Moana Costume Tutorial Part 2: Making the Top

Moana Costume Tutorial Part 2: Making the Top

Sorry for the delay getting the rest of this tutorial up! Getting our holiday card done ate my brain for the last 2 months.  If you missed it, part 1 of this tutorial is here. Ok, so back to making Moana’s top…

I made the top as a tube top with a shirred back piece.

moana costume tutorial

The first thing I did was to do some shirring tests. I needed to figure out how much my fabric would shrink when shirred. (I learned to shirr by googling “shirring tutorial” and reading a couple tutorials. It’s really easy!) Because the number of rows of shirring affects how much the fabric shrinks, I shirred a piece of fabric that is as long (top to bottom measurement) as my final piece was going to be.

moana costume tutorial
I tested how far apart I wanted my rows of stitching to be.

I found that a 10″ piece of my fabric shirred would shrink down to 7″ stretched out.

Next I measured the Grub. She has a 20″  chest measurement and I wanted about 1/4 of that to be shirred, so I needed a 5″ shirred piece. Knowing that a 10″ piece becomes 7″, and I need a 5″ piece, I set up this equation and solved for x. (My Algebra teacher would be so proud.)

7/10 = 5/x

So I needed a 7.5″ wide piece of fabric for shirring. The painted fabric would then be the chest measurement minus my shirred pieces, so 15″ wide. I added an inch on to each piece to account for seam allowances.

moana costume tutorial

If that math was confusing, don’t stress it. Basically you need the shirred piece and the painted fabric piece to equal the chest measurement, and you need enough give to allow the wearer to get into the top, so don’t make the shirred piece too small.

I hemmed both pieces of fabric with a narrow hem.

moana costume tutorial

moana costume tutorial

I shirred the unpainted fabric and set it aside.

moana costume tutorial

For the black/brown pattern that goes across Moana’s top, I used a lace trim that I painted black. I was going to dye it, but then realized that the dye would bleed every time I washed the top, so I decided to use acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium.

moana costume tutorial
I was rushing by this point so it was pretty much: run into fabric store and grab whatever trim looks approximately right!

moana costume tutorial

I pinned the black trim to the top and stitched it down.

moana costume tutorialmoana costume tutorial

For the shells, I decided to go with white sequins that I got off of Etsy. I thought about using buttons but I was really concerned about too much weight dragging the top down. I pinned 2 rows of sequins and stitched them down with one of the decorative stitched on my machine. (Note: make sure the sequins are facing the same way on both rows or it looks weird! Ask me how I know…)

moana costume tutorial

moana costume tutorial

I also added silicone elastic to the back of the painted piece. Silicon elastic sticks to skin and I was hoping it would help keep the top in place. Toddlers have no curves to hold up anything, so I was trying to do what I could to combat the problem.

Silicone elastic is available on Etsy or Amazon, or you can make your own. (I haven’t tried making my own but I’ve seen tutorials from people who have.)

moana costume tutorial
Sewing silicone elastic is a total PITA. I ended up having to put a piece of wax paper on top as I sewed to keep the silicone from sticking to my machine.

Now that the painted piece of fabric was ready to go, I attached the shirred piece. I put the right sides together and stitched  to form a tube top. I used a bananas small stitch length to make sure I caught all the  shirring elastic to keep it in place. I’ve found if I don’t do this, the shirring elastic will pull out after it’s been trimmed.

moana costume tutorial

moana costume tutorial

I finish of my inside edges by trimming the elastic and running the seams through my serger.

moana costume tutorial

moana costume tutorial

And done!

But then I tried it on the Grub and it ended up being too big. /cry

I really really didn’t feel like disassembling the entire top to make it smaller, so I added another piece of silicone elastic to the shirred piece to shrink it down. I stretched out the elastic while sewing it to the back and when the tension on the elastic was released, it shrunk down, making the tube top a little smaller.

moana costume tutorial

Lesson #1 for AJ: make sure you have a very snug chest measurement for the tube top.
Lesson #2 for AJ: don’t finish your seams until you’ve done a test fit. =P

On hindsight, if I had to do this over, I’d put velcro on the shirred piece and have a velcro closure to the tube top, because then I could adjust the velcro to wherever I needed. Oh well… I’ll just have to remember that for next time.

Moana Costume Tutorial Part 2: Making the Top was originally published on Confused Kitty Creations

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s