… thoughts on theatre, life, and stuff

Archive for August, 2010

Watermelon Costume Idea

Phil (our beloved and fearless leader) asked me the other day if I could come up with a watermelon costume.       

I THINK I can, I think I can, I think I can.

 

I love watermelon.  I understand it.  I totally “grok” watermelon. (there’s a reference that will expose my age! Trivia question, how old am I since I was born 1 year AFTER “Stranger In A Strange Land” was written.)  LOL.   

Well… we didn’t end up using that idea, so I didn’t construct the costume, but here’s the design I came up with.     

There are tons of ways you could make this!  See my  costume idea for an “orange slice” costume if you want to make a quick one out of poster-board. https://vsplash.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/orange-costume-idea/ Just follow the directions below for the sweat suit underneath and voila!      

BUT of course, I saw this costume a little differently in my head.  I wanted to make something a little more like THIS:      

You might be a redneck if...

 

Materials list:  Sewing machine or iron-on hemming tape, green watermelon fabric (3-4 yards), hanger wire or heavy floral/craft wire, red baggy sweat-suit, red cap, hot glue and glue-gun.     

Step one.  Find green and white striped fabric that looks watermelon-ish.  I would probably buy 3-4 yards.  If I couldn’t find the stuff I liked, I would probably literally spray paint green fabric from a distance with white paint to make it look like a watermelon’s stripes.     

Step two.  Buy black fun foam to cut into seeds, I would get the kind that has an adhesive back to it, even though I would hot glue it on.  That way I could check placement before making a seed placement committment.  🙂     

click to enlarge image

 

Step three.  Find (or sew) a red baggy sweat suit and cap of some kind.  Faded is FINE for this project!  watermelon innards are more pink than red anyway.     

Step 4.  Attach black seeds to the sweat suit and cap with hot-glue. It would be cool if the actor wore black shoes.     

Step 5. Construct two circle shapes out of hanger or other heavy wire.  This will hold the shape of the watermelon at the shoulders and the waist. (see diagram).     

Step 6.  Fold over the top and bottom of the fabric and sew a channel that is wide enough to run your curved wire through (leave extra room if you use iron-on hem tape!) .  Sew a strip of scrap cloth at the “waist” of the fabric wide enough to hold another loop of wire.  This wire will help keep the rounded shape all the way to the bottom of the costume.     

click to enlarge

 

Step 7.  Attach shoulder straps (made from ribbon, red fabric, or left over green watermelon fabric.     

Step 8.  With right sides together, sew the back seam so that the green fabric forms a curved shape larger at the top than at the bottom.  Make sure the bottom is wide enough to accommodate the actor’s legs!!!  Cut off the extra fabric once you are sure the shape will work.     

I would pin this together first and try it on a victim, err, I mean a volunteer to make sure I get the shape right,  As long as you don’t leave ugly exposed edges, you could always hot glue this “seam” I suppose, although a sewing machine made seam would stand the test of time better, in my opinion.  If you want the costume worn like the baby pic above, with the top ring under the arms of the actors, then TA DAHHH! You are finished.  If you want the top ring to be higher, shorten the straps so the ring sits above the shoulders, and cut arm holes. You may want to get fancy and turn these arm-hole edges under so they don’t ravel.  Just hot glue or iron hem tape to secure them.     

Without actually MAKING this thing (cough! Phil! cough!) this is the best I can offer in terms of a how-to, but I just know the ones you make will look FABULOUS!!!     

hugs, V-

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Litle Girl Dresses for Ethiopia (Pillowcase Dresses)

Hi!  

My Rush Hour friend Heather, who plays Cammie at our Fredrick Campus, suggested a dress-making project to support orphans in an Ethiopian community. Check out this link to understand the scope of what the Howletts are trying to achieve.   http://thehowletts5.blogspot.com/   

Here’s a link to the pattern I chose to use…    http://sewingmamas.com/b/downloads.php?do=file&id=17  I made 6 dresses like this.   

 I was a little concerned about how the dresses would be laundered, and how the ribbon might hold up. I decided to try THIS pattern next… http://freshlypicked.blogspot.com/2008/03/pillow-case-dress-tutorial.html  because the ties are sewn in as elongated casings on the sleeves.   

Fabric and ribbon!

 

Aleah (my daughter) and I went shopping for pillowcases which we first washed, dried, and ironed.  

We washed, dried and ironed the cases first.

 

We wanted to launder the fabric before beginning so we could pre-shrink and check them out to see if the would hold up long-term.  We didn’t want to send dresses that would disappoint little girls by raveling or shrinking the first time they were washed.   

After learning they have an outdoor latrine, we weren’t sure about their access to laundry facilities and an iron for pressing clothing, so we tried our best to think about those things while choosing our materials.  

cut!

 

... sew ...

 

Thread some ribbon...

 

... and VOILA!

 

These were constructed using the method found at the first link we listed above.  After making several of these using the simple design, I was ready to move on to the more challenging pattern, which I thought would  be longer-lasting and a little more rugged.  I used the pattern found at the second link above, and the dresses turned out to be SOOOO cute!  

We added some ribbon trim to the dresses made with solid fabric, just to give them a little extra cuteness.  🙂   

Thanks again to my friend Heather for the suggestion!  And thanks to the Howlett family for all you do!  

Hugs, V-

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