Anyone else remember this scene in Batman Returns when Catwoman creates her badass costume in a frenzy? I feel it best sums up the madness that can descend when sewing to a tight deadline.
Of course Selina/Catwoman has just been murdered by her boss, re-animated by alley cats, and realised her entire life is a spineless, candyfloss fraud, so she’s definitely sewing from a different place.
But that crazed look in her eyes?
Especially the other week when I needed to come up with two pieces of clothing in four hours for a costumey hen weekend. That might not sound that demanding but speed sewing is not my forte, I get sloppy, I get crazy. But this time, I did get it DONE.
I bring you exhibit A: my own Catwoman-esque top, to meet an s&m theme:
PVC was a requirement for an evening painting the town red (or black), so I picked up this vinyl PVC on Goldhawk Road. Having never worked with the fabric before, I needed to find a way I could sew it in as simple a way as possible, without going so overboard with the end result that I looked, well, I’m sure you can imagine.
The fabric is slightly tacky to the touch and has a rather heavy hand. Research beforehand (thank heavens for cosplayers) suggested that like leather, you pin at your own risk as holes remain visible.
Few seams, simple shape + not fitted = the Salme Patterns kimono top. Because the sleeve design means fabric normally drapes a lot around the arm socket, which wouldn’t work well in this material, I adapted the pattern by creating a raglan effect on the sleeve.
To do this I drew a line between the neckline and side seam on my pattern piece, and then traced a new pattern piece. This was used as a guide to chop down my PVC front bodice, and cut out the new ‘raglan’ front sleeve pieces from a black double-knit from my stash. I also used the knit for the back bodice piece.
The fabrics fed through my machine better than I expected, with no skipped stitches, and since neither fabric frays no seam finishing or hems were neccessary.
Exhibit B: which needed to be 80s-ish. Time was even more pressured so why not use the same pattern?
I made this up with a red and black print, synthetic fabric I had lying around after an abandoned sleeveless shirtdress. And again it was a very straight-forward sew.
Teamed with appropriate accessories, both tops did the job. As for an after-life, well the red top could be wearable again but I think the PVC edges into alarming. If it was leather in the main section, I would probably take in the side seams a little and attempt to pull it off. But this fabric is just a little too costumey.
Up next: today is the official 1st birthday of the secret life of seams! As a birthday present to my oft-neglected lovechild, I think I need to sew something with more than two seams. Brocade skirt anyone?