For Mathilda’s 7th birthday party this year, we had an Enchanted Garden theme. Naturally, this meant that Mathilda needed to have a special dress for the occasion, and of course, Veronica needed to have one too! And finally, I have managed to get organised enough to post about them!
I made the invitations for the party, I found some great things for really cheap prices at my local $2 shops including the stick-on fabric squares and gold sparkly butterflies that I used for the front of the invitations. I added some lace to finish them. I had a similar style of decoration on the inside too (but I can’t show you that – it has our address and phone number!). They were really simple to make, and I got lots of compliments on them.
I chose to use Simplicity 2872 – Tinkerbell. This is a licensed pattern and includes variations to make a matching dress and wings for Tinkerbell and all her friends from the movies.
I didn’t make true-to-the-movie costumes, instead I used different colours and combinations of the pattern variations to create unique outfits for each of my daughters – not that I’m opposed to a Tinkerbell outfit (they already have a couple anyway), but sometimes its nice for them to have something that doesn’t limit their imaginations and allows them to be anything they want to be!
First, Mathilda’s dress. I made a size 6 and I used the following variations:
- Bodice A
- Skirt C
- Belt B
I used the skirt pattern pieces for view C. This has smaller petals and a layered skirt. I used satin fabric in two different shades of purple that was left over from the Rapunzel dress that I made for her 4th birthday party. I didn’t quite have enough so the reverse side of some of the petals are in random different satins salvaged from a bag of scraps that I’ve been hoarding (one of them is even a bright pink!). I used a lavender shade of purple for the petals and overskirt, and instead of a sheer underskirt as the pattern suggests, I used a darker purple satin.
I used the narrow hemming foot on my sewing machine for the first time ever – and while not perfect all the way around, it was quick, easy and gave such a neat finish that I would not have achieved otherwise, because this is a curved hem:
Something special for the Birthday Girl
I used a pre-made collar to embellish Mathilda’s dress, it is quite heavily beaded with silver and white beads and sequins onto a lightweight mesh fabric. I sewed this on by hand and trimmed off the excess base fabric, it turned out to be the perfect size.
Lining the Bodice
Yes that is a lining that you can see in the picture above, I decided that instead of having a velcro fastening as per the pattern, I would modify it to have an invisible zipper at the back, as well as a fully lined bodice.
For Mathilda’s dress I used pale pink lining fabric, that I also had left over from the Rapunzel dress.
Lining the dress worked really well and turned this from a dress-up only kind of dress into a real party dress!
Since I decided to add the invisible zipper I also decided that I would change the belt – in the pattern it is a separate piece that is laced at the back. I decided to insert it into the back seam. And that is where I had a few problems … because the belt is designed to be laced, it doesn’t actually reach all the way around! I discovered this after I had finished and got both the girls to try on their dresses. To fix this little problem, I gathered up whatever scraps of matching fabric I had left on the floor – I had used just about everything I could trying to squeeze out the petals from the purple satin – and made two small inserts to go either side of the zipper. Essentially these were tubes that I handsewed into a cut I made in the belt, I inserted some elastic to make them fit a bit better.
You can barely notice them in the end, but I made them a bit long, and the belts didn’t quite sit the way that I intended them to. On the day, I resorted to using safety pins to hold them in place!
For Veronica’s dress I used some peach satin and a pink/yellow printed silk – I was aiming to only use fabrics that I already had and I managed to sew both of these dresses without buying any more! The silk is beautiful with muted colours in a large abstract floral design, but it always looks crinkled – no matter how much I steamed it!
I made a size 3 and used the following pattern variations:
- Bodice A
- Skirt A
- Belt B
This skirt has larger petals over a single layer skirt.
I think I just like the pointed belt from view B better than the straight belt, which is why I used for both, just as a I also like the mirror-image bodice, rather than the asymmetrical bodice of view C, D and E.
I used the patterned silk for the petals and main bodice, with the solid peach coloured satin for the underskirt, shoulder yokes, lining and belt. Just like Mathilda’s dress, I added a lining, invisible zipper and attached belt to this dress.
I also used my narrow hemming foot again, with great success.
And I managed almost perfectly matched lines at the back, even with all my modifications (and errors) to this bodice.
One more Mod…
The pattern calls for a tulle petticoat to be worn underneath – this would give the skirt more volume, and could still be done, but both of these dresses were worn without one.
For some stupid reason I forgot to take any decent pictures of the girls in the dresses on the day of the party, so that made a good excuse for them to get all dressed up again. It was a much colder day though, so there are t-shirts underneath for these pictures!
The flower crowns were also from one of the local $2 shops, I had them as part of a treasure hunt for Mathilda and all her friends, it was a great success, they really loved it! The twirling ribbons were also from the treasure hunt, I sourced these from Ali Express – and I was really impressed, they even have little painted bells at the end, so pretty!
I also made the wings from the pattern…come back for the next post about how I made them.
Thanks for reading.