James and I are big fans of the fantastic and fantastically trashy HBO show “True Blood” so this Halloween we decided to dress up as Bon Temps’s psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her 250 year old vampire boyfriend Bill Compton. James’s costume was considerably easier than mine (wear black, put on plastic fangs and fake blood, speak with Southern drawl), but thankfully mine didn’t involve too much effort this year either.
I wanted to recreate Sookie’s most recognisable outfit, the Merlotte’s bar uniform, which consists of black shorts, a tight white teeshirt with the green Merlotte’s logo, and a back bar apron.
As I’ve made clear before, I do not wear shorts. I own one pair that I bought when I was 18, and they don’t get worn outside the moorings. Whatever shorts I made here would be a one-time only garment, so I wanted to make them as simple and easy as possible. Since the October edition of Burda magazine was handy, I traced off #111 and then modified them to make them as simple as possible:
- I lay the fronts over the hip yoke at the marks, taped the pattern pieces together and treated them as one to eliminate the pockets
- I folded in the fly flap on the centre front to eliminate the centre fly front opening, and just put an invisible zipper in the side seam instead
- I eliminated the back pocket flaps
So I was left with a pair of shorts with a plain, flat front, side invisible zipper, and two darts in the back and a very simple, two piece facing. I actually assembled these standing up, using my red portable sewing machine at our neighbour’s Craft Night while everyone else carved pumpkins!
Now the reason you won’t get me modelling these in well-lit conditions is because these are S-H-O-R-T. Standing, they barely covered my cheeks. Sitting, well, err, let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t wear large Bridget Jones-style underwear. The inseam on these is only a scant 2 inches, and that’s with as narrow a hem as possible. But Merlotte’s shorts are very short, too, so it worked for the costume!
I also whipped up a simple bar apron the night before the party with some stretchy black cotton twill I bought on my walk to work (yes, I walk by fabric shops twice a day, every day. It’s a good thing most are wholesale-only!). It’s just a big rectangle with big rectangular pockets and two ties, but it was enough for me to slip in my mobile, Oystercard, etc plus a pen and some old Dutch food ordering forms leftover from when our boat was a hotel. It meant I was able to do a good “what can I get y’all” and whip out my pen and order cards when people came up squealing “omg I love True Blood I might even end up using the apron again, though black isn’t exactly the most practical for baking mishaps.
I’m afraid all I’ve got of my wearing this are some terrible photos from the house party, but you can see my balloon DDs (always fun at Halloween) and borrowed blonde wig, too.
(And here you thought from the wedding photos that we were a classy couple…)
The Merlotte’s logo was going to be freezer paper stencilled, then as the party approached, I thought I’d just draw it in with a green Sharpie marker pen, but that bled way too much so I took the lame option of just printing it out, cutting around the paper, and taping it to my shirt. It was dim enough in the party that no one could tell anyway so I’m glad I didn’t ruin a white teeshirt for it!
All in all, the whole costume probably cost me about a fiver, and for a one-wear item, I’m not too fussed about the details. I was shocked to find so many True Blood fans at the party, and a couple of people even wanted their photo taken with me. ha!