Monday, November 24, 2014

Last Halloween and Why I Don't Like Sewing

Over the years, I've developed an obsession with being a guy. Celebrations, fundraisers, Halloween...I'll jump at any opportunity to look like a dude. Don't ask me why, that's just how I've been rolling. Thankfully, I haven't acted on many of my aggressive ideas, but I will say that it has been increasingly difficult not to carry out the burning urge to be Johnny Cash, Ned Flanders, Sir Isaac Newton, or Kanye West.  I came really close to being Johnny this year, actually. I started learning "Ring of Fire" on guitar, but then decided a guitar would be too heavy to carry around all night, so I scrapped that plan.  I then decided that I would be Richard Gere, so that a girlfriend of mine could go as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  I was really excited to wear a suit and don a fabulous grey wig, but then, one day, I woke up and just decided I was over the idea. In pursuit of a new plan, I re-visited old Halloween costumes, some of which include:

Lady Gaga. I worked on the shoulder crystal structure for weeks, creating a three-dimensional rock formation covered in disco reflector pieces. I entered a costume competition at the Buddha Bar and was booed off stage for not looking like a sexy soccer player. I then lost the competition to a sexy soccer player. As I was leaving the Buddha Bar, a drag queen asked to buy my costume, and the rest is history. 

A government ID pass. One of the sexiest costumes to date, this was super fun to wear around the block, be swiped in doorways, gathering much respect from my fellow colleagues. 

Bag...person.  This did not end well. Much hot. No holes.

My absolute favorite: Kid Rock.  I wore this bad boy to a boat cruise and had two girls put their numbers in my pocket. Ugh. So cool

Skanky Cat. This was a last-minute option in what I like to call my sell-out year.  Obviously, this garnered a lot more male attention than Kid Rock, but that was just too easy.

..with a little Hipstamatic, for good measure..

Then I tried to amalgamate the idea of sexy with a the idea of Jesus, and so, I was Sexy Jesus.  I had intended for it to be a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the sexualization of every stupid thing when it comes to women's costumes (from police offers to, in light of current events, ebola nurses) ...but everyone just thought it was hot, so I stopped fighting the current. Forgive me Father, for I have winned (audience laugh track).

And then there was the time I spent like a month making this Binder Full of Women costume, following Mitt Romney's 2012 "binders full of women" speech. I honestly don't know why I thought it was hilarious enough to make a costume for, but there you have it.

This year, the struggle was intense. As evidenced above, I haven't let myself go too crazy with my manly tendencies, but my thoughts did race wildly during these past few days.  I remember waking up one morning gasping "CHAD KROEGER", playing out the entire ensemble in my head, then reminding myself that it was just too much like Kid Rock all over again.  I thought I was finally out of the dude woods when I found myself dreaming about building a Marge Simpson wig out of blue cotton balls, but after spending an entire day groaning "Oh Homey" at co-workers and Starbucks personnel, I got over that idea, and was right back to my manly ways: I would be the Commissioner of the CRA! I raced to a costume shop looking for a bald cap and glasses, but on the way, realized I have just too much hair to tuck under the prosthetic scalp.  Ugh.

It was then that I realized that I had forgotten one very lovely character in my life: Carrie Bradshaw.
I love the show, I've watched the movie three trillion times, I know all her lines, and I love love love that signature white skirt.  Whyyyy hadn't I thought of this before?

I looked everywhere for this exquisite tutu, but never found the right one, so I decided I would have to make it myself. But first, a bit of context...
Through the years, I've attempted to sew many things, including the dress I bitterly catalogued in Progress, Or Lack Thereof. Then, there was Sogol and I’s brief stint at the Richard Robinson School of Couture.  It was there that I coined the nickname “Sweatshop Hands”  (so sorry, so offensive, so self-imposed) because I sewed very, very quickly.  I thought sewing fast meant I was ahead of the class, but really, it came down to me just hating the process and wanting to be done with it.  Detail I’m great at, but patience, not so much.  That said, I could sew a pin cushion in a heartbeat, so if anyone needs something mass-produced, you know who to call.  Richard Robinson left me with the half-knowledge of how to thread a sewing machine (I literally know just half of the process. After that, I have to call my mom or my eighteen year-old sister over), and what was loosely referred to as a “kimono”. 

I don’t think I can hide from who I am anymore – I am a person who does not like sewing.  I do not like how the machine loses the thread for no fucking reason every ten minutes, I do not like how the threading process always involves someone saying “Oh my gosh but it’s so simple! You just loop it through loop six of eleven, past the middle stick, avoid the four little needles, grab the metal pulley, thread through the essence of being, loop twice around existentialism, and just grab the thread at it’s third inch before it disappears deep into the machine. Oh, and then just pull it through the microscopic hole in the needle which is, by the way, just waiting to pierce your finger eleven million times, so just be careful.”  I especially do not like how the thread likes to bunch up when you’re not paying attention, turning into a monstrosity of a knot, forcing you to scream from fright, tear the knot out, and in the process, rip a hole in your poor fabric.  It’s like it’s just waiting for you to look away so it can randomly screw you. Oh, I’m so sorry, sewing machine, that I want to watch a show about Eileen’s 800lb Life while I sew. I did not realize you needed me to feed into your self-esteem issues with my undivided attention.  No, please, eat into three meters of silk with your wanton grip of steel, you bitch. 

Mmmm nope

Fabric stores are filled with only potential, only ideas about things you wish you could make, and not once do they warn you that the organza gown you’re planning to create will actually end up a cape or hijab, if you’re lucky. That said, there’s a part of me that’s oblivious to the reality of my sewing potential. This is why,  every Halloween, I make the decision to sew my costume. I tell myself that I will sew a hamburger once and for all. I will knit a sweater with Barack Obama’s face on it. I will make hilarious pants, and everyone will want a pair. Every Halloween, I forgo my planning, and stick to cardboard, glue, and pipe cleaners.  Every year, except this year, that is.

This year, I bought tulle, I bought a slip, I bought ribbon, I got my mom to thread the sewing machine repeatedly, and then I learned how to do it myself. I made my skirt, threw together my costume, and got "Oh my GOD! Carrie Bradshaw!" from one gay guy, but that's it. No one else knew who I was. I also got a couple of  "You're the prettiest ballerina!" and one girl thought I was a Barbie, so you know, can't complain. As for the sewing itself, I can complain. I will leave out details pertaining to the amount of times my cat tried to climb the materials, the words that came out of my mouth as I pulled out knot after knot from the delicate tulle, and the amount of TLC shows I watched.  Instead, I’ll just show you the final product, and repeat, in the gentlest whisper: I do not like sewing. 


Ok so I didn't get splashed but this is my best Carrie-getting-splashed face

Gotta love that OC!

Brb paying for parking

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha your 'Binders Full of Women' costume gave me a chuckle.

    I STILL feel so bad for asking if you were a ballerina after everyone called my pink flamingo costume a ballerina all. damn. day. BAH!

    It's okay, you don't have to like sewing--I laughed at the threading the needle part and ruining 3 metres of silk (ARGH!) because I'm familiar with the damn bunching (WTF!? How does that even happen!?) and have had many a times being so freaking frustrated with my machine. Regardless, the skirt came out SO GOOD and you looked amazing!! Bravo!