A few years ago I got it in my head that I NEEDED to make a fairy costume.
I seriously love making costumes. If I could make them all the time, I totally would!
This is a very loose interpretation of Snazzie Drawers Isla Eve dress which can be found here. I’ve made this dress before following the instructions and it’s absolutely beautiful, which is why I wanted to use it as the base for my fairy costume.
If I were to make this costume again, I would definitely change the bodice.
This dress is heavy!
The straps had a hard time supporting the full weight, so I would consider a sleeveless bodice or maybe just add some stability to the existing bodice. It definitely needed something.
Now, back to the actual dress…
Before actually starting, I really had to think about what materials I wanted to use on this. I ended up going with the colors light blue, light pink and beige/cream. I also wanted to incorporate different textures. I found some light beige lace, light beige tulle, light blue tulle, light pink nylon chiffon, and light blue nylon chiffon. The base of the dress is a light blue satin.
*Since I did make this a few years ago, I don’t have as many photos as I’d like. I’ll try to recreate or explain as best as I can.
I cut the straps out first. I measured 2” by 4 ft. Fold lengthwise and iron.
Unfold and fold the two edges to match in the middle and iron.
Now, refold in half and iron again.
You should have a piece measuring 1/2″ by 4 ft. I unfold the short ends and fold them down 1/4″ and the refold lengthwise so there are no raw edges.
Sew around the entire strap.
Cut in half. Now you have two pieces 1/2″ by 2 ft.
I did use the front bodice pattern from Isla Eve and cut it out of both the satin and the beige lace. I needed two of the blue satin front bodice and one of the lace.
Lay the lace over the top of one bodice piece and baste in place.
Place your straps where you want them and pin.
Sew the two front bodice pieces together only along the top with the straps wedged between.
Clip curves and turn right side out. I cheat a little on my curves by using a pinking blade in my rotary cutter. So much easier!
Lightly iron. I use lower heat and a pressing cloth to make sure I don’t melt the fabric.
The directions call for shirring the back, but I’ve only been able to successfully shirr once, so I find it easier to just make elastic casings.
Cut one back bodice piece on the fold along the top out of the blue satin. Iron flat. Next, I measure down about 1/2″ and draw a line. This will be the casing for 3/8” elastic. Now, draw a line another inch down. This is the spacing between the elastic. Another line 1/2″ and another 1” and so on.
Sew on each of these lines.
I cut my elastic the same width as my daughter’s back. Then, pull each piece through the casings. I like to use a bodkin, but a safety pin works too.
Sew the casings closed on each side to secure the elastic.
This part is a little tricky, but I like fully enclosed side seams.
There’s nothing worse than your child complaining about the sides being itchy the whole evening. Open up the front bodice and lay your back bodice piece across the right side front bodice matching the side seams. Pin in place.
Now, take your front bodice lining piece and flip it over to the front, lining up the side seams and pin in place
It should be sandwiched with the outer front bodice on the bottom, back bodice in the middle, and lining bodice pieces on top.
Sew them together.
Flip the front bodice lining to the back and your side seams should be fully enclosed! Yay!
Now the skirt.
I chose to do a circle skirt because I wanted the fullness this gives without gathering at the waist. I like to calculate these on my own. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really pretty easy.
Start with your circumference, which is the length around the bodice with the elastic stretched. Since I made this a few years ago, I don’t remember the exact measurements I used, but let’s go with 32” around. In order to draw this, we need to figure out the diameter and radius. Take the 32” and divide by π. I just use 3.14. So, 32 divided by 3.14 equals 10.19”. Halve that to get the radius, so just over 5”.
Now to draw it.
Get out your banner paper and mark the center. Now take a ruler and measure out 5” all around that center dot.
Connect your dots to make the waistline.
Now, decide how long you want your skirt to be. I think I did this one 15”. So, place your ruler at your waistline and mark all around it 15” down. Connect those dots and you have your circle skirt!
I hate to admit this, but I’m not very good at drawing! Which means…my circle isn’t perfectly round. To fix this, I fold my paper piece in fourths using my center dot as the middle.
Now, I just trim the curved edge so it’s even.
Cut the waistline out while it’s still folded.
Now you’re ready to cut this out of your fabric!
**I had my sister pre-read this post and she says that I have an “interesting” way of making a circle skirt. Haha! I suppose I do, but this is what works for me. Her preferred method is to tie a string around your pencil and measure out however far you need it and go around in a circle. I’ve tried this and I must wobble my pencil too much, or my string has too much stretch…whatever the reason, my circle skirts never turn out right that way. The point is, find what works for you and go from there.
Since this skirt was going to be hidden, I just did a rolled hem on it.
I used the basic idea from the Isla Eve pattern, but ramped it up to get a really full skirt. In the pattern, you take squares of fabric (lace, tulle, etc), lay it flat and pinch it from the center giving it a handkerchief look as it’s picked up.
The pattern says to lay these pieces along the waistline. I went a little further and did a second row a few inches down the skirt really upping the fullness. I just measured down and drew a line where I wanted this layer to sit.
Start with cutting all the different fabrics, tulle, lace and chiffon into squares. I think mine were 18”. I had them separated into piles and grabbed one at a time from each pile and pinned in place onto the skirt.
Sew in place.
I then repeated this process along the waistline.
Turn the skirt wrong side out and place the bodice inside so the right sides are touching and sew together.
I wanted to add a few embellishments to the front.
I went to Hobby Lobby and found some ribbon and lace with different textures. Then I basically just rolled them up, hot gluing them as I went along. I used little pearl and gemstone beads in the center for some of them.
I glued a few of them to a piece of felt and cut around them so there wasn’t any extra felt showing. Then I just glued a pin to the middle and covered that with another piece of felt.
One more thing to really make the dress POP!
Lights! Yes, I added lights to this awesome fairy dress. I ordered these micro LED lights. I measured the battery back and cut two rectangles of the satin fabric out slightly larger and sewed together around three sides. I turned right side out and ironed flat.
Then, placed it where I wanted it and sewed down one side, across the bottom and up the opposite side. I then sewed a line down the middle to make separate pockets for each of the battery packs. I found the sides of the skirt and sewed these rectangles in leaving one short edge open at the top. Then slid the battery packs into the pockets.
I lifted layers of the skirt pieces and placed the lights how I wanted them and hand sewed the wires into place.