Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sew Weekly Challenge: Oscars or "Ariel, The Fastest Mermaid."

Friends, it all started with Kwik Sew 3455. Well, it really all started when you lovelies told me I needed to go with Ariel for the Princess Half Marathon... but eventually it wound its way back to Kwik Sew 3455. 

I'm just going to talk about the pattern for a second.  I bought the pattern because Kwik Sew had just been acquired by McCall Pattern Company, and since I've had nothing but good experiences with that company and their service, it convinced me to buy this pattern rather than search around.  This might have been a mistake.  The pattern took a little longer to get to me than I had anticipated, because there was a transition period I had not taken into account.  Eventually the pattern arrived and this past Saturday morning, I got cracking on my costume.

The pattern isn't joking when it says it is close fitting, and I'm not joking when I tell you that it came printed on large sheets of office paper.  I guess I've gotten used to the tissue-like paper of other patterns, but I worked with it as best I could.  Because the first set of pants had a crotch that hit about mid thigh and was molded to the rest of my leg, I had to re-cut a second pair.  Not a problem, since I had ordered enough fabric and it gave me a chance to practice sewing the gusset at the center of the crotch.  Once the second pair was fitted and set, I got to work decorating.

I originally tried drawing each scale with my chalk pen.  It wasn't too difficult on the spandex and showed up rather well.

After half an hour of that and only being able to cover the area around my ankles, I decided to wing it with my bottles of puffy paint and hope for the best.

I went through four bottles of puffy paint total, and just painting scales on the legs took about 7-8 hours.  I had to take frequent breaks because my hand was shaking so badly.  At one point, I ran out of paint and had to make a JoAnn's run - and then bought the only two bottles they had left.  Once that started running out, I reassessed what I wanted the legs to look like and decided I could live with only having scales on the front of the legs, with some wrapping around the back.  Besides, who wants distorted scales on their booty?  Not I.

The finished pants.  We're going to pretend those scales are all the same size and not so bumpy.

For the top, I used some cream polyester from my stash.  It was just sitting there, since I am never going to line anything with it ever again, so I decided to make it work for the shirt.  There is some weirdness going on with the neck binding, but I'm going to running and sweating and pulling at it, so really, is that going to matter in the end?  And who's going to be looking at the neckline with all that purple bling on my chest?

I used four yards of purple sequined trim in two widths to make up the seashell bra.  I first painted the seashell areas with purple fabric paint that I've been carrying around for a year, and dried it with a hair dryer.  That was awesome.  I will definitely use a hair dryer every time I paint fabric from here on out.  In hindsight, though, I should have put a protective coating on my dress form - she's a wee bit discolored in some select areas.  Once the paint was dry, I pinned the trim and then got to work on the hand sewing. 

After the seashell "bra" was done, the shirt was counted as finished.  I'm not hemming the sleeves or the bottom of the shirt in an effort to reduce the chaffing of seams against my skin.  I'm taking a huge thing of Vaseline, but I don't want to have to cover myself in it.  

The finished "bra":

Finally, I knew I needed something to carry my essentials while I'm running.  Typically, I like to take: two packs of GU or something else for nutrition, my cell phone, my ID and an insurance card.  The last two are in case something happens to me and I am not able to communicate for myself in a medical emergency. 

I didn't want to lug my water belt in my carry-on bag, so I printed out the Krabby Crab pattern and cut out the pieces from an old tee I had lying around.  I put a zipper on the top, added some 1" elastic on the backside and voila!  Something to carry my goodies.

(That is my RAZZ GU...but the name reminds me of Kazz... this thought (which will leads to thoughts about her awesome style) might be able to distract me for a few miles, which would be nice :) )

The finished outfit, all together:

Is it comfortable?  It's ok.  It will work, I think, for the half marathon.  I've tried jogging around in it and it's not rubbing anywhere funky, which makes me happy.  I realize that my first time running in this will be during the race, and this breaks the cardinal running rule of "wear nothing new on race day."  Well, that's how it's going to have to be, friends, so we might as well just hope for the best ... and rules are silly anyway, right?

The starfish was a last minute addition in case no one recognizes who I am....

... but I cannot say if I will keep it or not.  It's a bit floppy and when I try seeing how it will look tacked down, it looks all distorted and funky.  I may end up not using it for the race and using a sweatband instead - Ariel is a sweater, y'all.  Let's not pretend it is "glistening."

Fighting with the zipper a little - but it's still one of my favorite parts of the costume.

I'm making fish faces ... because that is appropriate.

Overall, I LOVE this costume.  While there were some glitches, and some parts are still a little bit wonky, it came out the way I hoped.  I like to think it's pretty obvious who I am supposed to be, but there may need to be some singing on the course ... "Under the Sea," anyone?

Friends, have an amazing day, and thanks for being so supportive of my Ariel costume!  I could not have done it without your suggestions!


  1. Up where they walk
    Up where they run
    Up where they stay all day in the sun
    Wanderin' free
    Wish I could be
    Part of that world..............

  2. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!! I have to show my daughter since she's a huge fan of Ariel. Well done, Miss Meg!!

  3. What a massive project! I am so impressed with your dedication. I hope you have a good run - can't wait to see photos! :)

  4. Inspired costume Meg, good luck with the race x

  5. That's pretty awesome. Even though I hate running and so does my body, I really enjoyed reading about your creative outfit! Enjoy the race, and good luck!

  6. What a fun outfit! The accessories are awesome too. Enjoy the half marathon!

  7. That is absolutely amazing! I also hope you start wearing it around Chicago...

  8. Meg, you will be looking great for the run.

    I want to let you know I have nominated you for the sunshine award..

  9. Hi Meg! (listening your vid as I'm writing this) I found you thru House of Pinheiro's blog! She was so right, your photos are just sooo fun and interesting! LOVING the pruple bra!! lol

  10. Wow, that's really impressive! I love the little crab-bag! :) Hope you'll be comfy in it during the run!

  11. AWESOME. Can't wait to see pics of you in action, and hear all about the trip!!

  12. What a fabulous and creative way to run a race! I love it!

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