Friday, April 5, 2013

Let's Sew Embroidered Lederhosen! Or, The One Where Rebecca has Lost her Mind

Strange Men in Lederhosen, photo courtesy of Google  ;-)
So my kids' school is doing a production of Willy Wonka Jr. in a few weeks, and they sent an email out to parents with a list of props and costume items they were hoping someone could donate or loan for use in the production.  One of those items was lederhosen for Augustus Gloop.  We have a pair of lederhosen that belonged to Bernie when he was a child, so I brought them in...  Alas, our Augustus Gloop is bigger than Bernie was when he fit into these leather shorts.  Then, because I am that rare combination of an insane person who is also a showoff, I heard these words coming out of my mouth: "I'll bet I could make him a pair of lederhosen out of some brown microsuede fabric that I have sitting around in my sewing room."  There were witnesses to this lunacy, and now I am officially responsible for costuming Augustus Gloop.  In lederhosen.  With no pattern, and no experience sewing any kind of shorts or pants, EVER. 

Bernie's lederhosen weren't embroidered; they were just decorated with leaf-shaped leather appliques, but my internet search for photo inspirations turned up quite a few embroidered versions.  Embroidering microsuede is sure to be a nightmare, which is right up my alley.  Fun, fun fun!

Here's the plan: I'm going to attempt to make a muslin pattern from the existing lederhosen by turning them inside out and tracing along the seamlines.  Then I'll add an inch or two to the length and width, sew the muslin together, and have the Augustus actor try them on for fit.  If the muslin fits, it's my pattern.  If not, I tweak it until it does fit.  I'm going to raise the waistband a bit, like the lederhosen dude on the right, so I can use the straps from Bernie's real lederhosen instead of having to mess with buckles etc.  I just have to put buttons on my shorts that fit the buttonholes on the lederhosen straps.

My microsuede fabric is soft and drapey, not stiff like the leather lederhosen, so I'm going to try to interface it with some Pellon stuff.  Can you fuse interfacing to microsuede?  I don't know -- but I'm going to find out!  The embroidery will be the fun part...  Here are some of the things I found online:

I am NOT going to attempt to put pockets on my lederhosen, but the shoe lace ties on the green pair might be fun...


Jennifer said...

I can send you authentic pairs probably cheaper and with less hassle :)

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I have an authentic pair, they just don't fit the kid who needs to wear them! Plus now I have TOLD PEOPLE that I can make them. Actually, this all came about because I was telling the Head Costume mom that I had some brown microsuede that they could use to "whip up a pair" pretty easily, meaning her and her crew of other moms on the costume committee. As if people whip up lederhosen every day in between their morning coffee and reading the newspaper. And she said, "Are you willing to take this on?" Gulp! "Sure! No Problem!" says me. So here we are... ;-)

Unknown said...

my son is also agustus gloop in our play. can u send lederhosen to us. we r n a jam since costume dept just let us know they havent aquired costume yet n play is next please help

Unknown said...

my son is also agustus gloop n our school musical n we just found out that the costume dept hasnt acquited lederhosen gor my son. the musical is nxt wk. is there anyway jennifer that u could send me lederhosen for my son. we r really n a time crunch n very concerned. talk w u soon.

Rebecca Grace said...

Tonight is our school’s opening night and performances run through the weekend. I can sell you the shorts part of the costume for $50 plus shipping if you’re interested, but the leather suspender straps are a family heirloom and cannot be loaned out or sold. The soonest I could ship the costume would be Monday the 22nd, so you’d have to pay for expedited shipping in order to have them in time. Let me know if that’s something you’re interested and if so, I’ll create an etsy listing for the lederhosen shorts for you.

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