June 28, 2015

Making of a Fairy Queen (Part II)

When I last posted about the grand fairy queen costume for GCV&M's newest summer camp that I have been steadily working on, it seemed like I had quite a ways to go before it was ready for flight.  (Read: Making of a Fairy Queen - Part I)  Then, ten days later, err three very late work nights, we had a fairy queen costume ready for takeoff!  

Picking up from where we left off last time...

Flower Petal & Leaf Skirt (continued):  With two tiers of petals already pinned, basted and stitched to the skirt base, it was time to add the third and last tier of leaves.  Then, I seamed the open side of the skirt together, and carefully overlapped and secured the extra petals to hide the back seam.  

Next step was to piece together a waistband.  A panel from the skirt fabric scraps was seamed and pressed together to serve as the inside half of the waistband, as well as a panel from left over green cotton (same fabric as binding on stomacher) for the outside.  Two rows of gathering stitches were run across the top of the skirt panels, breaking at each side seam.  

The skirt was then gathered evenly and stitched to the waistband.  To finish off the edge nicely, I ironed under half an inch of the green panel and evenly whip stitched it with a sturdy, white buttonhole twist to cover the zigzagged edges of the top petals.  Lastly, I ran a row of stitches an inch or so below the top edge to form a casing and inserted elastic cut to the proper measurement.  

As for decorations, I decided to go with the "less is more" approach and just added a gem to the end of each petal/leaf for extra sparkle!  And, voila, the completed fairy skirt!

Completed flower petal & leaf skirt, outside.

Completed skirt, inside.

Look, it makes a complete, upside-down flower!
Just proof of 100% twirliness!

Blouse:  I went for the simplified design and ended up loving the result!  I may or may not use this pattern again in the future for some modern "peasant" blouses...

Step one: draft pattern.  As you can see in the picture below, this was a multi-step, trial-and-error based method!  When happy, cut from the fashion fabric, which happened to be a natural colored cotton. 

Step two: narrow hem the sleeves and mark the placement for gathering.  I used twill tape for the elastic arm channels; stitch close to the edges on both sides of the casings.

Step three: insert elastic cut to the correct arm measurements and secure at both ends.  Join sleeves to front and back shirt pieces; seam and zigzag to finish.  Stitch from the edge of sleeve all the way under the arm to the bottom of the shirt on both sides.   

Step four:  Apply half-inch, homemade bias tape at the neckline and carefully top stitch to secure all of the layers.  Insert appropriate amount of elastic into neckline casing.

Step five: hem the bottom of the blouse to finish!

Add the embroidered corset...

Then the stomacher...

Along with the skirt...and you have a finished, grand fairy queen costume!  Whoohoo!  

I was able to schedule a final fitting with Alyssa, the fairy queen, last Thursday and everything fit beautifully!  What a fun project this has been!  News has spread that both fairy camp weeks have completely sold out, and that, if all goes well, there will be more opportunities for our young fairy enthusiasts next year!

 (Is it just me, or does it sort of resemble a cross between a folk costume and a ballet costume?)  Anyways, the costume looks so much better on Alyssa than on any dress form; so, hopefully, later this summer, I will be able to get a couple photos of the fairy queen, herself, in action!  

A very tired me, very late at night, posing with the completed costume: 

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy" 
~ James M. Barrie, Peter Pan

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