Monday, October 22, 2012

Sew-It-Yourself Dr. Girlfriend Costume

Dr. Girlfriend/Stewardess/Jackie O/Mad Men Costume

I tend to select my Halloween costumes months in advance so it wasn’t unusual that I decided I would be Dr. Girlfriend a few months ago as the boyfriend and I were working our way through The Venture Bros. Advanced planning would be my saving grace this year as I would have to sew my costume. Dr. Girlfriend’s dress/lab coat and pillbox hat are fairly specific and unique, which made it difficult/impossible to find an exact pattern.

Finding a Pattern for the Dress

I ended up going with Simplicity 3628 and making a few adjustments to turn the jacket with the mandarin collar into a dress. I used yellow tissue paper to add length to each of the panels. I also added some width to the right front panel and an angular cut to replicate the mod look of her dress. I cut each of the modified pieces out of pink, tweed (working around Stella Cat who made herself at home on the foreign fabric).

Side Note: I used a standard fabric scissors when I should have used a pinking shears to prevent the fabric from fraying. I ended up going back and trimming along my seams.

After cutting out each of the panels, I simply followed the pattern instructions, eliminating the lining since I would not be wearing it as a jacket. I ran into an issue when I tried the dress on mid-way through. I hadn’t allotted enough additional fabric to fit across the bust. This issue was remedied by unfolding a portion of the left front panel ostensibly doubling the panel. Because I wouldn’t be adding a lining, I was able to do this without affecting the rest of the garment.

Once everything was pieced together I hemmed the dress to well above my knee (I wore shorts for modesty under the dress) and the sleeves to just below my elbows. I marked the location of the buttons with a blue marking pencil, guided by the loops. With the buttons sewn on, the dress was complete.

Sewing The Hat

This element was much simpler than I anticipated. I fused interfacing to a piece of the pink tweed before cutting out a circle, using a bowl as a guide. I cut a 3.75-inch thick strip, hemmed it, sewed it in a circle and sewed it to the top piece. I added two loops to the inside so I could clip the hat to my hair.

Throw in some white boots and gloves and viola! Dr. Girlfriend or a stewardess or Jackie O. or a character from Mad Men, depending on the beholder’s eye.


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