Mommy Wise Series: Sharing My DIY Ifugao Costume Project


Just a month before the school year ends, some institutions just like my kids' school were up to something grand, like the yearly foundation week. Our school's founding anniversary this year seems to be very special with so many highlights as they were celebrating their 10th year in the academe. In line with this remarkable milestone, my daughter was chosen to be one of those students in their class who will join a group poem recitation. Nothing seems to be very special about her role, but as a mom, of course, i knew i should be proud.

My daughter is someone who's really really shy, especially when it comes to performing on stage. And i was just so happy that she agreed with her mentor to join the event. Maybe one reason was because her best friend is joining and second was, they were five in the group, so stage fright is tolerable for her. Anyhoo, the poem tackles about unity and strength were regions and religions seems to be a factor that creates separation and division. Therefore, the mamas agreed on the idea that each will be wearing different costumes signifying religion, regions and even nations to properly portray the unity notion for this poem recitation.

So i looked for costumes around the city. Yes, i found one shop who have costumes for rent. There's Japan, USA, India, Muslim, Ifugao- name it! All are epic and too decorative. Asking the price for each, its P700 for a rent. Other costumes at the malls were nice yet simple. They are clean and new, but price range were from P1,000- P1,500. Mommy wise, it made me think- is it really necessary to buy or to rent and spend that much for a presentation that will just took around 5 minutes or less? 

Borrowing from friends isn't really an option for me. So i thought of making a DIY costume for her instead. I dig into my basic "Technology and Home Economics" notes and practiced that hand sewing thing if i can still remember.

I decided that she wear an Ifugao-inspired costume. Well, first because its the simplest and second, it perfectly matches the "regions" in the poem, because others already thought of wearing the national costume, the Muslim for the religion and China and Japan for the nation. So, i bought fabric from the public market. Clothing materials were very limited, so after i went from one shop to another, finally, i saw one that is close to the fabric and design of an Ifugao dress plus a bordered piece of fabric that can be used as a simple head dress. I added some pins, needles and a thread to complete the package for my do-it-yourself project.

We don't have a sewing machine, so i used the traditional hand sewing. It's been on my list for so long that i needed to buy an electric mini sewing machine but i always forget about it because seldom do i caught myself in situations like this. Anyway, i measured the fabric with my daughter's waist and hips and how long it should be, then afterwards, i really don't know how to start with! I was having a hard time folding and refining the edges so i took a candle and burnt it to prevent unravelling of the fabric while i hem it.

It took me around 3 hours to finish the whole thing- the wrap around skirt and the scarf thing for the body. Then i pressed it with an iron to flatten the edges and everything. After that, it's time for fitting!

The funny thing was, my daughter was very hesitant to try it on, maybe she was thinking- Hello mommy? How sure are you about this thing huh? I dig in her closet and found her old black leotard which she used last Halloween party and paired it with a black leggings, then i added some accessories that will perfectly match her outfit. I used to hoard big and bold necklaces that sometimes i really don't use, i just love them hanging around my closet, so this time they became useful! I also did the make up thing for my daughter and voila! Here's my pretty charming Ifugao Girl! 

Guess how much did mommy spent with all of these DIY costume project? It's a total of Php 104, big savings right? And i'm just happy that she liked it and my mom friends were impressed with her look.

Sometimes, we need to release that creativity in ourselves, it was fun doing crafts like this once in a while, its a total stress relief and a diversion for me. Also, for a mom like us who always consider a budget, we must always be MOMMY WISE!

I hope to share more DIY project soon!

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