Top Stitchers: "Chicago"

Welcome back - It's time for another awesome sew-down on Top Stitchers! We've had a long stretch of boy sews, which ends today when some of my most talented momma friends step opposite the camera instead! I've long admired both Brianne and Crystal's work, and KNEW nobody would rock this women's prompt like they would....

According to the great (fictional) Billy Flynn, the whole world is all show business. So give us the ol' razzledazzle, with a fashionable woman's outfit inspired by your favorite musical or a specific musical number or character.
The catch? You have to incorporate, to some degree, Billy's recipe to daze and dizzy your audience: beads, feathers, or sequins.

Brianne's (...err, Rizzo's!) Entry:

What's up? I'm Betty Rizzo. I'm tough. I smoke. I drink. I'm mean. I like to party. I like attention. But most of all, I want to look good. I am the leader of the Pink Ladies at Rydell High. Therefore my outfit must coordinate with my Pink Ladies jacket.

Everyone is always interested in my fashionable attire. I have bombshell curves to use to my advantage-just ask my boyfriend, Kenickie. I wear mostly black, dresses, collared button up shirts, pencil skirts, and high waisted shorts to flatter my figure. Each wardrobe piece is carefully picked.

Let's start with the Pink Ladies Jacket. It is from Lekala Patternsdesign # 4162. The jacket is made of pink faux leather and lined with satin. This is an item I wear everyday, so it's important that is tailored with care. According to my seamstress, the jacket was not the easiest thing to sew but agrees the fit of the pattern is perfect.

Next, my Glenda clutch. I had this sewn out of black and hot pink satin. The sequins took seven hours to hand sew. It's modified to be slightly smaller than the original bag and does not include a middle zipper divider. I can hold the clutch under my arm or at my hips to emphasize my curves. Plus is a sparkly pop next to my jacket.

The shirt is Deer and Doe Bleuet. This is technically a dress that I asked to have made into a shirt. It is made from black stretch cotton poplin. Like the jacket, the princess seams on this shirt emphasize my curvy figure in all the right places. I also asked to have the buttons adjusted down to give a super sex appeal. I lie-that was a request by Kenickie.

Lastly, the shorts are Colette Iris made from black Kaufman Essex Linen. The linen gives a summery light weight feel and the flat front/side zipper provides a cleaner, crisper appearance. I hope you enjoyed a sneak peak into my closet.


Crystal's Entry:

Hey, folks!  This is Crystal from That’s What SHE Crafted.  I haven’t blogged in months and months.  I also haven’t sewn in months and months.  But my house has been in disarray due to a remodel for months and months.  So, when Becca brought up Top Stitchers, I was like “Woah, SNAP!  I need this”.  This challenge was SO MUCH fun and SO MUCH crazy sauce.  Thanks for having me, lady!

Now that I have sufficiently sucked up, on to the challenge! Our prompt was "Chicago"- picking a musical and adding some razzle dazzle.  I am a singer that doesn’t like many musicals.  No, seriously.  There are only a handful of musicals that I can sit through without tricking my mind into peeing in a forced intermission where I’ll likely miss 3 or 4 musical numbers.  There are a few I enjoy, but mainly, I just like sparkly costumes.  My normal sewing style usually has retro/historical elements to it, but I wanted to stretch myself, so the obvious ones like Hairspray and Chicago just wouldn’t do.   No no no.  As I looked and looked for inspiration, I was hit with a Rafiki stick and fell in love with the costumes in The Lion King.  I knew the movie version, so I did some very detailed YouTube research (clicked on links, listened to music for 30 seconds, muted, and looked at pretty clothes)  to get a feel for the stage musical and my decision was made.  Based on the color palette of Nala and  some elements of Sarabi, I constructed my “Rockin' Pride Rock” lioness look.

A furry mammal doesn't exactly scream “razzle dazzle!!” , but The Lion King costumes really have some amazingly fantastic bead work. By the way “razzle dazzle” will now be called “NAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA!” for the remainder of this post.  You’re welcome.  The beading is actually the first thing I noticed and the first thing I knew I’d have to incorporate.  I didn’t do a fully beaded corset like Sarabi or Nala because HOLY HEAVY!  Sarabi has a gorgeous beaded statement necklace that I wanted to incorporate.  I decided to make one in the white/gold/brown color scheme of Nala’s Body suit to get that “NAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA!”. Two lionesses at’s a Pride King’s dream. I just made a lion sex joke.  Def Jam Comedy: National Geographic Edition- Live at the Safari.  The beaded appliques came pre-beaded, but I had to hand sew them to leather and even cut and join a few pieces without them coming undone and scattering all over my carpet. Lots of care, lots of time, lots of HELL YEAH.

For the top, I went with a white chiffon with gold sparkle to make a flowy top to mimic the drape of Sarabi's costume but kept it the subtle color of Nala's body suit.  Sparkle= “NAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA!”  This pattern isn't the most difficult pattern to sew, so I chose to make it in chiffon to up my difficulty level.  I took my time and sewed every seam as a French seam using tissue paper for every single stitch that happened.  It took at least triple the time, but it made for nice flat finished seams and hems. I also gave it a cute hi-low  curved hem, so when it's not tucked into a skirt, it's totes adorbs with skinnies or shorts. If you read those details and don't give me props, I will kill you.  Chiffon is Scar...totally and completely evil. And I defeated it.  I DEFEATED EVIL.  Seriously though, chiffon can be a PITA, but if you take your time and use a few tricks, the finishing will turn out awesome.  The pattern is the  ModKid Hailey Misses without the shirring to keep it a bit boho.  I can pair this top with other things in the future which is one reason I love making separates so much. I'm poor and cheap, so all of my clothes need to pull double duty.  I have a RTW white tank underneath because I didn't want you to have to see my bra.  But I'd totally wear it without the tank for a night out.  Mama's allowed to be sexy every now and then.

The skirt is a bronze pleather of awesomeness.  The metallic finish really brings some more of that “NAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA!” The fabric has a really nice stretch to it, so this skirt is just slipped on. Stretch  pleather can be a to work with, but that's why God made the walking foot! Can I get an AAAAAAAA-men? No to my eyeballs. I used this Jalie skater skirt pattern with the waistband from the SisBoom Jenny dress to get exactly the look I wanted.  I had to alter both pieces to get the perfect fit, but DUDE, I'm making more.  Even my muslin in stretch denim was freaking amazeballz.  FUH REAL.

I chose my scenery because it reminds me of Pride Rock.  The moment I picked my musical, I picked my setting.  This desert has some beauty =)

Thanks for looking at my hot bod covered in clothes.  Have an awesome day full of  “NAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA!” Which when the whole line is sung including "bagithi baba", means "Here comes a Lion, father"...NOT "Razzle Dazzle", but don't worry about that now.  It's over.  What's done is done...and awesome.

For a list and pics of my fabrics and accessories, please head over to our blog and check it out =)

Before you give your ratings, here's a quick refresher of the rules!

  • You will rate rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here) New to Season 2 - 50% of the vote will come from 3 Top Stitcher Alumnae who volunteered to judge this season's creations!
  • Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!
Rate Brianne's Technique: *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Brianne's Creativity: *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Brianne's Presentation: *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Brianne's Difficulty: *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Rate Crystal's Technique: *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Crystal's Creativity: *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Crystal's Presentation: *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Crystal's Difficulty: *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Leave some love!
Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!