04 Oct

Let the Costume Crafting Begin

Fairy Costume

A fairy has landed in our yard.

Fairy Costume

She’s ethereal and sparkly and so very cute.

Fairy Costume

The design was dictated by Katja and inspired by costumes in the Chasing Fireflies catalog. She drew me a picture as a guide, but I lost it.

The wings are wire from the craft store covered in sparkly green nylon, also from the craft store (meant to make flowers), but a trip to the hosiery department would be just as effective. The wings are sewn to a fabric covered piece of Timtex (heavy duty interfacing) as are two loops of fabric covered elastic shoulder straps.

The bodice is crushed stretch velvet well suited for ice skating costumes. I liked it’s color and shine. I used McCall’s 4246 pattern for the princessy bodice, but altered it with a separating zipper instead of buttons in the back, and iridescent cap sleeves.

The skirt is three layers of light blue tulle, one layer of light green organza, one layer of dark green organza that came with embroidered leaves and a pretty scalloped edge, iridescent “leaves,” and a poof of more light green organza — all sewn into a casing waistband and gathered with elastic.

The gauntlets are of my own design, made with more of the stretch velvet, an elastic cord loop at the fingertips, and elastic sewn into the top seam, to keep them up.

For Trick or Treating and  a Halloween dance, she’ll add brown leggings underneath and brown Mary Janes.

22 Feb

Fairytale Forest

I’ve been working on this piece on and off since I bought the beautiful hand-dyed background fabric from Dijanne Cevaal nearly a year ago. I kept adding more and more embroidery, but when I’d step back it still looked the same. Finally last week, I just decided I was done for now and stretched it on stretcher bars (like an artist’s canvas) to see how it looked. I’m not sure if it’s truly done, so I’ve set it aside for a while. I think it’s actually too big for what it is because it just begs to be looked at up close. I have not finished the back with anything, so I can still add more embroidery if I want, it will just be a bit harder at the edges where the frame is, and it may affect how taught the piece is (I wet it before stapling it to the stretcher bar frame so it would shrink up as it dried). I keep trying to maintain a balance between a richly encrusted surface with textural fabrics, embroidery and beads, and letting Dijanne’s work show through. A few people who saw it in progress suggested I add a fairy or two. I hesitated at first, but it really did want something to lead your eye about. I had fabric with soft green non-cutesy fairies on it so I added three. This is not a deep thinking, push the barriers of art kind of piece, so I think the fairies are perfectly in keeping with the sparkley yarns and magic toadstools.

Fairytale Forest © 2009  Kristin La Flamme
33″ x 33″

11 Dec

How to Make a Snowflake Fairy in 20 Easy Steps

Not being one to say no to my mother, or homemade elk jerky (never had it, but the concept sounds good), I made two more snowflake fairies today, and documented the process so that others can make their own as well.

Mis en Place

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need: a wooden bead for the head (approx 3/4″ in diameter), cloth covered wire for the body and appendages, white felt, optional tulle, seed beads, a silver pipe cleaner for the wings, wool roving for the hair, black, white, red and pink paint for the face, paint brushes, glue, white thread, wire cutters, sharp scissors, and a small needle.

Step 2: Cut two pieces of wire: one 3 1/2″ long, and the other 7″ long.

Step 3: Fold the long piece in half. Using the wire cutters, bend “hands” on each end of the shorter piece. Place it over the folded wire and wrap the folded end all the way around to form the body and neck.

Step 4: Cut two pieces of felt: one 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and the other 1″ square.

Step 5: Wrap the rectangle piece of felt around the arms and, using a ladder stitch, sew closed.

Step 6: Cut two “armhole” notches in the square felt. Wrap it around the body and sew closed. Make a few stitches over the shoulders to keep it from sliding down.

Step 7: Cut out a paper snowflake with a radius of about 2.”

Step 8: Using the paper snowflake as your template, cut a snowflake skirt out of felt. You could also skip steps 7 and 8 and use a starched crochet snowflake instead.

Step 9: Embellish snowflake as desired.

Step 10: Slip the skirt onto the fairy body feet-first…

Step 11: Sew the skirt to the body with a few small stitches.

Step 12: For the optional underskirt, cut tulle 11″ x 2 1/2.”

Step 13: Gather one long end of the tulle and sew it to the body below the snowflake.

Step 14: Slip beads onto the legs and bend “feet” at the ends.

Step 15: Bend the silver pipe cleaner into wings shape.

Step 16: Sew the wings to the back of the body (best done before you add the head, unlike in the picture).

Step 17: Put a dab of glue on the neck and slip on the head.

Step 18: Wrap the roving around your finger and make into a hairdo. You could use a felting needle to form it into shape if you’d like. Attach to head with glue. Add a few beads or other embellishments as desired.

Step 18a: She should look a lot like this now.

Step 19: Prop your fairy up in a spool of thread or a small cup and paint pink cheeks, a dot for a nose, and black eyes.

Step 20: Paint a red mouth and white highlights in the eyes.

Let dry and she’s done!