Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Golden Girl

I finished the gold costume!!!  I took all these photos before I had finished the veil/head covering, so I didn't get a picture of that.  It's basically a very large rectangle of the dark gold satin that I hemmed on all four sides.   

Since the blue costume has a nickname (the Easter Genie), I figured the gold costume needs one too.  Hence, the Golden Girl.  Do you remember the show The Golden Girls?  Classic.

I talked a bit about the gold skirt already (while it was still in progress), but now I can show you the rest of the costume. 

I put buttonholes in the waistband and inserted gold cording for the drawstring:

I centered the buttonholes on the waistband for the drawstrings, but in hindsight I wish I had placed them over the spot where the overlays meet (off to the side near the hip).  Oh well.

Here's the finished skirt:
Ooooh, someone should have ironed that skirt before I took pictures of it!

Making this costume was basically a series of solving one problem after another.  For example, the shirt pattern was made only for stretchy fabrics, and my fabric is not stretchy. 

One issue that created was making sure the woman wearing this costume can get the shirt on over her head.  So I took my mom's suggestion and installed a zipper in the back:

I tried to make the zipper hidden.  I could not find a gold zipper, so I used a yellow-ish one.  Here's the whole back:

I added a hook-and-eye above the zipper to hold the neck band closed.  

The neck band was another problem brought on by using a non-stretchy fabric.  It wouldn't lay flat against the woman's chest.  I tried to get a picture of it before I fixed it:

My solution was to use some super skinny elastic.  I put the elastic inside the neck band and left the ends hanging out of each side on the back.  I then tied a knot in each end of elastic, zigzag stitched over the elastic just before each knot, then tucked the end in and straight-stitched the edge of the neck band closed.

The elastic pulls the top edge of the neck band in close so it won't stick out.

I kinda like the rippled/twisted look of the neck band now.  

In the picture above, you can also see the gathering on the center front.  That allows for the actress' bust since the fabric doesn't stretch.

I serged all of the seam allowances so the fabric wouldn't leave threads all over the church.  When I sewed the sleeves to the bodice and serged the seam allowance, I had to then tuck the seam allowance under the silky bodice and topstitch it.  Otherwise the white serged edge would have shown through the shear sleeve.

The bottoms of the sleeves are gathered and attached to band of the silky material.  

You can actually see the white serging through the sheer sleeve, but I couldn't think of any way around that.  Plus I don't think anyone will really notice.

When I sewed the long seam that runs along the underside of the sleeve, I was left with an unraveling seam allowance.  I didn't want to serge it since you would be able to see it through the sleeve.  So I folded the seam allowance (longwise) twice and sewed it in place.  You can see it by looking up inside the sleeve:

The trims on this costume were pretty easy and worked out very well.  The metallic trim I put around the neckline was actually some trim I bought for the blue costume.  I felt like the blue costume was blingy enough, so I saved this trim for one of the other costumes.

I started and ended the trim in the back near the zipper.  If you look closely, you can see that it ended exactly where the pattern lined up.  {Is there a less confusing way of saying that?}

I was pretty excited that there wasn't an obvious mismatch in the pattern of the trim.  I used Fabri-Tac on the ends of the trim so they won't unravel (even though they tried to unravel AS SOON as I cut it).

The beaded trim went all around the hem of the shirt.  I started and ended at the side seam, hoping it would be less noticeable.  Amazingly, the pattern of the beaded trim ended up matching up exactly when I had come full circle.  Just one of those times where God worked out the details to make my life easier.

I used Fabri-tac on the edges of this trim as well.  When the costume is on the woman wearing it, I don't think anyone will be able to tell where the trim began and ended.

Here's my best attempt at getting the shirt and skirt together in one shot:

All the previous fittings went well, so I'm hoping that the final costume fits well.  I also made the veil for the blue costume, and today I bought the trims and notions for the final costume.  Any guesses on the final color?



  1. The Golden Girl looks beautiful! I'm amazed at your knowledge of sewing to be able to problem-shoot these not-so-friendly pattern/material combos. I can't wait to see the next one. I'm already dreaming up ideas for its name!

  2. Way to go! You are on the home stretch now. I bet I could guess the color of the next costume, but that might be cheating since I can see the fabric right now :). And great name for this one. You know I love those Golden Girls. You just never know what kind of hilarious situations those crazy old ladies will find themselves in next.