Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halloween 2011: Snow White, Twice.

I've had an exhausting and stressful week.  I turned to Diet Pepsi and my sewing machine for solace.  Okay, and ice cream too.  Shut-up.

Thursday night I finally attached the Snow White skirt to the bodice I finished weeks agoIt did not turn out well.

This is the only picture I took of Snow White v.1 for obvious reasons.  Scroll down to preview v.2 if this horrifies your sewing sensabilites. 

Clearly, this is hilarious and in no way is it wearable.  I'm going to be so sad when Abby gets old enough to have taste:  she loved this rendition and kept telling me how beautiful it turned out.  I had to bribe her out of it!  Her love for it was too sweet for words and made me happy to have a daughter.  I tried hard to not giggle as she twirled around blissfully in this awful, ill-conceived costume.  My husband did not even try.  He just laughed, loudly.

So what went wrong?  Many, many things.

- the bodice is way too wide.  While it fits well through the chest her shoulders aren't even close. This was the only part of the dress that I used the pattern for so I'm not sure why it turned out so huge.  The sleeves are half way down her arms!

- around the waist it looks like she's used the dress to shoplift 10 bags of marshmallows.  I did the gathering on the skirt with a cording technique instead of gathering stitches which turned out not to be that much easier and it just added bulk.  Sewing it to the bodice evenly proved impossible, hence the weird pleat on one side and the total lack of a subtle v-front.  It seems to be oddly twisted too.  WTF?  Terrible. 

- you can't tell by looking at it but despite the wide top it was super difficult for her to get in and out of it.  There were some contorted moves with her arms that had to go on, only to look like it was falling off of her when she was wearing it.

I waited for Abby to go to bed and then took the whole thing apart, stitch by stitch.  That took an hour.

And then I stared at the pieces.  And stared at them some more.  Then looked up Snow White dresses on Etsy to make sure I could order a decent homemade one from someone.  There were lots of pretty ones, (I especially loved this country-inspired cotton one, though Abby would be disappointed).  That said, I only found two with a velvet bodice and proper sleeves.  This one is $500 but is really nice.  Still, $500 for a child's costume and the skirt portion was cotton, not satin.  This second one is $329.99 and is stunning but I don't like the sequined ric-rac and the sleeves aren't inset, but red with blue ribbon strips tacked over, plus I intend to make the cape out of red velvet not satin.

I then went to the fabric store and re-purchased all the fabric in case I had to start from scratch. I didn't and now I have an extra 2 yards each of navy stretch velvet and shiny gold satin.  Can you return fabric?

Snow White, v.2 is much improved, though not perfect.

This dress cannot attend your party as it has a prior engagement with my ironing board.  Regrets.

-I cut the cord entirely from the skirt, separating the lining and tulle as well.  It was therapeutic in a way.  Luckily, I'd hemmed it a little long anyway so losing those inches was not a problem.

-Then I took a deep breath and my shears and sliced up the back seam on the bodice.  Scary!  I cut about a quarter inch out of center (lining included) and then folded in about a quarter inch on either side and hemmed the raw edges.  I then stitched a strip of black Velcro into it.  This not only made the bodice fit better it also made getting in and out of it about a million times easier.  It could still be a little tighter and if I'd re-cut the bodice I would have raised the neckline an inch.  It is a touch low for a 4 year old. The Velcro closure is a little bulky, but it will be covered by her cape eventually anyway.

Velcro to the rescue! 
-I ditched the lining and the tulle on the skirt portion.  Instead of doing a gathering stitch I decided to just pin pleats into the skirt portion.  It was a lot easier to control and keep even all the way around and I didn't have to worry about breaking a thread. The v-front could be more pronounced, but I'm okay with how it is now. 

-Now that the sleeves aren't at her elbows you can see how puffy and pretty they turned out. 

I also cut her hair this weekend.  My scissor skillz are immense!  Needless to say she loves it.  I may or may not try a crinoline under it.  We'll see.

Up next is Snow White's cape and the stand-up white collar.  Hopefully, that will go a lot smoother!  Couldn't possibly go worse.


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