This dress was originally made for the 30 days of sundresses series on Melly Sews, but some tragic computer issues finally blew up right as I was finishing my original post, and have kept me from blogging anything for a long long time. So I’m just getting it up now.
Do any of you super hero loving folks recognize the theme going on with this dress? Yes! Riddler! Fun, right? In theory anyway. This project almost killed my spirit by the end as I was having one problem after another, hating the fabric, listening to kids screaming and crying while I tried to just buckle down and get it done by my deadline, which sadly didn’t matter anyway because I couldn’t even finish my post.
BUT It’s done and even brought a bit of joy to my kids.
I’ve also got a tutorial of sorts. It’s called:
“How to ruin a fun project and transform it into a vortex of unstoppable doom”
Because I know everyone has been dying to find out how to do this to themselves. Right? Riddle me this, yo!
First, a short background on this dress. My oldest, a 6 year old mega bookworm, loves the library. Our branch is having a superhero themed summer reading program this year, and the librarians, who know us by now because we’re in there at least once a week getting our homeschool on, made sure to let us know ahead of time that my superhero loving girls were in for a treat.
The kids are all invited to dress as a superhero for the kickoff party. So the girls have been obsessing over their outfits for weeks. Months. But Clover couldn’t figure out who she wanted to be until the last minute. Turns out a nerdy supervillain who loves to trick people with smarts is just her thing.
But she’s the sweet and good sister of the bad Riddler. Got it?
Well, she’s also got some sensory hangups about her clothes which come and go, but happened to be coming when it was time to take pictures. Just another little roadblock in this whole disastrous process. So here you have the only shot of the real sweet sister of the Riddler in her dress.
I just love the back of this dress. I used the Edelweiss dress pattern as my base and skipped the strap ruffles. Boom. Sundress.
As I was about to shoot the dress on a blank wall, little sister Violet shows up and asks if she can wear the dress. Why didn’t I think of that? She’s my pro at photos anyway. Clover can read a chapter book to keep everyone entertained, and Violet can ham. We all have our talents.
So would you like to know how I made the dress first, or find out all about my pitfalls? What? I can’t hear what you’re saying! Cyberspace has terrible acoustics. Ok, first the bare details on making a riddler dress:
Applique question marks to fabric
We’re you hoping for more detail? Fiiine. I can add a few pointers to that, but it’s about all I have. You see, my original plan for this was to reverse applique the question marks in by using some ingenious freezer paper stencil templates. But my freezer paper wouldn’t stick to this horrible synthetic fabric I was using. And everything fell apart. Including my purple fabric, because it’s too thin. And I kind of felt like throwing everything in my Weber grill and setting it ablaze in a glorious and stinky funeral pyre of melted plastic.
I had to abandon the incredible time sucking idea of reverse appliqueing this thin purple stuff, and wound up doing what I should have done all along:
Press interfacing to the back of the contrast fabric, cut out the question marks, stick it on with wonder tape, and applique it on with a very short zigzag stitch.
And therein you have the secret to the riddler dress. But wait, there’s more!
I have some life advice for you…..
If you want to ruin a fun project for yourself, follow these steps:
1. Neglect to realize you’ll be on vacation when you need to be sewing for a blog post. Which leads to advice number two
2. Choose a labor intensive project to do on a time crunch. I know. We have all the time in the world till it runs out. And then you’re screwed. Know your limitations.
3. Rush to finish time crunch project while you have approximately zero personal time and space. I was trying to ninja whip (that’s not even a real term. I just made it up) out a fun cosplay dress in my kitchen where we eat and learn and craft and do all the things. There was no space for me to spread out with my carefully cut little pieces. Three little tornadoes just blow through there all day long, and one of them wants to be held half the time. Shockingly, I’m sitting here typing this with both my hands because it’s the first night in millennia (in mom years) that I haven’t had a toddler crawling all over me while I try to photo edit or type or sew or godforbidcleanthekitchen.
In other words, if you know ain’t nobody leaving you alone to zen sew all the things, don’t push it!
4. Shop for fabric with three loud, cantankerous whippersnappers who never stop moving or yelling or trying to embarrass you in public. It’s hard to think carefully about fabric choices when your toddler has just emptied the contents of the entire bridal fabric section out on to the floor, and his bossy oldest sister is screaming at you about whether she has to clean up this mess. Or when you’re hastily shoving bolts of polar fleece back onto shelves while the tornado trio takes off to wreak havoc someplace else. But at least you can find them by the trail of sound. And bolts of overturned fabric. Which leads to number 5
5. Sew with fabric that makes you want to cry every time you touch it because it won’t press, looks cheap, and feels like a dollar store table cloth. I don’t really know what a dollar store table cloth feels like. For the record. But this fabric I used is close to being the worst. I’m kind of a natural fiber snob, but I had a very specific need in some very specific colors, and I was also trying to be fun and not insist on this just being my thing when my girl wanted something veeeeery costumey. Which is how I wound up stress picking this acid green 100 percent polyester that will not press or accept freezer paper stencils….. and it unravels something terrible as soon as it’s cut. Plus I got a tissue thin purple sequin fabric for some bling pop. Which is fine. Except that it started disintegrating as I was struggling to sew it on as a reverse applique. Like literally disappearing and leaving nothing but a question mark shaped hole in my fabric.
There. That’s my advice. Now I need to get back to the boy pictured above, because he’s (shockingly) super cranky after staying up really late and then getting up at 5:30am on a holiday weekend.
Pattern – Edelweiss dress by Hey June
Fabric – Weird synthetic acid green and purple sequin tissue stretch stuff from Joann. Purple shirting from Joann.
See you all soon! I need to catch up on my blogging something fierce!