Monday, June 6, 2011

Honest Abe

The last three weeks have been a mad rush of sewing.  First up was O's previously mentioned Abe Lincoln costume.  There was a "wax museum" at his school, and kids chose a historical figure or celebrity to research.  They dressed up as their subject and did a small presentation.

Press the button to turn hear the speech!
Although I had previously publicly sworn off McCall's patterns after two successive disasters, M6143 was the only Lincoln costume pattern I could find, and I certainly am not capable of winging a jacket on my own, so I decided to give it a shot.  Fortunately, the smallest size was a 6/7, and O. is right between those two sizes at the moment.  No crazy Big 3 sizing here; it actually fit well!  I was pleasantly surprised.

The jacket was by far the most structured thing I've ever attempted, and I was quite happy with how relatively easily it went together.  Other than the part where I sewed the back on wrong side out and had to rip out three seams by the time I realized it... It's been a while since I've made such a rookie mistake.  I think I'd gotten too cocky! 

Don't the Chucks make the outfit?

There were several darts, and they turned out much better than my last attempt, which resulted in such pointy boobs that I never wore the top.  The construction of the lapel, collar and facings was quite different than anything I've sewn before, so it was fun to try something new.  My only real complaint was that there was what seemed to me to be an insane amount of ease in the sleeve caps.  Maybe because I'm so used to sewing knits?  For the first one I even hand-basted, but still needed to rip out three spots where there was too much puckering.  The second one I just pinned a lot and sewed with the sleeve against the presser foot, and that one went better -- only two spots to rip out!  They're still not perfect, but between it being black fabric and O. not standing still for more than a second anyway, it was good enough for my first try.

I really liked how the kick pleat was constructed, although I don't have a very good shot of it.  O. wouldn't try the whole thing on at home, just pieces as I finished them, so this is the best I could get.  School hallway lighting is also less than ideal.

The pants were a simple elastic waist style, and you were instructed to smooth out the front and sew through the elastic to create a faux flat front.  It worked well.  The shirt & vest are a dickey.  O. chose velvet ribbon for the tie, because it was the "blackest."

The only change I made throughout the process was to use Peltex for the brim of the hat, rather than the fusible interfacing and fusible web combo that was suggested.  I wasn't sure that would stiffen the felt enough.  Peltex worked well, but is so thick that some white showed.  A Sharpie fixed that pretty quickly. 

O's favorite part by far was the beard, which was the part that took about two minutes, of course.  It's just a piece of felt with elastic cording that went over his ears.

All that sewing for a six-year-old to wear for an hour!  I no longer have any residual guilt about buying his Halloween costume.  You can be sure I'll be spending the next four months slipping in subliminal messages about how awesome it would be to be Abraham Lincoln for Halloween.  I also suggested to him that he could use it to be Willy Wonka, but he pointed out that then it should be purple.  And then came up with the brilliant plan that I make the husband a purple Wonka costume.  Not likely.


  1. Hahaha. Cute! (Maybe bleach it and then dye it purple?! Hee.)

    I am totally in awe.

  2. this is so so cute!!!

    (PS - I'm Sarah Jane as well :) )

  3. Your corners are sooo neat. Great job! Want another follower? I'll follow you if you follow me :-)

  4. I meant to write this in your quilt post :-(



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