Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Finish Line

It is finished.

Of course, I mean I finished the last costume I'm making for Pekin First Church of the Nazarene's Passion Play.  

If you want to learn more about the Easter story and hear why Jesus said, "It is finished," you should definitely come see the play April 3rd-6th and 8th.  

And now...

I present to you...

The Pink Lady:

Jared's favorite suggested name (thank you Megan!) was "It's Not As Easy As You Would Pink."  I decided to go with The Pink Lady since it would be shorter to type.

You know two colors that are difficult to photograph?  Fuchsia and gold.  Oh, and I figured out the correct spelling of fuchsia.

I had a hard time capturing the colors, and it's gray and gloomy here today (so no natural light).  Let me just reassure you that the top and skirt match a little better in real life than they appear in these photos.

You may recall that the pattern I was given was not the correct size, so I purchased this pattern:

I used the skirt pattern but added some length to it.  I also used the top from this pattern for The Pink Lady.

I made the skirt the same way I made the gold skirt, but this one doesn't have the overlays.  

The pink sparkly satin I was given for this skirt is slightly transparent.  I worried a bit about this woman getting on stage with all those lights and showing the audience a little more than she intended.  So I bought some pinkish-purplish cotton fabric to use as lining.

Inside the waistband

Inside the bottom of the skirt

I made buttonholes in the waistband and used the same gold cord as a drawstring that I had used for The Golden Girl.  

I had leftover gold ric rac from the Easter Genie, so I applied that to the bottom of the skirt.

The top for this costume was made out of this beautiful woven fabric that has a gold border on it.  

This beautiful fabric did a very ugly thing when I cut it.  It rolled

The above picture shows the actual bodice pieces I had cut.  Below are the fabric trimmings from when I cut out the pattern pieces.  Sorry about the blurry photos.

 For the neckband of this top, I used some gold satin scraps left over from the gold costume.

You can also see (most of you probably wouldn't notice) that I photocopied the pattern pieces for the neck bands and facings.  Patterns come with multiple sizes printed on each pattern piece.  For The Pink Lady, I needed to cut the middle size.  I didn't want to cut off the outside lines because then the pattern can't be used for those sizes later.  I could eyeball it for most pieces, but these were so curvy and I just couldn't get it right.  So I copied the pieces (so glad they fit on my copier!) and cut directly on the size I needed. 

The finished top has a square neckline in the front:

Seriously, why doesn't anyone iron these costumes before I photograph them??

And the back has a rounded neckline:
I cut the bodice pieces so the decorative fabric border would be the hem of the shirt.  I thought some decorative trim would look nice hanging from the hem over the somewhat plain skirt. 

Throughout the weeks that I've been sewing these costumes, I've made many mistakes.  Most of them were either completely redone correctly or covered up in some way.  But I did make a mistake on this top, and I just left it.   

There are facings (pieces of fabric) that run along the underarm on the inside of the top.  They are supposed to be the same fabric as the outside of the top so no one would ever notice them.  Well, I got a little confused because those facing pattern pieces looked an awful lot like the neckband pattern pieces, so I cut the facings out of gold satin instead of the fuchsia fabric with the gold pattern woven in. 

I didn't notice the error until I had the facings halfway sewn in.  I really didn't want to start over and cut out new fabric pieces, cut new interfacing pieces, iron the interfacing to the fabric, serge the edges, and then sew them in.  So I just went with it.  I'm hoping no one looks at this chick's underarms while she's acting.

And finally, I had to make a head covering to go with the costume.  I had a length of sheer fuchsia fabric, and I just had to hem the edges. 

When I started working with the fabric, I noticed that both selvage edges (the long, factory-finished edges of the fabric) have this sort of fringe.

Since I was tired of sewing and just wanted to be done, I thought maybe I could just leave the selvage edges and the fringe would add character.  I did square up the two shorter sides, fold over twice and press, and hem them.  

A perfectionist would have trimmed off that fringe, folded each selvage, pressed it, and hemmed it (I only know because I considered it).  So let's not say that I was lazy.  Let's say that I'm making progress on my perfectionism. ;)

However, I did struggle when I saw that the costume doesn't fit perfectly.  I took it up to church tonight while everyone was practicing for the play.  I delivered the costume to its very excited owner.  The skirt fits great and the length is perfect.  But the top is a little big.  I was so torn between my desire to be done and my desire to have it fit correctly.  I really couldn't leave it as it was.  But the girl wearing the costume insisted that it's fine and she can just have someone safety pin it for her.  Hmmm.  I was cringing inside.  I triple checked and quadruple checked with her, but she really insisted that it's fine.  So, I reluctantly left it in her hands.  Kind of a bittersweet ending to all my hard work and tailoring each item to fit perfectly.

I do feel lighter now that this gigantic project is done.  I learned so much through all the work.  I've never tailored a pattern before.  I've never worked with fabrics like these before.  I've never used trims like these before.  I've never made a genie before.  

My confidence as a seamstress has grown.  I think I'll be willing to take on projects now that I never would have touched before.  {I just got my freedom back tonight and I'm already thinking about more projects?  I annoy myself.}

So I'm going to breathe and enjoy the rest of my night.  Tomorrow has its own list of to-dos.  I wish I could celebrate this accomplishment with a delicious treat (cookie dough, anyone?), but I will at least celebrate by doing something relaxing that I haven't been able to do in weeks.  Probably pointless internet browsing.  

One step at a time, I made it to my finish line.  Whatever you're working on, striving toward, or dreaming of, I hope that today you are one step closer to your finish line than you were yesterday.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   {1 Corinthians 9:24-25}
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  {Hebrews 12:1-3} 


  1. I am so proud of you Babe! This has been a L-O-N-G road. You deserve much more than cookie dough for this. I can only pretend to understand each of the crazy sewing steps you have described. You've got some serious skills. I'm excited to see your work on display at the Passion Play!

  2. Great job!!! They look amazing!!!!!!!!!