Saturday, July 23, 2011

Interlude: White Bird

Between larger projects, I am taking time to make a quick costume at the request of my cousin.  She has asked me to make a bird costume to be used at one of her band's performances.

I drew up a quick sketch for her, which she signed off on:

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She was a little concerned about cost, as she's on a limited budget.  I volunteered my time, since the costume will be donated and will be made for a show with proceeds benefitting the community-run theater.  Last weekend I ran out to Jo-Ann Fabrics in Lynnwood to pick up the materials I would need.  I bought a sheet of foam-core board and three yards of white glitter felt.  The grand total was less than $20.

Last night I took a few minutes to sketch out what the foam-core extensions would look like.  I drafted one of them out, and decided that they'd need to be double thickness to be sturdy enough.  When I set the Pomodoro timer today, it only took the first 25 minute time block to have all four foam-core pieces traced off and cut out.

The drafted wing extender.

The first wing extender was cut out with a craft knife and traced.

All four wing extenders, ready to be used.

Then the fun began - I refolded the glitter felt right sides together (it's only glittery on one side) and marked out the basic shapes.  This took the whole three yard length, with the flat side of the wings not on the fold.  Why?  So that I could have enough material on the fold to cut out the tail, and so that I could work with just one half while sewing on the facings for the arm- and wrist-holes.  I then sewed the facings on to the right sides.

One of the faced openings - this one is a wrist opening.  The inside rectangle will be slashed open.
I was going to do a true lapped seam for the shoulder seam, but with the bulk of the pieces that seemed unwieldy, so instead I sewed the pieces together along the straight edge, then opened it and topstitched the seam allowances towards the back to create a mock-felled seam.  This gives  some structure to the top edge and was pretty easy to handle.  I then decided to sew the underarms and sandwich in the tail.  The tail will need another go from the top - some of the layers shifted a little and there's a little gap, but it will look just fine.

I will have to figure out how to finish out the wings tomorrow.  Even though I didn't finish in the four hours I put in today, I'm very pleased with the progress and the results so far.

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