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Who says fancy dress balls are just for princesses?

September 25, 2011

When I was around 7 years old, my mom made me a really simple witch costume. I loved that thing. I mean LOVED. I wore it three years straight -- even though by the time I was 10, it was woefully short on me and the hat was tight. But I just adored my witchy raiment in a way I could never fully articulate to anyone. I just knew that when it came to Halloween, I wanted to be a witch.

You'd think that urge would pass as the years wore on, but it never did. Now that I'm an adult, I usually end up booked for several costumed events around Halloween, and I still make sure I dress as a witch for at least one of them every year. And every year, there has to be a new witch costume.

I really love princess ball gowns, and have amassed quite a collection of patterns for ballgowns and wedding gowns throughout the years. This year, I really yearned to make a froufy, poufy ballgown style witch to waltz through All Hallows Eve, so I selected a super girlie pattern, and set to work on my ballgown witch. For fabrics, I used a taffeta and overlaid it with an embellished tulle. Those rhinestones -- sigh! I adore them.

Here is the dress once it was assembled, but not embellished:



Now, I will share with you one of my absolute favorite (and easy) ways to make custom trim.

-          First, cut strips on the bias. For this project, I used the same taffeta that I used for the dress, and cut them about 1.5" wide. I didn't worry about carefully marking out cut lines or anything -- I just eyeballed it.

-          Next, use a simple running stitch to make a zig-zag pattern along the strips.


-          Gather the strips along the running stitch, and you have a lovely scallop-edged trim! Didn't I promise you it was easy?


I applied the trim along the waistline, cuffs and skirt of my dress, incorporating beading into my stitching to add a little extra sparkle.




To add another element to my dress, I purchased a garland chain of black, glittery foliage at my local craft store, and clipped the leaves off. I used the same seed beads that I incorporated into my scalloped trim to tack my leaves into place, creating a sweep of trim across the bodice of the gown. I also tacked several leaves to one shoulder of my dress just above the puff sleeve.


I like to always have a little extra surprise here and there on a costume when I can manage it. For this gown, I attached a ruffle of glitter tulle to the lining, so that when I step into vehicles or up stairs, a little extra shimmer will show at my feet.


The finished dress, plus some detail shots of the sweep of black leaves:


If you, like me, still have a 7-year-old in your heart who loves to dress up, don't forget to look outside the costume pattern catalogue. Often, evening wear and bridal patterns can take a simple costume to a level of glamor and style that any witch would be proud of.




Now, I just need to make a matching hat with that divine Hot Patterns Good Witch/Bad Witch pattern from last year ... More sparkles, please!




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1 Comment

I absolutely love this dress! I agree with checking other style patterns and not just costumes. Any design can be transformed to a costume or street wear. It all depends on the fabric and embellishments used. You did a fantastic job!!! :)

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on September 25, 2011 10:11 PM.

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