Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween sweatshop hell!!!!

So last year Iris wanted to be her cat, Frowstomatic the Immortal God, for Halloween. I was pretty busy with the auction at Lola's preschool and some other things, so I jumped at that chance to get off easy. I bought Iris a black turtleneck and black leggings, and I butchered a boa for a tail. We already owned a black hat with kitten ears.

But then Lola decided to be her cat, Al the idiotic orange tabby, and I couldn't just assemble that easily from pieces. So I sewed her an orange cat costume from scratch.

As we trick-or-treated, everyone oohed and aahed over Lola's costume, while poor Iris got little attention.

So this year the priority is Iris's costume, and Iris decided a month ago that she and one of her friends wanted to have matching costumes. So I'm tediously sewing them elaborate gowns for their witch costumes... from slippery Halloween fabrics which are a terrible pain to work with...

and I just discovered that the little wrists and cuffs are too small to fit over the sewing surface of my crappy old Singer Fashionmate, so now I have A TON OF FUSSY LITTLE HANDSEWING TO DO. My God. How I hate this kind of handsewing. Now I am not lazy about sewing; I'm about a third of the way through piecing together a king sized handsewn quilt, but that is sensible handsewing done with sturdy, easy-to-sew cottons, not some crappy polyester patterned with silver cobwebs. (And don't suggest I shouldn't buy crappy polyester if I don't want to sew it; the children selected this one and set their hearts on it).

I had previously decided to skip the step of handsewing NINE YARDS OF SEQUINED TRIM (I am not joking. Four and a half yards x two costumes = nine yards of unpleasant hand sewing), deciding that if the little children wanted sequins, they could sew them on with their own little hands. But now I'll be up sewing by hand for hours anyway.

Meanwhile the husband had a hard day at the old grind: his funky high-tech start-up held a treasure hunt today. Yes, a treasure hunt. He spent the afternoon running about downtown solving clues, and the evening drinking in a bar. The poor man got a bit of a sucker punch: when I called him to inquire why he had not picked up Iris Uber Alles from her afterschool playdate, I was in a good mood and authorized him to stay and drink. But by the time he came home, I'd lost valuable sewing time driving around to pick up Iris, the children had started squabbling, some weird bugs which breed under our deck at this time of year and give Lola hysterics had gotten in, and I'd discovered that I'd be forced to handsew for hours. So when he arrived by taxi, I bit his head off about how this is two nights he's been out drinking in the last few days when he knows I'm so busy with these frigging costumes and need help around the house. It's getting about time to rename him the Drunken Husband and call me the Sober Seamstress (or perhaps Sober Shrew).

14 comments:

A. said...

Can't you stichwitch them? They're only going to be worn for a few hours.

the Drunken Housewife said...

They will be worn for several hours at least three times (school party, another Halloween event, trick-or-treating on Halloween), plus both girls have younger sisters who could theoretically use the costume in the future...

I'm kind of anal about doing a really good job, also.

(but note how I am procrastinating starting this STUPID FUCKING HAND SEWING).

hughman said...

i agree. i'd glue those suckers on. if it works for drag queens, it can work for iriis.

also, what kind of witch has sequins???

the Drunken Housewife said...

The handsewing which is pissing me off is not the sequins. It's sewing the cuffs & sleeves, because the wrist holes are too small to fit over my sewing machine arm (even with the sewing machine arm-sleeve removed). The sleeves have very elaborate full cuffs which trail.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Witches with sequins = fashion witches! Ones who have watched far too much "Project Runway."

the Drunken Housewife said...

And speaking of Project Runway, Iris has acquired several episodes of Canadian Project Runway! God, I have got to get off the internet and start the fucking sewing.

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Epiphany said...

I say go for the hot glue gun! much better than hand sewing!

Once again, your ability to be an awesome mom amazes me. Moms just don't do that kind of stuff anymore. You are indeed modeling excellent behavior for your children.

Just wait until Iris has to make costumes for *her* children. Payback's a bitch....

Maybe it would help if you played the Beastie Boys' "She's Crafty" over and over again?

sparklykatt said...

I'm incredibly anal about my sewing too...but in this case I just might resort to fabric glue or fusible tape if possible.

Freewheel said...

In a perfect world, Lola and a friend will want to wear the witch costumes in a few years.

hughman said...

fashion witches... i love that. like wendy pepper!!!

Anonymous said...

When I used to work in the costume department of the Old Globe in San Diego, I was horrified one day when the shop manager gave a pep-talk. . . "We do not make costumes, we make clothing for the stage."

What!?

Which meant that every stitch for every hook and eye, even those hidden entirely from view, had to be sewn perfectly evenly. I'm not exaggerating, each teensy tiny stitch had to be perfectly lined up next to the one next to it and exactly the same length. EVEN though it would NEVER EVER EVER show.

Sickness.

stitch witch the damn thing. Stitch witch is outrageously sturdy and you can always sew over it later when you have more time.

Silliyak said...

Stichin' ain't bitchin' but if bitchin' were stichin' you'd be done by now!

Melissa said...

I'm impressed at how fabulous the costumes will look, even if you do use fusible webbing on a few spots.

Every year for recital we have to do handsewing on the costumes. The worst was the "tiger" year (Wizard of Oz, lions and tigers and bears, oh my God.) Fur on the wristlets, fur tails, fur on the bodice, skirts to bodice, all had to be tacked down by hand. Then I had to sew all the costumes for girls whose parents didn't do it--which also happens every year.

I handtacked braid on a costume last year for a particular dancer (male) who has yet to seem appreciative of the literal blood, sweat and tears I put into it. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I have to admit as much as I bitch about handsewing, it doesn't look right if it's not sewn.