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Oct 20, 2012

Getting started on Michael's costume

This is NOT Michael's Halloween costume!

Taking a break from poly chiffon and power net, it's time to address Michael's Halloween costume, which I envision as a cross between Jon Hall in Arabian Nights, Cornel Wilde in A Thousand and One Nights (but with more beads), and Alberto Sordi in Fellini's hilarious The White Sheik.





Of course, the late Jon Hall was the famous film partner of Maria Montez, opposite whom he co-starred in many lavish technicolor adventure films for Universal Studios in the mid-Forties.







I'm using Simplicity 4788 for the costume, and making the shirt, sarouel pants (the baggy "harem"-- or Hammer-style -- pants), vest, sash, and fez (or turban).



Here are the fabrics I'm working with.  The shirt will be actual muslin, the vest the gold/green brocade; not sure about the rest.



I'm doing the shirt first, and it's pretty straightforward except for the direction to put binding on the "princess" seam on the shirt front before the two front pieces are sewn together -- can you figure out what exactly they want me to do?  Is this like adding corded piping?



Here are the two front pieces:



And the cryptic (to me) instructions:





Any ideas?

Anyway, that's this weekend's work; we'll see how far I get.

I'm excited to see some great projects in our MPB Halloween Sew-Along Flickr group.  You can still join, of course (just shoot me an email -- peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) -- and if you'd like to write a guest post about your project (like Allison's about her topiary outfit) just let me know.

Happy sewing, everybody!


21 comments:

  1. I have an idea: skip the bias trim. Looking forward to seeing you two all dressed up.

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  2. Surely the bias trim would just be gilding the lily? :)

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  3. from what I understand, they want you to turn double-fold bias tape into a single fold and then insert it into the seam as flat piping. But then they kind of lost me, I think you're supposed to apply a trim on top of the bias tape then? Hmm.

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    Replies
    1. So the fold in the tape has to be exactly on the 5/8" seam allowance line, I guess. They never tell you how to finish the bias tape (presumably stitching it down). Why not just use trim in the first place?

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  4. I second what Anneke said.
    -Sandra

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  5. I think the bias trim is meant to enclose the raw edges as the seams are overlapped. The trim is extra to go on top of the bias tape. Depending on the width of the trim the bias could show underneath as an extra decorative element.

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  6. the flat trim is sewn between the front and side front, like piping, pressed so SA is toward front, then on front the free edge is topstiched down.
    I think you could do something much more interesting.

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    Replies
    1. So it sounds like a flat-felled seam.

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    2. no, it's like inserted flat piping that's then sewn down. Inside you still have raw edges.

      Delete
  7. Hrm. From the illustration, it looks like you're sewing wrong sides together, encasing the raw edges in bias tape, and then sewing said bias tape down. So it's a sort of Hong Kong finish stitched down... or a weird flat-felled seam.

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  8. Sounds beyond weird. I think they mean to bind the raw seam allowance on the side that ends up inside, then lay the other piece on TOP and top stitch it down, as opposed to the usual way of making a seam. The trim then covers the raw edge left on the outside.
    So complicated! Why not just sew the darn seam wrong sides together, stitch the trimmed seam allowances down like an unfolded flat fell, and then bung the trim over the whole thing. Sealed up raw edges, way simpler!

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  9. It sounds like they want you to do the bias trim to look like a fake flat felled seam. Maybe just go with the real thing - or whatever you want to make these seams a feature - but those instructions are burda-worthy!

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  10. I'm with Bill- looks/sounds like flat piping to me, then extra trim on the outside. Very odd, and potentially messy on the inside [plus the hazard of nipple-chafe, and none of want that...er...do we?]
    I'd miss it out, and make nice flat felled or french seams...wouldn't even bother with trim as it'll be worn under another layer anyway!

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  11. I think the instructions are for adding the placket, but they don't expect you to have the skills or knowledge do sewing terms to use 'normal' instructions.

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  12. I'm going with they want you to use bias tape for flat piping (which will lay toward the side-front once the seams are pressed) and match it on the other side of the seam with 1/4" trim. If the seams were on the vest that would look really cool, but on the pirhan it seems a bit silly.

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  13. I read it as you first turn double-fold bias tape into single fold and sew it into the seam (resulting a a double layer (tube) of bias tape sticking out of the right side of the seam). Then the instructions have you take the bias tape sticking out and arrange it so that it has its edges 1/4" from either side of the seam, and then stitch down the edges of the bias tape. It's a decorative element. If you're planning on having a vest over these seams, I totally recommend skipping this decoration.

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  14. The folded edge of the bias tape will stick out of the seam on the right side, like piping. Check the pattern envelope for clues about the width of the bias tape. If, when unfolded and refolded as described, it's 3/4" wide, it will stick out 1/8", since the instructions make a point of saying "raw edges even." Since the seams are pressed toward the "center" and the 1/4" trim is added on the "front," the trim's stitching will go through the seam allowances of the piped seam. It could be a nice touch, but with a vest over the top, probably won't be seen.

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  15. I find it highly suspicious that the pattern envelope only shows the shirt covered by the vest. Maybe whoever had to sew up the sample for the photo shoot couldn't figure out the directions either. I'm with Hoosiermama. If Michael's going to wear the vest, there's no point in going through all of that trouble.

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  16. If the notions call for both bias tape and trim then the intention is a double layer of embellishment along the princess seams, the bias tape coming out of the seam toward the center front and the trim being stitched on top of it.

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  17. Why do they make the instructions so confusing? No wonder I'm scared to sew! Would it kill them to tell you the purpose of each step (especially one that isn't common/obvious)? That way, you'd have an idea of what you were attempting to do, and, allow you to better determine whether it's necessary or optional.

    From the comments of all the more-knowledgeable-than-I folks above, I'm voting for "forget it and move on."

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