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