Monday, May 2, 2011

Dress ups week

Lala partook in Kindy's Easter Holidays programme last week which meant not one, but two dress up costumes.  I naievely thought I wouldn't have to bother with that malarkie until Primary School.  I stand corrected.  I looked at premade costumes - poorly made, ill fitting, yuck fabric and expensive.

The brief was:
Tuesday - dress up as favourite book or T.V. character. Lala wanted to be Dorothy the Dinosaur, but that was quickly vetoed - too hard basket; then
Thursday it was dress up as a princess for the day - phew now that could be interpreted in loads of different ways I just have to pick a country and an era.

With time at a premium I took a shortcut (well, for a patternmaker like me it is).

Enter the Simplicity pattern circa 1982?  My how tastes have changed - but this is just the sort of thing my Mama made me in tartan flannel with white broderie anglaise trim and a denim overdress.  So the one the pattern did:
Minnie Mouse outfit: purchased headband, black felt, steam a seam and all fabrics from stash.  Bloomers and tights handme downs, pattern - opshop.  Total cost $4

I was able to get much of my precious vintage and designer fabrics out of my workroom recently and so thankful I was to have it too.  It got me to thinking, why have I 'sat' on these pieces all these years, telling myself they are too good for this use or that?  The polka dot is 'dotted swiss' - where the polka dots are woven into the fabric and have a fuzzy 'nap' like velvet, its quite rare and I've only every seen modern versions where the dot is the same colour as the background fabric.  It was my Momma's from the 50's - but better its used than sitting in my trunk.
Princess outfit - tiara from our dressups box (purchased at the supermarket I think), nightie - handme down from Mum, ribbons and white/silver damask fabric bought from Stitch but only because I couldn't find any suitable old curtains at the op shop!  Lace - my stash.  Total cost $17

I have resolved to use my stash and be joyful that I actually have a stash to use.  I wrote a post about prosperity way back here and in it I talked about the misguided concept of 'not enough'.  Time for me to walk the talk I think.

I would be interested to know what thrifty costume concepts you have come up with - Kindy seems to love to have these dress up days, and I'm keen to expand Lala's dress ups box.


  1. Oh those are just adorable costumes and I love your philosophy of using your stash rather than sitting on fabrics to wait for the right thing to use them for. I am sure it will give you a lot of pleasure to see the polka dot in use rather than in your trunk. I found 3 metres of green fur fabric for $3 in my op shop and made a dinosaur costume for my oldest girl. I often find old ballet clothes and out of fashion party dresses at the op shop which the kids love to wear as princess out fits. Have fun building up your dress up box!

  2. Well done. Now you need to work on the re-use of the costumes!
    I've made a Pirate costume for my son - again a book character theme. In his case it was the pirate in 'Charlie Cook's Favourite Book' - mossy green coat, white trousers with red stripes etc. The fabric was all from the remanants table, the red stripes were fabric paint, the 'brass' buttons from stash, the buckles on the shoes were thick bronze card attached to school shoes with and invisible bobby pin ;) The hook and tricorn came from the dressup box. Scarf was a scrap of white self dotted knit and he wore a red shirt underneath. Most successful :D

  3. Wow, you're brilliant with last minute costumes! My kids didn't have dress ups till infants/primary and it was witch/wizards (pre Harry Potter!) so black t-shirt and black pants/skirt with a home made gathered cape and pointy hat with stars/moons on it. We also did Tom Sawyer, Robin Hood, Pippy Longstocking and Little Red Riding Hood for bookweeks. Lol, I read my kids a lot of classics and 'converted' many op-shop clothes.

  4. OMG surely she was the best dressed-up child at the holiday programme? Outstanding! Think my fav is the princess outfit :)

  5. Oh Nin - these are lovely! I have made quite a few costumes for school plays from op shop clothes. They have lots of 70's & 80's style evening frocks that no-one else wants and they are really cheap. I then just unpick them or cut them up & reuse the fabric & trims.


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