Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pink and Sparkly

kate's princess dressYou might remember the pink & brown princess dress that I made for my niece Kate for Halloween two years ago. She wore it for dress up quite a bit, and so it got a good amount of wear for a costume. Good thing, since it literally took hours to make it up! It doesn't fit her anymore, but she wanted to dress up as a princess again for Halloween this year. She found a really beautiful pink and silver princess dress costume with a white and pink fur cape in a kids clothing catalog that her mom got. The kid is clearly well trained, because instead of asking her mom to buy it for her, she asked me to sew her another princess dress just like the one in the catalog. With the white fur cape, please! You know where this is going, right? ;) Good thing Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

Here's a picture of the dress she wanted, from the Chasing Fireflies catalog.

Chasing Fireflies princess dress

First Kate and I went to the fabric store and bought some sparkly pink polyester costume material. I generally refuse to sew with anything poly, but this was only a costume. I have to say, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it could have been although it did fray like crazy. I ended up ironing woven interfacing to all the bodice pieces and underlining the silvery bits in silk organza (I know. Really.) to sort of keep things kind of under control.

This weekend it was construction time! I looked through old BWOFs over breakfast because I remembered one of them had a girl's cape pattern.


Pattern and material all ready to start


Yes, go ahead and laugh at my pattern weights. I knew what pain I was in for, sewing icky costume poly into a complicated dress!


Here is the bodice, which took a LONG time to make. I started the costume at 10 AM, and this photo was taken just before 4 PM. So the glittery trim is from MJ Trim in the city and cost more than the whole rest of the dress put together. However, I only bought a yard of it and it really does help make the whole thing a little fancier.

halloween costume for Kate

I did have a few tea breaks during the construction process.

The skirt went much faster in comparison. I machine basted the organza to silvery stuff and stitched the whole thing together, then gathered and attached to the bodice. The best part? I talked my mom into hemming this behemouth. ;) yay!

halloween costume for Kate

And the cape was even easier - 45 minutes from pulling the pattern sheets out of the magazine to hand sewing the opening at the neck where I flipped the cape right side out after stitching it up. It's BWOF 10-2008-138.

halloween costume for Kate

Kate's mom marked the hem and made a few adjustments. The pattern ended up being REALLY low cut, but she'll have a turtleneck on under it... so it should be OK.

halloween costume try on

And here we are, 8 hours of work later, a 7 year old fairy princess with a serious couture habit who knows how to talk her aunt into making fancy dresses to her exact specifications. ;)

halloween costume try on


Faye Lewis said...

You are such a wonderful Aunt. Not only did you create a beautiful princess dress - you also created a lasting memory. Don't be mad but I did laugh at your pattern weights (lol).

KID, MD said...

It's fabulous!! I know she'll be gorgeous for Halloween, and then wear it until she can't get it anymore for dress-up! But may I just say, what is with the low-cut little girl's costumes??? I made my 2 year old one recently that shows off all the goods. Do pattern companies really think I want my little girl dressed like that??

kbenco said...

It is a wonderful dress, and you know she appreciates your sewing - that couture habit is the result of your excellent training after all!

Gail said...

I cried when I read this post. Silly I know, but it reminded me of making costumes for eldest little princess - now almost 19. If I could have those years back just for a day.

SEWN said...

Wow, that is one lucky niece and it looks like she realizes it. The dress is stunning and definitely fit for a princess. Love it. I'm curious... I have found being a beginner sewist means that I am more selfish about my sewing. And I notice you sew a lot for your nieces. Do you think you're more generous with your sewing time because you've been doing for it for so long and you have lots of your own clothes already?

Sarah C said...

She is adorable! You did a great job on the dress! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

As a grandmother to only 1 granddaughter I'm thrilled to make complicated princess dresses for Halloween. She loves them so that each hour sewing them is well worth the effort. I, too, use polyester fabric so the creations can be washed. You did a lovely job!

Karen in Houston

Rosie said...

Your niece has great taste! She is lucky to have you and great work on the costume.

Patricia said...

You are a good Auntie! The dress turned out really well. It looks lovely. I do not envy you having to sew that silver stuff.