Goodnight Sweet Butterfly

My Facebook/Instagram/Twitter has seen an influx of World Book Day 2014 costumes. Well, here is Monkeymoo’s. Originally, she was going to be Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. But a last minute change of heart left me having to come up with a plan for a Butterfly costume. Specifically a pink one. Enter Granny’s bag of shiny pretty offcuts, donated to me a year or two ago. I found a large triangle of heavy pink satin. And it was a Perfect size for Monkeymoo. I’d seen various tutorials, but none of them were quite right. As I sat surrounded by bits of pink, a plan began to form.

I love texture and I love colour in what I make. The design for the butterfly wings had all of that. They feature tulle, ribbon, chiffon, organza, satin, tulle, lace and cotton. I started off striping large stripes of fabric on one half (one wing) of the triangle, pinning as I went, and laying aside an exact match in a pile for the other half. I added trim on top of those.

photo 7-2I set the first groups of fabrics I started laying from the centre point, from about 4inches up, pointing towards the bottom edge of the wings, and laid these up to about 2/3 of the way up the wing. I then added strips along the top edge, down to meet the block below, going from outside to the centre fold.

photo 8-2

It wasnt a tidy process. But it looked something like this. First wing pinned in place, second wing’s identical pieces piled beside it.

Once they were pinned, I began the sewing process. This was not my best technical sewing. This was sewing for convenience. I straight stitched the diagonal and top edges. I then zigzagged the joins of each of the top row of stripes, using a contrast thread to add to the colour and patterning. I trimmed the edges, and repeated the zigzagging on the bottom set. First wing done, I repeated the process on the opposite wing, ensuring that the stripes met up at the centre point. I trimmed all the edges and did a rolled hem right round, using a tight zigzag stitch and the ordinary sewing foot.

For the “body” of the butterfly, I plaited 9 lengths of baby pink tulle, 1.5 times the length of the body.

photo 6-2

Tied to the door for easy plaiting

I left about 3inches at the top to use for antennae and 3-4inches at the bottom I shaped to just be pretty! I then stitched that down the centre of the body, covering the join between the fabric sets nicely as I went!

photo 9-2

I then stitched the wings onto the shoulders of a tshirt, using repeated lines of stitching and a boxstitch for good measure. I didnt want these beauties being pulled off. I then measured Monkeymoo’s arm length and wrists and stitched looped elastic the right distance down the top of the wings. Wings done! …. Or so I thought…. Monkeymoo asks for a shortsleeved tshirt almost everyday. So I used one for the butterfly. Of course, today she decided it needed to be longsleeved.

At 7am this morning, I was attempting to unpick my extremely tough stitching on the shoulders. At 7.05am this morning, I was cutting off the $2 KMart tshirt and thanking God I hadnt used a nice one. I found a long sleeve hot pink tshirt that we had decided Monkeymoo doesnt actually use so was heading for donating. It has now been repurposed!

In my parallel universe, I am a photographer of the tiny humans, which means I have an extensive prop box. Monkeymoo took full advantage today. She ended up adding a tutu from Rocket and Bear, ruffle shorts, and butterfly hairband to the outfit. Finished off with bright pink tights and orange hightops.

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