Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Sewing We Will Go

I know I’m not the only one out there who was/is doing this, frantically planning and cutting out fabric to sew up a handmade Halloween costume. Why do we do this to ourselves? I think it has a little do to with stories like this one.

A long time ago, in a province not too far away from where I’m sitting and typing, there was a little girl living in outport Newfoundland who wanted to be a ballet dancer (well, actually, if you’d asked me at the time I may have meant ballet dancer but I said belly dancer. My mother couldn’t figure out for the life of her where I’d gotten the idea to become a belly dancer. Don’t get me wrong, none of us have any negative associations with belly dancing. It is just that in the early 1970’s in outport Newfoundland, the thought of a four year old wanting to become a belly dancer would have created something of a stir. Mudder finally figured out that I meant ballet dancer, after I gave her a demonstration of my prowess).

The story starts with a young girl with a burning desire to become a ballet dancer. And what is a loving mother to do but try and make that dream a reality? She did it too. My mother made me a ballet dancer costume and I just loved it. It made me feel like a ballet dancer and a beautiful princess at the same time.

I still love it. It’s in my basement safely packed away as I type.

I still love that green fabric on the bodice. You can’t tell from this picture but close up it looks as though it has been sewn through with silver thread. I have no idea where my mother found this fabric but it still ranks up there with my most favourite fabric. Ever.

With this story in mind (and, yes, I realise that Iain will likely have NO memory of this particular Halloween), I embarked on the following journey. I rooted around in my fabric stash until I found some lovely fun fur that I was lucky enough to have been given a few years ago. Black and white were the choices so I decided on Iain becoming a very ferocious Panda Bear. I trotted off to the fabric store and found a ‘quick and simple’ pattern. Luckily, the cutting and sewing went as advertised.

I had to sew fast, though, as Iain’s first Halloween event was this past Saturday – almost a whole week before the actual date! The pressure!

The fur was interesting to work with. The white fur is just as you probably imagine fun fur to be. The backing is rough but, on the whole, it wasn’t too difficult to work with. The black fur, although still synthetic, is of very high quality and shed like a real animal. It was also a bit of a nightmare to sew as it was so darn thick. On the good side, though, the backing of the black fur is like a soft suede and feels gorgeous against the skin.

Note: No actual Panda Bears were harmed in the development of either this blog post or this year’s Halloween costume. You’d never believe it from this picture though.

And this is just a small example of how the black fur shed when it was cut!

I was up until 1:30 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning sewing. But, I got ’er done.

And it was totally worth it.

It is also an exceptionally great costume for cold Canadian outdoor Trick or Treating. A little on the warm side for wee indoor Panda Bears however…

PS I should probably mention that the very cute little boy, excuse me, Superhero, standing next to me in the pictures above is one of my little brothers - the one closest to me in age. He granted me permission to use these photographs as he did not feel you would recognize him when he was wearing ‘civilian’ clothing. Interestingly enough, this same brother is now 6’3” tall, built like Laird Hamilton (and he is a surfer too!) and shaves his head. The opportunity to present him to you for the first time wearing tights was just too good a one to pass up…


Yarnhog said...

That is the cutest costume! Go mom! (Although it does look a bit as though a panda exploded in your living room in the "after" shot.)

Elizabeth said...

Terrific work Patty (I hope this means your hands are doing better?). That's one fine looking Panda you have there. But it does look like he's in immediate need of a cold drink and some of those Smarties you have going (hee hee).

Renee said...

Very, very cute. When I made Claire's black cat costume a couple of years ago I couldn't believe the mess. I could only imagine that the fabric was spitting at me to protest being cut up.

You were a cute ballerina. When I was in Grade 8 I decided I was going to just throw something together for Halloween. On the day of the party I was going to I came home to find my mother sewing me a belly dancer costume. For real. I was embarrassed...and cold.

JustApril said...

No panda bears were harmed ..... *slaps knee and laughs like a redneck in a rocking chair* That's funny =))

What a cute panda he makes! =)

Raike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samantha said...

Cutest Panda Ever.