November 15, 2013

She Was a Unicorn Princess

It started with this Pin from The Beauty Department, months ago.

The unicorn.

Oh my, the unicorn.

I knew I'd make it the second she squealed. I knew she'd make it her own, too.

To make the homemade costume, I began the hunt for thrift prom dresses this spring and found two: one white and one lavender. I needed something relatively child-sized (so I didn't have to deal with too much fabric), minus a train, and with a certain amount of tulle and luxurious sheen. Neither cost me more than $10.

I turned them inside out and pinned the layers (crenoline and satin) together so that they wouldn't come apart when I cut them. I pinned *just* above where the crenoline slip began on each dress. Mabel is pretty short, so there was no need to make the skirts long.

Then, I cut the tops off of the dresses with pinking shears.

First, I machine basted all the way around the skirt to hold the layers in place. Then I rolled the edge into a pocket the same size as my elastic. Then I sewed the pocket, leaving an opening to slip the elastic through.

I eyeballed the elastic to Mabel's waist size, trimmed it, and fed it through the envelope. [If I'd had narrower elastic I would have used it; she's pretty tiny. However, this is what I had on hand.] Feeding the elastic through was the most time-consuming and frustrating step. In the end, I attached a safety pin to both ends of the elastic and used an unfolded metal hanger to hook onto the safety pin and fish it through the tiny pocket. I only said naughty words eleven times.

Once the elastic was inside the pocket and flat, I pinned it in place and sewed the pocket shut. I also sewed little seams through each side to keep the elastic from flipping in the future.

She loved the lavender skirt. Perfect for twirling with your eyes wide open.

I followed the same steps with the white dress.

Then I used some of the scrap, white fabric to cover the homemade unicorn horn. The horn was a heavy duty towel holder - made of very thick cardboard. I cut a triangle-shaped segment out of the horn and then duct taped it together into the shape I wanted. I used tacky fabric glue to attach the white fabric to the horn, folding the seam over with more glue to prevent fraying. I also tucked the leftover fabric up into the horn (forehead side) and secured it all with pins until it dried.

On Halloween, I got her ready. Pink hair and glitter face - she had decided on 'unicorn princess' and wanted me to punk her out. Well, okay then.

She wore a storebought purple tutu (found for only $5), the white skirt made by mommy that came to her ankles, and the lavender skirt on top. With all 3 layers she was very poufy (and warm) and she loooooved it.

Daddy poked a small hole on each side of the bottom of the horn and I fed an old elastic headband through the holes. Then I tied it at the back of her head. The pink hairspray turned the headband pink immediately - perfect.

Lots of bundling up because it was 45 degrees!

Here she is - our unicorn princess!

She was very proud. In retrospect, I wish I'd gotten a skein of hot pink yarn and braided up a horse tail to hang behind her, but she was darling nonetheless. All the grannies on the street loved her.

She also matched her sister.


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