Monday, January 28, 2008

Lame' Lament

(No, I'm not really going to grouse much... I just liked the alliteration...)

Turns out the lame' shirts were *not* to be made of the knit 'liquid' lame' after's regular ol' scratchy ravely tissue lame'.

I looked at it and asked to renegotiate my contract, as I was under the impression I would be sewing the knit stuff when I agreed to make them. So I was cheerfully told my salary would be doubled.

Ah, well, we're all doin' the parent volunteer thing, right?

Truth be told, I'd never done any actual garment construction with tissue lame' before; the only thing I've used it for was lettering/trim on banners. So I kind of held my breath as I made the first one. And it wasn't as bad as I thought...but you do only get one shot at it. No ripping and redoing here.

Anyway, the pattern is Simplicity 4219; the open collar version. The girls' shirts will be made from silver, and have the flounced sleeve; the boys' shirts will be gold w/a cuffed lower sleeve (I need to see about buttons....)

I cut out 5 silver shirts Saturday, and made up one yesterday evening (I *think* it took about 3 hours):

This one is a Small, but the girl who will wear it is quite tall so I added 2" to the shirt body and 1" to the sleeves. I probably didn't need to do that...this shirt is quite generously sized. So I'm going to take it in tonight and let everyone see just how big a 'Small' is...maybe even let her put it on...and see if I need to recut the other Smalls a little smaller. It's just such a puffy, floaty fabric I'm afraid they're going to look a bit clownish.

But, given the fact that these costumes are for the Troupe, 'clownish' may be just the ticket. So we'll see.


  1. Lisa, I applaud your generosity in making things with lame:)LOL
    Actually, given the very fragile nature of the fabric, you might want to keep as much ease as possible. It doesn't respond well to strain. The shirt looks great!

  2. That's a good point, Shannon. I sewed the seams first w/a conventional machine, then went back and serged them. I topstitched the V and put a drop of Fray Check at the point. I dunno what else I could do to help sturdify them up. I counted 3 dress rehearsals, 4 school performances and 6 public performances of this show; I don't know how many times in each show these shirts will be pulled on/off. I know the girls have at least one completely different costume; not sure about the boys.

    They'll get a heap o' abuse, however we look at it.

    But the girl's tops will be tucked into jazz pants...I don't know how much 'extra' we can stuff into those skinny things w/o unsightly lumps and bumps going on.

    But, I'm not making the decisions...I'm just sewing as instructed ;)

  3. Underlining helps. If you cannot underline the whole shirt, then you might think about adding guards at the underarm and the neck. Those areas will receive a lot of stress and friction...make the guards from something like muslin or flannel, something that will be soft against the skin.
    And for the record...I'd rather be horse-whipped than ever sew this stuff again:)LOL

  4. Or I could just roll my eyes at the Costume designer for an 'I told you so' when it falls apart... LOL.... I can't imagine spending the time necessary to underline 12 of these...

    I think the underarm and front neck facings are the most likely areas to disintegrate; we'll keep an eye on them and hopefully nurse them along through the production. Once the shows over, it doesn't matter. I don't think they're looking at these as investment pieces for future shows.

  5. You are so generous to do these! I sewed a simple jacket once for a school production. Never again! I try and steer the teachers away from the stuff whenever they bring it up. Last year one of the other mothers got carried away that it HAD to be lamé. I noticed the final costume wasn't, lol.
    Well done and good luck!