Monday, November 02, 2009

Under The Sea

As promised, here's the post-mortem on Ruby's mermaid costume. As previously mentioned, I used the Simplicity 4043 costume to make Ruby the costume that she'd been asking for for a year. I thought I'd be able to find an official Disney-sanctioned Ariel costume, but alas, the pattern books only had Cinderella, Snow White and maybe Jasmine. Because most amateur sewers aren't crazy enough to make a mermaid costume. Time to start calling me crazy.

Regular readers know that I like to sew but I'm more of a doll and pillow sewer. Basically, other than a very simple skirt, I would never make myself something to wear, because I take pride in the way I look when I go out in public. I like the instant gratification of sewing, but I'm not great at paying attention to meticulous detail. So, this pattern was definitely a challenge for me. Also, the material was a bit finicky -- stretch knit with a sequined lace overlay, lots of poly lining, and a shiny, very synthetic satin-y thing. Basically, that meant that the magic of pressing was not an option and I actually did melt the fabric in a few places. Oops.

I did make some modifications to the pattern to make it easier/less time consuming. I skipped on some of the sequin applique, and hand-stitched the stuff I did use, rather than machine stitching (though I did do a machine stitch under it to get a quilting effect). I skipped the zipper and the boning. I did not properly finish all of the inside seams of the lining. But I finished it and Ruby loved it. And I did take a look at some of the store-bought Ariel costumes in the Disney Store (which were basically just a cheap-o pencil skirt with some fins sewn on the side) and, frankly, mine is waaay better.

A note on the photos: why did I not actually take a full body shot of Ruby in costume so that I can admire my work 20 years from now? And prove to her what a doting mother I was when she was little? Either way, you get the drift, and believe you me, she did look like a beautiful mermaid.


urban craft said...

You did a wonderful job! That's an adorable costume to attempt, I think you totally have great clothes making skills. I, too, have melted some fabric in my time.

heather said...

the costume looks awesome! i made the same top but made up my own mermaid skirt for my neighbors daughter. it was a pain sewing slippery fabrics!