One of my favorite movie characters of all time. Kind hearted, beautiful but flawed Sally from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. Every year I tell myself I'm going to make a Sally costume, and this year I'm finally making it happen. I want my costume to look like a more polished, brightly colored Sally as I will be wearing it to a charity event for children.
Step 1: Picking Out a Pattern
Although going without a sewing pattern is totally possible, I prefer to use one and alter it to my needs. This ensures I get a nice fit and have less taking off/putting on wear on the garment to get the correct shape (plus sometimes I'm lazy). I chose McCalls pattern 6027. It has a more fitted shape and was about the length I want for my costume. I like the flare to the bottom of the dress, and can see myself twirling in it!
Ensure you get the correct size by measuring your bust and waist (hip measurement is not as important for this one) as dress size and pattern size are NOT one in the same.
Step 2: Cut Out Pattern Pieces
Next after deciding which size you are using, follow the correct line to cut out your size. Carefully cut and leave the indented triangles outwards. These are the tabs you will be lining your pieces up with later that help ensure your seams sew in correctly. Press the pattern pieces with a warm iron (no steam or they will warp). The prep of pattern pieces and fabric is vital to getting clean seams and a professional looking garment.
Step 3: Pattern Tweaks
The pattern gives a clear line in which the torso can be lengthened or shortened. I also chose to splice the pattern in the front and front side pieces to add a more pieced together look. *Always remember anywhere you cut, you need to add your seam allowance (5/8) back into the pattern or you aren't allowing yourself any room to sew. I use a masking tape to do this so I don't have to just rely on myself remembering when I'm cutting the pieces out. I can't tell you how many times I've told myself to do it, and cursed at myself when I've forgotten.
Step 4: *Fabric Prep- Side Note
I purchased 100% kona cotton for my costume. I usually recommend to wash and dry the fabric according to manufactures directions on fabric bolt BEFORE you cut into anything. This means you will take care of any color loss or shrinking NOW rather than working hard on something and having it look funky after 1 wash. Skipping this step for a costume is perfectly acceptable if you don't expect to wear this more than once. Personally, when I put a lot of time into something, I take all the steps to ensure the longevity of the project.
After laundering (I know you rolled your eyes but ended up doing it), it is important to press the fabric with a warm iron so it's back to its crisp off the bolt look.
Step 5: Piecing Together the Fabric
This step was one I took a long time thinking about. I went back and forth on which would be the better way to cut out the fabric. I could piece together random swatches of my cotton fabric and then cut out my pattern pieces from the large, Frankenstein piece... I started off this way then realized this makes it harder to decide where certain elements would 'land' on the dress. Like the black and purple stripes on the bottom left. This way also created a lot of extra scrap fabric that I end up wasting.
Step 6: *Seam Basics- Side Note.
Every time you sew two pieces together it's important to remember to place them right side of the fabric facing each other. The key to achieving straight crisp lines is flipping the new seam over and pressing each seam open with an iron after its complete.
Step 7: Pin Pieces Into Place
This is when I pin my pieces in place as I go to see what they look like BEFORE I sew them together. The first picture is what my top front pieces look like and the second picture is what my side front looks like complete.
Step 8: Sewing Continued...
Continue to follow pattern directions once piecing together fabric is complete. Pinning right sides together and matching notches.
Step 9: Accessorize!
Purchased a few items to help complete the look. Had to have this necklace from Spencer's when I saw it, and this wig was purchased on Amazon. Picked up these tights from Halloween USA (although if I had more time I probably would have just gotten some light blue stockings and drew on my own stitches). As with most projects I never allow myself enough time for, you have to decide what details are important to you and cut out the things that don't matter. I lucked out having these black and white striped socks already, along with these shiny black baby doll heels! I told you I would wear them someday Mom!