Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Zebra says “Meow”

Apparently, the See and Says sold in Oakland are a little out of wack. 

On Halloween, I dressed as a Zebra (or Zebula in Zambian English).  All day at the Raiders game and at the BART station in Oakland, I kept getting meowed at.  It didn’t help that there was a Batman in our group at the game.  That prompted quite a number of cat woman comments.  The most unbelievable comment came from an elderly gentleman at the Coliseum BART station who told me I looked like Halle Berry.  In his defense – I guess – he was smoking pot at the time.


Mr. Trizzle, Batman and me at the game.




A cat? Really?  A cat?!  How many cats with zebra stripes have you ever seen?  Me, I’ve seen one.  And he was wearing a zebra striped jacket.  Maybe I should save my outfit and go as Cat next year.  (By the way, I saw a Raiders jersey at the game that said “Lister” on the back.)

Anyway, despite the not-so-bright people at the game, I really liked my costume.  It was soft and fuzzy and warm.  I’m still a little bit stuck in Wisconsin mentality.  I think Halloween costume and I think “ok, either needs to be really warm or needs to fit over a snow suit.”  So my costume was really warm.  A full-length, fuzzy, turtleneck body suit.  It even had a beige bodysuit underneath it for an extra layer.  It was in the mid 70s the entire day at the Raiders game, sitting out in the sun.  Whoops!

Sewing Time

Making the costume was a bit of an adventure.  As usual, I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like and had to go on a bit of a hunt to find the right materials.

First task, the pattern.  It took a bit of online searching, but I finally found something that looked like it would work, KwikSew Pattern 3052.  Unfortunately, the pattern is discontinued, so it took a bit more searching to find one actually available for purchase.

Second task, the fabric.  I wanted fuzzy.  Obviously, it had to be zebra print.  And it had to be at least somewhat stretchy.  I found something that worked at the Jo-Ann across the BART station from my house.  Soft, fuzzy, zebra, some horizontal stretch.  I could work with that.

The beige under-body suit was easy and came out pretty good, after I lengthened the legs about 5”.  It was a little bit baggy in some areas, but the fabric was so thin, I figured it would work fine underneath the zebra suit.


Then I set to task on the zebra suit.  I took the pattern in a bit where it had been baggy on the under-body suit but didn’t adjust anything else.  Fail.  Major, absolute fail.  I forgot to take into account that the zebra fabric didn’t stretch at all vertically and had only about half the horizontal stretch that the pattern called for.  The result would fit Munchkinhead.  (I asked her if she wanted a zebra costume, but she was already going as a ‘40s pin-up girl for Halloween.)

Back to the fabric store.  I bought all the rest of that zebra fabric that they had.  Nearly twice what the pattern called for.  Then I resized the pattern for my actual measurements, compensating for the lack of stretch.  I had to add another 6” to the inseam, lengthen the sleeves about 4 inches and the upper body a good 2 or 3”.  By the time I was done, the pattern didn’t fit on my kitchen table.  Which, I guess makes sense since it’s a neck to ankle pattern and I’m longer than the kitchen table.  I almost didn’t have enough fabric!


This time, the zebra fit!  It was actually a bit big in the mid-section, but that was easily solved by taking in the center back seam. I had a fabulous zebra-suit.  Final touches: some black gloves, black socks and black heels for my hooves, and some banana clips to make a mane.

Me as a fabulously cute zebra zebula girl


Jeannie said...

What can one say? I guess they haven't seen enough zebra's in Oakland. ;)

goldenrail said...

Maybe I should have spent Halloween at the Oakland Zoo instead of the Raiders game.