Hi, guys! My last post was…approximately 4 months ago, which is about the time I was cast in TWO community theatre productions and embarked on a crazy summer of rehearsing, performing, and trying to keep the house clean(ish) and everybody fed(ish) at the same time.
First up was Urinetown: The Musical with my favorite new local community theatre group, the Greeneville Theatre Guild. What a fun, funny show! If you’ve never seen it, it tells the story of a naive but sweet romance between two characters torn apart by class differences in a post-apocalyptic, dehydrated world where people have to pay to pee. I mean, doesn’t that sound awesome?
I had the greatest time with a cast that was so sweet; literally everyone got along and loved everyone else. AND, the show had three POWERHOUSE female leads (above, my beautiful friends), which was just the best. I loved every minute of that show and would have kept doing it for months.
As soon as Urinetown closed, rehearsals ramped up for Blue Plate Special Improv’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This show was such a nice challenge because I’d never done Shakespeare before. I loved the work it took to make things that sounded unnatural to me look and feel natural on the stage. I was cast opposite the most amazing actress, and we had the best time fighting on stage. The cast was lovely (and SO talented, across the board) and the show went off with very few hitches. Blue Plate even managed to make it free for local kids, so it felt really great showing the community how fun Shakespeare could be.
The point to telling you all of this is to explain that once rehearsals started at the end of April, I got super busy and NOTHING happened at the house. However, all of it is over now (sob), and I’m back to work!
I’ve decided I really need to be working on my sewing skills. I have a dream of being able to costume my own show someday, but I’m so far from that dream, so I need to get in the habit of sewing on a regular basis. The first thing I did when I finished with Midsummer was buy material to start on The Boy’s Halloween costume. He’s four, and a few weeks ago, I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween. Without hesitation, he said, “A black bat!” I’ve asked repeatedly over the weeks and his answer has never changed, so I figured it was time to start that bat costume.
I started with a black hoodie. What’s the point of making a shirt when one has already been made for you? I laid the hoodie out on the table, and with the arms angled up (this is a 4-year-old wearing this, after all, and he’ll be running and jumping and raising his arms, so I couldn’t make the wings constrict his movement), I sketched out a wing that extended from the wrist of the hoodie to the waist. Then I added a half-inch seam allowance around the whole thing and, using the pattern, cut 4 pieces of black cotton fabric into the shape of a wing.
I wanted there to be cool stripes where the bat’s tendons provide structure to the wing, so I got out some gray wool felt I had and cut six strips, 3 for each wing, and fabric glued them to the front of each wing. Then I stitched them down, pinned the backs of the wings to the front of the wing, stitched them together, turned them right-side-out, and top-stitched the whole thing.
After making the wings individually, it was time to sew them to the hoodie. This had to be done by hand, as there were no side seams to rip open, so safety pinned them onto the sweatshirt, and then whipstitched the wing very securely, first up the side and then down the arm.
Finally, I made the ears. I had bought some furry black material from Joann Fabrics. I cut out big triangles of that, plus matching triangles of grey felt. I whipstitched the grey felt to the backside of the fuzzy black stuff to add a contrast color to the ear.
I tried the hoodie on The Boy to figure out where to place the ears, and then very carefully used scissors to cut slits just wide enough to accommodate the ears. Folding the front corners of the ears in front of it to make a bat-ear shaped roll, I slid the ears into the hoodie, then turned it all inside out, and sewed over the ear pieces, which were sandwiched between hoodie material. Then I trimmed the ears so The Boy wouldn’t be bothered by them.
They stand up on his sweet little head without any problem, and the furriness gives them a wild look that I love. Now, to keep him from ripping it all to shreds before Halloween.
Finally, since September has opened up before my eyes and I only have a short trip and wedding to keep me from MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY, I’ve decided to join a blogger challenge hosted by a blogger I follow, Stacy over at Blake Hill House. She and her family are respectfully renovating a big old house, and she’s hosting a #30Projectsin30Days challenge where we all pick 30 small-medium-sized projects to knock out in the month of September. I won’t post about all of them, because some of them are downright boring (cleaning the house fan, anyone? no? don’t want to read about that?), but a couple are exciting. I’m determined to get some closets painted around here, and to paint some porches, and to make some curtains, and and and…
My first #30Projectsin30Days was one I should have done forever ago. When we moved in, we put our curtain rod on the wood frame outside the shower and it messed up the paint. That was 5 years ago. So I fixed that. Boom. Project #1, out of the way.
There are a couple of projects I’ve started but not finished. I bought material for white curtains for Pete’s laundry room/workshop (he doesn’t necessarily want an audience while he’s working, I guess?) and we bought wood (Nicaraguan Angelim, for anybody who’s interested) at the specialty lumber yard for a hanging contraption for a COOL poster I bought for the master bedroom forever ago.
I also became obsessed with the color of this thermal treated sweet gum wood at the lumberyard. Trying to figure out what to ask Pete to make me…
And, I finished another Christmas ornament. I have a dream of a Scandi-inspired garland of the 12 Days of Christmas all in reds, whites, grays, and blacks (the colors on our homemade stockings). We’ll see how far I get by December.
Anyway, sorry for the long post. I’m back, and I’ll be posting more often now that things are happening more often. I hope everybody has a great weekend! It’s basically fall, y’all!