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Oct 18, 2012

Long Day's Journey Into Harem Pants



A long day, readers.

With the Scheherazade midriff top pretty much done -- I added beaded gimp trim along the bottom and a snap at the back neck (which may be replaced by a frog) --  I had to figure out what I wanted the rest of the outfit to look like.

I toyed with all kinds of draped beads (I have SO much of that beaded gimp).  I cut my chiffon into wide strips and experimented with the idea of a multi-colored skirt made of scarves, but nothing looked quite right -- too Carmen Miranda.  Of course, Carmen's styles likely did influence the Hollywood costumers of the Forties, whose interpretation of Arabian garb was, after all, pure pastiche.

Too "Chica Chica Boom Chic"

Finally, I decided to return to my original Jeannie pattern, McCall's 9559, and make the yoke with the attached short (which I'd muslined last week), but use the remaining flesh-colored power net with the gold mesh overlay for that "nude" look.  Fortunately I had just enough fabric left (I'd bought only one yard of each at Chic).



The yoke has power net shorts attached, and it zips up the back (Remember that $4.99 bag of 100 tan zippers I bought over the summer? -- I used one of those); I haven't finished the top waist yet.  I may add beaded gimp or leave it plain so the waistline isn't as defined.



Here's how it looked.



Then I had to make a decision about the chiffon.  I decided to use the pinky-peach color and make harem pants.  I haven't gathered them at the ankles yet -- not sure if I will.  Michael prefers this simpler palette to the one with all the bold pinks and greens.  I'll decide tomorrow what it still needs.   I may add beaded gimp to the seam where the chiffon pants begin at the bottom of the yoke; I don't mind it plain either.  Thoughts?

(Didn't bother closing the back of the midriff which is why it looks loose along the bottom.)

I'm pleased so far, and glad the outfit doesn't scream I Dream of Jeannie, even though I made the pants from the pattern (the top, you'll recall, is adapted from a Forties Advance playsuit top, built upon a flesh-toned padded bra).

I invested in a few more trinkets today (and another bottle of Fray Check -- my second in three years), plus bigger flesh-toned shoulder pads, which really do give the silhouette a Forties feel.



Soon it will be time to start Michael's costume.  But first -- turbans!

UPDATE: Here's what I'm thinking for shoes; just have to find them!



Have a great day, everybody!  How are your costumes coming?

28 comments:

  1. It's looking good, Peter! I got the commercial Disney hair for Bit's Rapunzel costume Monday, and figured out how to alter it this week. It was too small, but now it fits, and since this seems to be a fairly common problem (too small or too big) I posted a tutorial on the subject this morning while Imp was napping.

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  2. I adore a good turban! i recommend "From the Neck Up" i gave my copy to my mother, but i remember that it had good turban section.

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  3. You look pretty (is that OK to say?). The muted palette is sophisticated and the top definitely has that 40s vibe. Have you tried placing the beaded gimp around the top of the waistband? Or, how about a flat braid of some sort there, that picks up the turquoise stitching, and the beaded gimp where you'd suggested (top of chiffon). : )

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  4. Looking good, but it needs more beads. And I vote for gathering the pant ankles for a truly harem look; maybe some beads on the ankles as a homage to slave anklets?

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  5. Your Scheherazade costume is coming out splendidly! I agree with Kate on adding more beads, though. Oh, and on a side note, I've been trying to join your MPB Halloween Sew-Along group on flickr(dot)com but I haven't been approved yet. I would really like to join in on the fun! :) Thanks.

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    1. Serge, I don't see your request in my inbox. Would you mind shooting me an email (or leaving your email address here; I can delete it later if you want me to)?

      Thanks!

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    2. Ditto on the beads.

      I'm having the same problem as Serge. Flickr says you added me as a contact but that I haven't been approved to join the group yet.

      Those shoes are awesome - I hope you can find something similar. And I'm thinking that with that sort of a shoe, the straight pant leg you have now would look better than a gathered one, but maybe you leave that until you have the right shoe?

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    3. Jen, I think I resolved the problem -- you should be in now.

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    4. Thank you Peter! I'm in the group now! :)

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  6. Fray Check seems to be one of those things that sewists either use a lot or not much at all. Mine is going at about the same rate as a bottle of Agnostura Bitters.

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    1. Agnostura Bitters!!!

      Growing up we had a dust covered bottle in the dining room's corner cabinet. Actually all the booze was dust covered.

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  7. When we made costumes for a junior high production of Aladdin, we hot-glued fabric strips to baseball caps (with the bills cut off) to make turbans. In case you're looking for a fast and simple turban solution! ;-)

    We we lucky enough to receive some Scheherazade-style colorguard uniforms left over from a previous marching band show--with minimal alterations, those worked great for some of the girls in the play.

    I'm not going to be as ambitious as you about my Halloween costume. Plus, it has to be suitable for the office!

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  8. Your Post always make me smile. Love me some happy joyful people. Thanks

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  9. The top is great, but the bottom needs a little something that will sway and make a slight noise when you walk. For it to work properly it should be placed right at the top of the hip bone, not at the waist or the top of the chiffon.What have you planned for your feet?

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    1. In an ideal world, vintage Forties gold peep toe ankle straps; we'll see what the universe provides!

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  10. Oh My, you are hot in harem pants...(sorry, but it's true) Add some hip swagger beads, gather the pants at the ankles, and wear toe rings.

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  11. i would do something to the topof the pants so that you don'thave a straight line across-
    like maybe where the top goes up do something similar to the waist-

    john in nc

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  12. Dude, you look gorgeous! Haha! I mean that in the nicest way - I would totally rock that costume, long long after Halloween. The colors are wonderful & I love all the drapey sheer + bare midriff you've got going on.

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  13. Your harem shorts look a bit medical. But with the chiffon pants attached it looks amazing. I am so impressed. I like these colours better as well. Michael is right.

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  14. Here are you shoes http://www.remixvintageshoes.com/ritz.html

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  15. I’m loving it! The colors are perfect. I agree with Anonymous -- maybe some beaded gimp draped across the hipbones to accentuate the sway of the hips. The pants can be gathered at the ankles or not. I think the loose bottoms work quite well. They add some mystery as to what’s going on under there.

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  16. I agree with john in nc. I think the waist should be coutoured to show your post pregnancy slim waistline :).

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  17. Your costume looks great so far. I can't wait to see what Michael is going to wear.

    I'm wondering though, are you planning to wear this outdoors? If so how will you keep from freezing to death?

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  18. Peter,
    I don't think the beaded gimp where the shorts join the chiffon is pretty, unless you really want to emphasize the 40's cut. But you DO need more trim on the shorts....swags of beads.
    And I think the gold mesh parts could afford some BIG gold sequins. They can be glued on with a dot of gold Tulip paint, or Sobo glue.

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  19. Yes, hip swagged bead chains, plus you could add some tin jingles hanging straight down from the waist for some movement and sound. You know the type of jingles that native women wear for their fancy dress dances at Pow wows?

    I'd leave the bottoms the way they are - having them gathered would really remind me of "Jeannie". When you find your shoes I hope you will be able to dance in them! Lots of bracelets, arm bangles, etc. for more sound and movement. Can't wait to see the end product. This is a fun sort of sew-along!

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  20. I agree with woodencanoe. More beads beads beads. You could gather the ankles and go barefoot with toe rings, or golden ballet slippers. If no gathers, then heels for sure.
    You look great !!

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  21. I agree that more beads and possibly some Chinese knots are in order. I love the outfit, though and the shoes! *swoon*

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