Northeastern Cheerleader

I’ve never dedicated so much time and effort to a Halloween costume. The concept appeared deceptively simple: transform a Northeastern University T-shirt into a cute cheerleader outfit. However, little did I know that this seemingly straightforward project would evolve into a challenging sewing odyssey, replete with valuable lessons and friends I made along the way. I discovered that, no matter how seemingly straightforward a project appears, it can take multiple iterations to reach the final outcome.

I started by cutting the T-shirt, while being oblivious to the fact that the fabric wasn’t as stretchy as I’d assumed. The lack of elasticity would prove to be a significant hurdle once I began stitching. Lesson number one: fabric choice matters.

After cutting it and sewing the sides, I soon realized I had inadvertently made it too small. I decided to add fabric pieces to the sides, and if I was going to be adding fabric to the sides, I thought, why not make it more stylish? I set my sights on creating a princess-cut T-shirt, guided by a YouTube tutorial that used a pattern. The catch? I had never made a pattern before and was utterly clueless.

My initial attempt at creating a pattern turned out to be a disaster – the front panel was too narrow, cutting right through the logo. How could I make it work?. I added a few inches to the front pane and tried trimming the side panel, but they simply wouldn’t align when I attempted to sew them together. So commenced my six-hour journey of trial and error, involving pinning a T-shirt to myself, tracing lines, and painstakingly sewing by hand.

After numerous frustrating attempts, I finally managed to craft a pattern that aligned with my body and the fabric I’d already cut while keeping the logo. With a sense of triumph, I headed to EXP, to trace the pattern onto paper. What I expected to be a straightforward task proved to be quite a challenge, as the fabric seemed to have a mind of its own, and tracing was far more demanding than I’d anticipated.

And all of this effort was dedicated solely to the front and side panels! The back was relatively easier, although it came at the cost of sacrificing two T-shirts to get the right measurements. The sleeves posed their own set of challenges, but they were not impossible, they just required a couple of hours of research. The finishing touches, the pompoms, were crafted from tissue paper and cut by holding them together with bulky wooden clamps from EXP (I couldn’t find smaller clamps). Then, each tassel was meticulously fluffed by twisting them individually.

This experience showed me the fact that sewing goes beyond merely cutting and stitching; it’s about understanding and working with the fabric itself. I gained a newfound respect for those who design and produce clothing. Despite the frustrations, it was an immensely enjoyable process, and I’m eagerly looking forward to embarking on more sewing adventures. I might even attempt to salvage some of the T-shirts I sacrificed in the process of creating this costume.