a halloween costume, in which i take something very easy and choose to make it very complicated…

i have been buried underneath mountains of fabric for this year’s halloween costumes and i’m sooooo close to being done. just need to finish off the last details! so here is the first one in the lineup. it is a project in which i take a super easy pattern and turn it into a super complicated one. fortunately, it turned out really great.

i really got my start sewing by making my girls their yearly halloween costumes. after several years of that it finally dawned on me that my skills were good enough to make “real” clothes. you know. for me! at any rate, i really look forward to halloween. the days (weeks, now that i have four munchkins to dress up) slaving over the sewing machine for the hour or two the outfits are paraded about… it seems silly, but i guess i enjoy the crazy.

first up this year is a bee costume for my almost 4-year old isabella. we’ve called her “izzie busy bee” ever since she learned to crawl, and finally this year she went for the bee costume. i used this really easy pattern, 2073 by simplicity. it’s designed to be a funky generic princess/fairy/witch starting point. it has this great hoop skirt hem to make it all space age and kinda of dr. seuss like. i thought the shape of the skirt would look killer done up in stripes all the way down and that’s just what i did.

i won’t go into much of the details of construction here, but i took each of the seven panels of the skirt and cut them into 2″ stripes. this gave me a total of 49 pieces for the skirt alone. as i was penciling in the stripes on the pattern pieces i had this brief moment of clarity where i could have turned back. but i snuffed out the little voices and went with it anyway.

despite the hours and very meticulous planning and—please don’t anyone touch the pattern pieces or even breathe anywhere near my sewing table!!!—it was totally worth it. to keep the most continuous stripes i sewed all the stripes together first, as in from side to side, then sewed the stripes together to build the skirt. i could have just pieced each panel individually but i was worried about my seams/stripes not matching up. so i did the front and back then joined the side seams. if that all didn’t make sense, don’t feel bad. a project like this is only for the insane. while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty darn close. in fact i can’t believe i pulled this off… did i mention 49 pieces for the skirt alone???

i fully lined the dress and added boning around the hem for the stand out skirt part, made a stinger to sew onto the backside, a set of wings and a headband antennae… and there you have it. the perfect little bee!


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