Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Really - that was what our Halloween was this year: uncommonly warm and summery.  We couldn't believe we were out trick-or-treating in just long sleeves and no sweater.  Literally, a midsummer night's dream come true!

Speaking of which, Kate was a fairy this year. 

Here she is, looking all demure.

A bit too demure.

Ah, that's much more like it.

Here's the ensemble - one dress, one pair store-bought wings, and one floral garland, which was a hand-me-down from Emily's 2013 costume.

While on the topic of hand-me-downs, when Kate said she wanted to be a fairy this year, I was ecstatic for all of five minutes, thinking she could wear Emily's fairy outfit from 2012, when Emily was exactly the same age Kate is now. 

Everyone rushed to the costume closet (where all the outgrown costumes go to languish), my heart soaring with the wild hope of sewing one fewer costume this year.

It didn't fit.
At all.

But see - that's the problem with custom drafts: what fit Emily beautifully at 8 will only ever fit Emily at 8, and no other 8-year-old. 

And Emily said, without a single ounce of pity, "Anyway, that's not the point, Mom. We're supposed to each get a new outfit each year. We all look forward to that!"

Now who on earth started that ridiculous tradition?
Apparently, me - in the carefree days when I only had one child. 

So . .  brand new identical-looking fairy dress it was, then. 

The skirt is a full circular skirt with a scalloped hem. 

I twined together two different colored trims for the waist seam and hand-stitched that onto the dress.

The lining was soft coordinating knit for the bodice, hand-stitched at the waist to the wrong side of the skirt. Two reasons for hand-stitching rather machine-sewing this seam: one, it was easier to completely face the neckline and strap if I could leave the entire waist edge open till the last. 

And two, the skirt consisted of five different fabrics and the outer bodice consisted of two, coming together in a bulky waist seam of seven rather itchy layers. Hand-stitching the bodice lining over that seam hid it and prevented abrasive contact with the skin when the dress was worn.

And now we come to the most important part of the costume: the sidekick. In the last couple of years, Kate has picked costumes based on their likelihood of including a coordinating one for Bunny, her favorite stuffed animal. Last year, she was a bunny and Bunny was a carrot. This year, her sisters tried to help her brainstorm (Kate as Rey and Bunny as BB8 was our favorite combination) and Kate finally that Bunny be a pixie. She very assiduously designed the outfit and measured Bunny, then drew her technical diagram.

She ran into slight problems during the layout and cutting stage (don't we all?) and I had to step in and rescue her. We finished Bunny's costume in a fraction of the time it took to make Kate's.

Okay, even I admit that it's kinda cute.

Cardboard wings were started, but eventually abandoned, so Bunny's really more elf than pixie. 

Which is great, because now her costume can double up for Christmas. Not quite hand-me-down, but we get to double the mileage by making it multi-holiday!


  1. wow! you are awesome! Love the fairy dress :)

  2. What a delightfully beautiful little fairy! (I sighed with relief when I read that you 'bought' the wings!) Sidekick pixie Bunny can't be beat, either! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Overwhelmingly darling Bunny costume! (Beautiful child costume too.)

  4. Bunny is adorable! :) Love bunny's outfit haha. Btw, I spot a "don't care" on Kate's sketch haha!

    1. Christel: yes, I laughed at the "don't care" too. I figured it was her way of allowing me flexibility with fabric. How kind.

    2. I was especially entertained by the fact that the skirt requires "fleas". Poor bunny must be itching now!!

  5. Fantastic costumes again. So glad Bunny is still a part of their lives.

  6. I love the green top, and the matching bunny outfit!

  7. Ohhhhh Bun! Love that Bun. Love that Bun is still a part of it all.


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