Carnival in Köln

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
My blog (and my sewing) has been neglected for awhile. This, because last year I finished and defended my thesis and moved to another country. Again. This post has been due for a long time, but better late than never... right?

Now, in Köln (I know it's Cologne in English, but I prefer the original name), they have this thing called carnival. And of course I got very excited about all the dress options...

My first plan was to dress up as Elsa from Frozen. I had pretty much everything except the fabric. Then, I realized at some point that the dress is too complicated for me to do in a short time and also I still had  A LOT to do in my apartment after the move. Which really was the issue here. Because no sewing happened before there was enough space. And the desk that I've used for sewing and have assembled many times, did not want to cooperate this time, so, yeah, delays.

This picture doesn't show much armpit curve.
Anyways, the sewing. So, as I was running out of time and also was told that the dress might be ruined in a carnival setting, I decided to opt for a simple solution: Princess Leia's robe in the first movie. I found instructions (for the pattern and the assembly) in the internet that were simple and yet had the effect I wanted. I also found cheap fabric, which I was a bit worried about, since it was quite slippery, but I really didn't want to spend that much money on this. And since the way the dress was done, it required quite a lot of fabric (8m), I was happy I found it at 2,95 €/m. It was kind of shiny polyester, so it's not super accurate, but ok, because carnival. I also decided to omit the belt and use something I already have, because time & money.

Well, I made a first version and lost faith. Somehow this wasn't working for me. So, I fiddled with the muslin and I was sort of ok with the version that I ended up with. I just basically straightened the curve in the armpit. I decided to make a collar from scratch. I found a blog post where they illustrated very clearly how to do this. I also realized (luckily before I actually cut anything) that there is a problem with the neckline in the instructions I was following: it was the same in the front and back. So, I decided to fix this as well. And I decided to cut & sew the dress first and then worry about the collar and hood.

In the end the pattern worked pretty well. The dress was fairly heavy and it was good my belt was quite hefty. The design was really simple and I was happy with in the end, but the cheap fabric ended up biting me in the behind... For some reason the needle didn't always go through it properly and also I was sewing and noticed the thread isn't really attached... I guess I would've needed a bigger needle, but of course since I was sewing this the last night before carnival I couldn't go buy one and I didn't have any at home... But the slipperyness (this is probably not a word...) turned out not to be a problem. It did end up pulling at the seams though, which was made slightly less by vigorous ironing... NEVER EVER GO FOR THE CHEAP FABRIC!!!

I actually don't have super good pictures of the costume, cause I forgot to take some. Well, I was busy getting ready and then tired... That's carnival for you. But overall it was a good costume. I added black boots and filled my hair with pantyhose to get a fuller look (yes, I know it still looks ridiculously small...). A wig might've been nice, but I didn't want to wear one for the carnival, I thought my own hair was more comfortable. I would say, this was an ok go for my first ever costume, but next time, I will choose better fabric and also hopefully have more time. But the end quality was ok enough for carnival. I tried to crop people out of the pictures so that no one will get there photo to the internet who doesn't want that to happen...


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The Stitchy Details:

  • Challenge Theme: No challenge, carnival
  • Pattern used: Drawn by me with the help of instructions
  • Fabric: Cheap white polyester
  • Notions: -
  • Did you make any pattern alterations or design changes? Yes, well, since I basically drew the pattern myself...
  • Total price: 28,55 €
  • Time to complete: Didn't actually keep tabs on this, so I have no accurate guess.... something like 15-20h... I know I sew the last night until 5am...