Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An October Fairy

As we drift into October today, I am reminiscing about my sweet fairy child, Mary Ashley. I made this costume for her when she was a baby. When I tried it on her, she giggled with glee as if she had been waiting patiently up until then for her gown and fairy wings.

I was eager to dress my new daughter for trunk or treat at our church, but I challenged myself to make her costume with materials I had on hand in my craft closet. So with scraps of fabric, tulle, silk flowers, ribbons and a Saturday afternoon to myself, this magical costume emerged.

I decided to make a tutu on a length of ribbon so it could wrap around Mary Ashley's torso for a baby dress but work as a skirt later on. So first I measured Mary Ashley's chest and cut a length of ribbon long enough to wrap around her torso and tie in the back. Then I cut three long strips of tulle and pinned them to the back of the ribbon, gathering along the way. I sewed the tulle to the ribbon and cut a scalloped edge across the bottom.

Whisper-pink fabric leftover from a sewing project was perfect for making petals for the costume. So I drew a large petal on poster board and used it as a pattern to cut petals out of my fabric. I pinned two petals, right sides together, and sewed around the edges. Then I clipped the corners and turned the petal right-side-out. I made several more petals following the same directions.

Then I pinned the petals to the ribbon, working from the center of the ribbon outward. I wanted to be sure that one petal was centered on the front of the dress, and positioned the others so they would overlap slightly. I sewed the petals to the dress.

I then tried the dress on Mary Ashley and marked the spots where I needed to add ribbon ties at the shoulders. I cut four ribbons and hand stitched them into place. I also stitched thin ribbons to the front of the dress.

Silk flowers glued to the front of the dress added flair, and for an ethereal touch I glued silk petals to the top layer of tulle and silk leaves to the bottom layer. I did purchase fairy wings, but made them unique by gluing on silk flowers to match the dress.

Mary Ashley wore this fairy costume for two years, and it hangs in the nursery to this day as a reminder of the fleeting days of her infancy. Now she shuns the idea of wearing a costume Mommy made, favoring Disney princesses and store-bought costumes to anything handmade. But I will hold on to this fairy costume forever, and along with it the magical memories of this sweet fairy child who floated into my life and melted my heart.

Mary Ashley, October 2004


Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Those photos should be on a calendar or greeting card. Just precious!

Becky Welch said...

Beautiful!!! You are so creative!!!

LaurieR said...

It's official! You have more creativity in your pinky finger than I could ever dream of having!
Haley got a really good report from the Dr and has been able to return to work. The Dr also gave them reason to be "cautiously optomistic" If you ask Haley about how things are her standard reply is, "I'm fine just please pray for Baby"
Glad you're back safe! I know everyone missed you while you were gone!

Leigh said...

WOW you are officailly the most amazing wife and mom! I have never met anyone who is so creative and innovative as you!! =)

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

This is the sweetest thing I've ever seen. What a precious costume on an even more precious baby girl! Melissa you are a marvel. Your creativity is a real blessing, and more importantly, you use the gift to bless others.

Thanks for sharing this. It's a very uplifting way to start a day that has begun with men taking down a century's old oak tree and making somewhat of a mess of our yard in the process. As I type, they saw and grind. ;-) But oh, how blessed I am to have them here! Just like I'm blessed to read this sweet story.


Felicia Eis said...

GOSH she is adorable!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am moved to tears remembering the tenderness of days gone by when my babies were so tiny and so precious. Though they are teen and preteen and still precious, it is never the same as the soft, sweetness of a little one. I am blessed so much by your words and so in awe of your talent. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Laura McCann

Live.Love.Eat said...

In awe of your talent is just about right for me too!! And she is angelic!!!!

Katy Lin :) said...

how adorable! :)

i have an award waiting for you! :)

sweeter and the bubbas said...

I remember that costume! Didn't Emma wear it too? You and Lara are two peas in a pod making your kid's Halloween costumes. :-)I'm hoping I can get away with not doing the "disney princess" costume at least one more year with AW. They want to grow up too fast!!

Kris said...

GASP!!! That is the most precious thing! I wasn't going to dress Lauren up at all this year (it gets so cold) but to dig for some tulle and petals!

Marla @ Stolen Bon Bons said...

How beautiful, you did an awesome job.

Dawn said...

Just lovely!

I don't know another way to get in touch with you other than this. Our Ladies' Retreat is Oct. 17-19, but we are already planning next year's retreat. I want to know if you are available for speaking the first weekend in Nov. 2009. You can leave a comment on my blog or send me an email Thanks!

Leah said...

I remember her in this. She was just a doll! Still is! BTW, I meant to tell you, I love your new hairstyle!!

Me said...

my Jenny grew up way too quickly :(

the dress is simply divine, girl!

Suzy said...

Adorable! A true fairy.


Tara said...

What a cute costume! She is a doll and you are so creative!! Thanks for touring Nebraska and my blog yesterday!

Jennifer P. said...

I am so amazed you did that with "leftovers"! It is absolutely precious!

Debbie said...

I cannot belive you made that! It is gorgeous and she looks like an ANGEL!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

If this is not thee cutest baby in costume picture I've ever seen.
Just looking at her... her expression... it's as though she KNOWS she looks beautiful and she's all happy inside. I remember when I was little, I always got my older cousin Pennys' hand me downs. She was a city girl from Minneapolis and always had fabulicious clothes. There was one dress in particular I remember putting on, with WHITE Maryjanes that were superbig but they were so pretty and shiny I wore them anyhow.. and twirled. ;)
That's what I thought when I saw this baby picture.. bet she'll be a twirler. ;)
Thanks for the warm fuzzy.

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