It's currently the middle of July and I've just found out that in the last three days of term my son has two fancy dress days and needs a special costume for a performance. Which means some frantic googling of period fashion and crochet patterns!
Firstly he is having a Year Two leavers Party day when he is required to dress up as a character from a Roald Dahl book. He has just finished The Giraffe, Pelly & Me with his dad and decided to go as the main character, Billy. This means a red top and blue trousers. Simples! Fortunately we also have a toy giraffe from the Gerald Can't Dance book so he can take that, but I also need a pelican! This is where searching Pinterest for a free crochet pattern comes in. But this time Pinterest didn't come up with the goods. I have, however, found a pattern for a felt pelican so this might have to do.
Then, since the school is 60 years old this year, he needs a 1950's costume for his end of term party. Also on this day (as I understand it but since he never tells me anything I could be wrong) he needs a stripy top for a Jailhouse Rock performance.
At this moment my brain is about to explode with all this, not including trying to remember when his leavers assembly and attendance assembly is, sports day and end of term 60th birthday party! All this in the last three days of term!!!!
You might say I'm bothering too much anyway, making things from scratch! I do wonder about myself sometimes! But at this point I'm quite looking forward to sewing them up.
So... it's now the end of term and I've got it all finished in time for each of his dress up days - go me! The stripy top wasn't a problem, I got this from his pile of t-shirts and didn't worry about it too much, and his Billy costume was quite easy in the end. I got a womens size 16 t-shirt for £1 from a charity shop.
Then I cut it down all the seams and chopped off the sleeves. I used a v-neck t-shirt pattern I'd used before and cut out all the pieces. I used the sleeve cuffs as they were so I didn't have to do this part which made the whole thing easy to sew together. It was done in about an hour and, apart from a slightly puckered collar, it looks fine.
Then he needed his props! The other main characters are the giraffe and pelican. We had a toy giraffe, as mentioned, and I made a pelican. I used a pattern from Pinterest and cut the pieces out of felt and sewed them together. This took me an evening and was quite a relaxing task!
This was the finished Roald Dahl costume and was unbelievably simple compared to some we saw in the playground!
While the Roald Dahl costume was quite easy it was the 1950's costume that was worrying me. I wasn't really sure what a boy in the 1950's wore but after a bit of googling I decided he could go in his grey school trousers with a shirt, braces and a flat cap. But where am I going to find a flat cap for a kid which doesn't cost me the earth??? This is where Pinterest comes in! I found a free pattern and bought a grey mens suit jacket from a charity shop for £1 since I thought it might be the right kind of fabric, plus the lining of the jacket would be great for the cap too.
Turns out a jacket is made up of many pieces and has lots of seams, but despite this I chopped the back out of it and cut off one sleeve which gave me plenty of fabric for the hat and the lining. FYI, I also cut off all the buttons too, because you can never have too many buttons, am I right?!
There were only three pattern pieces so it was cut out quickly. Then I needed card for the inside of the brim and some interfacing to give it a bit of strength.
This was a surprisingly easy make in the end. It came together quickly and looks quite effective, and Mr D loves it! I think I might make one in flowery fabric for the babe!!!
At the same time as the jacket I also bought a mens M&S Autograph shirt for £1 from the same charity shop which I cut into flat pieces and cut the pattern out of.
Can you tell he wasn't too happy about the shirt???!!!
I used a dress shirt pattern which I'd used before so I knew it would fit him fine. Its by Nina Makes and is a beautiful shirt if done properly (I cut some corners this time around) and it's free! Bizarrely I struggled to get a child's shirt cut from an adults size shirt! I thought it wouldn't be a problem but the pattern had a lined yoke and I couldn't get two yokes cut from the shirt so in the end I decided to leave that bit out since he probably wouldn't wear this shirt that much. When cutting the collar stand I had to sew two halves together to make the whole piece, again, because of fabric restrictions. Normally I wouldn't like this but since it was just for a school fancy dress day I wasn't going to bother too much and also the seam wouldn't show, being hidden by his neck or the collar. But I did get some perfect, if totally accidental, pattern matching!!!
After an enjoyable session with the automatic button hole maker I sewed on the buttons using the buttons that originally came with the shirt. This fabric was a nightmare for creasing... and I'm not a fan of ironing!
I already had some braces as they came with a pair of black trousers I bought years ago, do you remember the trend??!! I managed to make them fit by moving the adjusters all the way to the back!
This was the finished 1950's costume, complete with scraped knees!!! It looks a little bit chimney sweep but we're going with it anyway! As you can see I took it quite literally and turned him into a school boy from the 1950's instead of sending him as a teddy boy or a T-Bird!!!