Fall is officially here and Halloween is less than a month away. I have always loved this time of year and figuring out my Halloween costume is always great fun. I have been into the pinup style for a while now and have done the basic pinup costumes; a devil, a sailor, Rosie the Riveter, and even the ubiquitous black cat. Most of my costumes are pulled together with stuff I already have. Since I dress pinup every day I have a pretty good stock of garments to utilize. All I really have to do is add the appropriate accessories, which I usually pick up from the dollar store or the Target dollar spot. This year will be the first time that I made my costume. I wasn’t sewing clothing last Halloween so I am excited to make all sorts of Halloween appropriate looks.
When I first made B6413 I had no intentions of making the wiggle version so quickly after my bandana print swing dress. But I fell in love with the bodice style and decided to try my hand at the fitted sheath dress. However, I am not nearly confident enough to try this in a non-stretch fabric. I have only made swing dresses and swing skirts so far. Tackling a fitted pencil skirt was a daunting thought so I decided to use a stretch bengaline since it would be more forgiving. Luckily, I had some lying around from another project I had tried and promptly chucked in my “fail” pile. From my fabric scraps I had just enough navy and white striped jersey for the bodice and navy bengaline for the skirt.
As I have stated in my prior post on this pattern, my waist to hip ratio is quite large. My waist is about 31.5” and my hips are 49”. Most patterns sizes have a 10” difference between the waist and hip. Since I have about an 18” difference, my hip measurement is quite a few sizes larger than my waist.
Because this bengaline is extremely stretchy I didn’t have to grade the hip measurement up as much as I would have with a non-stretch fabric. I cut my skirt pattern with a size 16 waist and graded the hips up to a size 20. To do this I marked where the size 16 waist was and the size 20 hip. Then sloped the curve of the hip up towards the waist. I always trace my patterns onto freezer paper. That way I don’t have to cut the original pattern tissue in case I misjudge my size. Or if I lose/gain weight and want to re-use the pattern in the future I can always re-trace the size the fits.
When I do wear a wiggle skirt I like it to be very fitted. So I graded the bottom of the skirt (from the hips to the hem) back down to a size 16 in order to enhance the hourglass shape. I left the back slit out of my pattern as the fabric provides enough stretch that a slit was unnecessary for ease of movement.
I had to adjust the dart placement a little since I went up 2 pattern sizes to accommodate my hips. I used the dart placement for the size 18. Luckily by using the darts that “met in the middle” of my two sizes I didn’t have to fiddle with them too much. I am sure if this was a non-stretch fabric I would have needed some finer tuning to get them to hit in the appropriate areas but this bengaline is so forgiving. There is a reason I don’t wear pencil skirts unless the fabric has some give to it.
The last tweak I did to this pattern was creating a tie for the bust just like I did in the prior post. Although, I am debating making a button loop instead to see how it would work. I didn’t intend for this to become this year’s Halloween costume but once I finished making it my husband said I looked like a pinup sailor girl. Luckily that is a costume I have done before so I even had a little sailor hat and a red belt to go with it.
All in all this was a quick sew for me. It took about 3 hours to make since I didn’t have to deal with gathering such a large skirt. Have you made your own costume before? Do you have a particular type of costume you prefer? Let me know in the comments down below and stay tuned for more Halloween inspired looks!