Craftiness, baking and other lovely things.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The butterfly dress

Little Miss Pink wearing the blue
butterfly dress
Yesterday was a slow work day (I work from home, freelance transcription) so I used the time to make the costume Little Miss Pink needs for her school assembly next week.  

The instructions from the teacher were that the children should dress as animals, although we shouldn't stress too much about making/buying as they would be making masks in class and could just wear leggings and tees in animal-ish colours.

Little Miss Pink insisted that she should be a butterfly and somehow convinced her teacher before suggesting that we sit and look at Pinterest together (she's 5! am I spending too much time drooling and dribbling over the wonder and beauty of the Pin-iverse?).  So we looked and looked some more until finally she announced that she'd like a blue (blue! not pink! at last) butterfly dress with wings "on bracelets".

I can do that, I said.
A painted wing, drying on newspaper,
which was a terrible idea as it stuck to
the back of the fabric...

I made a straightforward dress with a self lined bodice and back zip, then stitched the two (from a distance, with a squint) identical wings parallel to the back seam, about 1" away from it.  The wings attach to each wrist with some thin elastic.

My sewing skills are massively marginally better than my ability with the fabric paint, but when you step back it actually does look like a butterfly, so I'm pretty pleased with it.  Not as pleased as my fluttery little girl, of course.

Not a great photo, but the smile makes
up for it.

Fabric: polycotton
Paint: Dylon fabric paint in white, fuschia and silver (which is glittery and sparkly, perfect)
Headdress: inexpensive fabric and wire flowers, twisted together
Pattern: self drafted from a dress that fits well for the bodice, gathered rectangle skirt and hand drawn wings


  1. Your daughter looks so happy and pretty in her new dress!

  2. I love this idea! I'm getting ready to heave my old Pfaff out of the garage and start sewing again...after a 6 year (pre-childbirth) hiatus. Even then, I was a novice at best. I'm collecting ideas for simple patterns to try, since I'm rusty. This fits the bill. I think this could be an every day dress, not just a costume if the "wings" were made out of a sheer, drapey material, say with a loop at the bottom hem. The wings could hang at the sides until the girl put her wrists through the loops, and voila! Butterfly. We have a seven year old friend's birthday coming up, and she would love one. I might give my own version of this idea a shot! Thank you!

    1. This would be perfect for a party dress, especially in something sheer - maybe even a pretty scarf? I class myself as a competent novice and I use internet tutorials and obsessively collect sewing books to help me figure out how to make some of those lovely PInterest discoveries. The hardest bit for me was the painting. Good luck, let me know how it works out.