Buzzwords

Hi all! What’s the buzz?

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Oh, is it the base of my Halloween costume? It is!

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One of these days I’d like to cut loose and make a COSTUME, we’re talking something that needs super specific underwear and maybe you have to crouch to get through doorways, but in the meantime (as in, as long as I stay in my beloved but closet-less apartment) I pull together costumes from daywear. You could be forgiven for thinking “This? A costume? No, no, sir” which, like, fair enough. Though there are more posterboard components for the night itself.

Anyway, I’m a Spelling Bee! (Professor Boyfriend, not pictured, is a Spelling Beekeeper. His veil is dotted with yellow and black striped capital letter “B”s.). Whereas I’m, basically, a nerdy bee? The sewn elements are a pair of Afternoon Patterns Fern shorts, which I covered thoroughly here, and a Seamwork Natalie blouse.

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Nothing much to say about the shorts except that they’d match the concept better in black, but I found this grey linen locally for $3/yard, so yeah, SOLD.

One of the best parts of working in an elementary school is that you can have serious in-depth conversations about Halloween costumes. During one of these, a six-grade visionary suggested I add suspenders to my outfit, which: yes! They really cinch the Poindexter vibe! It’s just suspender clips and black ribbon, so only aesthetic, no support. I actually already had these – a couple years ago I got smitten with the idea of suspenders just long enough to order the clips, and I wore them maybe twice before the day I paired them with culottes and a leotard and had to reenact The Great Escape when I wanted to pee.

The ‘bee-siest’ piece is this top. I’ve been thinking about the Natalie blouse for a while and I’m glad I finally made one! In recent months I’ve been glibly converting regular collars to camp collars and then moaning that they don’t sit right, but actually following directions to learn a new skill seems to have worked better, TELL EVERYONE. I think the trick is in the width of the facing. The plackets curl open close to, but not over, the edge of the facing. It mildly stresses me out that it’s just tacked down inside and not topstitched, but maybe that’s an important ingredient too?  

I did add three additional buttons between the four recommended ones. More stitching is better stitching.

This top certainly fits, but I should have picked my size more wisely. I sewed an 8 bust graded to a 10 waist. Thanks to the boxy fit it’s not tight anywhere, but the shoulders are too narrow.

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Ideally, the shoulder seam would sit 1/2” – 1” further out. I think I’ll retrace the pattern in a straight size 12. The good news is I know already that I won’t need to grade for my hips!

Oh, a note on plaid-matching – I remembered to match the side seams below the bust dart, but completely forgot about the sleeves. Oh, well. Though, it’s been a while since I’ve set a sleeve in the round, not to mention I French-seamed it, and it is sitting pretty smoothly! So it might be in the wrong place, it might not match the plaid, but I’m calling it good!

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I probably won’t wear these bits as an outfit together after Halloween (contrary to everything about my personality, I’m not actually putting effort into being a nerd), but separately, yes, for sure. Do you dress up for Halloween? And if you do, do you try to keep the pieces wearable in daily life, or do you go wild?

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Either way – Happy Halloween! 😈

Pattern: Afternoon Patterns Fern shorts

Pattern cost: NA

Size: D at waist, E at lower hip + thigh

Supplies: 2 yards of linen blend, Sewfisticated, $5.98; zipper, Sewfisticated, $1.40; thread, rivet from stash

Total time: 4 hours

Total cost: $7.38

Pattern: Seamwork Natalie

Pattern cost: $3

Size: 8 at bust, 10 at waist

Supplies: 2 yards of Kaufman Sevenberry: Classic Plaid Twill Plaid Yellow, fabric.com, $24.24; thread, buttons from stash

Total time: 5.25 hours

Total cost: $27.24

5 thoughts on “Buzzwords

  1. Fun idea for a costume! And great pieces that work for everyday after the holiday – nicely sewn.

    While many would have sub-consciously noted if the plaid was matched everywhere they are used to RTW that doesn’t match and see it as normal – sad but true.

    Assuming it is a standard set-in sleeve cap, I think your shoulder seam is in the correct place. Where you have you finger pointed looks more like the spot for a slightly dropped shoulder.

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    1. Really? Wow! I think I’ve been wearing all my sleeves too low then – because my drop shoulder seams are almost horizontal sometimes!
      Thanks for the kind words! 🙂

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  2. I love it! I’m also a champion of the closet to Halloween costume movement. I just need to know I’ll wear things more than once if I’m going to bother making or paying for it?

    As for the placket – I’m not sure what the standard construction is, but at least with the Willamette pattern the facing is stitched right into the shoulder seam (vs. tacked down). I’d love to try the Natalie but I’ve heard so many horror stories about how Seamwork armscyes are drafted, and the last time I muslined one of their sleeved tops it was so small it caused me actual pain. I agree with Cheryl that in your case it looks like the shoulder seam is in the right place. So as long as it’s comfortable – hooray!

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    1. I KNOW costume to closet (great phase!) suits my lifestyle but there’s a part of me that craves thiiisss: https://www.starsandfield.com/weblog/thekirstenproject (Only I wanted Samantha, because I’m basic, I guess! ^^)

      The Seamwork sleeves are truly all over the place! Which pattern did you try? My worst experience was the Elmira wrap top, where the armscyces were lower than my bra band.

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