So I finally started Monday night on that T-shirt wedding dress costume project for work--the skit is this weekend, but I have to have it ready for a fitting on Thursday. The above is my attempt at "draping"--it's just a bunch of XL size shirts cut up and pinned together on my dress form (which has now been adjusted to approximate the woman who will be wearing it). I'm digging the wide straps and the plunging wrap / sweetheart / surplice neckline.
My original plan was to fit the bodice with shirring:
But as I should have remembered from the great elastic shirring debacle of 2010, my sewing machine REFUSES to shir with elastic thread in the bobbin. Unfortunately, this T-shirt fabric is so thick and rough, it wouldn't even shir via the zig-zag method (sewing with a zig-zag over the stretched elastic thread).
So I sewed the skirt together from two of the shirts with an elastic waistband instead. The bustle or flare or train or flounce thingie is just part of those two shirts left on. I was disappointed that the logos on the shirts are so small, so I may (if I find the time) apply larger ones with T-shirt transfers or just fabric paint.
It was such a relief to actually get back at the sewing machine. I'm a bit stressed out by the deadline, but my husband (who helpfully cut up all the T-shirts for me) keeps reminding me that this thing only has to look OK from 20 feet away from the stage, and that it is supposed to look rugged/thrown together.
It is pretty freeing to be going pattern free and just randomly cutting, draping and sewing. I am the sort of person who usually spends hours carefully aligning and smoothing and pinning and cutting my fabric perfectly on grain and making sure I cut the pattern out precisely without slicing off any tissue and... no wonder I barely sew one garment per month.
I do hope that somehow I will also find the time to sew something normal for myself to wear in time for the Brooklyn BurdaStyle Sewing Club meetup Sunday, but if not, I suppose I could bring this.
So: do you ever go pattern-free and just wing it? What have your results been like?
P.S. Tonight, June 6, at midnight EST is the deadline to enter my vintage sewing pattern illustration giveaway! Thanks to all of you for the awesome entries so far!
P.P.S. My daughter's comment looking at the dress in progress on the mannequin: "Oh a dress! Pretty! Boobies!" Toddler wisdom at its finest.