Sunday, 13 December 2015

My Christmas Robin

L had her first Nativity play at school this year and she was given the part of the Robin. She was actually offered the Rabbit and the Goat first but turned them down. Not happy with the costume apparently! So they made up the Robin just for her as she liked the idea of being a little birdy.

The teachers knew I would be able to come up with a costume so they left it up to me!

I loved the idea of her having wings to flap so went looking for a tutorial I had pinned a while back. It was a simple straightforward design and would be perfect for her.

I had an image in my mind of beautiful lush wool felt feathers and luckily there are a couple of brilliant UK based sites that supply gorgeous quality felt. I went with this one because I could choose the percentage of wool content and balance out my overall cost a bit. I picked up a mixture of 40% wool and 100% wool for the project and made sure I used the good stuff for around her face on the mask so it was nice and soft.

(If you want to jump straight to the step by step bit of the wings, then scroll down. I took a few shots while I was making them.)

Altogether, this project made use of four different patterns!

Wings: (see tutorial link above)
Mask: Willow & Stitch Owl Mask from Etsy
Leotard: Jalie 3349

The leotard sewed up beautifully. I will admit to being a little apprehensive as to whether I could pull off a leotard but I had just sewn up a swimsuit so was feeling brave. As it happens the pattern is very well written and the 4-way stretch fabric I purchased from Ebay was super quality. Nice and thick, yet soft and stretchy. Not see-through either which was a bonus!

The Sunki leggings are so quick to come together, I always enjoy sewing them up. I thought she might slip on stage wearing tights but wanted to cover her legs up and keep her warm. These were perfect!

The wings were a little time consuming but I got everything cut out and stitched together in one day. It was a fun project.

I measured her wingspan (not something I thought I would ever have to do...) and added a couple of inches for the middle spacing at the back of the neck. Then I traced a quarter circle onto a piece of card and made a template. The backing fabric is a black cotton/linen mix, nice and light.

I had sketched and coloured a layout for my red, white and browns so after cutting all my scallops out I put them in order.

And got to work pinning and sewing them down on the backing fabric. I learnt along the way, that I should have made the bottom ones a bit deeper but they still sat nicely and you can't see the backing fabric under all the layers. It would just have helped me arrange them better.

As the width got smaller I found that by pleating between the scallops, they sat nicer and looked more natural.

It was a simple case of working all the layers, then trimming the edges. I fixed wrist and upper arm bracelets made of black elastic to keep them in place and a black ribbon to tie around her neck.

The mask was very quick and simple to put together, I highly recommend the pattern for stocking up your dress-up box. The pattern comes with options to make out of felt or card and my girls have requested more.

I am happy to report that the Nativity play went without a hitch and my little Robin was brilliant! (They did dress her with her leotard on backwards, which I inwardly groaned about, but only I would have noticed.)