But then, everything changed when
Thankfully, I had already planned on (and cut and prepped) making By Hand London's Anna dress from a red sheet for Red October, so having a deadline (well, I guess I already had a deadline with it being oh, the end of October) really lit a fire under me (pun intended) and I found myself sewing frantically in order to have it done by Thursday morning. You guys, all that hype about how awesome this dress is is no joke -- I didn't make ANY adjustments and it is just as flattering as it looks in everyone else's blog photos! I cut out the size recommended for my measurements, and for once I didn't have to take out 2-4 inches of ease, which is what happens when I use the Big 4 patterns. The only thing I would change for next time is to put darts in the back neckline, which a lot of people seem to do, since I have a bit of gaping back there. But the waist looks amazing, the skirt's gentle flare is perfect, and I am totally itching to make this up as a maxi or with long sleeves.
To get the firebender look, I layered it over a black long-sleeved tee and my Aladdin pants, tied on a random square of black knit fabric around my waist, and put on my most obnoxiously large gold jewelry, belt, and black boots. Most students couldn't quite place who I was supposed to be, but the few who got it loved it. The best moment, though, was when I revealed why I was dressed as a firebender:
|Yes it is! It's real fire! No special FX!|
|All of these are fuzzy screencaps from videos shot on phones in a weirdly-lit classroom, hence the blurriness.|
Then they all got to try "firebending" for themselves...over and over again. You know it's a good demo when the kids want to miss lunch to repeat it.
|This was a photo collage that one of my students made. Some kids got more into the posing than others.|
If you're wondering how the firebending actually works, it's just methane gas bubbled into a dishwashing detergent and glycerin solution. The detergent makes the bubbles that you can scoop up in your hand, and the glycerin keeps the bubbles stable so that they don't pop right away. The gas is flammable, but if you wet your hand and arm thoroughly, the high specific heat of water protects your arm from the heat. The only thing I had to be careful of was making sure kids didn't scoop up too many bubbles, and that they kept the flames far away from their hair!
Fabric: Half of a 100% cotton king-size flat sheet, thrifted.
Notions: Seam binding, a 22" zipper
Hours: Eight, but I still want to go back and sew up the slits.
Will you make it again? Yes, yes, yes! I love fast and easy this dress is, and the pleats "opening up like flowers over your boobies" is a lovely design feature.
Total cost: $3
Final thoughts: It's not the most technically challenging or overtly impressive costume, but I love it because it just fit so well with what we were doing that day in class. I would love to get better pictures of me "firebending" while wearing the costume, but it was really for the kids. And of course, Mr. Cation thought it was pretty hot too. Haha get it? get it? He thought my firebending outfit was hot. His words, not mine :)
Besides sewing up the slits, I'm thinking of adding black lace trim to the dress so that it's not so plain. I've got a nice wide black Venise lace trim, but I'm not really sure where to put it. Thoughts?
[ETA: One of my kids sent me a video!]