Welcome back to my adventure in pattern hacking! Today, we're going to talk about mimicking my skin tone with fabric and verifying if the hack will work. If you haven't read part one yet that introduces my project, you can access it here.
For some people, running in a strapless outfit is possible, but with my build, it really wouldn't work. Therefore, I was left with the conundrum of how to emulate the nude look and make it wicking and supportive. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be tricky, because I would order some nude mesh and call it a day. However, since I gave up buying fabric for Lent, I had to search in the dark recesses of my fabric closet. Lucky for me, at one point, I purchased a fairly thick nude spandex from Jo-Ann. I don't quite know when or why I bought it, but there was just enough to make the top part of the bodice and the leggings we'll be discussing later.
Once everything was cut out, it was time for the nerve-wracking part of hacking a pattern: laying it out to verify that you did it all correctly. Because I not only decided to hack this pattern, but also do it with stripes, I was particularly nervous at this point. But as the picture below shows, I think I'm in pretty good shape.
Now that everything is cut and fit together, it's time to pin and sew, but that's an adventure for another time. My half is on Sunday, so hopefully there's enough time to finish the project!
The first step for any pattern hack is to trace your pattern. You never want to hack using the original for two reasons: first, if it's a printed pattern, you completely lose the original and second, if you cut into the original, you have no frame of reference if you mess up later.
For my project, I printed out the Sweetheart dress and traced the bodice pieces, but made a cut into the sweetheart neckline where the striped pattern changes direction.
Important note: due to respect for the original pattern maker, I will not be showing any full pictures of my pattern pieces, except for the hacks I made directly. This is to ensure that no one can recreate her original design.
Tracing and cutting the bodice went really well. It was easy to match the stripes and soon I was ready to cut the skirt. This is also when I realized the peplum skirt pattern that I had originally intended to use made it near impossible to match the stripes or do the diagonal stretch that the Barbie suit required.
This caused the first of what I'm sure will be many frustrations with this project. I ended up asking my husband for help and eventually when neither of us could figure out how to make the peplum skirt work, I gave up and started watching Downton Abbey.
About 15 minutes later, I realized that I could do an unfolded half circle skirt with a cut down the middle to match the midline seam from the bodice. I traced out the bottom of the bodice and drew an a-line skirt from the sides of the bodice to complete the pattern and cut each half separately from matched stripes. After getting the front bodice and front skirt cut out, it was time to cut out the back of the striped part of the costume, which in comparison was easy-peasy since everything could be cut on the fold.
This ended up being my stopping point for the night, so my next update will pick up on the nude part of the costume.
Oh! And before I forget, the accessories for my costume came last night: white cat eye sunglasses and gold hoop earrings. The total for these was about $15. Thanks, Amazon!
When people ask me how I got back into sewing, I'm pretty honest about why: I started running half marathons and found a community of runners who ran in costume. My first half marathon, I planned on running as Merida from Brave, but chickened out of making a tutu and ended up wearing an orange headband and teal shirt. Now, 20+ races and hundreds of miles later, I rarely, if ever, run a race without some sort of themed dress, and usually, it's a costume.
I have a half marathon coming up in a few weeks and have a plan to do a rather iconic costume, but in order to do it I need to hack a pattern. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, hacking a pattern means you take a tried and true pattern and adjust it to meet your project's goals.
I thought it might be interesting to do a step-by-step journey of me creating the costume, including what could potentially be a failure à la tutu. Therefore, you are cordially invited to join me as I transform the Sweetheart Dress from Patterns for Pirates into a running costume inspired by the very first Barbie for the Peace Love Run Half Marathon in Ventura.
Read about my journey!
Part One: The striped bodice and skirt
Part Two: The nude top and laying it out
Part Three: Finishing it up