Once upon a time you couldn’t keep me away from my sewing machine and my sewing room. I was a regular down at Spotlight and I made time for doing something I loved. More little people have come along and finding that sewing time is hard and it’s been easier to knit on the couch. But a birthday party invite and a costume that didn’t arrive in time meant that I was on pinterest and looking for something that could be made quickly and easily with an under sea theme. I kind of did things in reverse too heading down to the shops to buy supplies and still not quite sure what I was going to make but just hoping for the best. Kind of like a project runway task or something like that.
I said to retro daddy on Friday night, don’t let me fall asleep before I make the costume……….and of course I did. I then woke up Saturday in a panic that I had no costume or skirt. Fed the baby thinking and sipped my coffee all the while thinking about how I could whip something up. Popped baby in his little swing at the door of my sewing room, and with a mixture of ideas and I had something finished. It won’t win any awards and the edges are left raw but I made something.
I will share some detailed instructions but basically I took 12 inch strips of fabric (by the width of the fabric), gathered the tops with a long running stitch, pulled them to make gathers, joined the strips end to end, folded them back on each other by a width bigger than her waist measurement (I basically did about 19 inches), stitched them together at the top with a zig zag stitch. At this point I realised I’m not cut out for costumes and fine materials. Then I drew on my quilting skills and did a bias binding strip to enclose the top of the skirt and all of those stitches, the ends of the binding tie up the skirt in a bow at the back and I stitched on a little ribbon at the front. Phew. I’ll share some pics and steps as my other girls want a skirt each now.
And then I decided since I also had some mermaid fabric to make a little cotton skirt to go underneath because costumes never last long on her so better to have something to wear. Honestly I think this was 15 minutes from start to finish. Super easy to make just take the width of the fabric (112cm for this one), measure a nice skirt you have or on the kneed of your model, add an inch for the hem and an inch or so for waistband, cut your fabric, sew up the sides, hem the bottom, fold over the top a little and press the whole way around.
Fold over the top again over the width of your elastic. Now sew around the top of the skirt where you have the folded down edge to create the waistband opening and leave about 2 inches at the seam for you to thread elastic through. I measured elastic to one of her favourite skirts, pin on one end and safety pin on the other, thread in the elastic, sew the ends together, sew up the waistband where you left space to thread elastic in and you are done. Done.
We had a white ruffle tee in our wardrobe. And picked up a mermaid little costume pack at Spotlight which had a wand, slippers, jewellery, purse and head piece and teamed up a few of the things with a pretty gymboree hair clip that she got for her birthday. And ta da now the outfit had really come together.
So with the outfit sorted we headed to the party. Parties can be hard work work for kids at the best of times and especially my little miss – new surroundings, new faces, lots of noise, not quite sure what the fuss is all about and just a lot of overload. And we were so excited before the party and then we arrive at the house and she doesn’t want to go in and starts walking back to the car. At these times you need to keep your sense of humour and a smile on your face and look like you have your act together (while juggling the baby and nappy bag and any other little ones you have with you). And once she’s settled she has a great time, we didn’t join in any games this time but had found other things to play with, she sat and ate with the other little party guests and waved to me across the room, and after she had been in the face painting queue and had her little hands painted, she pointed to the front door and said go and it was time to leave.
I treasure every invite we get to a party for this little girl. She has a helper with her at preschool just to do things that the other kids do on their own, she doesn’t have a lot of words but I do know that she always has friends to play with who tell their parents how much they love playing with her. And that melts my heart like you wouldn’t believe. So we lasted 2 hours of the 3 hour party and had a great time and it was a fabulous excuse to get back into my sewing
I’ll share a few pictures and step by step instructions of how I made both of the skirts once we’ve had little man’s baptism next weekend……..as I was making it I was thinking I should take some photos but then I wasn’t sure how (or if!) it was going to turn out but I wish I had…………………..this week is all about preparing for the baptism and getting the house presentable. Wish me luck……