The Fairy Dress

Any sewist must have something of a fabric addiction in their make-up…. What else can we sew with! Sometimes you see or design a pattern or outfit and off you go to look for the ideal fabric to make the garments/items from. With me it’s more the other way round. I see a fabric and straight away see a finished dress/shirt/coat or whatever. Or I will maybe see a pattern and think “that’s the perfect match to what I envisaged”

This is a classic case… I’ve had a passion for fairies for many many years. I have a collection of foil pictures hanging on my wall. So when I came across a glorious glittery fairy border fabric by Michael Miller I just HAD to have it!! I wasn’t 100% sure what I would do with it but I knew it would make a magical full skirt of a dress. It was expensive (by my standards at least) so I resisted at first. I saw it again at the Stitch and Knit show at Alexandra Palace and again I resisted. As usual in these cased I got home and spent the rest of the night kicking myself. I gave in and purchased a meter online for more than I would have paid at the show. :/


Now if I had of purchased at the show I would maybe have had second thoughts but bought it anyway! I absolutely adore it BUT it’s a double border so to use it for a skirt I have to cut it straight down the middle which makes for a rather short skirt!

With this in mind my gorgeous material is just going to have to make a child dress, which I suppose It’s far more suited to really anyway.

So my search for a second fabric to match began. There was nothing in the Michael Miller range that I liked or really matched so I went off to look for something plain or maybe with a little sparkle. It took a long time but I finally settled on a plain cotton with a fine, glitter infused net type overlay. A ‘lightbulb’ moment later I figured I could use a strip cut form the centre of the fairy fabric to make a sleeve cuff and maybe a peter pan style collar that would tie the whole thing together. Then I decided to have the sleeves in just the sheer glittery mesh – a bit like fairy wings. 😀 So instead of my fantasy adult dress a pretty girly child’s dress…. And I knew just who to make it for… Faith… the recipient of the Heart Shaped Backpack and daughter of my bestest (male) buddy. 😀

I knew the skirt would be a basic rectangle gathered around the top and fitted to a bodice but what I hadn’t done was drafted a bodice. I have recently been gifted some patterns, which all turned out to be child’s patterns. I did think they would be pretty useless to me as I don’t have young children but they certainly came in handy. I eventually chose a pattern that had a pretty Chinese style bodice with a small mandarin collar and little puff cuffed sleeves… perfect… except it was more an empire line dress. No problem there. All I did was extend the bodice pieces to the length required, (I had previously measured Faith and knew the Nape to Waist measurement) and then attached my length of fairy fabric evenly gathered.


I liked the idea of adding some piping but the cord I had was rather ‘fat’ and I didn’t like the effect. I found some cotton string I use in the kitchen and thought I’d give that a go. It was so thin I actually used my invisible zipper foot to make the piping and to stitch it into place. It worked a treat! It’s the thinnest and possibly the neatest piping have ever done.



I was really rather pleased with the finished bodice and even more pleased with the final dress. Pretty good going for me as I normally only ever see the faults in a finished garment or things that I could have done differently or better. Even so I was still nowhere near as pleased as Faith was!


A week later I got a call from Baz… Faith had worn her dress out to a local carvery… He could have sold the dress 20 times over! He actually complained he couldn’t eat in peace for all the ‘Where did you get that dress?’ enquiries: D YEY!

Happy Sewing x

About acraftteacuppa

Vintage kinda gal loves all things 40s 50s and art deco. Loves all kinds of crafts especially sewing. addicted to fabric, antiques and shoes. Have two sons and two Akitas that I adore. Passionate about our armed forces, WW1 family history. Living on WW2 Rations for Charity for a whole year. Would one day like to have a tea shop/haberdashery/sewing rooms to relax chat and teach/share all sorts of craft skills in <3
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2 Responses to The Fairy Dress

  1. AmyInNH says:

    Outstanding. Yes, you could sell this many times over.
    What else could you do with this fabric? Well, use it for corners on a bed skirt, “Fairy Nighttime Guardians!”, for kids who’re afraid of the dark at bed time.
    Re: piping,
    Kenneth King has excellent advice: don’t sew right up against cording til final stitching into garment, as doing it earlier, to hold the cording in place, makes the stitching visible in the final product. I think he’s a book on embellishment techniques.
    Thanks for posting this dress, it’s spectacular.
    Yes, we do have fabric addiction – I’m stuck, big (too precious?) stash/little faith in my sewing/will not cut til I’m MUCH better at fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I must admit I don’t do a great deal of piping but I generally go back and unpick the stitches if any are showing … I’m a bit picky on things like that. I’m forever reworking bits I’m not happy with even though no one else can see the problem lol


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