|Holly Sprite and Mistletoe Fairy|
|Party Costume Page|
|Elegance in Emerald Tafetta|
Perhaps its that I've been dressing these two girls for awhile now, but I knew right away that Ever Elegant Lettie would wear the Holly Sprite, and Polly would look adorable as a Mistletoe Fairy. Its almost like knowing the desires of your own children. And, that they are to me!
Lettie's costume was another "go round" with designing challenges. Those sleeves. I don't even know exactly what to call them, and have only seen them on the likes of Snow White and other characters from lands of long ago story times. I call them open work lantern sleeves for lack of the correct term. Or maybe little nightmares! It was the "idea of the image" I was after, and with no former or formal knowledge of how to make them, I designed them my way. The other challenge, though minor in comparison, was feminizing the boy's costume. Instead of blouson pants, I added a full and shorter skirt to a bodice.
Lettie's Holly Sprite costume is made from emerald silk taffeta, the rustly kind. And, her cummerbund is a fine Chinese silk, delicate and smooth. You may recognize the way I approached the holly leaves. They were hand drawn and snipped out of microsuede with machine stitched veins running down their centers. The berries are tiny pom-poms, each hand sewn to the garment, and crown. I have to laugh at myself because by the time I'd made the perfect sleeve (these took almost two weeks to design), I'd forgotten to include the holly leaves at the wrist. And, so we did them once again.
Her holly branch was made by hand with the microsuede leaves, pom-pom berries, and floral wire and tape. I wasn't really sure if this would come out the way I envisioned it, but it quickly came together the first try. And, why did I not just purchase a branch? Heavens! It would not have matched her costume or followed the illustration.
Her diamond cut-out jester boots were fun to design. I already had a pattern of similar boots from the Grape Harvest Costume, and I simply (or not so simply) redrew the front edge with cut outs. It took a couple of tries to get the correct amount of red stocking to show through, but they came together nicely.
As with all these drawings, trying to figure out what the artist intended to have, say behind the arm, or in the back, is always a consideration. With the Holly Sprite costume, the cummerbund "bow" or tie was the issue. To me it did not look like a standard bow, and since it was on a boy's costume, it would not have been. Still, I liked the look, and went for a ruched cummerbund with draped loops, or bow folded over.
|Tapping into Mistletoe Kisses|
Now we come to sweet little Polly's Mistletoe Fairy costume. At first look, one would want to believe the costume to be that of a Christmas angel. But, on closer inspection, she has snowy white mistletoe edging the neckline and edges of the puffed sleeves, she wears snowy jester boots, and she carries a wand. I was immediately enchanted with this adorable illustration and felt only our little Polly could pull it off. (Lettie would have to be an angel should she ask for wings.)
The first thing I did was make the wings. If the wings could not be made, neither could the costume, for the wings are the focal point. I drew out the shape of one wings, then cut the pattern twice out of buckram. Those wings needed body and shape. Buckram has so very many uses! Let's skip how I made them since this post is already getting windy, but do know that they soft sculpture wings of silk, lightly padded with batting. They hook onto the back of the dress with tiny thread loops on the dress, and equally spaced hooks on the wings.
After making the wings, I tackled the wand. Yes, I could have spray painted a wooden star, but chose, instead, to go the mile and make a gold silk, soft sculpture star. It was a fun little task to turn the star inside out and stuff it with a bit more batting. The wand is gold painted wood.
|Soft Sculpture Wings|
And what of the actual mistletoe? Two types of vintage trim that I purchased in September at Britex in San Francisco. These were redesigned into the mistletoe of the illustration. I love this costume. I love both of them! I can just imagine Polly hopping around a Christmas party tapping children and adults with her wand, and telling them now they must kiss the person next to them. And, Lettie gently rustles through the party charming all the young lads with her beautiful emerald green costume. I did not make a set for myself as these were just too involved, but I very, very much enjoyed making these darling illustrated costumes come to life.
|I can see again!|
|New Work Table|
For the rest of the month and into December, its time to put up the Christmas tree, think about something wintry for Katy Curls, and maybe, just maybe make Christmas dresses for my own girls. The season is upon us! If you feel the tap of a fairy want, kiss the person beside you!
Miss E. Mouse
|Her Own Jester Boots|
|A Holly Branch|
|Diamond Cut-out Jester Boots|