Added Nov 6, 2011
My client Kate saw my other Lucy Pevensie costume on my profile, and contacted me about making her 9 year old daughter Mary Kathryn a Lucy Pevensie costume (from “Narnia: Prince Caspian”) for Halloween! I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to make the costume again: especially because since I made the first one, I have acquired better sewing skills. This was the first fitted garment I ever made for anyone outside of my family, so I was really nervous— but I was also really excited.
I made a muslin of the bodice first, because I knew I would need to get everything perfect before I cut the real fabric.
I used the pattern McCalls 6376, Girls size 8. I did a few slight alterations, but mostly stuck to the pattern. I lengthened the bodice a total of 2 1/2 inches, because the waistline seemed a little high for my design. I rounded the neckline. I also cut more of a “V” shape in the back and added a “modesty panel”, so the lacing would show the panel underneath. I changed the shape of the lower sleeve and drafted my own slight bell-shaped piece. I made a split down the front of the skirt by cutting the front rust piece NOT on the fold and adding 5/8" for a seam allowance. I hemmed the sides of the blue underpanel about 12" and then stitched it to the rust pieces in the seam.
The overskirt fabric was originally cream-colored. It was a cotton which felt and looked exactly like linen, and it was only $1.00 a yard: so I had to get it. I used a bunch of scarlet RIT dye and a little orange dye to turn it the proper color. I wanted it to be a little darker, but… oh well.
The most fun part was when I got to hand-paint the bodice. I was worried that the paint would bleed in the silk, but when I used the “Textile Medium” with the paint, it worked just fine. I sat infront of my computer desk and used an image on the monitor for reference. I spent several hours working on it, but it was worth it. I love the way it turned out.
I made a facing for the “U” in the neckline of the bodice. Then I sewed the gold cording on a blue fabric piece and sewed it behind the facing. I sewed a 1/2" blue “piping” piece around the neckline; then I stitched the bodice lining down on top of the raw edge. When I turned the lining right side out, everything was smooth and finished — no raw edges! I hand-embroidered a blanket stitch with gold embroidery floss around the edge of the silk part of the neck, to make it seem more like there was a silk overdress and then the blue underdress beneath.
I sewed the gold belting down to the waist seam before I lined the bodice, so it would catch in the lining on the back opening. That way, no ugly raw trim edge on the inside!
I used a 2" wide piece of REALLY heavy fusible interfacing on the back opening edges of the lining, so the lacing grommets would have the right reinforcement. It kept the back from tugging in weird ways when the cord was lacing it up.
I set twelve silver grommets in the silver portion of the back, and two red ones in the rust portion, so they would blend in instead of standing out. The modesty panel was just a “V” sort-of shape that I interfaced with medium interfacing, lined with cotton and stitched to the inside back of the dress.
The sleeves were the hardest part, because the velvet was very stretchy. I was lining it with cotton, so the velvet was stretching waaay out of shape. After a while (with the help of about 1,000 pins), I got it to smooth out. I stitched the gold trim on the mid-arm seam before I fully lined the sleeves. After that, I eased the armholes and stitched the sleeves to the dress.
Lastly, I lightly gathered the bell-shaped hem of the skirt and then stitched it up. I made the hem 3" deep, so that when Mary Kathryn got a little taller it could be let out.
I also made my own designer tag for the back with printer fabric. I designed it on my computer, printed it out on the printer fabric, and then hand-stitched it down to the modesty panel in the back.
This was such a fun project, and I love the pictures that Mary Kathryn’s mom sent me. She looks great in it! I think it looks even more like Lucy’s dress from the movie than the one I made for myself.
1/2 yard of silver-green silk, 1 yard pumpkin/rust stretch velvet, 3 yards natural cotton/linen blend, 1/2 yard light blue suiting for underskirt panel, 2 yards light blue cotton for lining, 1/8" heavyweight interfacing.
1 yard of 1" wide gold gimp trim, 1/2 yard of 1/4 wide light gold gimp trim, 2 yards 1/8" tan leather cord, 1/8 yard gold soutache braid.
12 silver grommets, 2 red/rust grommets, 2 packages of scarlet RIT dye, a 1/4 pack of sunshine orange RIT dye, red & gold embroidery floss, grey fabric marker, gold acrylic paint, fabric medium for paint, paintbrush, 1 sheet printer fabric, thread.
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Sewing & Techniques
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