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my first time

Sew what?! Yes, you can

If you try this at home, be prepared for some serious tulle time.

Handout photo

If you try this at home, be prepared for some serious tulle time.

I've been channeling my "inner Martha Stewart" a lot lately by baking, cleaning, organizing and now tackling the demon of sewing. I have always bought my Halloween costumes or had my mother make them but wondered if I could handle making my own.

So began the brainstorming. What on earth would I be? Then, came the more important question: What could I make that wouldn't look awful and be relatively simple? Although all indications were pointing toward going as Lady Gaga because even a mistake could be claimed as intentional, I went the route of Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. Something about a pink dress, glitter shoes, a crown and a wand made me as giddy as a 5-year-old.

Next, it was time to gather all the materials. Rather than using a pattern, I drew what I wanted the costume to look like, and the plan was to create a masterpiece for less than $50. With this in mind, I started at a thrift store and was able to find the pieces to make the top portion of my costume for $6. After that, I gathered the rest of my materials at a craft store and a discount store: tulle, ribbon, glitter, thread, needles, clear spray paint, a dowel and wooden stars.

The assembly of the top half was simple. All I did was take a scarf and wrap it over the straps of a "spaghetti strap" shirt to create fun sleeves. The bottom half was headache-inducing. I had 22 yards of tulle that had to be sewn and gathered into a pretty skirt. I enlisted the help of my mom — with the rule being that no matter what, I would make it myself.

Gathering the tulle and sewing it into a skirt took more than an hour. Once it was done, I sewed a ribbon around it to make it easy to get on and off. The wand took about a half hour to wrap and glue. Spraying shoes I already had with glitter took about 15 minutes, plus overnight drying and spraying with clear spray to seal. With materials gathering and assembly, the project was done in a weekend.

Once finished, it looked more like a princess than Glinda the Good Witch, so I got a cute tiara and decided I was going to be a fairy princess instead. This decision took out the need for Glinda's over-the-top crown and dress embellishments. My final piece came in at just less than $50 and looked good enough to have been purchased at a store. Reactions of friends and family also led me to believe it will be just fine for Halloween.

I still secretly want to do a Lady Gaga costume, and since I have several parties I plan to attend, I may just go for it and transform into Mother Monster for an evening.

My First Time is a column about Ashley Grant trying new things in Tampa Bay. Got a suggestion for something she can try? E-mail her at famousashleygrant@gmail.com.

Making My

Halloween Costume

Where: I made it at my mom's house and at my apartment

Cost: Roughly $50

Three things I learned:

1. This may seem like a no-brainer but having a backup plan in case the costume isn't turning out the way you hope could save you from frustration.

2. Have all materials on hand before you begin assembly, and break the project into parts for ease, if possible.

3. Don't spray paint or glitter spray indoors. I don't care how many windows you open for ventilation, it's a bad situation.My dining room is still coated in silver glitter and probably will be for months.

Would I do it again? Yes.

Sew what?! Yes, you can 10/20/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:24pm]
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