Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Monster: The Wicked Witch in Residence

Today is my stop on the Sewing By Ti My Monster tour! So my wicked witch and I cordially welcome you to Castle Hangnail.

Castle Hangnail is an excellent book by Ursula Vernon about 12 year old Molly, the sweetest wicked witch you've ever known, who shows up to fill the vacancy for a master at Castle Hangnail. She may not be a monster, but certainly some of the loyal minions of the castle are! Both my son and daughter absolutely adore this book (and really anything by Ursula Vernon), and honestly so do I. So when Ellie firmly decided she was going to be Molly for Halloween I was happy to oblige.

For better and worse, there are very few pictures, so I was largely on my own to interpret Molly's outfit from those plus the written descriptions. Her basic outfit and hat aren't really mentioned, but ARE shown in the illustrations. Ellie was adamant about a top and skirt instead of a dress, so I made a Go To Patterns Adventure Tee with slightly gathered sleeves. Instead of a regular band I finished the neckline with lace elastic, and the hems were all left raw. For the skirt, I used the circle skirt from the Patterns for Pirates Me Hearties Dress - even little wicked witches can't resist a twirly skirt! I'm honestly not entirely sure of what fabric I used since it was all leftover bits from my stash (I, um, have a lot of black fabric), but I think the top is a bamboo jersey, and the skirt is a rayon knit from JoAnn's. I used this tutorial from Delia Creates for the hat, and black premium felt from JoAnn's. The brim is a tad floppier than I'd prefer, but the cone scrunches perfectly so overall I'm really pleased with the result.

Really though, the best part of this outfit is the witchy coat. This piece was a big deal in the book, so I was determined to get it as right as possible. Getting the right fabric and trims was important, possibly more to me than her! It's described as being different shades of black, which ended up very frustrating when you have difficulty drawing the line between "Halloween costume" and "cosplay".

As a base pattern I went back to the Peekaboo Pattern Shop Little Gentleman Suit Jacket - for the fourth time. After my son grew out of it, I didn't expect to use it again, but I knew I would heavily modify almost any pattern I used - so why buy a new one? I used the top half of the jacket, and redrafted the bottom to make it a longer, full dress coat. I also added in seam pockets, because who doesn't need pockets?

For the outer sleeve I just added a french cuff and the lace trim, but I drafted and added a fitted, knit inner sleeve. I used a gabardine suiting for the body of the coat, and lined it with some silky, iridescent fabric I bought for last year's costume and didn't use. I also added a flannel interlining for warmth, because let's be real here - we live in Maine, and by evening on Halloween it can be downright cold.

Probably the most frustrating part was finding a trim for the collar that I was happy with. I'm not sure the one I chose is really metallic, but it's shiny without having sequins or glitter, which had to be good enough. The buttons are from Etsy - I couldn't find raven skull buttons with twinkling black eyes, but I found custom cast raven silhouette buttons which are so freaking amazing. I am ridiculously proud of how this coat turned out, and fortunately she adores it too. For finishing touches, I upcycled some striped socks into no-sew hand warmers.

To finish the look, she has a vulture necklace (another Etsy find), tights, and her Very Witchy boots. The pictures and the written description don't entirely agree, so we went with the book and bought boots with laces, then replaced them with purple ones. She has a tiny bat that likes to be awake during the day, so when I found this little bat puppet we decided he was a perfect Bugbane. And of course, a witch needs her spell book! I whipped up this version of the little gray book with a faux leather remnant.

Now you should grab a copy of Castle Hangnail, then be sure to visit the rest of this month's tour stops!

Monday, October 1st- Sewing By Ti (intro)

2nd- Tales from a Southern Mom

3rd- Shalini's Sewing Space

4th- Tenille's Thread

5th- Sewing By Ti

Monday, October 8th- Back 40 Life

9th- Family of Makers

10th- Made for Little Gents

11th- Big Fly Notions

Sunday, October 14th- The Fairy Dust Bin

17th- Sewing With D

18th- 52 Week Sewing Challenge

19th- Auschick Sews

20th- Sew Cute Couture by Kathy

Sunday, October 21st- The Bear and the Pear Atelier

22nd- Seams Like Style

23rd- Seams Sew Lo

24th- My Heart Will Sew On

25th- JOT Designs USA

26th- My Sewing Roots

27th- Manning the Machine

Monday, October 29th- Frulle Mieke

30th- Sew Like a Sloth

31st- Sewing By Ti