26 October 2011

SW: A Hogwarts Halloween

To preface this post, I need to say that I usually don't do Halloween. Not only am I tired after making costumes for other people, so that I don't feel like making my own, but I haven't been invited to a Halloween party in years.
This year, I was invited to 4. All  on the same night!
I will be attending the one for which I received an invitation first, and it is conveniently Hogwarts themed! I already knew I was going to make a gown for King Richard's Faire this year and decided to combine the two costumes and go to the party as Rowena Ravenclaw.
Pattern: Butterick 4827, size 14 (2011), drawstring bag from free online tutorial (not in photos)
Fabric: Crepe-textured polyester satin, the same fabric used for the purple 1940 gown I made for "Annie", from my stash
Notions: Trim, cording, sari fabric remnant from JoAnns - $25
Time: 3 days
Notes/Alterations: I loved sewing this, I really did. It took very little time to complete.  I used my sloper to fit it initially but it was still really large in some areas, mainly the upper back. You can see below that I didn't do the lace-up back, it is loose enough to slip on over my head which I thought was more realistic than bothering with a zipper, which was my initial plan. I also had to cut the center back pieces in half across my waist, because I didn't have enough fabric otherwise. I didn't have enough for facings either, so I serged and then turned everything under once, since the trim on the neckline and sleeves over it is very stiff.
Pros: I love it! I think it came out beautifully for such a simple pattern. I barely needed the instructions and with all the princess seams it is easy to fit.
Cons: I think I could have made a smaller size, especially for the sleeve. I took in two inches on each sleeve seam! They were so baggy and awful originally. However, I think this affected the fit in the armsceye so my range of motion is slightly limited. The neckline also came out less of a scoop and more of a boatneck, but that was fine with me. The trim was the worst bit to work with, it had no give, so I had to box pleat it on the curves of the neckline. I don't know where they expect you to get medieval-looking stretchy trim! My only last complaint was that because the dress has an unlined train, some of my hemming came out and the serger threads are already fuzzy from dragging. This means I have to walk around holding my dress up.
 I was really glad to do some stash-busting. I've been keeping better track of my spending and I have very much overspent myself on fabric this year. Although, after buying the trim and bag materials ($26ish) and flats ($12, Payless) to wear with the dress, it really wasn't necessarily so thrifty as I would have liked.
And of course it is a lot of fun to leap about in.
Wondering what I did with that cording and sari remnant? I made a bag for the Faire! Sadly it broke in the parking lot before we even made it in, but my sister taped it up and it held up all day, somehow!
Photos from the Faire...I went with my youngest sister, Laura, who had never been. She came up with her own costume, although it didn't involve sewing.


  1. Your dress is fabulous - very regal! And a beautiful colour and fit too.

  2. You look stunning Ms. Ravenclaw. Gorgeousness! And I do agree, that color is perfect for you! :-)

  3. This dress turned out beautiful! You look smashing in it.

  4. I am totally insanely jealous, I would so love to attend a Hogwarts party~you look great!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    I'm having a giveaway...

  5. Looks great! and Rowena is a great idea!

  6. I love it and I think your face and hair really go with the look (like a clean, medieval person!)I think that's teh fabric I made my birthday dress from...

  7. oh oh oh, I can not say how stunning you look! We don't have halloween like that here in the uk, but seeing you all dressed up, I so wished we did!!looks great fun. x x x

  8. What an absolutely stunning dress! You look just gorgeous - the perfect Rowena Ravenclaw!

  9. I absolutely ADORE your dress! YAY hogwarts AND Ren Faire!

  10. Beautiful! Looks like you two had an awesome time at the Faire! Have fun at the parties!

  11. That fair sounds like fun! I love the idea of going as Rowena. I bet you'll stand out between lots of people in black school uniforms and stripey scarves! The dress looks great on you, I love the color and it falls so prettily! :)


Folks Serv