Friday, January 4, 2008

butterfly wings

butterflies in flight, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

i've been making tons of things since i last posted in -- what, april? -- but we've been traveling nonstop, so the photos never seem to find their way here. i'm about to start catching up on that...

over the holidays, i made these butterfly wings for eva and sarah. they were more proof-of-concept than any great masterpiece, but the girls were quite happy with them.

i hemmed a square of cheapo satin fabric (sized to roughly their armspan), and ran a gathering stitch down the center by hand. rather than gathering it evenly, i put the bulk of the fabric toward the top to balance the fact that the fabric would all be hanging down (well, that was my plan, but i got distracted and eva's ended up upside-down, oops). to secure the gathered fabric, I placed a strip of polka-dot ribbon over the gathering stitch and stitched it in place down the center.

i then used the same ribbon at the top, leaving a length near the center (roughly at the shoulder, to use as a tie at the neck), folded it over the hemmed fabric and stitched out toward the corner (like a binding). near the corner, i secured a loop of ribbon so the kids could put their hands in and out without adult assistance to tie it. repeat on the other side, and viola. simple but effective (and cheap!) butterfly wings.

as an interesting tangent from this project, i started and ended on different machines. to start, i was using my mother-in-law's early 1980's (83?) singer, one of the first computerized ones. sadly, it reached the end of it's unexpectedly long life when i was halfway through the second pair of wings. the next week, she bought a schmancy new brother nx-450q. damn, that's a nice machine. beyond sewing well, it does fancy tricks like threading the needle for you, cutting the thread for you, etc. hmm, my beloved manual bernina is seeming a bit lacking in bells and whistles all of the sudden. in fact, she kindly let me borrow it for now, so expect a rush of fun projects soon. i'm excited to try some quiting, and it even does machine smocking, faggoting, etc. hmm, eva needs a cute old-fashioned dress, i think. :)

running in butterfly wings
"we two cousins are being butterflies!" they ran and ran and flapped until they could flap no more.

i should note that this project is "inspired by" (read: a blatant rip-off of) the silk wings sold by magic cabin, and i'm sure, other places. i'm sure the waldorf crowd would be aghast that i used polyester satin (!) rather than silk, but the whole point of this version was to find out if she would play with butterfly wings without spending very much. if they prove popular, i'll make her a better pair from silk (which still won't cost $30).

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