So as you found out here, J decided on Glinda the Good Witch for Halloween and I decided to make her costume myself. Hey, why not?! Check out Part One to see how I made the hoop skirt, crown and wand for the costume.
I relied very heavily on Make It & Love It‘s Glinda dress tutorial. That’s the only reason I decided to tackle this project myself instead of buying one–because she had such a clear and easy to follow tutorial on exactly what to do. It looked like a piece of cake! And surprisingly enough (for me) it actually wasn’t too bad. It was time consuming but I made sure to take my time for once. And I didn’t majorly mess it up until the very end, which is huge for me. Just goes to show how awesome and amazing Make It & Love It is!!! All the credit goes to her.
So, materials. This is what I used.
- Pink fabric. I bought plain pink costume fabric from Walmart. I was waiting for it to go on sale at Joann’s but then just happened to spy an amazing deal at Walmart–only $2/yard!!!! I didn’t have my list with me at the time and couldn’t remember if Make It & Love It said 3 or 5 yards so I purchased 5. Turned out 3 was the correct answer…whoops. I can’t complain with that price though! One thing I do wish, however, is that I would’ve just spent more money and purchased something that was already sparkly. That would have saved hours of sewing. I think it turned out absolutely awesome the way it is, but I do wish I would’ve just paid the extra money for the sparkles already built in.
- Pink sparkly tulle. This is something else I waited for 3 weeks to buy to see if Joann’s would put it on sale. They did not. I was running out of time–we were headed to Jamaica for a week and the costume needed to be finished before we left. I checked out Michaels and found this tulle in their sewing section. Using a 40% off coupon that dropped the price down to $4 and some change for 2 yards…sold! I bought two packages at two separate times so I could use the coupon both times. I will say this–it sheds like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve never sewn with glitter tulle before so I have no idea if that’s all brands, but just a heads up!
- 12 inch pink zipper. I could’ve gone with something shorter, like a 9 in, but oh well. I bought it from Joann’s with a 40% off coupon.
- Pink thread.
- Rhinestones. I just used the same ones as the wand and crown; these
I spent $22 on this portion of the costume. Technically it should’ve only been $18 since I bought too much pink costume fabric. But let’s face it, with how obsessed J is with dressing up I’m sure I can find a use for the leftovers sometime…
So! I started off by tracing one of J’s shirts to make the bodice template. I cut out 4 pieces in the costume fabric and cut two of those pieces in half for the back. I cut out two bodice pieces out of the tulle and split one of those in half. Then I sewed the three tulle pieces onto three of the costume fabric pieces. I left one front and two back pieces without tulle–that’s the bodice lining.This is why I wish I would’ve just spent the extra money on sparkly fabric. First I had to cut the separate pieces. And then pin them together. And then sew the tulle to the lining. Times 3. And then trim the edges. And then zigzag around all three pieces to finish the edges so they won’t fray or scratch J. Doing just that took me one nap time itself.
I connected the front and back bodice pieces together, sewing just along the neckline like Make It & Love It instructs.
Next I cut out my sleeves. I had absolutely no idea what size to make them. I took a long sleeve shirt of J’s and measured how long the sleeve was to get an idea. I should’ve made them 1-2 inches longer and 1-2 inches wider. They ended up fitting her…perfectly. Fortunately she’s a skinny kid and I don’t see her arms getting any fatter in the next few months so the costume should still fit her for quite awhile.
My sleeves were . I cut out two upper sleeves and two lower sleeves each in the costume fabric and the tulle. And then I sewed the tulle onto each costume fabric piece in the same way as above–see what I’m talking about with it being time consuming?? Another nap time spent just sewing four pieces…Then I worked on the puffy tulle part. I understood the first part of Make It & Love It’s instructions no problem–I cut out the pieces and basted and gathered along the bottom line.I would just like to point out that something else that I can’t do is gather. So I always have to use the cheater’s way–I put my tension and stitch length both as high as they will go and then lightly pull on the top thread while I sew. This creates the gather for me. In my defense I tried it the regular way for the sleeves four times but just could not get it to work. So I used the cheaters method instead. And honestly I don’t notice a difference!
I attached the sleeves to the bodice.And then this is the part that Make It & Love It lost me. I still don’t understand what exactly I was supposed to do with the tulle and sewing down the middle. I ended up pushing about two inches of tulle towards the neckline and leaving the rest of it on the side of the sleeve. And then I sewed down the middle, pretty much on top of where the sleeve and bodice connect. I thought that was what Make It & Love It meant, but later I realized my sleeves look different than hers. Mine turned out just fine though so I’m good with it!
The only part that turned out strange is that my tulle isn’t connected under the arm pit. Now I could connect it by hand sewing it shut but I definitely don’t care that much. It’s not going to fray and the rest of it sticks up so much that you don’t even notice it’s not connected. And it’s on the bottom, pretty much in her armpit. Yep, definitely not doing any hand sewing.I gathered my sleeve pieces (using my trusted cheating method) and attached them together.
The problem was super simple to fix. I just ripped out the seam I had just sewn, from the wrist to the bottom of the bodice, attached the lining around the sleeve, trimmed and zigzagged it and then repined and resewed the sleeve and sides. I’ve definitely made bigger mistakes before (and will make a giant one here in just a few steps…). At least I realized it before I sewed both sides so I was able to hurry up and sew the lining in on the opposite side before sewing the armhole and side closed.
And I had a bodice! Well, mostly. It still needed a zipper.I know this is going to shock you, but something else I never really got the hang of was sewing in a zipper. I just don’t see the point of sewing it closed, adding the zipper and then ripping the seam open. Just seems like extra work. I always just fold the raw edge in about 1/4 of an inch, pin it to the top of the zipper and sew straight down. I repeat for the other side. I dunno, my method seems to work.
I’d just like to take a moment to point out that I’m dead serious when I say that I can’t cut in a straight line to save my life. There is absolutely no reason why the right side of my bodice should be 4 inches shorter than the left side. Absolutely none. And yet it is. Fortunately my zipper was exactly the correct size for that side.
Now I have a bodice! I tried it on J and was pleasantly surprised. I was a bit worried about the sleeves being wide enough to fit her arms, but they’re perfect. I realized when she was wearing it that I never finished the sleeve edges. Since they were already about 1/2 an inch too short as it was I didn’t want to fold them in to hide the raw edges. I simply zigzagged them instead.And now the skirt. I did the tulle first, as instructed. Instead of measuring the hoop skirt I simply had J put the bodice top and hoop skirt on and then wrapped the tulle around her. I folded the tulle in half so the open edges were at the bottom of the hoop. The length seemed perfect–covered all of the hoop skirt and only hung down past it a little–so I didn’t have to do any cutting. What I did was cut off the uneven edges from where I had cut the bodice and sleeve pieces out of the tulle previously and then used all of that leftover stuff, plus my unopened 2 yard package. It was about 3 yards total. I sewed the two pieces of folded up tulle together along the sides, making one giant skirt. I sewed it up one way and down another since I overlapped them about an inch and I wanted to make sure it was all connected.Then I (cheat) gathered all along the top folded edge of the tulle. I pinned it to the bodice, making sure to pull the bodice up through the tulle skirt, right side facing me. It was a perfect gathering–exactly the right size. I sewed the tulle to the bodice, trimmed as close to the seam as possible to get rid of some of the bulk, and zigzagged the whole way around to finish the seam. I had J try it on to make sure everything was A-Ok. And it was!!!!!
I was so close to being finished that I could taste it. Which is probably why I made this last mistake.
I “measured” the costume fabric the same way that I did the tulle–merely wrapped it around J’s waist while she was wearing the bodice, the tulle and the hoop skirt. Since I had 8 billion yards of fabric I actually had to cut my rectangle out this time. I sewed the two ends together and clipped and zigzagged my seam. I gathered the top. I pinned the costume fabric skirt inside the waistline right on top of the tulle, connecting it to the bodice. I sewed it all, then clipped and zigzagged the extra waist bulk. All excited, I called J over so she could try her finished costume on!!!!!
Except it wasn’t. The costume fabric skirt wasn’t big enough to fit over the hoop. I almost started crying. Dejected, I had her take it off and then I went to town ripping seams. Then I had her put everything back on and I wrapped the costume fabric around her again, snipping the rectangle edges very carefully. She removed everything while I sewed the new rectangle together, clipped the seam, zigzagged it, gathered the top, pinned the skirt to the bodice, sewed it, trimmed the edges and zigzagged. I called J over again to put it back on.
And it still didn’t go over the f*cking hoop. It was bigger, I’ll give myself that, but still not big enough. That’s what I said some choice words and decided to stop for the day. I was done.
The next day while J was at school and C was sleeping I decided to try again. I ripped the costume lining out of the skirt and then cut it open where I had sewn the two pieces together. I cut about an inch off of the side to get rid of the bulky seam. I took the other costume fabric skirt, the first one, and cut it open along the two seams. Then I cut a piece about a foot wide from the first skirt and pinned it to the second skirt. I knew it was too much fabric but at this point I wasn’t taking any risks. I sewed the three pieces together to form one really gigantic skirt, finished the three seams by clipping and zigzagging, gathered it at the top and pinned it to the dress. Of course since this one was ridiculously wide the skirt was too wide for the bodice. I didn’t care–I just gathered some more as I sewed them together. See, this is where the cheating method comes in handy!!! This time I didn’t finish the seam–I wanted to wait for J to come home from school so I could make sure it was big enough.
I went through the whole dress looking for any holes or gaps and made sure to sew anything I found shut. I trimmed everything. And then I was done sewing. Just in time too…I think someone would’ve been murdered (or something…like a giant poofy sparkly piece of clothing…) if I had to do any more.
And that’s it. It was finished. And with two weeks to spare before Halloween.Tune in next week to see C’s fantastic and amazing and ridiculously simple almost-no-sew Flying Monkey costume! Here’s a bit of a sneak peek. It really shows C’s admiration and love for it.
UPDATE: See how long the tulle is in the pictures above? Fortunately we went to a few Halloween events around town before trick or treating and I realized that the tulle is waaaaay too long. Poor J kept on tripping on it and falling flat on her stomach. How she didn’t rip the dress is still beyond me! So I went ahead and folded the tulle under the costume fabric so they were the same length and then sewed it all around. We’ll see if that solves the tripping problem…