Monday, July 21, 2008

A REALLY Big Project!

My roller derby club Derby Lite skated in the Oak Park 4th of July parade this year. Queen B (our fearless leader) envisioned a giant roller-skate float for the parade. She planned it out, and asked Vivi Sewhot (me) to do the sewing. Believe it or not we constructed the entire float in one day (after we had to put together the pattern made from an entire bolt of pink flannel).

First we draped the pattern over the vehicle (using very strong magnets) and made the necessary adjustments, next we cut the vinyl to match the pattern pieces. We then taped the pieces together with painter's tape. After getting one half of the skate sewn together we draped it on the car again to be sure we had a good fit (the magnets held up the vinyl too).

Yards and yards of vinyl - 16 to be exact! I used my Viking for the job - a perfect match. I borrowed B's vinyl foot (she has a Viking machine too).

We used silver contact paper to make the grommets, and wide stiff ribbon for the laces. The tongue was made of theatrical scrim - donated by D'Liter Flash Hottie's husband Rich. Even more importantly, Rich designed and made the PVC pipe structure for the top of the car.

We put the float on the car when we got to the parade line-up. It was laced together in the front, and sewn with rope at the top. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

The toe stop was made from foam and black duct tape. Check out our first float - it was disposable! We will be able to use this float for many parades - judging by how much fun we all had, there will be MANY more!

Poppy Z Fite made the fabulous banner and the vinyl logos that appear on both sides of the float. The logos were added last, glued on after all of the sewing was completed (I was excused from that job, there were about 10 D'liters helping at that point!)

The view from inside the float, driven by King B - the Queen's faithful helpmate.

Monday, July 14, 2008

In Theory...

I bought some pants at the thrift shop last week. I kind of knew they wouldn't fit, but I just couldn't help myself. They were made by Theory, and of the most beautiful light blue cotton with a thin black pin stripe (cost? - $2 after the %33 discount!). They were too small, but I suddenly realized what a great hat that they would make. My most recent hat is also blue, but the Theory fabric is much nicer, and could go with dressier outfits.

There is something about making a hat that I just can't resist. Especially when I am repurposing something else: Will there be enough fabric? If there isn't, what can I do to "make it work"? It's fairly fool proof because I know I like the pattern - I'm not going to finish it and end up with something I can't wear. And while I'm doing it I'm kind of lost in thought - lost in the process. I'm not worrying about other things (unemployment, parents visiting, etc.) - I am only thinking about the hat, and how it will come out.

Once I am finished cutting out the fabric for the top, the brim, and the band, I have to think about the band lining. Black and white gingham seemed perfect for this one. Once the construction is finished, then it's time to pick out the ribbon band. Black and white polka dots? Perfect!