I take my title from a friend I’ve made through LARP who makes beautiful costumes and put up a photo of some embroidery they’ve been doing recently – given the “Beast from the East” has been prowling around these last few days.
People ask me how I got into sewing and I can recall stories of my Mum and Nanna sewing things when I was little (and knitting too!), and trying to guide me through making my own things as a young girl. I think I made a couple of lopsided soft toys (which were dearly loved), some things for my dolls and Sylvanians, but BIG projects were never really an option. I do, however, remember the awe I felt when my Nanna gave me a beautiful homemade Belle princess dress that got worn to shreds (and was flaunted happily at a World Book Day or two …) – and the feeling of wonder as my Nanna took a piece of slippery rose pink satin and made my Rose Queen dress. But I didn’t properly take up sewing myself until I was at university and asked my housemate to help me make an ambitious costume for Halloween. Crouched over our extendable dining room table, hogging all the living room space and abusing my friend’s poor little sewing machine led to me making my first proper costume piece and I was hooked. Sure, it’s been patched and repaired over the years and I’ve made better material choices and better things since then – but it’s what got me started.
But rather than have me go on about all the things I’ve made, I’d like to share my thoughts on the key pieces of equipment you need to start sewing your own costumes, with links to other helpful resources.