself a yard stick and a large crucifix to hang around my neck to complete the outfit, but I've got time. You will all just have to wait til the weekend to see the full costume all together.

And now to figure out how to make a weird alien wig/headpiece for a friend's daughter......


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