Yay for sewing class!

Well, three months ago I started taking sewing classes at a little boutique called Ricochet in San Mateo. It’s owned and run by designer Jill Pillot, who’s an extremely creative and warm person and a great teacher.

I started with the intention of making costumes for my husband and I to go to the Dickens Fair in. We’re big fans of the event and have gone for years, and every year we lament the fact that we aren’t dressed up. I was determined this year to change that trend and make some kind of Steampunk get-ups for us both.

What drew me to Jill Pillot’s studio is her method of repurposing existing clothing into something cooler. I didn’t want to start a costume from scratch, and the idea of re-vamping a Goodwill find into something worthwhile really appealed to me. I’m nearly done with the costumes and actually managed to make a decent hatband for a store-bought hat:

Dickens Fair Hat

I created a beefier hatband out of a faux leather belt and used scrap material to make little pouch things to hold my battery-powered candles.

I also managed to create a pair of faux leather spats for my husband’s inventor costume:

Pleather Inventor Spats

I made a dumb mistake on the first one so they’re not symmetrical, but I’m fairly amazed they came out as good as they did. And speaking of dumb mistakes, I made several fatal ones on the pants for my costume and the result was complete and utter destruction of the pair.

What NOT to do to the crotch of your pants.

Bulges where there shouldn't be bulges.

I sewed the pant leg together, tried to seam-rip it, tore a big ugly hole in the pant leg, then tried to sew a patch into the hole. Horrible!

I bought two new pairs over the weekend and I’m hoping one of those works out (of course, I’m not making another move without Jill looking over my shoulder). There are still a couple of small details to finish on the jacket too before the costume is complete. Here’s to next year being much more skilled and making some truly mind-blowing costumes!

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