• Sharon Prigan

Purim Costume

This year she decided to go as Totoro.

The first thing the students have to do before they even speak to me is to create a sketch of their design. I tell them that I am not a mind reader, even though some of them call me a magician.

I need for them to visualize their idea, and once it is in sketch form they begin to understand whether the construction is feasible or whether they have to make adjustments.

This was easy. An A line dress, making a pattern based on a loose t shirt of hers and widening the skirt towards the bottom so that there would be width to gather into a "bubble type: of skirt.

Her costume sketch

The first thing she did was a rough draft around her folded t shirt for the bodice of the dress using freezer paper to create a pattern, which she then laid on the folded grey fabric and drew a dress outline and cut it out.

She did the same to get a folded sleeve pattern.

She took the front piece of the dress, laid it out and measured for the white applique on the chest. Cut out the white from the remnants of the fleece from her patchwork quilt and appliqued grey pieces down.

She then attached the appliqued piece to the front of the dress.

The front applique

After stitching the shoulders closed she attached the sleeves and closed up the sides of the dress and the sleeves.

Next was the neckline. We didn't have any grey bias binding so I told her that she could either learn how to make bias binding or make a facing from the grey fleece left over from the dress.

The bias binding technique will wait for another lesson.

She chose to make a facing but wanted some of it to show outside.

Pinning the facing

So she attached it face down on the outside stitched around the neckline and folded the facing inside.

I explained to her that her idea would only work in this case, because she was sewing with a stretch fabric which allowed for a certain flexibility of design. Were she to have made her costume from a non stretch fabric she would have had to construct a separate collar to achieve her idea.

Attaching the facing

She left about a 2 cm fold so that it looked like a collar.

Folding the facing inwards

And then pinned it in place.

Pinning the collar

Stitch in the ditch from the outside in a matching grey thread.

Stitch in the ditch

The finished costume with an elastic cord gathered in the bottom hem.

Gathered skirt


Totoro costume for purim

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