Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Dogs aren't dangerous!"


This year for Halloween I wanted to do something a little bit scary. I haven't dressed as a witch, goblin or other such horror since high school and I figured it was about time. Scrolling through facebook one day, I saw a listicle of the top movies that should have been rated higher than PG. I didn't actually click on it (which was kind of a feat of self-control for me...those things really suck me in), but the cover photo caught my eye. It was General Woundwort, the evil rabbit from the movie (based on the book) Watership Down. I loved that movie growing up and I even own a copy of it on DVD. I used to have nightmares that General Woundwort was under my bed. I remember leaping out of bed to try to get my feet as close to the door as possible so that he couldn't grab me on my way out. 

Dressing up as a rabbit is pretty easy. You really just need clothing of the right color, ears and a tail. It's the perfect costume for which to use a sweatsuit as a starting point. I thought about looking for a brown sweatshirt at Goodwill, but then I remembered the Seamster Avocado Hoodie pattern. I figured that the hoodie for my costume didn't have to fit great, it just had to be wearable for a party. My General Woundwort costume became a wearable muslin of the Avocado Hoodie, or rather the wearable muslin became the General Woundwort costume.

As usual, my measurements put me in three different sizes, so I cut a straight size large based on my bust measurement. I sewed up the non-overlapping hood version B without any of the pockets in a poly fleece from JoAnn's. They had one bolt of sweatshirt fabric. ONE. And of course there is never anyone around to help you find fabric in that place. I thought the fleece felt mid-weight-ish and would be fine, but put four layers of it together when sewing over seams and it was extremely thick. It was almost too much for my machine to handle, but I got it done. I didn't finish any of the seams, add any pockets, or topstitch the thumbholes on the cuffs (I think I would have had to do that by hand). When I tried it on sans sleeves I thought that it was going to be too big from the underbust seam down, but in the end I actually thought it worked out very well, maybe because of the thickness of the fabric. My friend's house was pretty warm and I forgot to put my thumbs through the thumbholes for the photos. I thought it would be tricky to sew those but it was really easy and sew worth it.

I cut out the ears with some heavy interfacing and the same fleece, and sewed them onto the hood. I think I sewed them a little too far back. They were excessively floppy and kept slowly pulling my head down. It was fun to bounce them while dancing, though.

I used some leftover yarn from one of my roommate's old knitting projects to make a pom pom for the tail, using this tutorial. Instead of a fork, I used a big shower comb. 

General Woundwort gets killed by a dog, thus the title quote of this post. The megalomaniac tries to get his evil owsla to stay and fight, yelling to them, "Dogs aren't dangerous!" And then he bites it. Well, it bites him. You know. Anyway, he has bloody scratch marks on his body, so I just snipped some parallel lines into the hoodie in two places and wore a red shirt underneath. I think the effect worked out very well.

I tried to do as well as I could with the makeup, but I couldn't figure out how to make it look like I was frothing at the mouth. You win some, you lose some. All of the makeup is Halloween makeup except the brown, which is a creamy thick eyeliner pencil. I've never worn eyeliner before. Should I learn how? I mean, I have some now.

I intended to wear brown yoga pants with the hoodie, but my brown yoga pants mysteriously disappeared. I still can't find them. I have no idea how that happens. Green jeans = General Woundwort in the grass? Best I could do. If you like the scary rabbit theme for Halloween, one of my friends dressed as Bunnicula and I really wanted to rope somebody into being the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog (from Monty Python and the Holy Grail), but sadly no one took the carrot. (See what I did there?)

Now that I've gotten a lot of mileage out of my wearable muslin, I've started thinking about making an avocado hoodie for more day-to-day wear. It's not super high on the sewing priority list, but I'd like to make it up in a drapey sweater knit maybe with some contrasting color on the pouch and cuffs. I won't bother with the back pockets. No one will be putting their hands in there anytime soon.

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