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A Little Imagination Goes A Long Way

August 14, 2009

A few sentences just wouldn’t do, would they?! Oh, no! I tried to keep it short, but it has grown and grown and become a full-blown blog!

Once something grabs my attention, it begins to take over until I have to haul out books, magazines, trawl through hundreds of pictures and research every angle…well, almost…!

What am I blathering on about this time? Well, I’ll tell you…and it’s all Eileen’s fault…Faery Fashions…costumes…decorative techniques! In short, my creative juices are flowing!

Right, so you’ve decided you want a fairy costume…but what kind? Fairies All! Where is your inspiration to come from? Lilac Fairy Are you looking at panto fairies and fairy godmothers, Oberon & Titania, Sugar Plum fairies, flower fairies, woodland fairies,File0099 ‘traditional’ fairies…? Do you want to don tutu, flowing gowns of gossamer, or something a little more ‘earthy’? Woodland Fairy

Whatever you want to achieve with your costume, I hope that a few of these ideas may help to point you in the right direction….

The next step is creating the costume.  A simple way is to find a dress, or skirt and top, and add a few embellishments, like net overskirts, beads and brooches, etc.  If you are not afraid of dress-making, then a pattern that supplies the correct shape can be adapted and built upon. 

The picture that Eileen sent me looks like it previously saw service as a wedding dress.  The designer then built up layers of chiffon or tulle over the skirt, followed by appliquéd fabrics and lace over the bodice. the whole is then generously dotted with sequins and beads.

The idea is to experiment with colours and fabrics, and to not hold back…just go for it.  Layer Anything goes…love the colours of those shiny sweet wrappers…?  Yeah, even those! scraps of fabrics, lace, and coloured nets…free-hand embroidery or machine zig-zag stitch. 

An icecream tub is ideal for saving broken jewellery, beads sequins, sweet wrappers, and general shiny things that can be added. 

So…let your imagination run wild…and HAVE FUN!!!

File0101   File0102

Fairies All and Woodland Fairy came from old magazine articles.

File 0099 and Lilac Fairy are from an excellent book called The Costume Maker’s Art (edited by Thom Boswell).

Bottom two pictures came from The Art and Craft of Applique by Juliet Bawden.

68 Comments leave one →
  1. Cornish permalink
    August 14, 2009 10:19 pm

    I lurve the silver one ……………………… hmmmm. Back to the drawing board for me. Only kidding. I think that \’anything goes\’ is a good way to describe fae fashion. What works for one may not for another. Natural is the name of the game ………………………… and sparkles of course. What ever style you go for, I think that it should reflect nature in some way. Whether it is silver from the ground or the bright rainbow of the sky.Saw a pair of frilly knickers the other day and I\’m wondering whether to be daring and go for them too. I\’m having a problem with covering my legs at the moment and can\’t seem to solve that one. Tights or stockings wouldn\’t be any good. Do you have any suggestions fairy fashion guru?

  2. Sandi permalink
    August 14, 2009 10:40 pm


  3. Curiosity permalink
    August 14, 2009 10:59 pm

    All beautiful little skimpy outfits but what to do if an elfish spritely figure is beyond the grasp of mere fairy elephants like me!

  4. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:07 pm

    Um, Sandi…..I really don\’t want a fairy costume and whoever told you I did was LYING!!!! Man, one gleeful, beer fueled romp through the wildflowers at Boy Scout camp when I was 14 and…………I don\’t know about over there but we have these big ol\’ boys who look at a guy a little funny if he\’s wearing skimpy clothing and gossamer wings. On the other hand Simon does look smashing in that black outfit but how did you get him to shave his head?

  5. Sandi permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:15 pm

    Anne, soft and drapey layers like the Lilac Fairy.Chip, I\’m thinking that Simon needs to go on a diet…we had to let out the Little Black Dress somewhat….!! As for shaving his head…he doesn\’t…he lost his wig!! (Poor boy suffers terribly with alopecia and is too embarassed to mention it. So keep it quiet, OK…?) :-O

  6. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:18 pm


  7. Sandi permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:21 pm

    OI!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Big Gob!!!

  8. Sandi permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:22 pm

    Er, Chip…d\’you know why he had a hairy caterpillar on his top lip?!!!

  9. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:23 pm

    I heard it crawled up there and died one night.

  10. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:28 pm

    Anne, I\’ve seen your photos and you are far from being an elephant. The next time I\’m allowed to go to Wal-Mart I\’ll get some pictures of elephants for you. I think if I uses all the filters on one lens I can probably get a few shots off before the memory stick starts to smoulder but they\’ll have to be panoramic shots! Now Simon, in that little black number is looking a little pudgy but he\’s svelte compared to some of the heifers running around loose in these parts!

  11. Curiosity permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:31 pm

    Isn\’t that Danny la Rue on the far left of the panto pic? Now there was a man who could teach a few ladies about glamour and poise. He wore wigs too and done the fairy bit to boot!

  12. Curiosity permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:35 pm

    oh you all sneaked your comments in while I was pondering over mine.Chip, you must have seen the old photos from a few years ago.

  13. simon permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:40 pm

    Now you just KNOW that \’bald lard arse\’ is my mate England International rugby player Woziz name Chiclott. I\’ve told you enough times ! And before you start he didn\’t borrow my cozzie. Meanwhile Imagination is running wild as advised, having fun- over and out

  14. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:45 pm

    Nope, I\’ve seen recent ones. Simon has that new camera with the "special" filter…….oh, wait……that\’s supposecd to be a secr…….NEVER MIND!

  15. ROCKET permalink
    August 14, 2009 11:47 pm

    Simon I didn\’t mean to tell about your special camera and those photos ypu\’ve nbeen selling on your Sky Drive. Does this mean I have to bring the rocket suit back? It\’s a little singed around the afterburners…..curry sausages….

  16. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:13 am

    Dr Evadne Hinge…sorry, no, that was the other geezer…Dame Hilda Bracket! That\’s the guy, Anne!!So you were pretending to be Gareth Chilcott, were you, Simon…?!! Oh, right…now I see the resemblance…you\’ve almost got the look right.Oh, Chip! Not the curry sausages…?!!! They\’re lethal!! It\’s a wonder that the rocket suit is still in one piece…(apart from the….er…bit that you couldn\’t find to sew back on!)

  17. simon permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:17 am

    Let\’s get back to Sandi\’s well compiled and presented Blog…. Ya bunch of Fairys. <now off line to enjoy movie>

  18. ROCKET permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:22 am

    Simon, before you go…..leave the tiara and slippers.

  19. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:58 am

    Well, if Simon is going to watch a movie, I\’m off to bed…don\’t have the volume up too loud, will ya, or I\’ll have to pinch one of Rocket\’s Rockets…!!!

  20. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:58 am

    …Rocket\’s rockets…even…!

  21. ROCKET permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:59 am

    Careful my rockets bruise easily!

  22. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 1:01 am

    Thanks for the tiara and slippers, Simon….though my head is nice and warm, the tiara keeps sipping off my ankles…can\’t figure out why…! My brain has gone to sleep, so I\’m definitely off to bed…TTFN…XXX

  23. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 1:02 am

    Aw…poor things. I promise I\’ll be gentle with them…LOL!

  24. ROCKET permalink
    August 15, 2009 1:04 am

    Silly Sandi! The USB slippers are ment to keep the tiara from slipping off!

  25. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 1:27 am

    Ah…right…got it now! So I can have a nice warm head and wear the tiara on top to look pretty too…!Nighty night peeps…XXX

  26. ROCKET permalink
    August 15, 2009 1:42 am

    As my ever so hip daughter would say, CHUH!

  27. Princess permalink
    August 15, 2009 9:14 am

    Yo Sandi! Good Morning! Aaaaw I missed a truck loada fun in here last night! Love this blog on fairy costumes. I think u should become a dress ups designer( can\’t thinka the right word 4 it!!!) Hope u have a Great Day 2day, I am gonna whip Mike\’s butt on the horses 2day-I\’ve decided! Luv PF XXX

  28. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 10:25 am

    You go for it, PF…the horse whip…yeeeee-ha!!

  29. Natalia permalink
    August 15, 2009 11:03 am

    Morning Sandi, as Froggy says it looks like there was a fancy dress party here last night. This old crone was in bed by 10 so missed it all. I really like the bottom two illustrations there\’s something 1920\’s about them. They also look like the autumn and winter seasons. Not sure if I\’m going to get away to Devon today as I\’m feeling a little off colour. If I go quite for the week you\’ll know why. xx

  30. Natalia permalink
    August 15, 2009 11:03 am

    P.s Fairy Juice isn\’t the cause either! :o)

  31. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 11:41 am

    Fairy juice, Natalia? Um…if orange juice is made from oranges, and tomato juice is made from tomatoes…does that mean that fairy juice is made from…? No…surely not! :-O

  32. Bran permalink
    August 15, 2009 2:51 pm

    All of this because I mentioned the Three Wishes Faery Fest (links and pictures on my site) and now you all want to make faery costumes for next years festival —well I am certainly looking forward to seeing you all there next year (2010)and looking forward to seeing Rachel at the Penzance Faery Ball in October especially as the only bit of her costume she seems to have decided on so far is a pair of frilly knickers!

  33. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 3:28 pm

    LMAO!!! Sounds like a brilliant costume, Rachel!!Correction to a previous comment…it\’s all Bran\’s fault!! Sorry, Eileen…a little bit!

  34. Samuel J permalink
    August 15, 2009 4:28 pm

    Fairy party and I missed it! That\’s okay….I\’ll just have to go see if I can find my own fairy costume……

  35. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 5:58 pm

    Maybe you could start an American version of the Three Wishes Faery Fest, Froggy…check out the photos and links on Bran\’s space…he keeps plugging it…while I keep plugging the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, and their Grand Regency Promenade at ;-D

  36. Sandi permalink
    August 15, 2009 7:55 pm

    It\’s the Saturday evening Troll-fest downstairs again!! The bins will be rattling with lager cans tomorrow!! Oh, for normal bitter drinkers…or even wine-drinkers…!! (Oh, am I discriminating? Sorry…tough titties!!)

  37. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 5:43 pm

    It was bottles…not cans! The, again, wine drinkers would make a racket dumping all their bottles in the bins, wouldn\’t they! Ho hum…! (\’_\’)

  38. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 7:47 pm

    When is someone going to come up with wine in plastic bottles that won\’t make a lot of noise when chucked out the window?

  39. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 7:53 pm

    Thank heaven that the trolls haven\’t quite gone that far yet! Apparently, the dork and his family that live across the way have been in the habit of throwing some of their rubbish out of the windows…much to the annoyance and disgust of the very respectable lady that lives on the ground floor!! Some people want shooting at birth!!!

  40. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 8:01 pm

    Yep, that\’s why "He needed killin\’" is a legal defense in most of the south.

  41. Curiosity permalink
    August 16, 2009 8:13 pm

    Can I use that do you think?! Hubby has this week off work, Sunday night and I have had enough already!!! How am I gonna get through the rest of the week, HELP!!I had saved for a surprise couple of days away but he booked the van in for the cambelt to be done £280, van road tax due£125 and now he has booked a tattoo for thursday £100……..that leaves the savings balance at -£50 and now he wants MORE beer money as if £20 a day aint enough!pay no heed to me ranting on….ignore me.

  42. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 8:38 pm

    Looks like this is a job for The Cleaner and her team…! Rocket…can you do the…you know…! Me an\’ Mermaid will dispose of the…er…you know…and clean up afterwards…that will be just…let me see….hmmm…£280 exactly. Deal?

  43. Curiosity permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:13 pm

    Deal, done and dusted!

  44. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:17 pm

    Locked, cocked and ready to rock!

  45. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:42 pm

    Dusted, polished, mopped…whatever!! The Knockers are ready and waiting for the \’package\’…!

  46. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:45 pm

    OK, dudes…let\’s rock an\’ roll…!!!

  47. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:47 pm

    More beer, huh? This may save me the cost of a bulle…….I mean I hope he likes dark beer. It hides the tell tale fizz as the tablets disolve. Gives a whole new meaning to the term dead drunk.

  48. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:51 pm

    That\’s right your honor; he passed out drunk and hit his head on that brick……and that sutee pan….and that hammer…..4 times…..he was REAL drunk!

  49. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:04 pm

    Who…? Where\’s the evidence…eh…?!!!!

  50. ROCKET permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:10 pm

    While the oven pre-heats…..evidence? What evidence? Sandi, are you feeling alright?

  51. Eileen permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:29 pm

    Evening allThanks Sandi for all the ideas.. loving the bottom silver outfit!Nice to see you\’ve all been having fun :o)He\’s ok Sandi.. I think it was more exhaustion and bounced back to full health after a bit of tlc, and I\’m feeling much better thanks! xxx

  52. Sandi permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:56 pm

    Glad to hear it, Eileen. Yeah, I like the silver one, too, though it\’s actually white with pearly beads and crystals, and a light spray of glitter.I\’m feeling just dandy, thanks…you? Hmmmm…what\’s for supper?

  53. Curiosity permalink
    August 16, 2009 11:08 pm

    Glad you are feeling better Eileen. Chip, he is home now if you\’re ready, mind you he has decided to syphon some diesel into his van so if he lights up a cigarette you may be redundant! I ask ya! 11 pm and he is wobbling about pissed as a newt in the dark doing that, but I do have the keys indoors, just in case the cops wonder what he is up too!

  54. ROCKET permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:57 am

    Great, Eileen is feeling better. Doesn\’t it bite to be under the weather? Summer got here 4 days ago and I\’ve been stuck in the house because I can\’t breathe. If I don\’t get out soon I\’m going to start shooting at the neighbors! Speaking of shooting at people, I have some tracer ammo around here somewhere. Now if I can just find it and get him to stand still for a second it will be fireworks in the car park!Sandi – roast pork loin, green beans almondine, garlic roast potatoes, crescent rolls and apple crisp.

  55. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:09 am

    Drool…sounds deliscious…!Eeek! Four weeks to go until the Jane Austen Festival….I had better knuckle down and get some serious sewing done…or I will be undone!!

  56. Eileen permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:55 am

    Good luck Sandi! I\’m looking forward to seeing you :o)

  57. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 11:30 am

    My AAADD has struck again!! I went to go to the living-room to get stuck-in to some sewing…and got side-tracked by the pile of crap that I\’d left in the hallway for clearing!! I\’m totally bushed!!! Le puff…le pant…!!

  58. Eileen permalink
    August 17, 2009 11:52 am

    Lol.. I\’m bushed too :o( Bloomin neighbours were having a party last night.. I managed to get to sleep at about 3am.. NOT happy!

  59. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:01 pm

    The Grand Regency Promenade kicks off at 11am from the Roman Baths, Bath, on Saturday 19 September…and I\’m really looking forward to being there in costume and meeting those of you who can make it.

  60. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:05 pm

    We have people in the neighbourhood who have noisy all-nighters (not so much this year…for some reason…can\’t think why…!) They have music booming out, fireworks in the early hours, shouting and yelling, and it all echoes around the buildings…all the trees round here don\’t seem to mask their racket much!! Hope you sleep better tonight, Eileen…(*_*)

  61. Eileen permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:42 pm

    Yeah we do here too.. I should be used to it by now, but having spent the weekend at his, coming home was an assault on the senses, and I was planning on going back to work today – not after 3 hours sleep though!

  62. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 1:38 pm

    You don\’t want to rush things, Eileen, or you will be back at the doctors again!Phew! Have cleared the crap in the hall, and swept it…and re-pinned skirt to bodice, and gathered the back…fingers crossed that it hangs correctly this time…!!

  63. Eileen permalink
    August 17, 2009 1:44 pm

    I know, I\’ve decided to potter about the house and do some well needed house work – having been ill for such a long time the dust is rather thick, and although Ben has hoovered it really needs a deep clean! Especially the kitchen and bathroom!

  64. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 2:05 pm

    Oh, oh…a \’deep clean\’ is NOT pottering!!

  65. Eileen permalink
    August 17, 2009 3:24 pm

    Don\’t worry, I\’m not doing a deep clean! I\’m shattered just having cleaned the bathroom, time for a cuppa then I might get the duster out.Hope work isn\’t too bad!xXx

  66. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:58 pm

    Don\’t swear at me!! One of my girls is off for a fortnight, and my boss has sent me a relief to cover her floor. The girl is Polish and hardly speaks any English! Try getting her to understand what she is supposed to be doing…! Pointing and miming is getting tiresome, and so is actually showing her when I should be doing my own work…!!! Am knackered!!!

  67. Sandi permalink
    August 17, 2009 11:00 pm

    Oh, I\’m glad you weren\’t attempting to over-do things…and I hope you enjoyed your cuppa…!

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