Thursday, 10 September 2009

Costume Patterns

Even though the first Fancy Dress Costume course has been cancelled, I still want to be prepared if the others run later in the year.

I found a great costume book at the Library called Quick Costumes for Kids, by Deborah House. There is a section at the back with a fold out page of costumes to trace off. It was a great find, because the costumes we are going to make will be developed from a very simple base. Some we will do from the basic squares and rectangles idea. But I had planned to draft things like trousers out myself. The trouble is, I haven't got a ready-made kid at hand anymore to try things on to. So, when I saw that this had already done basic costume pieces, I decided not to reinvent the wheel...this time!The book presumes you know how to trace off patterns. (I never did that before, as I have never used Burda or similar pattern companies. Before I learned pattern drafting, I generally swapped bits and pieces of existing patterns around to get what I wanted. Or I used the chop-chop-sew-sew method!*) However, I did see someone tracing a Burda pattern, so I had the general idea. It took a while to work out what to look for, but I have managed to trace off nearly all the patterns today. No wonder they layer them. I am already onto my 4th sheet of pattern paper which I would say was about a metre square!

Anyway, what I wanted to say was, if you see this book, do get it. Besides the patterns, which are drawn in 3 generic sizes, they have instructions for sewing the majority of kid's costumes you might come across. Then of course, you use your imagination for the special character costumes or the slightly off-the-wall costumes, but you have enough resources to be able to pick and choose the pattern pieces that will best make up the look you want.

* the chop-chop-sew-sew method goes like this. Hold the fabric up to the kid. Decide it wants folding about here and chopping about there. go and stitch. come back and try it. either chop more or resew more. repeat until it is right!
PS I didn't invent this method. It is as old as the hills.
PPS. sometimes you don't think about the kid needing to raise their arm and you have to unpick the under arm area and put in a gusset. kids don't mind. and the Gingerbread man costume will last longer.

Have fun. Have you made any fun costumes lately?

No comments: