Okay, here’s my final post on how I put our Valentines Day costumes together…Because it’s almost Saint Patrick’s Day. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to switch from red to its complimentary color: green! So, what goes into the “anatomy” of a complex, multi-layer princess costume? Here are the elements of Emma’s costume. Note: I am not going to show every under layer, because the kids were wearing lots of clothes to keep them warm in the freezing conditions.
This is what Eliza wore:
So, let’s start with the main garments; the dresses! I found Emma’s dress at Goodwill. Long, formal dresses can be hard to find, so I like to snap them up! Look at that beaded sash! I’m a Summer, so I am drawn to gray and silver. They are my go-to neutrals. These tones also complement Emma’s fair coloring. (Read Color Me Beautiful to discover your “season” and fall in love with the palette of colors that enhance you. Seriously. It’s SO much fun!) *Disclaimer* I am an Amazon Associate. Any purchases made through my affiliate links gives me a small commission. I am careful to only promote products that I personally use and enjoy!
Eliza is pretty much the queen of hearts in our family. Plus, red is her favorite color. So, of course she got the red dress! I love the embroidered, taffeta material! Notice that it’s a size 7 and that Eliza is four years old. It’s really hard to find long dresses, so I routinely buy clothes several sizes up from our girls’ actual sizes.
Annika’s dress was already in her closet. It was a hand-me-down from a family friend. All of our daughters have worn it to church! I love the rich velvet bodice, the dainty, embroidered, tulle skirt, and the sweetheart neckline. This dress ties in with the red of Eliza’s dress and the lighter, tulle skirt on Emma’s.
Of course, it was literally freezing, so I needed to find warm layers for the girls to wear under these dresses, with some pretty ones on top. I didn’t photograph it separately, but Emma wore a dainty, white blouse over her thermal layers. All the girls wore petticoats for warmth and fullness.
While Emma’s silver dress was long, I wanted it to be longer still!
So, I pulled a white, lace-edged petticoat from my collection and had her wear it underneath the silver dress. (I recommend collecting white, cotton skirts to use as petticoats if you routinely like to create historical costumes!)
In addition to thermal layers, Eliza wore an ethereal, lace, bell-sleeved dress under the red one. She also wore a vintage petticoat. (Annika likes to be a part of fittings!) Eliza’s star cape was part of a dress-up set she got from her Nana, for Christmas.
For her warm, top-layer, Annika wore a white, soft, fleecy jacket. I originally made it for Emma’s 2015 Halloween costume. Our family’s themed look was Charlotte’s Web, and Emma was the sheep. I looove recycling the costume pieces I make!
You know what I also love? Historical jewelry! I did a happy dance when I found this Elizabethan-style costume jewelry at the Senior Center Thrift Store! Can’t you just see Queen Elizabeth II wearing this pin or these earrings? As the “Virgin Queen” pearls symbolized her purity. Since Emma is the oldest, I decided she should have the large, heart pin on her dress. Next, I allocated one earring for Eliza’s dress and the other for Annika’s.
I debated whether I should push the earring posts through the dress material and secure them with the earring backs. This seemed likely to punch permanent holes in the material, so I decided to fold the earring posts down with pliers, instead. (Hopefully they will bend back, someday, if I want to convert them back into earrings!) Then, I hand-stitched the earrings to the fronts of the dress bodices in a few, strategic places.
Now, I needed something pretty to keep the girls’ hands warm! Good thing I have a small collection of vintage gloves. (I can’t decide if I should be proud or embarrassed of the endless number of things I “just happen to have” in my collection!) Sometimes, a cost-effective way to find accessories like gloves, is to look for “lots” on eBay. Sellers will sometimes bundle multiple items into one listing, and they are often a better deal than single-item listings.
Now for the tiaras! Emma and Eliza each received one from their Nana, for Christmas. Pretty good timing! I decided to gussy them up with some non-permanent additions. The wedding section of Hobby Lobby provided a few, perfect bits and pieces…And they were on sale! I found a dainty, Gold Vine Garland, and some Red Bling Picks that were only forty-nine cents each!
For Emma’s tiara, I stretched a length of the wired Gold Vine Garland from across the front of the tiara. The tiara already had small loops at each end, which made it really easy to secure each end of the garland by wrapping. The Red Bling Picks were also wired. I untwisted each clump into pieces. Each piece had a stalk of three, red gems on the end. I stuck the long, wired end through the front of the tiara. While making sure the red gems were visible through the front of the tiara, I wrapped the wired stems of the bling picks around and around the Gold Vine Garland and the tiara, to bind them together.
I did a similar procedure with Eliza’s tiara. Hers was smaller and mounted on a comb.
What about a tiara for Annika? Well, she doesn’t like to keep things in her hair. She barely tolerates my styling it in a single, ponytail, foofy-thing on top her head! So, I decided to work with that. I made her a tiny tiara out of gilt ribbon and Red Bling Picks and stitched it to these mini Hair Combs with Teeth that I found at Hobby Lobby. I simply slid it in front of her little ponytail. Of course, I made this at the last minute and didn’t photograph how I did it. Sorry about that!
THEN, Annika’s tiara got lost during the photo shoot! It fell out during one of her face-plants in the snow. Maybe I’ll go back and look for it when the snow melts! It only cost me pennies to make, but I still wish I had it.
Lastly, I knew that a simple hand-prop would go a long way in helping the kids to stay in character, inform their poses, and to keep them entertained. (Annika loves having something to hold in her hands!) So, I was very excited to discover these little, golden wands at Hobby Lobby. They even came in a package of three!
Phew! That’s how I put those elaborate princess outfits together!
To see how I made Emma’s red, velvet cape, please visit: DIY Fairy Princess Cape Made from a Shirt
To see how I embellished the girls’ wings, please visit: DIY Feather Fairy Wings
It’s finally time to leave Valentine’s Day and head to “greener pastures”. Stay tuned as I begin to make the kids some Saint Patrick’s Day-themed costumes. In other upcoming posts, we’ll also go back in time to the 1970s. I can’t wait!