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Alrighty! Let’s wrap up these Biblical costumes! In Part 1, we made the basic tunics. In this post, I’ll walk you through how I embellished them and made the headdresses and belts.
In this photo, Elliott is holding the one dollar pillow sham that became his vest, and Emma is holding the brown pillowcase that became his headdress.
Here, you can see the pillow sham laid on my work table. I planned to make the shorter side the front, and the longer side the back of the vest.
To mark the front center line, I folded the sham in half, vertically, and marked the fold with a pin. Then, I marked the spot with my trusty, purple Dritz Disappearing Ink Marking Pen.
How on earth do I figure out how to make things without a pattern? I cheat. All the time. For example, I used one of Elliott’s T-shirts as a guide to determine how wide I should make the front opening of his vest. All I had to do was to mark and and extend the lines down the front with a ruler, before cutting.
Next, I zipped around the new front opening of the vest with my serger and took out the decorative stitches that were down the sides of the pillow sham. (They would get in the way of the armholes that I was about to make.) I measured down from the shoulder to mark the length of said armholes.
As you can see, I still couldn’t find my seam ripper! I opened the side seams of the pillow sham with these little scissors. Bias tape for twenty-five cents? Yes, please! I selected this brown bias tape to trim the neck opening and armholes.
Need double fold bias tape but only have single fold? That’s okay! Just put the edge you want to encase in the center of the bias tape, and fold the sides down around it.
Trims have a tendency to creep and stretch while sewing, so I like to wait to cut the trim to length until after I’ve sewn it most of the way down. So, I began by pinning the bias trim at one end and continuing around, waiting to cut it until after I sewed it. These photos show how I fold and tuck the raw ends of the bias tape to conceal raw edges at the end.
Here, you can see the steps even more clearly, as I trimmed the vest armholes.
And…Ta-da! Finished vest!
Now, we’re going to switch over to how I made the headdresses, belts, and trims. First, I took the brown pillowcase and chopped it up! The top panel became Elliott’s headdress. The bit I removed from his vest pillow sham became the center of the headdress head tie. The material I removed from the hem of his tunic became additional tie length. I used more of the brown pillowcase material for Elliott’s tie belt. It has a stripe of brown bias tape running down the middle of its length, in addition to burgundy top-stitching. The top stitching is decorative and also makes the belt sturdier.
I used blue, striped, canvas-like material for Emma’s headdress. The “right side” seemed a bit too bright, so turned it over to show the “wrong side”. I trimmed a bit for her belt. Then, I did a stitch line about a half inch from the front and back edges of the headdress and on the ends of the belt. I unraveled the material up to the stitch line, which created a lovely little fringe. It’s all about the texture! There was a bit more of the brown pillowcase material left, so that became the tie for the headdress, along with a bit of vintage trim.
So, as you can see, all it takes to make a Biblical headdress is a rectangle of material with a long tie sewn in the middle of one of the long edges, with a bit of the tie left free on each end for the, well…tying!
And now…For the moment we’re all waiting for…(or, at least I was waiting for)…The trims! I decided that Emma’s tunic should tie in the front. I stitched some narrow, vintage trim on top of the bias tape that went around her neckline. Then, I added vertical stripes of bias tape down the front and backs, and more vintage trims from shoulder to waist. 1970s earth tones, anyone?
To keep Elliott’s tunic a bit different from Emma’s, I decided that his should tie in the back. I used some leftover bits of fabric and trim to create a geometric design at the front of his neckline.
That’s it! Here’s a look at the different costume components. Emma:
Here are Elliott’s costume pieces:
In my next post, I’ll show you pictures from our photo shoot along the Columbia River. For now, here’s another teaser…