All I want for Christmas is to be able to fly

homemade angel fairy costume with gold button on wingsS’s Christmas list was even shorter than H’s but unfortunately not so straightforward. I asked her what she would like for Christmas and she replied by flapping her arms up and down frantically and saying ‘I want to fly’.

Impossibly cute but also just impossible.

With no other requests to go on, the only thing I could think that she wanted was a princess-fairy-angel (said all as one word with no breaths) costume. She has recently started enjoying dressing up and ‘princess-fairy-angel’ is her most frequent request along with ‘pirate’ and wearing her older sister’s clothes and putting on a bossy voice. Turns out there are plenty of pirate clothes she can wear in the dressing up box but nothing of princess-fairy-angel nature that will fit her.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the whole princess thing, mainly because it seems to be so heavily pushed on girls from every angle and isn’t the most inspiring role play choice. I try hard to encourage other interests, but feel that denying it might well backfire. After all it is probably better to indulge that inner princess aged 2 than later in life.

With her original request in mind I knew that wings would have to be a feature of the costume and I had an idea in mind that I wanted to use. A few months ago I stumbled upon a blog where someone had made their daughter a beautiful dress in muted pink with a set of button-on wings which I thought at the time was a great idea. I tried to find the blog again so I could look again and link to it, but I now have no idea where I found it (If you know, please tell me). A quick poll of S’s tastes in the fabric shop soon revealed that muted and tasteful were not key requirements and the shinier and more glittery the better so I made my version somewhat louder with a set of gold foil wings that button on the back of a boxy top.

The top was made with white cotton shirting and features boxy sleeves and a short length to make it fit better with the skirt. The neckline is finished with bias binding and the stars were stencilled on using gold setacolour fabric paint and a stencil made with a star paper punch in a sheet of acetate. Star print top with button on angel/fairy wings

For the wings I drew a template out on newspaper first and cut two double wing shapes from gold foil, one from a heavyweight fusible interfacing and one from a thin polyester wadding to create a quilted effect when the feather shapes were sewn.

Button on angel/fairy wings

Gold star tutu - lettuce hem details

For the tulle tutu style skirt (and I knew this is what she really meant by princess-fairy-angel costume) I used 4 X 2 metre lengths of gold tulle layered alternately with 3 x 2 metre layers of cream tulle. I used the rolled hem feature on my overlocker stretching the tulle as I went to create a lettuce hem. It annoyed me so much that I didn’t have any gold thread for the gold layers that I used fabric paint to colour the hem after sewing. All the layers were then gathered and attached to an elasticated gold ribbon waistband. Just in case I was in danger of making it too tasteful and not sparkly enough I added large gold applique stars to the top layer of the skirt.

Fairy - angel - princess costume

To finish the outfit (and make sure the princess element was covered) I found a glittery gold crown headband in H&M.



20 thoughts on “All I want for Christmas is to be able to fly

  1. Attaching the wings to the top through the buttons is a pretty clever idea. The wings are adorable. Made me chuckle that your daughter wouldn’t wear them at first. I can certainly relate to that.

    I may just have to steal that gold fabric paint stars idea one day. I’m imaging it on dark grey, black or denim. Ooooh!!!! You’ve certainly got me thinking.

    I’m also rather jealous of anyone who has an over locker. Every time I hear someone mention they have one I turn green.

    Great job with the fairyprincessangel outfit.

    1. Steal away – if we didn’t all steal we’d never come up with anything good. There’s an artist ( can’t remember which) who says – if you see it, it’s yours. I preferred the look of the gold stars on that grey terry and was thinking of doing some more (or perhaps some gold lightning bolts). My overlocker was new to me this year and felt like a big indulgence, but I do love it and have to say I have almost zero luck trying to sew knits with my machine so it has really increased my range.

    1. Good to know. My kids seem to enjoy me making things now, but I’m quite sure they’ll grow up wishing I was the kind who sometimes bought things – the grass is always greener and all that!

  2. Brilliant! I think you translated beautifully your daugther’s wish. Totally in love with the shirt, golden stars and the way you attached the wings to the shirt. Brilliant again! Beautiful and classic.

  3. Oh. My. Word. That is the cutest! The wings are so clever, and that skirt is just darling. What a fun way to fulfill your daughter’s Christmas wish.

  4. Oh. My. Word. That is the cutest! The wings are so clever, and that skirt is just darling. What a fun way to fulfill your daughter’s Christmas wish.

  5. I’ve been looking for hints on making gold wings like this expensive, European pair. {} Yours look just perfect. Can I ask what kind of gold foil you used? I haven’t seen anything quite like this for sale.

    Thanks also for admitting that: “Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the whole princess thing, mainly because it seems to be so heavily pushed on girls from every angle and isn’t the most inspiring role play choice.” I feel the same way. It’s the limiting way that grown ups push princess culture through ads and toys and insipid books that bothers me, I think. And that it’s just for girls. Boys like shiny things and fabulousness too!

      1. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what I used. It actually isn’t that stretchy or too hard to get hold of and using interfacing makes it much more stable. I was a bit concerned about fusing the interfacing on in case it melted the foil, but I used a lower temperature on the reverse and it was fine – definitely worth testing though. Love the link thanks, and as to the admission , it is in fact a subject I could rant over for hours but didn’t really feel it was necessary/the right place, but I do feel quite sad about all the limitations we seem to inadvertently project on to children – boys and girls alike.

  6. Pingback: Tinkerbell |
  7. I know this is an older post of yours bit how did you sew the wings? I’ve been scouring the internet for a puffy wing pattern like these but can’t seem to find anything

    1. Hi – yes it is a while ago but I drew a template on paper for the wings then cut out two pieces of the gold lame. On one piece I fused (gently so as not to melt the lame) some quite stiff interfacing so the wings held their shape and then basted on a layer on thin wadding. Then i sewed the lame pieces right sides together leaving a large straight section of one wing open. I then insided it all out (which i still remeber was a bit of a struggle through the middle section (it would be wise not to make it too narrow) and stitched up the gap by hand. hope this helps!

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