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You can fly! You can fly! You can fly! (Part 2 of 2)

October 13, 2012

In my last post, I made an ice blue pettiskirt to start off my ice fairy costume. Today, I will share with you the extra details that make the project fairy-riffic.

First, let's start with leaves to accessorize your skirt. To make this pattern, I simply folded a standard letter-sized sheet of paper in half lengthwise, and cut out the shape free hand. I know it doesn't exactly look like a leaf now, but later on, we'll add a little tuck to give the leaves shape and dimension.

1-fairy-accessories.jpgI used my pattern to cut out 8 copies in blue stretch charmeuse -- it matches the yoke tier of my pettiskirt. I also cut 8 out of dupioni. The leaves are reversible, so I can always flip them to show the silk side. The dupioni also adds a little body to the leaves. Just charmeuse on its own would be droopy.

2-fairy-accessories.jpgI sew each charmeuse piece to a dupioni piece, leaving a small opening so that I can turn the leaves. I just use a discrete straight stitch on the sewing machine to close the opening, but if you prefer to keep your stitches 100 percent hidden, you can hand stitch the closure.

3-fairy-accessories.jpgOnce each leaf is turned and ironed and stitched closed, I add a buttonhole at the top of each side of the leaf. This doesn't have to be very exacting -- because of the way the leaves are attached to the skirt, a little variance is no problem. My buttonholes are about 5/8 inch, but yours can be smaller if you prefer. They just need to be wide enough to comfortably pass a ribbon through.

4-fairy-accessories.jpgHere is what each leaf looks like with both buttonholes in place:

After the buttonholes, I make a small pleat in each leaf and tack it in place with my sewing machine. I'm using white thread to make things more easily seen here, but this stitch will be mostly covered anyway, so again, no need to be exacting.

6-fairy-accessories.jpgOpen up your buttonholes, and then use the ribbons we attached at the waist in the last post to attach your leaves. I pull both ends of the ribbon through two overlapping leaf edges. Then, separate the ribbons and tie bows using one ribbon from each side of each leaf.  

7-fairy-accessories.jpgOnce all your leaves are in place, you won't be able to stretch the waistband out, so put the skirt on before tying the last couple of leaves in place. And voila! Your skirt now looks like an upside down flower. The color possibilities are super fun to play with here. While this version is more or less monochromatic, you can make green leaves with almost any color skirt, or select a color that will mimic your favorite flower! 

8-fairy-accessories.jpgNow, what's a fairy without wings? These wings are an inexpensive way to custom match your entire outfit.

It all starts with four wire hangers. If you don't have any lurking in your closet, check with your local dry cleaner. Some cleaners will charge you a tiny amount, some will just give them away -- especially if you're a customer!

9-fairy-accessories.jpgMy wings will have four parts. For the top two pieces, I didn't even untwist the hangers. I used them as they were, and reworked the bends so I had the shape I wanted.

10-fairy-accessories.jpgFor the lower two pieces, I first straightened my hangers out, then I shaped them into simple loops. Your wing shapes are only governed by your taste! Make them any shape you desire!

To cover the wings, I used knee-high stockings purchased from the drugstore. All four stockings needed for this project cost me all of $1.00.  You'll be stretching one stocking around each wing section.


12-fairy-accessories.jpgOnce you have your stocking stretched around your wire form, clip off the excess stocking near the base of the wing.

It should look like this after you've cut it:

Next, pull the end of the remaining stocking in two pieces, and tie them into a double knot to secure your stocking.

15-fairy-accessories.jpgOnce you have your wing pieces covered, time to decorate! I used a little Mod Podge around each edge, then  covered my sticky areas with glitter, shaking off excess and working in sections. Remember to use a container or paper plate under your glitter efforts so you can return the leftovers to the jar! Once my edges were done, I painted on a design with Mod Podge and applied glitter the same way, then I added some crystal embellishments with my hot fix applicator. I didn't have any problems using the hot fix rhinestones on my stockings, but it's a good idea to pre-test on one of the pieces you cut off, just to be safe. An unintentionally burnt fairy wing is heartbreaking.

16-fairy-accessories.jpgAfter my embellishments were in place, I joined all the uncovered ends of my wing pieces together and tied them with leftover stocking pieces. Of course, you'll need wire cutters to cut your wire pieces to be more or less even in width, and it's a good idea to use some of your stocking scraps to cover all the wire ends for safety.

17-fairy-accessories.jpgAfter I tied everything together and got all my wire ends smoothed over, I used a scrap of my charmeuse, cut on the bias, to wrap the whole thing. I secured the ends with hot glue. I also used this step to tuck the tie-ends of my stocking pieces in.

18-fairy-accessories.jpgAfter I have the middle section secure and wrapped, I use organza ribbon to make a series of long streamers that will hang down the back, and then I tie pieces long enough to tie around my arms so I can wear the wings.

Time to go flying! I made a couple of loose flowers out of my leftover chiffon knit from the skirt to decorate the center of the back. You can use pre-made silk flowers, appliques, brooches, or anything else your mind dreams up!

20-fairy-accessories.jpgFor those occasions when full-size wings aren't practical, you can always make mini-wings!

I quickly sculpted this pair out of 12-guage wire, and covered it with leftover pieces of stocking from the full-size wings. 

21-fairy-accessories.jpgOnce again, I used Mod Podge, glitter and crystals to decorate the mini wings.

22-fairy-accessories.jpgI cut a single flower from a scrap of organza rosette ribbon to trim the center.

I sewed a quick look out of grosgrain ribbon to match the width of the wings.

24-fairy-accessories.jpgThen I hot glued the ribbon to the back. Now I can use hair clips or safety pins to attach my tiny wings to almost any shirt!


I hope this gives you ideas for how you can create custom fairy finery of your own! Let your creativity fly and have a blast this Halloween! 

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1 Comment

Thanks for this lovely pattern for fairy wings.
The easiest wings to make use old used X-ray film.

First clean the film:
Place the film in a large container, like a plastic bath.
Pour in a little household bleach, and start wiping with cotton or an old rag that can be thrown out afterwards.
The bleach cleans the black off very easily.
Wash the cleaned film in dish detergent, rinse well and leave to dry. It will be a pale blue-green in colour, practically transparent.
Decide on a pattern for the outer shape of the wings - check pictures of butterflies, for example.
Draw a paper pattern for one wing. Remember that holes can be cut into the wing pattern, imitating the dots seen on some butterfly wings.
Turning the piece of film horizontally, find the halfway point, then mark two points on each side, about one inch apart. Draw the two lines down the film, parallel to the short sides.
Place your pattern on the film, with its inner edge touching one of the lines, and trace around with a felt-tip pen.
Reverse the pattern and repeat on the other side; the inner edges of the wing pieces are about an inch apart.
Draw two horizontal lines, about two inches apart, linking the two wings.
You will now have a pair of wings linked by a bar of film - all in one piece, which makes them stronger and more stable.
You can decorate the wings with glitter, sequins, etc.
Perforate the connecting bar with a thick needle so that it can be sewn onto the back of the bodice, or it can even be stapled on.
The film is stiff enough to remain upright, yet flexible, so as the wearer moves, the wings waver, catching the light, and look very effective.
If the wings are very large, make the connecting bar broader, so there is a more stable base to be fastened to the back of the bodice.
I have made wings like this for a school stage production, and was swamped with queries as to what I'd used, because it looked so great.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on October 13, 2012 5:34 PM.

A Fairy's Closet (Part 1 of 2) was the previous entry in this blog.

Playing With Color: A Tale of Two Snow Whites is the next entry in this blog.

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