Nick Offerman American Flag Shirt Tutorial

Hello all!  It’s been a while since I’ve made a tutorial or really written anything. Turns out life is busy and I say yes to too many things. However one of those things I said yes to turned out pretty awesome and I wanted to share it with you all.

A close friend had asked me over a year ago to make him this shirt:

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Image result for nick offerman american flag shirt

I told him that it was possible to make and thought about how to make it, but was consumed with other projects. Time got away from us and almost a year passed before I looked at it again.

My reservations were that I don’t really make much men’s wear. I’ve made my brother an 19th century suit and a few odd men’s items, but that’s not really my thing. I enjoy making frilly gowns and feathery costumes, but a shirt?

Well it pleasantly surprised me.

I started with this Simplicity pattern and started modifying it to mimic this shirt. A few changes I made were to line the sleeves, neck and tabs with a paisley fabric like in the picture above and the personal changes I made were to make french seams instead of leaving a raw edge everywhere (seriously french seams are amazing– they don’t add a lot of labor and make it look so much better).

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an example of the finished french seam– this is the interior of the sleeve/shoulder

I ordered the red striped fabric from Etsy and it’s a duck fabric so it’s slightly heavy, but will be a nice weight for fall/winter wearing. The blue paisley I just got at Hancocks (before it went out of business *sob*) and that’s just a regular blue denim. I couldn’t find a denim with the right size stars so I bought a oil based fabric paint pen and a stencil. This however allowed me to place the stars in exactly the spot I wanted them in without having to think too much while cutting out and sewing. I put 2 layers of paint on them and heat set them. They might could have used 4 or 5 coats to get them as white, but they were still soft with 2 coats and I liked the faded look.

Here are a few photos of the process:

As you can see the red stripes are a little larger and farther apart than the original, but this was the closest I could find. The paisley is also a little more blue than the original, but it was what was available. If you live in a larger city than I do or have a better local fabric store (which I don’t really have one at all now– thanks Hancock’s) you might can find a better fabric, but this is what I had. I top stitched as much as I could — all shoulder seams, around the cuffs, etc, and I finished it with brass snaps. I’ve never really worked with snaps before and these turned out well, but I had to have my husband squeeze them together completely. I guess I should hit up the gym a little more.

Overall it was a pretty simple construction although the fabric was pretty expensive. Total cost for this shirt (fabric and snaps only) was around $70 so if you have to pay for labor on top of that this all of a sudden becomes a very expensive, yet very patriotic shirt.

However my friend loves it and I fully expect him to get every penny’s worth out of it!

 

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If that’s not a happy face I don’t know what is!

A few pattern notes:

This pattern was well put together and easy to follow. However as I stated above I added the french seams because raw edges drive me crazy. You could also use a serger, but although I have a nice serger I don’t like to finish clothes that will be worn often with a serger.

So take your time, finish those edges– believe me it’s worth it.

What happens when I decide to make a Pilgrim costume for my child? Well. . .

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Hester Prynne

Hester Prynne

I embroider a red A to her chest and take photos of her with her baby doll. Because that’s normal. Hopefully when she get to high school and reads The Scarlet Letter she will find this amusing and not reason for therapy.

On a sewing note I used Simplicity 3725 and it was super easy and went together well. You know, just in case you need an Hester Prynne costume a pilgrim costume for your kid.

Shirley Temple Inspirations

I’ve always loved Shirley Temple. Like as long as I can remember I have thought she was the most amazing person ever and I don’t know that my has opinion has changed at all over the years. I still cry every single time her mom dies (yes it happens every movie) and smile when she sings and dances. My Shirley Temple obsession + giving birth to a blonde little girl+ my love for costumes inevitably led to this photo shoot:

Inspiration:
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Homage:

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Inspiration:
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Shirley Temple

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Homage:

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Inspiration:
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Homage:

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All my homage photos were taken by Malland Photography who I am heartbroken is moving to Louisiana, but am so happy she squeezed this shoot in before her relocation.  I am a little jealous that my baby got to pretend to be Shirley Temple for a few hours.

Become A Star For A Day

DragonCon is over.  Another year of costuming, staying up too late, getting up too early, exposing my son to something that is somehow both awesome and inappropriate at the same time, and what is most amazing: feeling like a star.

I had someone ask me why do this.  Not just why I go (even though I think that they had doubts about that as well), but why I spent so much time and money on making costumes for this event.  At the time I didn’t really know the answer.  After seeing the amazing creations last year I thought that I had the ability  to create something amazing so I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  That may have been my reason for starting, but I know my reason (and I think other’s reason) to continue.  It was amazing to have people stop me in the halls and ask for my photo.  It’s what I would imagine being famous feels like, except at the end of the day I got to shower and turn into myself again.

OK so Steampunk Supernatural went over well.  I had more people “get” it than I thought I would (I think a whopping 10 people that didn’t have to ask who we were– which was about 8 more than I expected) and had a lot of compliments just on the general awesomeness of it.  I got recognized by someone who reads my Tumblr which made my day and then I also got to do a CNN photo shoot about rule 63.

However, it wasn’t until I was dressed as Snow White that I began to feel the awesomeness.  No explanation was needed here.  In a sea of Ariels, Auroras, Tinkerbells and Cinderellas it was easy to stand out of the crowd.  It took me twice as long to get anywhere, I got called the wrong princess’ name numerous times, but I loved every second.  While on the Walk of Fame I even had “Once Upon a Time” star Raphael Sbarge ask ME for a picture!  Yeah that was pretty awesome.

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When I walked by small children I could hear there excited whispers and I watched them gather the courage to talk to me.  It truly was magical.  To them I was  Snow White just like for my son every Spider-Man or Captain America we passed was, in his eyes, THE superhero.   It’s an amazing feeling and I can see why people go to numerous cons a year and spend thousands on costumes.  Do I think it’s as competitive as “Hero’s of Cosplay” portrays it– no, not for the average congoer, but it’s crazy the things people can construct. create and imagine that makes cosplay special.

So if you still don’t understand why I recommend you hit up the nearest con (a larger one to guarantee that you’ll get to see some awesome costumes) and do some people watching.  Maybe you’ll get it then.

Check out some of the highlights of my weekend:

Saving People, Hunting Things, The Family Business

Supernatural is one of my favorite shows (OK so I have about 10 shows I could say that about, but I can’t help that I become obsessed with so many things!)  Last year at Dragon Con I did a thrown together cosplay of Sam all by myself and had a total of 1 person know who I was (he was dressed as Cas so that helped).  This year I wanted to do it up right and instead of doing straightforward rule #63 changes I decided to mix it up even more with a steampunk slant.  I peer pressured my brother and his friend to be the Dean and Castiel to my Sam.  Here are the results:

(all photos by Malland Photography)

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Sam and Dean

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Castiel

What do you think?

Here are some more to help you make up your mind:

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This is my favorite of my Sam

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That leather corset was a pain to make, but I’m pretty jealous she gets to wear it

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So what do think?  Do you have suggestions?  After all we have 7 more days so I’m sure I could whip up something 🙂

While you’re thinking I’ll leave you with some Destiel love:

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Rapunzel and Flynn join the DragonCon party

As promised I am posting another set of costumes that I made for DragonCon 2013.  The Flynn vest was a last minute throw together, but I am loving how it turned out!

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Aren’t they cute?

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This is my little brother Joel and his friend Caitlin.

A couple more– once again you can see all of these photos and the rest of the shoot on Malland Photography’s Facebook page!

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Tomorrow I will be posting my last set: Steampunk Supernatural!

Snow White is ready for Dragon Con!

With only 9 days until Dragon Con I thought I’d show off a some of my costumes that I made.  We did this awesome photo shoot with Malland Photography on Sunday and I’m going post a new set every day.  This set is my Snow White gown and a Prince Charming costume I made for my son.  Enjoy!

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I’m pretty excited on how well this turned out and I just think the next photo is simply amazing.

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Seriously.  She took crazy good shots.

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Isn’t he just the cutest little Prince Charming?

I’ll leave you with this:

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Check out the rest of the Snow White photos on her Facebook page and check back for the Tangled shots soon!

Rainbow Dash Dress Tutorial!

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So at DragonCon last year I got my daughter some Rainbow Dash ears and wings from this lady so of course she needs a dress to go with them right? I kept thinking about how I should do this and decided on a tutu dress, but since it’s Rainbow Dash it needed to be huge and fabulous!

Here is how I did it:

Supplies:

5 yards of Rainbow Dash blue tulle (aka baby blue) OK I used tulle on this but I highly recommend using netting or chiffon because tulle wads up when your walking (running, rolling around, jumping etc).  I am going to redo this skirt before she wears it again.  All steps will be the same though. 

1 yard each of the other colors

1 package of elastic

1/2 yard baby blue fabric (I used a stretchy knit that was on clearance)

Fleece or Felt to make cutie mark (I used felt, but I think fleece would have worked better)

Step one:

I measured around her chest and then added an inch (I have $40 in ears and wings and $30 in fabric so I want this to last as long as possible).  Cut and surge the elastic together. (Hand or regular machine stitches work as well)

Step two:

Measure how long the skirt needs to be then double it and add an inch (hint: fold fabric in half and it helps with cutting OR buy the tulle in spool form and you don’t have to cut near as much.  You will use A LOT more than 5 yards that way though, just because it’s measured differently).  Cut fabric into 3 inch wide strips or if you purchased by the spool, just cut it to the length needed.

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Obviously they don’t have to look perfect.  Any uneven lines will not be noticed at all.

Step three:

Tie the tulle in knots around the elastic like so:

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Yes that is a Captain America Shield– I use what I have.  It does make it easier to have the elastic around something.  If you don’t have a Captain America Shield a lamp shade or bucket would work.  However if you don’t have a Captain America Shield you just lost some cool points. (You can buy one here.)

Tie the baby blue tulle around the part that will be the front of the skirt.  I used 4 strips of tulle together for each knot to make it very full.  You could do less if desired, but I wouldn’t recommend doing much more.

Step four:

Do the same for the rest of the colors.  Tie like a maniac.  I recommend watching TV while preforming this mindless task.  I rewatched some Supernatural episodes while doing this and the two hours flew by!  Well at least they went by easier than otherwise.

The final product should look something like this:

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We took this moment to try on the “RAINBOW DASH TUTU!!!” My daughter was very excited.

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Now on to the top of the dress:

Step six:

Like I said I bought some baby blue fabric on clearance.  I folded it in half and used my serger to make a blue tube-like top:

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Here is where I fail as a someone writing a tutorial.  I totally just eyeballed this.  I made it the same size as the elastic, and make it longer than I thought I’d need it just to be safe.  Then I serged it all together.  DONE!  Easy right?  OK it really is, so I’m going to assume you followed all that and am moving on.

Step seven:

Cutie Mark time!! I Googled images of her cutie mark and then drew the mark piece by piece on the felt.

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Then I used fabric glue to secure onto another piece of felt.  HOWEVER!!! I do not recommend using fabric glue, or at lease use a lot less than I did.  You’ll find out why in a minute.

I cut out the mark again, leaving a little around the edges then used a button hole stitch in baby blue around the cloud and onto the detail on the cloud.  I also stitched around the lightening bolts in thread that matched each bolt.  Once this is done cut as close to the mark as you can so the back piece of felt is not seen.

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This is why I am against the use of glue.  It seeped through and made the stitches look dark.  It’s not noticeable in the final product, but I wasn’t happy with it here.  However not so unhappy that I was going to go to the fabric store again to make a third attempt (oh I didn’t mention the one I made way too big?? Oh well, moving on.)

Step eight:

Sew the cutie mark on the top.  Make sure you try the skirt and the top together first so you don’t sew the mark too high or too low.

Step nine:

Straps– Ok I was going to do four straps that would be tied in bows on the shoulders, but at the last minute changed my mind.  Instead I made a halter which I pulled down in the back to make a semi racer back top.  I like this because as she gets bigger I can untack the back part and make it just a halter top.  Also with the wings it was going to be too much around her face.

If you make the straps yourself remember that you have to cut them a lot wider than you would think.  Whenever you turn something, it shrinks a lot.

My straps.  One preturn and one post.  I also serged one end before turning, but since I made it a halter I really didn’t need to do that.

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Then I sewed the strap into the top, only sewing down one layer so the stitches wouldn’t show through. (I did this by hand, the fabric I chose does not do well on a regular machine and the serge stitch would have been too much).

I put the top on her and then sewed the back part of the strap down while it was on her to make sure that I sewed it up high enough.

Here is the back finished:

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If you are lazy you can just use ribbon for this step.

Step nine:

Try the top and bottom on together and mark where it needs to meet.  I made the back higher than the front to make a big fluffy rear end.  Also my skirt had more volume in the back. She enjoyed the try on steps.

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Step ten:

Whip-stitch the skirt to the top. This is another good chance to catch up on your favorite TV show.

You are DONE!

Here is the finished product with ears and wings:

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