Monday, May 6, 2013

Sewing New Fairy Costumes - Butterfly Fairy & Peacock Fairy

It's springtime and we've been getting tons of requests for butterfly themed birthday party entertainment this month.  I had some monarch butterfly wings which were collecting dust in my office (probably since last Spring) and decided to dust them off and do something with them.  

I found some gorgeous orange and pink monarch-y fabric and sort of went nuts.  The skirt is made out of 12 "wing" sections - each layer is backed with a shimmery black fabric that peeks through the translucent sheer monarch fabric and shaped like a butterfly wing. I layered all the sections in a spiral, so when I twirl around, the skirt flutters out just like butterflies in the breeze. 

The white "dots" are acrylic jewels that catch the light and shimmer so beautifully.  I put the jewels on the top too, as well as embroidering a color-variegated butterfly using my new embroidery machine, which is just so much fun to use. 

I finished it on Friday night and couldn't help but wear it out.. we had tickets to Les 7 Doigts de la Main Circus at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley and I went to the circus as a butterfly.  I mean, if you can't wear your new butterfly skirt to the circus, where CAN you wear it?

My other personal project right now is a peacock fairy dress.  I'm taking my time with this one.. it's getting more and more complicated (in a good way).  When I was in Japan this winter doing fire dancing shows at Huis ten Bosch, we visited a nearby zoo a couple times where they had gorgeous peacocks, and I got to see one fully "display" for the first time ever.  It was astonishing and absolutely riveting, and I think that peacocks may just be my new favorite animal.  

This dress is certainly making me feel like strutting around.. I need to find an occasion for it!  I'm designing it all in separates, so I can be fancier or simpler and use all the costume pieces together or with other costumes.  So far I've made four pieces. 

The bustle is made from a stretchy peacock / animal print with gold highlights, which was the first piece of fabric inspiration I had.  

The tutu is made from lots and lots of layers of blue, purple, and black tulle and is embroidered with peacock feathers.  (I've worn these two pieces before as part of my Woodland Fairy costume).

This weekend I finished the ruffle train and the skirt.  The ruffles will bustle up, or they can be let out to trail along behind like a peacock tail.  The skirt is made from a gorgeous two-toned fabric with a silky shimmer.  It's iridescent, and looks greeny-blue from one direction and blueish-purple from another direction.  I put gathers in the front which really emphasizes the shimmery-ness of the fabric.  I put ruffles along the bottom of the skirt as well.

I'm still working out the details of the top, but there will most likely be feathers!  And I do want this to be a fairy when it's done, which means wings, of course.  I just have some vague notions about the wings so far -- and I have to figure out if Darrell will allow me to store yet another specialized set of wings in our house, or if I'd better just reuse some of the wings I've already got.  

I gotta admit - I sure do love being in the grips of a creative project like this.  :)

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