Fiber Craft · How-To

The Eleventh Hour is My Domain: Part the Second

Want the first installment? Find it here!

After the late night of decisions and rotary cutters, I wake up ready to start in on the costume in earnest. But joke’s on me – today is a solo parent day with two littles!

Since I also major in masochism in addition to procrastination, I decide to hand-sew the pieces together instead of using a machine, since it fits my ready-to-run-after-the-baby-at-any-moment lifestyle. I use some super sharp sashiko needles and sashiko thread. They work great! You know what they also are great at? Putting holes in one’s fingers. I highly recommend using these magical inventions called thimbles.

Stab, stab, pull. Repeat.

Ballet lesson? No problem, I can sew while the big one “shitters like a mouse” in class (the 4 yo’s words, not mine) and the baby tries to knock over every garbage can in the waiting area. Birthday party in the park? Score! Big kid goes on the slides and the baby seems to be content to throw mulch into the stroller. Everyone got fed, no one got hurt, and I finished a single row on the mane and three rows on the tail. #winning

Tail finished while the baby redistributes mulch.

We get home, and the baby loses HIS BABY MIND. Nonstop screaming. Will NOT be consoled. Will NOT be soothed. The 4 yo shows a sense of self preservation and makes herself scarce, and I call in reinforcements, aka Grandma. I have about 18 hours before this costume needs to be finished, and all of my previous certainty (*ahem* hubris) about doing so is very abruptly drowned out by piercing pterodactyl screeches.

Grandma arrives (with dinner, because Grandma is a professional) and we tag team the kids through dinner and bedtime. Sometime around 8:30p I get back to the costume, this time without wine. Because I mean BUSINESS.

I start by attaching the now-sewn-together mane to the sweater, starting at the top of the hood and working my way down the center seam and down the center back. I use my trusty sashiko needle and thread, and they don’t fail me.

Wear thimbles, people.
THIMBLES SAVE FINGER LIVES.

Once the mane is attached, I need to make the unicorn horn. I cut it out using the pattern piece and because it’s weird, stretchy stuff, I use the sewing machine for its one seam. I am ready to stuff it, but of course my bag of Poly-Fil decided to disappear from this plane of existence, so I make do with some of the scrap fleece. Also, a chopstick makes a fantastic stuffing tool. Who knew? Probably a lot of people, but whatever.

Ta dahhh!

Oh man oh man. This thing is actually starting to come together! I sew on the horn with not a small amount of swearing and proceed to start cutting the mane and tail fleece pieces into smaller strips, up to about a 1/4″ from the stitched lines. This step takes a millennia to finish because I find out my Gingher shears are badly in need of oiling. And sharpening.

*hands crying*

I persevere, and promise my hands some love when we are done. I finish around 11pm and am somewhat delirious but proud of my handiwork. I still have to attach the tail and make the ears, but that’s what mornings are for, amirite?

It’s …a thing!

The conclusion awaits in Part the Third!

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