Cost of pattern, trims and notions: About $10.
Cost of fabric: Free, thanks to my mom's excellent fabric stash.
Time to layout and cut: One and one-half hour, during the unbelievable World Championship Red Sox winning World Series game.
Time to sew: Six or seven hours, starting at about nine o'clock.........PM! (You do the math).
Look on Erin's face the next morning (after my three hours of sleep): Totally priceless!
It is so fun to make Erin that happy. She tends to be reserved with those kinds of emotions (I wish she were as reserved with her temper), so to hear her say that she loves it and will never lend it to anyone because she doesn't want it *wrecked* is a very big deal. Now you're thinking that I lost all that sleep so that Erin could traipse off to school with her costume. The pathetic truth is, Erin didn't need the costume until that night. I just became a woman obsessed. First, I was going to finish the bodice and go to bed. Then the 'one more thing' mantra started repeating itself in my head. After the bodice I thought, I'll just pleat and run the gathers in the drape, then go to bed. Oh-I'll just attach the drape to the bodice, then hit the sack. Maybe I should run the gathers in the skirt, then catch some zzzzzs. Well......I'll just attach the skirt, then right to bed. Just pin the zipper in. Okay-baste it. Well, it's there, I might as well sew it in......... Before I knew it, 3:30 a.m. had rolled around and all the dress needed was the hem. And all I needed was therapy.
It would be so easy to leave you with the impression that this dress just flew through the old Bernina, that I am such a competent dress maker that this dress practically made itself. Ahahahaha! First there is the fabric. It is drapery fabric, lifted from my mom who has a business making custom window treatments (yep, that is where I work, and you can tell by all the wonderful drapes and swags in my house. Oh-wait! That is my daydream house). It was from the huge stash of leftovers that most of our costumes come from. This fabric was perfect for a historical gown. Don't you love the birds? This is how they are perched on the dress. Big trouble to the person who tells Erin the perfectionist! I cannot even tell you how they ended up this way. I was watching the Red Sox at the time.....
Margene, this next example of taking a deep breath and moving on is for you! The lace is a run to Wal-Mart at the last second before it closes because you don't have a length long enough to do the entire dress in, a little detail I discovered after dumping all the scrap boxes on the
pool cutting table in a measuring frenzy. So I am on a sewing roll, the bodice is ready for the sleeves, new lace attached and looking good. Attaching the lace to the sleeve ruffle, I am shocked to find that there are only a few inches left and I still have to put lace on the drapes of the skirt. I watched the clerk cut my yardage. I counted with her. I know there is enough lace! Wait! A closer look. AAAARGH!!! I never cleaned up the lace explosion of earlier! For a split second I considered removing the lace from the sleeve ruffle and replacing it with the correct lace. Took me a split second to leave it. How Zen is that!? Oh-this is another little detail that Erin is in the dark on. Don't go turning on that light, okay?
Here is the part of the night that you are waiting for, my favorite, and usually the fodder for the most laughs. The huge mistakes. I am so pleased (and shocked) to say I had *almost* mistakes. I pinned the skirt to the bodice inside out, BUT, I caught it before I actually sewed it on! That never happens. I always sew it on. Always. I only notice when I go to press it and see how pretty it looks. That is usually when I, physically and mentally exhausted, collapse in a shrieking fit of obscenities. This time there was a little angel on my shoulder, tapping away every time I was about to sew a catastrophy. Where was she when I was cutting out those upside down birds, that is what I want to know.
There is a hat with this ensemble, I hope to get pics of that. If the sun ever comes out again. By the way, she won the costume contest. Yippee!!!!