Monday, 13 December 2010

Simplicity 2872: A Successful Tinkerbell


One of the things I like about Tinkerbell is that she doesn't wear pink - she wears green. Those of you who have / had small daughters will be familiar with the pink obsession...which can get tiring!

Because my daughter really wanted to dress up as Tinkerbell, and because the costumes I've seen in the shops are expensive and look like rubbish, I promised to make her one myself.  Although the perfect pattern (Simplicity 2872: Disney Fairies) and the right fabric (emerald green and light green party satin, and sparkle embellished blue tulle) were easily found and cheap, and although I started on this relatively promptly, this project has proceeded really slowly (read: months!). Basically I had assumed that a pattern for a kid's costume should be simple, and with no previous Simplicity experience assumed the pattern instructions would be short and sweet.

Turns out this Disney Fairies pattern gets mixed reactions at Pattern Review; certainly not entirely glowing recommendations. My own personal gripes with the pattern are that:
  1. there are too many pieces (22 in total, 10 of these for the Tinkerbell outfit - excluding wings);
  2. it's too complicated and time consuming for a kid's dress-up costume; and
  3. lining on kid's clothes should not be made from cheap tulle (it's scratchy) - but would you actually buy the more expensive soft tulle for the lining of a dress-up costume? Even if I would I think I prefer my satin lining.
So, having got that whinge off my chest I can move on to the positives. The instructions are detailed, with lots of illustrations that make everything pretty clear, and it's not a particularly hard pattern. Contrary to some sewers' experience, the sizing (sz 4, for a large 3 y.o.) was good for me.  Plentiful ironing along the way made a big difference to the finish of the dress - I'm happy with it, and so is my daughter. I didn't get it made in time for Halloween, but it was in time for today's childcare Christmas concert and party - hooray!

the dress without a child in it
and the bloomers that you won't see when the dress is worn

For anyone considering making this pattern, here are the modifications I'd suggest:
  • Cut linings from your outer fabric or something else soft, not cheap tulle.
  • Try the tulle skirt on top of the satin skirt instead of under it - much more comfortable. 
  • PRESS everything. Press in / after dress steps 3, 5, 6, 8 , 9, 11 and 12, in belt step 4 and in / after pants steps 1 and 3.
  • Replace the grommets and ribbons on the belt with something easy - I sewed on pieces of ribbon at the back so the belt could be tied in a bow rather than needing to be laced up (!!). And then my daughter said Tinkerbell doesn't have a belt so she won't wear it anyway.

Although I did get to see my daughter's short performance in this costume I didn't then get to stay for the party and meet Santa - I left my daughter with childcare staff to take my son to the only dentist's appointment we could get today after a bloody dental injury on the playground at school at lunchtime. And it was his second - the first dental accident on school grounds was on Friday! By the time I came back from the dentist Santa had been and gone and the party had wound to a close - and Miss Tinkerbell had gained lots of party food smears on her costume.  If anyone can tell me how I should wash the costume I'd be grateful, although I probably won't get to it straight away, because I am also feeling spacey and very sore-headed due to having walked into a tree this morning very hard. I guess it doesn't just happen in slapstick comedies!  Luckily I had already written this post beforehand. An early night now, fingers crossed for no more bumps or accidents tomorrow. 


    1. Star mother award for making such a fabulous costume! I tried a Butterick pattern once for a princess costume and decided that it was too complicated as well. Since then I have made gaudy skirts to go with rtw singlets or lycra/leotard based costumes as they are simpler, more comfortable and easier to construct.

    2. Thanks Katherine - it's grubby already but my daughter is pleased as punch with it, so I guess the effort was worth it. I think I bought a Butterick princess costume pattern at the same time (the one with Snow White's dress?) but it's not going to happen. Yes, good call; next time perhaps some layered tulle and ribbons on a skirt would do the job!

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