It’s time for the annual costume recap! Every year I spend entirely too much time making costumes for Shadowboy and a friend’s niece, then have professional photos taken. Sometimes I’m lucky and can talk them into matching costumes–like when they were a vampire and a bat–and this year after she decided she wanted to be Cleopatra I was happily able to talk him into being King Tut (showing him this may or may not have had anything to do with it).
I was thrilled because: 1) Yay, no street clothes! and 2) Lots of room for embellishment. Here are the results: Pharaoh 1, Pharaoh 2, Cleopatra, Cleopatra 2, Duo, Duo 2
For years now, one of Butterick’s staple costume patterns was a child’s “Egyptian princess,” and in keeping with my normal luck where the Gods of Crafting are concerned, the year that I finally needed it it was discontinued. Fortunately my habit of buying likely-looking patterns whenever the local fabric stores have 99-cent sales came to my rescue; after digging through my entire stash I found a copy of the pattern which I’d purchased years ago. It’s Butterick 3586, but if you can’t find one from a discontinued-pattern reseller the dress is just a simple sheath and could be adapted from any number of other commercial patterns. The only change I made was to shorten it and make the hem rounded instead of straight.
The decorative collars and the boy’s overskirt are from the same pattern, but they would also be pretty straightforward to make freehand. The gems on the collars are self-adhesive jewels from Oriental Trading. (The adhesive works surprisingly well, so be sure the gems are right where you want them before sticking them down. When I tried to pull a misaligned one back up, it took the gold top layer of the fabric with it.)
The girl’s belt was made freehand from a piece of brocade; it’s fastened with velcro underneath the front flap.
The boy’s tunic was Simplicity 4213, shortened and with a cutout in the front of the skirt. The boy’s headdress is another discontinued pattern, Butterick 4313. I first tried it freehand but couldn’t seem to get the proportions right, so I broke down and bought the pattern from an Etsy seller.
The girl’s headdress is hand-beaded because I am clinically insane. I followed the general guidelines found here, but I don’t have a styrofoam dummy head so I just laid everything out on a flat work surface and tied it that way (I also used monofilament beading thread instead of the waxed thread mentioned in the instructions.)
The girl’s staff is a wooden dowel spray-painted gold, topped with a cobra head finger puppet which was spray-painted and then embellished with beads: The plastic was soft enough to just push a needle through the base and tie off the thread on the inside.
The boy’s crook and flail were made from a wooden cane, cut in half and painted. The flail’s head is a couple of pieces of PVC plumbing pipe stuck together and spray-painted; I strung some beads on monofilament and fastened them inside of the pipe with duct tape.
The boy’s belt and sandals were lucky thrift-store finds, and the girl’s sandals were purchased at a costume shop.
My friend did her niece’s makeup–in her words, “Thank heaven for Pinterest”–and also put a little Egyptian-style eyeliner on Shadowboy. It didn’t all come off with makeup remover, so he looked like Robert Smith for the rest of the afternoon; I considered that sort of a bonus.
Shadowboy’s portrait will be framed appropriately and added to my Big Wall o’ Costumes, and now it’s time to start planning for next year.