#Craftyrox, Geeky Crafting, Sewing for Boys, Sewing for Girls

Adventures in the Middle Ages

I’ve been busy with a thousand other things completely unrelated to crafting and sewing (Boo!). About two months ago, I even had to pack up some of my sewing space. That stuff is currently located all over the house and it has gotten to the point where I packed things so long ago, I really have no idea where anything is anymore. Ack!

So when it came to very quickly whipping up two costumes for the kids, you have to imagine me swearing a lot, stealing the kid’s craft scissors, making my own paper tape measure, trying about 5 household objects in place of a seam ripper, about a billion other “avert your eyes” sewing mishaps, and did I mention swearing?

Pen requested for her third birthday to have a princess themed party. Since we were not planning on hosting any large birthday events ourselves this year, taking her to a local medieval fair seemed like a great compromise.

Not surprisingly (she is a three year-old girl after-all) she had no interest in historically based costume and wanted her princess dress to be pink, shiny, and have lots of “fancy twirl”. I drew inspiration from her mischievous personality and decided the dress also needed some fairy-like elements.

For the dress, I used the bodice from Bella Sunshine Design’s “Felicity Dress & Top” and drafted my own pattern piece to create the skirt layers. Depending on the fray-ability of the material, I either left each “petal” raw or I did a raw serged edge. While I’m not an expert on fairy clothing, I can imagine that they are not the type to hem everything. I also cut a second “front” piece of the bodice, with a little extra length added for gathering, out of the tulle used for the top layer of the skirt.

Speaking of the tulle… Since the costumes were very last-minute, I did not have the time to source new materials. Pretty much put both costumes together using my stash, at least the ones I could find, and I had nothing suitable for the top skirt layer on hand. What I did have been cheap WHITE tulle-like curtain sheers hanging some of the windows and a bottle of PINK Rit dye.

The former white curtains turned pink tulle became the outermost layer of the dress. I used a combination of pale pink cotton and a medium pink satin for bottom skirt layers and bodice.

One purchase I did make for the costume was elastic (Did I just loose my 3/4″ elastic or was I out of it? You decide!) and handful of fake flowers at the local big box store to create the “crown”.

This was supposed to be it for the costume making. Before starting the project, I had Seb sold on re-using parts of his Halloween costume, but after seeing his sister’s finished dress, he started insisting I needed to make him a knight costume with a “big red feather”. I told him that I really did not have the time to make a knight costume and he stubbornly insisted that I could make one just as quickly as the dress. His unwavering (stubborn?) belief in me combined with me realizing that I had a couple of yards of a silver coated denim that would be PERFECT, got the project ball rolling.

Believe it or not, I used the FREE Purl Soho “Wool and Cotton Sewn Ear Flap Hat” as the basis for the helmet. I drafted the feather and guard myself to turn the ordinary ear flap hat into something any pretend knight would be proud of. The helmet and guard are both lined with felt to help maintain the shape. I made the guard removable by adding two buttons.

I used a t-shirt as a template to create the tabard out of the same silver coated denim that I used for the helmet. Seb insisted that his coat of arms feature a “kitten dragon” and I interpreted that using two layers of felt. Instead of securing the tabard with a belt of sorts, I sewed partially down the side from the arm scythe leaving the bottom 8″ or so open for ease of movement.  I figured Seb would prefer that over fussing with a belt of sorts. All the edges are trimmed with bias tape.

The day of the festival Seb started off wearing the linen shirt that I made as part of his Halloween costume underneath the tabard and a plain pair of pants. It was oppressively hot that day, so he ended up eventually wearing the tabard with no shirt.

The medieval festival was a great adventure for the kids. Pen lived her dream of being a princess and very surprisingly they also met a dragon that look similar to the one that Seb insisted that needed to be on his coat of arms. The festival was even enjoyed so much be all of us that we are already planning on attending another in July. Maybe I’ll even have a handmade costume for myself next time!

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