We love costumes and pretend play at our house. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that dressing up is part of our everyday life. Our animal costumes from years past, the owls and the doggies, are still frequently used, much to my delight. And this year, I was worried we would struggle with narrowing down the costume options but Bug and Sweet J were way ahead of me.
Currently, Epic, the animated movie, is in heavy rotation here. If you haven’t seen it, Epic is about a fun group of itty bitty people and creatures (and a few large ‘stompers’) who fight to keep the forest safe. There are slugs and snails, flower people, a funny glow worm, a malevolent band of pests, a human-turned-tiny-warrior-ess, courageous, bird-riding leaf men and a beautiful, mother nature figure, Queen Tara. Love Bug was enthralled by Queen Tara from the very beginning. The first time she watched it she asked if I could make her a dress just like the queen. I wanted to bring up my lacking sewing skills but didn’t want to bum her out. After a strategy chat with my mom, I gave it a go. It helped remind me how much I love sewing! See Sweet J’s Leaf Man costume here!
Here’s how we created the costume:
-10 yards of tulle – we wanted something big and fluffy
-length of white fabric
First the tee. I sketched light lines similar to the lines on the bodice of Queen Tara. Then, with a zigzag stitch, I sewed the small pin tucks all the while stretching the fabric as it passed through the machine. The stretch and the zigzag created little ruffles on the lines I drew.
I continued them down the rest of the shirt; it deeply affected the size of the shirt, making a once adult sized shirt much smaller. Once all the ruffles were in place, I sewed a line up the back of the shirt to make it fit Bug even better.
Then I trimmed the edges off to play up the ruffles.
For the skirt, I cut the 10 yards of tulle into long, rounded edge ‘petals’ in various lengths (just fold it up, pin the layers together, cut once and get a whole stack of ’em). On a length of grosgrain wide enough to wrap around Bug’s waist, overlapping just a bit in the back, I laid out the pieces of tulle; the shorter, floor length ones were in the front, the longer ones were placed so they would be at the back when the skirt was tied on. I sewed them in place and because the tulle was still see through, I added a white fabric layer just as wide and long as the tulle.
I truly adore this skirt and really want one for myself. It’s pouffy and fancy and a perfect addition to our dress up clothes collection.
To get this costume to really channel Queen Tara from Epic, I whipped up a felt flower bud, the item the Queen fights to protect in the movie. I don’t have step pictures for this because I put it together way after the sun went down and, more importantly, I didn’t really know if what I was picturing was going to work.
The bud shape was achieved by sewing three petal-shaped pieces of felt together to form the inner, stuffing-filled core. Then I used hot glue to attach petal pieces around the outside, over-lapping them just so. Once they were in place, I hand-sewed the bottom shut and painted the form to look like a rosy bud. To finish it, I glued one piece of green felt, cut to look like leaves, over the bottom.
Love Bug is so excited. She has worn the outfit ever since the last extra thread was trimmed off. There is just something about a little lady in a pouffy dress. It just makes my heart smile. She was a ham to photograph. We went the extra step and did a twisty hairdo just like Queen Tara. So fun!
If you are a novice sewer like me, don’t let tulle freak you out. It’s not so scary. After this project, I am anxious to sew some more!!
Later this week, Sweet J’s Leaf Man costume!
P.S. I know Mondays are usually recipes but with Halloween so close, costumes are essential. :)
P.P.S. And the mystery has finally been solved: I have a sinus infection. Four weeks later, I’m finally on meds and hopefully on the mend!