Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

a pirate, but super-adorable. you know how they are!

A couple weeks ago a parent wrote me, a little frustrated. She’d been trying to put together a dance ensemble for her child that incorporated teal and lime green – in a pirate theme. She asked if this was something I could help with. I threw up in my mouth a little (from excitement), and wrote back, YES, I can do this. I asked a few questions, put together a sketch, and we quick-shipped some fabrics my way.

My last two clients were grownups who wanted grownup things. But I think I’ll always favor sewing for kids, for about five distinct reasons. I love making something well-made that is also ridiculously frivolous in some way. More of us should dress this way ALL THE TIME!
In any case, this little outfit consisted of:

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
a leatherette hat with lime green sequin headband
two lace armwarmers in black
a teal-and-black striped underdress
a skull and crossbones corset top
a pair of black and white striped bloomers
a distressed lime green sequin overskirt
a double-sided blue sash (using stretch lace and sweater knit)

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
One of my favorite garments to make: simple knit dresses from high-quality fabrics. In this case, I made sure to create a dress the young girl could wear on its own, when she didn’t need the whole dance get-up. Kids in general love wearing costumes. And why not? As for dresses like these, I would love to make people packets – five different dresses in semi-coordinating themes, for the work week. They are a delight to construct, and my seam finishes are wonderful!

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

I made everything to fit – but I added some growing room in the corset top. This top should be able to last the child (or another child) several years, if they want to incorporate it into other Halloween, costume, or goth looks. It’s too cool a top to waste. Note the tension stops at the end of the laces, so the corset doesn’t easily become unlaced.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
I lined the corset top in an organic canvas – so soft! About the last I have. I also sewed channels in the top, just like a corset – but omitted boning. I finished the corset neckline and armholes with a very thin double-fold binding. Also, the back of the corset lines up in pattern.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
I loved the grosgrain ribbon I found for lacing. It has a running stitch detail and is very hardy. I was sad to use it up, actually! I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

The cuff of the gathered bloomers. One of my favorite methods of construction is matching all the serge-finishes to the garment. I like taking the time to do this, even if I’m unsure if a client ever notices.

To wit:

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

Here you see a lime-green organic cotton knit waistband – made from a soft, more comfortable fabric than the main, sequin fabric. I love mixing and matching fabrics in one garment, when we can match colors well.

And oh boy. This glue-sequin knit was literally the most challenging fabric I’ve ever worked with. It defied all my tricks. I found a painstaking workaround for constructing a garment using the fabric. I’d estimate the garment took three times longer to make. But – I did learn something new! (Which is, never work with glue sequin fabrics again! I kid, I kid!)

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

The sash was the simplest piece but the most fun in some ways – simply matching a sweater knit and a stretch lace. I so enjoyed the combination, I am making a little cardigan/dress piece for a tot, out of the excess.

The job was a rush order; I received fabrics only a week before the ensemble was due. I made delivery less than 24 hours before it was needed for a performance. Parents and dancer seemed to love it!

It’s Halloween season here at Casa del Hogaboom, and I get to make some really fabulous creations this time of year. I will be always grateful for getting to work in my craft. 

On to the next project!

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