Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fairies and Gnomes

Yes, I know, Halloween was totally 2+ weeks ago, but I still wanted to post the costumes we made this year in case it inspires anyone for next year!  If I wait until next year to get these posted, I'll forget entirely!! 

When I asked the clever girl what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, it took a while to convince her that Elsa (of the Frozen movie, in case you don't have a little girl running around your house) was not the best idea.  Once I explained that practically EVERY little girl was going to be Elsa this year, and wouldn't it be fun to be something DIFFERENT, she agreed and decided upon being a fairy.  I JUMPED on it.  Truly, I had to get her excited about it so she wouldn't be sad about not being Elsa!  And it worked!  She loved her fairy costume.  Once we decided that she would be a fairy, we brainstormed what the clever boy might be, and came up with a Gnome.  Love it! 

For the fairy, I didn't have to do a lot, as the main part of her costume was a dance recital costume from last summer.  I did make her a wand and her fairy wings.  

For the wand, I followed the directions on this youtube video to make a poof out of sparkly tulle and organza.  It is just like making a pompom, just on a much larger scale.  I cut a donut shape out of cardboard and then folded it in half and wrapped the pink and blue tulle/organza (holding both together) around and around the half-donut.  I wrapped a thin wooden dowel with pink ribbon and attached it to the poof with my trusty glue gun.  Then I tied some ribbon around the top under the poof just to make it extra fun.  I was so thrilled to find this tulle and organza that totally matched the dance recital outfit!  I win!  And the clever girl thought this wand was AWESOME.  She went around turning all of us into princes and princesses for days!

For the wings, I followed this instructable video.  HOWEVER, I could only find white tights, no sparkly pink or purple or blue or ANYTHING (ugh) so I used white and then painted them repeatedly with glitter paint.  And I say repeatedly because let me tell you, it was A LOT.  The thing with glitter paint is this:  It tends to be CLEAR paint with some glitter thrown in.  So if you are wanting coverage, it doesn't work so well.  I would do more searching for the right tights next time and avoid painting altogether!  Once it was fully constructed and painted, I glued sequins all over the wings in random patterns.  I thought they would provide some fun sparkle when lights hit!

Oh and that instructable video had a EXCELLENT tip for coverage under a leotard.  It happened to be cool on Halloween night, so the clever girl needed something over her arms, which a dance costume does not provide.  The idea from instructables was BRILLIANT.  Take a pair of nude tights and cut the crotch out - keeping the crotch seam IN but just cut the fabric part out of the middle.  Pull the tights over the HEAD, so the head is now going through what the crotch area used to be.  Put the arms in the tights legs and cut the tights wrist-length to make them long sleeves.  Now you have a thin nude long sleeved shirt that fits under a leotard!  Ta-da!

For the gnome, I figured he basically needed a hat, beard, belt, and blue jacket.  For the hat, I followed this AWESOME tutorial on deliacreates which uses all sorts of geometry and math to get a perfectly fitting felt cone hat.  I love the math part.  Made me think a bit and was lots of fun.  I pinched the hat together a bit on top to make it more gnome-y, and did a few stitches to hold the pinches together.

I made the beard with fur from the craft store cut into a beard-like shape - like a shaggy triangle-ish shape with a slightly rounded top.  I cut a few slits from the rounded top down about an inch, laid a strip of 1/4 inch wide elastic under the slits, then folded and glued the pieces down. Like this:

I intentionally made the beard so that it hung down around his chest area, not up on his face, as I knew there was no way the clever boy would go for that!

For the belt buckle, I cut a piece of yellow craft foam into a rectangle and cut two slits on the sides:

Then I put a piece of black 2-inch elastic up through one side and down through the other so it looked more like a buckle, and sewed the ends together, making it loose enough to go around the clever boy's belly while wearing the jacket.

For the jacket, I made Simplicity 2526, view D, size 2, out of navy fleece.  I made the sleeves 2 3/4 inches longer than the pattern suggested, and used a 1/2 inch hem on the sleeve, instead of the allowed 1 1/4 inch hem.  I think the sleeves on this jacket ran small, so I made them longer plus added more for a cuff.  I trimmed the cuff with yellow gingham so that the part that folded up was gingham.  I also used the gingham under the collar and in the button facing, so that the jacket would not be as thick in those places.  I love how this turned out!  The pattern was easy and sewing with fleece is a breeze!  No need to finish seams!  I had never sewn with fleece before!  If I ever figure out how to use my serger (some day....) this would be even easier, I bet!

Oh, and as a note, the pattern does not suggest fleece for this view of the jacket but does for another view.  I could not figure out why, so I found an email address for Simplicity and sent them a message.  They contacted me back right away!  Impressive!

So, not only did the clever boy get a great gnome costume, he got a jacket he can wear all the time!  (Note that the hood in the above photo is not part of the jacket but on the shirt he has on underneath.)

In all, a successful Halloween.  Both kids had a BLAST and the costumes were a total hit!


  1. Wow! Thanks for more views of the clever Halloween costumes. The clever girl is a very pretty fairy and the gnome is handsome!

  2. Both of them look so cute! I would love that jacket in my size.


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