How NOT to Take Measurements

Last weekend, I did a fitting with my friend’s daughter for the Freddy sweater.  It went well, so all I had left to do afterwards was come home and attach the cuffs and bottom piece of the sweater.  I also added one of my new fancy labels to the sweater – a birthday present, courtesy of my friends Suzanne & Colin.  This was my first opportunity to use a label since I got them, because I have been a sewing slacker.  Anyway, ta-dah!

I can’t wait to see what the complete Freddy costume looks like.  Hopefully I’ll get a picture that I can share with you all here.

Anyway, while I was visiting for Aeris’s sweater fitting, I was also there to take Phoenix’s measurements for her costume.  I agreed to make her an Inuyasha costume.  Her dad, Sean, is making her a fantastic rendition of Inuyasha’s sword.  Here is a reference picture, for anyone who doesn’t follow anime much.

I will again be making my own pattern for this, as it is a fairly simple tunic and some poofy pants.  Phoenix called them “balloon pants”, and I tend to agree with her term.  Gravity is not going to allow me to make these balloon out quite as much as in the above picture, but the effect should be good enough.

This brings us to the title of today’s post:  How NOT to take measurements.  I mean, the lesson I learned this weekend is right up there with the following standard rules:

-Never take measurements while drunk.

-Never take measurements of a moving target.

-Never let your dog help you take measurements.

IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:  When taking measurements, never forget your measuring tape.

Because that is what I did.  Sigh.  $#*@&!^%.  I felt stupid for leaving that at home, but still managed.  Thankfully, Sean & Tiffany had some twine, scissors, and masking tape.  I used the twine to measure and cut various lengths and circumferences of Phoenix’s body.  I labeled each piece of twine with a piece of masking tape so I would know what measurement it was when I got home to my measuring tape.  In case you were curious, here are Phoenix’s measurements, creatively taken.

I felt a little weird (read: like a creepy serial killer) taking home a ziplock bag of twine in lengths that corresponded to parts of a child.  But you know, a seamstress has to do what a seamstress has to do.  This is what I did with the twine when I got home.

After that dilemma was solved, I set to creating the pattern pieces and cutting out the costume.  I am using a polyester interlock knit for the costume.  Its soft, but light, so she might need a t-shirt underneath it or something if its cold out.  Then again, we live in Charleston, it’ll probably be 80 degrees.  Here is a picture of what I cut.

I had a hard time deciding what shape to make the pant legs.  In the pieces above, the bulges at the bottom would be inside and outside seams.  I thought this might give the pants a bit more of a balloon look at the bottom.  But the more I thought about it, and the more I looked at the picture of Inuyasha, the less I liked the curve inwards that happens at the knee.  So I wound up cutting the pants pieces straight down instead of with the bulge, although the bottom edges of the pant leg are wider than the top.  Hopefully it works out ok.  I did wonder if interfacing might help to give these pants more of a balloon look to them, but I have to be finished by next weekend, so I don’t really have time to experiment.

Sewing wise, the first thing I tackled was piecing the sleeves together a bit.  You’ll notice if you look at the picture above that Inuyasha has a single cut in each sleeve between his shoulder and his elbow.  I am not sure what purpose the cut serves, but oh well.  After cutting the sleeve pieces, I cut a small triangle piece out of each red sleeve.  I then cut a larger triangle out of white fabric.  I pressed the seams of the red sleeve triangle fabric down, and pinned the white triangle pieces to it.  Then I stitched.  Here is a picture of a sleeve folded in half, a sleeve opened, and a close-up of the triangle work.

Once the tunic is completely together, there is one other bit of decorative attention that the sleeves will need.  There is a black string that weaves in and out of the cuff of Inuyasha’s sleeve, so I will be doing a slightly different hem than usual to make sure this detail gets included in the costume.

Wish me luck piecing the rest of it together this week!  I’m so excited to be working on this, hope it turns out as good as it looks in my head!  LOL


7 comments for “How NOT to Take Measurements

  1. October 18, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I like your measuring tactic, but yeah, bits of child-part-size twine in a bag is a tiny bit eepy-cray. I think cutting the pants straight down the leg was a good call. This costume is going to look great!

    • jadesabre9
      October 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Haha I agree on all counts.

  2. October 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I think that as long as you arent pulled over and your twine trophies dont fall out of the glove compartment while fiddling for the registration and you dont have lyme in the trunk……oh, too much Dateline watching, sorry!

    • jadesabre9
      October 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Hahahaha! How was Mickey’s Party? 🙂

      • October 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

        oh, it was great!!! Much candy and the new rides were previewing!!

  3. Jill
    October 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I’m wondering if you could use some boning or wire in the pants bottoms to make them balloon out like that?

    • jadesabre9
      October 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Ooo, that is a good thought. Not sure if I will have time, but I appreciate the idea!!


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