Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Princess and the Pilot-- Girl Inspired Princess Dress Pattern, Self-drafted wings pattern

So we finally had a sunny afternoon to get some good pics of this year's Halloween costumes!

It is probably no surprise that my little princess wanted to be a princess. Actually, she wanted to be a queen... probably inspired by the Olivia book about how everyone wants to be a princess, and Olivia wants to be herself and not like all the rest of the princesses, so in the end she decides she'll just be a queen.

Apparently, queens need to be dressed in pink, glittery gowns that go down to your toes. Those were my instructions. 

I was feeling a bit pressed and wanted a pattern that would just tell me what to do without any fuss. The Big 4 pattern companies are full of princess-y dresses, but my experience with their sizing for children's patterns has been dismal and the thought of toile-ing and altering them made my head hurt. 

I decided to take a risk on an independent designer, and I bought the Girl Inspired Princess Dress pattern. I couldn't find a single review, so I was just praying that the pattern was a good one. The photos were lovely, and the style of the dress is the perfect fairy-tale princess dress with just enough decoration to be sweet and classy.  The lifted overskirt that shows the tulle underneath is just adorable!

I had a moment of panic when I downloaded the pattern and the grading looked a bit-- let's just say-- unconventional. However... when I sewed up the lining in my daughter's size by measurements (8), the fit was perfect. I did change the shape of the bodice so that the waist didn't curve inward... my daughter has a nice little round body that does better with a more barrel shaped bodice. And I did increase the side seam allowances (the pattern has 3/8 inch seam allowances, which seemed skimpy to me). 

The directions were also excellent, and they lead you through the process of making a fully lined dress with all seams enclosed and no hand sewing. Yay! 

For the skirt, the pattern just gives the dimensions of the rectangles, in many cases using the entire width of the fabric and gathering to fit. Unfortunately my ruffle attachment would not work with the tulle! But it turned out to be not so bad just gathering the traditional way with two rows of basting. 

The back is closed with buttons, which is a lovely detail. 

I purchased the crown and the earrings on Amazon. I almost bought another of those plastic birthday crowns, but at the last minute I thought perhaps I would see if I could find something a bit nicer. The crown is actually quite sturdy, it feels like it is made of metal and the fake gems are very glittery. 

The queen was head over heels over the earrings. They are a bit flimsy, and the white rubber pads are always falling out, but with a bit of care they seem to work very well for her, and she is able to wear them for hours without pain (or so she claims). 

The queen declared that she needed special shoes and a wand. The shoes were purchased at Target, and we made the wand together from fabric scraps and ribbon and a piece of a dowel.

Leo is very into planes right now, so I had the idea of making a plane or some wings. Cardboard would of course be classic, but seemed like it would be cumbersome, so I thought that perhaps I'd make some in fabric. 

I put the idea into google and lo and behold, these wings by Hanna Anderson popped up. They were almost exactly what I had in mind, and I almost bought them on the spot, until I took a closer look and realized they were actually sort of plastic-y and not nearly as cool as the idea in my head. For instance, what little wimpy jets those wings have!

So I sat down and came up with my own pattern. I used a super-shiny knit fabric from Joannes, and a bit of stretchy orange knit for detailing and the straps. Inside of the wings I used 1/2 inch foam. The jets are two sizes of seltzer bottles (since we don't drink soda!) stuffed with colored cellophane and held on with stretchy straps.

The wings strap on with backpack style straps with quick release buckles, and there are elastic straps for his hands or wrists to go in. 

It is a great costume for a 3-year old with lots of energy-- he was just flying from house to house when we were trick-or-treating. 

The hat and goggles were from Amazon, cheap but effective.

Another successful Halloween! The kids love their costumes, so I expect they'll be favorites for dress-up for the rest of the year. 

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