“A one-eye thick lips monster!!!!!” | Adey Lim

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M6243The Facts

Fabric: Black ponte knit 2 yards from fabric.com (discount code) $9.50, old spread and remnants.
Pattern: McCall's 6243
Year: c. 2010
Notions: Invisible zipper, remnant trims 
Time to complete: 2 hours for knit dress, 2.5 hours for sewing, shaping and attaching lips and eye.
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? Yes, after undoing the hand stitches

Total Cost: ~$9.50

With the exception of the American community and the clubbing scene, Halloween isn't really celebrated in Singapore so I didn't expect myself to sew a costume. However, come next weekend, my kids will be having a dress up party at Sunday school (nothing to do with Halloween though) and parents are invited to join in the fun in costumes. 

I surveyed the kids on what character they would like mom to be and their response kinda made me regretted asking. A monster? It was less strange hearing it from the five year old as boys will be boys. I guess the two year old girl just enjoyed "parrot"ing her brother or perhaps she was thinking of the cute monsters from sesame street. 

I totally didn't know where to start. 

Adey's experience in costume creation. Zero.

Adey's vision of a cute monster. None.

Adey's first thought of donning a monster costume. Melting in the heat.

In came the Spanish Harlem week and researching the theme eventual led me to stumble upon Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz De La Prada's quirky 2009 runway creations.  They are exaggerated but whimsical at the same time, reminding me of Alice in wonderland. I was charmed. 

Drawersdress

Violindress
Pianodress

Oneeyelipdress
What really attracted me was that most of these basic dresses were pretty wearable without the extra design elements which made them musical instruments, mustache monster or the lip monster and these can be easily removed after the party. Do you have a fave from the garments above? I think I would totally wear the violin tunic out:)

Eventually, I chose to create a costume inspired by the one eye lip monster dress as I think that would be a cute monster to kids. Not wanting to make a dress I would only wear once, I sewed a LBD in knit, drafted the pattern for the lips, sewn the lips using a recycled red spread and hand stitch it to the LBD. This way, I could unpick those hand stitches and recover the LBD. 

The black knit dress came with five pattern pieces, top front, facings, skirt front and 2 back pieces and can be put together within a short time. What's makes the dress interesting is the asymmetrical keyhole cut out at the neckline. The real hem of the dress ends right at the bottom of the upper lip. The lower lip is longer than the skirt's hem and acts almost like a mini train at the back of the skirt.

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Instead of covering my entire head for that one eye effect, I sewed the eye out of remnant felt, fabric and trim I had in my stash and hand stitched the piece onto the top of a hat. I am hoping that I'd look like a one eye monster when I lower my head. I sewed these together quickly the didn't finish the sides of the circular pieces as it'd be for one time use only. Likewise the hand stitches can be removed easily after the party. Here's the traffic stopping one-eye monster in action.

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After drafting the lips pattern, I cut two pieces each for the upper and lower lips out of an old red spread, sewed the right sides together, clipped the allowances, turned over before topstitching them and hand stitching the lips together (my machine simply refused to stitch these thick lips) and onto the dress. To make the upper lip stand, it was reinforced with remnant denim.  Two unstitched sections on the upper lip work as pockets for small items. 

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My kids have not stopped playing with the one eye hat. My son would wear the hat and shout, "I'm the one eye monster, Rrrr!" while my daughter would wear her own oversized hat, pull it down below her eyes and proclaim, "I'm the no eye monster, Rrrr!" Honestly, I wouldn't mind not wearing the eye hat as I liked the outfit better without it but for the kids' sake, the hat shall stay on.

They have yet to see me in the thick lips dress yet. Can't wait to see the expressions on their faces!

To me, the best part of this costume was it being heat and humidity friendly. Have you sewed a costume for halloween or any other occasions? What were your experiences like? I had so many weird stares taking these photos  that I'd not have the guts to do this again!

Author

Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.

32 Comments

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  1. i LOVE that spanish harlem brought you to this. hip hip hooray for vague themes!!!
    this is so terrific, i love that it becomes a chic creation after halloween!

  2. Adey, you’re amazing! I think the hat is hilarious!

  3. those are great inspirational designer’s clothing photos and your interpretation is really clever! the red leggings really jazzed up the look. i love the fact that you braved the public’s eyes for these photos! :)

  4. It reminds me of the monster with the huge lips in AAAHH!! Real Monsters, the 90′s Nickelodeon kids cartoon!

  5. SO FUN! You’ve pulled it all together amazingly! And the tiny pockets! AMAZING! Love it! xoxo

  6. My first thought was that you were the Rocky Horror lips! This is the coolest costume I’ve seen and your inspirational photos are amazing! I want to make all of them! I think you might end up with a lot of copycats :)

  7. OMG, that is amazing! I love the one of you in the street hahaha! And what a cool effect that your legs look like the tongue of the mouth. A great way of being able to use the dress afterward AND pleasing your kids at the same time. Love your stuff, Adey!

  8. This is so creative! Your version is fantastic and neat that it turns back into a LBD after the party (maybe at the stroke of midnight!). I love that violin too.

  9. Amazing! I am just in awe of it! So adorable. And that neck piece is crazy cute too!

  10. One of my favourite of your creations

  11. BRILLIANT!!! Love the one eyed lip monster dress :)

  12. Thanks Oona! Love vague themes too cos we get to be more creative. Yay!

  13. Fantastic! You completely embraced Halloween! This is a great costume/dress! Maybe you will start a Halloween craze in Singapore!
    I love the violin and piano!

  14. Love this! What a great inspiration and execution of such a cool idea – way to go Adey!

  15. Thanks Fiona! Getting these photos taken was nerve wrecking :P

  16. Haha, I googled the cartoon, how cute! I can definitely see similarities:) Thanks for sharing!

  17. Thanks so much Lisette! I am glad you liked the inspiration photos and I wanna make them too:)

  18. Thanks Amanda, am delighted you like the costume. Yeah, things I do for the kids!

  19. Thanks Rachel! Can’t wait for the transformation at midnight kekeke!

  20. Thank you so much Dottie!

  21. Haha, thank you so much Cathe! The violin and piano are definitely some of my faves too!

  22. Thank you so much Sarah! We missed you this week!

  23. Wow Adey! I am super duper impressed. What an amazingly creative outfit. I just love it! that hat is amazing too and I really love the one of you in the street!! The inspiration photos are great. AND OMG. You met Veronica! How fun is it that you guys got to meet up in person–and you kept it a SECRET! hahahahah… brilliant! Looks like you guys had a great time!

  24. Super Halloween styling Adey, at least with the hat you can keep an eye on the kiddies he he

  25. Thanks so much Kazz! And I can remove the hat when it gets too warm too kekeke:) 

  26. Thanks Debi! Indeed, it was fantastic meeting up but really tough keeping it a secret!