Friday, 28 March 2014

The Moustachathon

Project no. 3 for March – an utterly seasonal marathon running costume!
In a couple of weeks’ time my elder sister will be running the London Marathon (again) and felt that her earlier foray into Marathon/Moustache combos was just too low key and commissioned something like this but out of felt.
Pretty straight forward to make – 1.5m of black felt, some kind of covered wire I was gifted last year when corset making, and lots of black thread. (We considered using cardboard, but thought it might be harder to run in, especially if it rained). I broke out the zigzag machine for this one, and having cut out two layers of moustache shaped felt zigzagged over the wire to attach it to one of the layers. If I hadn’t been trying to work it all out on the fly I would have then done the same thing with a wide H shape of wire (to provide vertical and horizontal support) and repeated for the other piece. As it was I attached the two layers a bit too soon, so had to be a bit more creative. Especially as it needed a little bit of padding to give the curves some character. However, by dint of layering in some spare felt/wire/batting and then painstakingly sewing in some more wire to the lower edge of the front piece for support, attaching it to the RTW black tutu at regular intervals, and stitching more bits closed to get it to hang right when worn we ended up with “the vision”.
Cathy Full Moustach 2
And a bonus piece of theming is the comedy facial moustache that no-one can miss!
Matthew Face Moustache Robin Face Moustach
Piper face Moustache Cathy face moustache
If you want to sponsor Cathy then please visit her sponsorship page here.
Cathy Full Moustache 1
p.s. apologies for the quality of the photos – the light was poor, the house was a mess and I was using my mobile phone – never a good combination.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

World Book Day

Apparently this was the 17th World Book Day (the fourth since I first heard about it – when Matthew started school) and I love it. The notion of having a day to celebrate the joy of reading a book, and even better, going to school in costume to illustrate it and to share new books and characters with your friends!
This year Matthew and Piper both came up with really clear ideas of which characters they wanted to go as. And posed for LOTS of photos.
World Book Day
Piper chose Katie Morag (recently made into a TV series, but we have a couple of the original books at home too). The key items of this costume are a cream chunky knit sweater (with some blue detailing), a green check skirt and a pair of wellies. Well, the boots we already had and the basic jumper I found in Tesco marked down from £10 to £4! The skirt was trickier though as it is a very green on green check, and didn’t quite fit any of the tartans or checked fabrics I could find locally. It also bugged me that I wasn’t going to be able to use anything out of my stash – until I realised I had the perfect base fabric for the skirt. Then I just cut out the pieces I needed (traced from one of her school skirts) and I used fabric paints to print the squares and draw the lines. A few hours later and I had the perfect print, mimicking the watercolour style of the original illustrations! The skirt then just needed sewing together,  I couched a length of blue yard onto the jumper to create the decorative element Katie Morag has on her sweater and I had one happy Piper.
KatieMorag KM Dance KM Skipping 2
KM Skipping 4 KM Skipping 3 KM Skipping 1
KM Full KM Back KM Jumper close up
KM Skirt front KM Skirt back KM Jumper 2

Matthew selected a brilliant character costume that is completely his style, and couldn’t have been more obscure if he tried! One of his most read books is one I bought when I was his age called “Aliens in the Family” by Margaret Mahy. Bond is a shape changing alien sent to Earth on a fact finding mission. He disguises himself as a human in order to not stand out. His clothing is described in detail: “Pockets of orange, green and gold, all differently shaped, were sewn down the legs of his blue jeans, and there were others like bright windows on his brown shirt.” The book also makes reference to his white hair and the red and black tattoos on his neck which in his real form are his gills and there is a plot element where he acquires a transistor radio with ear piece which he carries around everywhere.
One charity shop shirt, one existing pair of jeans, and some more wedding linen from the stash (plus some junk from Robert's collection of broken tech that he hasn't thrown away yet) and we had it!
Alien Tattoo Alien Full Face
Alien Bodycrop Alien Pout
Alien Pout Alien Headshot
In progress shot – tattoos applied, and hair spray in progress – outside!
I love World Book Day, and I think they did too.

Monday, 3 March 2014

A little bit of Love

SuperPiperStashbusting in February has been going very well – and with a brief to make either something I love, or for someone I love it was very easy to fit with other practical considerations.
First up was Superhero Day at school (much admired already by my fellow stashbusters. Most of the costume was made a couple of years ago for Matthew, but Piper is a different kind of superhero, so she definitely needed a red skirt to really work her superhero status.

February is also a birthday month and sister in law Sue wanted a barista style apron. Half a remnant later (plus some leftovers from Robert’s shirt) we have an apron. I was undecided on a pocket, so left it for now and will add one to Sue’s requirements next time they visit.
Sister in law LJ’s birthday was soon after, and in a spectacularly unimaginative move made her an apron too! However as they have utterly different styles I was able to be much more creative in my fabric choices.
Aprons(modelled by Robert and Matthew!)

Contrary to all the clues this is in fact NOT a valentine! Except in the sense of I love youbeing an enduring reminder of my love. I wanted to provide my little sister with something that would remind her how much she is loved on the days when everything is a battle. As a first pass I made this simple needlework design using a piece of the leftover wedding fabric. The embroidery hoop was just for the making. I ended up gluing it to a postcard, and backing it with another piece of card to hide the edges, so that she can lean it on a shelf or stick it to the wall easily.

Finally(ish) my other sister came to visit over half term, bringing with her a onesie which needed to be altered to make a Max (from Where The Wild Things Are) for World Book Day. This was great fun, working out how to achieve the look without drastically altering the original garment. I turned the round bear ears into horns by twisting them up and stitching in place. Then I raided my cupboard for black covered wire (I don’t know what this generally used for, but someone gave it to me when I was corset making…) for wonky whiskers and some white fabric for the tail. Finally I added four large buttons down the front – and added white stickers to the front of each one to make them more like Max’s. One happy Robin… I mean Cathy.
Next up, more World Book Day costumes. :-)