In all honesty, dear readers, I must give you a fair warning: it’s very likely this blog will take a turn towards cosplay and creative sewing for the time being, rather than regular garment sewing. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I hope you’ll still come by and visit from time to time!
That being said, let me tell you about the time I really just wanted to dress up as a fairy. There was this folk music festival happening nearby, and I knew from friends who attended in the past that people were dressing up Renaissance Faire style (with loads of gothic and steampunk costumes too). The setting is the grounds and the gardens of a beautiful castle. And I really wanted to go, just to wear a costume! The thing was, I didn’t have an appropriate costume — yet. I have a huge list of future costumes I want to make the coming months, but I’m still gathering the materials.
Cue Simplicity 1550, which I bought on a whim earlier this summer. I had a look at my fabric stash, found some fabric I could use, bought some metal wire at the hardware store for the wings, and I was ready to start! I was going to be a fairy!
I made view A, with the long skirt, but I used the corset of View B, with the front lacing.
I like how quick this pattern was to put together. A weekend of sewing, and that was it. It’s a whimsical fairy design, I like the pointy hem and edges. Using lightweight fabric, you get a nice effect when it’s windy!
I hated my fabric choice, however. I hate sewing chiffon, my serger was throwing a fit at me so I left the edges unhemmed (as recommended by the pattern instructions – either unhemmed, or finished with a serger). I used this chiffon because I ordered it for another project (where it would have been more suitable), but it was just not the color I wanted. I was stuck with this fabric in my stash and figured I might as well use it for something!
My only design change is regarding the wings. The pattern asks you to make 3 pairs of wings, and to mount them on a set of purchased wings. I didn’t want to spend money on a pair of wings in order to add 3 other pairs of wings to it (WHY?), so I constructed a wire frame that would be inserted inside my costume to hold it in place. Basically, the back band of my bra is the device that held it all in place 😉 The wings were very light and they stayed put the whole time, without moving or coming out of my costume. And I thought 2 pairs of wings were enough.
Oh the things you can do with duct tape!
And a tip regarding the wings: before inserting the metal wire to shape the wings, I wrapped the ends with a bit of tape to make it less sharp and less likely to pierce the organza.
For the flower crown, I first made a circle out of metal wire, and I wrapped ivy around it. I glued flowers at random. My wand is a curtain rod (!), I wrapped a ribbon around it, and glued ivy/flowers at the end.
I was definitely standing out of the crowd with my light blue costume, compared to the more humble peasant-like costumes, or the darker gothic or steampunk outfits I saw. I haven’t been cosplaying for a long time, but I can say this costume is my most ‘popular’, with several photo requests from strangers. Always a nice boost for my ego! But what made my day is a little girl looking at me with large eyes and saying “Ohhhhh!! Nice costume!!!”
I’m currently busy with 3 other cosplays, they are advancing quite smoothly. My deadline is in less than 3 weeks now, and I’m confident I’ll finish everything on time! (*knock on wood…*)