Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teenie the Witch Halloween Costume aka Formal Dress Reconstruction


Teenie saw a witch hat and broom at Target and decided to be a witch.  I refused to buy a $20 costume that looked like I was going to fall apart. Then she fell in love with the little witch cocktail hat, and my hubby, being the sucker he is for his little girl, bought it for her for $14.99.  Then of course she needed a broom, that was another $4.99.  So my new goal was to make a costume for as cheaply as possible.  I started out with this lovely gown that I found at the local thrift store. It was FOUR BUCKS!!! What a deal!
I cut to kidlet size and adjusted it to fit her by sewing elastic into the bottom half, essentially making a skirt, using the existing hem. (He He less work for me to do ;) )  Next I used  the top portion as a bodice, by hemming the bottom, removing the top sash, and adding some grommet tape and laced it up with ribbon to make it look like a corset. The original dress had funky straps so I removed those and replaced them with black ribbon.
This is what I came up with.

The dress still didn't scream witch to me, more like fair maiden so I decided to dye it.  Wow, what a PITA!!! No one bothered to tell me that dye does not work on 100% polyester.  I actually ended up cooking the dress in a dye bath for about 4 hours, then let it set over night.  The next morning I woke up and checked it again. I still was not happy with way the dye was turning out so I cooked it some more. While the vat of polyester fabric was coming to a slow, rolling boil, I decided that she needed a cape.  It gets really cold the area I live in during the last week of October so this was a necessity. I couldn't let my daughter ruin all of my hard work by wearing a hideous turtle neck under her beautiful new dress! Her hat looked a little steampunk so I thought "why not liven up the cape as well?"  So I went on the good ol' trusty interwebs and found a pattern for a caplet.    
I used some black fleece and muslin, to make the caplet and had it tie with a bow instead of trying to figure out how to use the buttonholer on my sewing machine.  We only had a few hours left before we were to go out to a Halloween carnival so I had to improvise.
The dress looked a little flat and boring so I added a hoop skirt, that I found at my favorite thrift store for a buck.


TA-DA!!! All done at the Harvest Festival.  
Unfortunately her dress that I tried really hard to press, got wrinkled all over again after we had to cram her in the car with her hoop skirt.