Tulle Skirts for Halloween

My girls’ costumes are done, we finished them in time for their school’s fall festival last Friday. This year, after both initially wanting to be cats, they changed their mind… Meg begged to be “a winter fairy queen” and then she talked her younger sister into be a fairy with her, an earth fairy. With less than a week to pull this off, I went simple and economical, which is also probably how it would have turned out if I had more time… simple and economical being the standard by which I organize most things in my life.

The tulle skirts, supplies about $5 each? (on sale & with extra coupon)
Sew a piece of elastic into a circle, then use a loop tie to attach strips of tulle to the elastic. Keep tying on strips till you can’t see the elastic anymore. I used strips of tulle 3 inches wide and 28 inches long. For the second color, tie the strips between the knots of the first color. I used white tulle I had on hand, but I probably used at least a couple yards of white, and a half yard of color.

The crowns, supplies about $2 each? (on sale & with extra coupon)
For the headpieces, I bought strings of beads from Joann’s, left the string they came on intact, wound thin silver beading wire around the last two beads in the string to join them into a circlet, then continued winding the silver wire around to decorate and strengthen the crown, at the front I attached a pendent bead that I bought already wrapped in silver wire, also from Joann’s, then continued the silver wire around to the back. I attached it with bobbypins.

The rest of their ‘consume’ were just leggings, shirts, layering shits, and fairy wings that we already had on hand. They seem a little ordinary/generic to me, but the girls love their costumes, and that’s all that matters!!

Cheap and Cheerful Werewolf!

First of all I am thrilled the doing a guest post for my sister Starr. I think she is amazing and I love love reading her blog!

Here is a little background for costumes this year in our house. My 6 year old son wanted to be Scooby this year for Halloween. Nothing new, he wanted to be that last year. He adores Scooby so I thought this was perfect. However, strangely enough last year a few weeks before Halloween (and before I started his costume thankfully) he switched to wanting to use his costume from the previous year. Who was I to argue! lol SO this year Scooby Doo was on! That is until I overheard him talking to his dad a couple weeks ago about how excited he was to be a werewolf! What? I told him that it might be a good idea to tell the costume maker!

So……we started on the werewolf! We are on a shoestring budget these days and thanks to my upbringing can be very resourceful and crafty. I am not as good at recycling and upcycling as my sister Starr but I do enjoy the bits I do.

So I went to work, of course to get some inspiration I had some ideas but headed to pinterest and youtube to find out if I wanted to do would work. I had the idea to rough up a pair of jeans and to cut up a shirt and then to sew fur behind it so it would look like the fur was coming through as the clothes were being ripped by the werewolf transformation.

So first I checked my fabric stash and my moms fabric stash to see if we had any fur. Unfortunately we didn’t have any that would work so during fall break from school my son and I headed to Joanns. We found the perfect brown long hair fur! And it was only $17/yard…. (gasp) thankfully 1) it was on sale for 40% off and 2) they had a coupon for an additional 15% off in top of sale prices. So I got 1/2 of a yard for about $5.50 and decided whatever we did we would make it work. Next stop was the Dollar Tree, our local dollar store and we were able to find Halloween make up kit with the correct colors for…$1!!! I was going to head to Goodwill on a 50% off day to see if I could find some clothes to cut up. Before I could get there we had some very unexpected medical bills come up and I was looking for even more ways to cut corners. I remembered that I had just gone through my sons clothes to weed out the ones that don’t fit anymore. We headed to the pile to find something that wasn’t to tight. My light bulb idea was to cut the clothes up anyway, so I figured I could cut the waistband and collar on the shirt to make it work. My son was excited to search through the pile! We found my favorite pair of jeans that I was sad he grew out of and then his favorite worn faded camo t-shirt.

So with my total cost at $6.50 I was excited to get started. I started by “aging” the jeans by taking my gingher scissors, opening them up and scraping them. You need to apply a good amount of pressure to this step. As you do this fuzz comes up from the jeans and eventually you will see the threads start to get bare and show through. At this point I would keep rubbing and pulling threads away. I would then also pull the jeans on either side of the whole to rip and tear the jeans. I then cut out pieces of fur to cover the area that I just ripped. I stitched around the rip and then fluffed the fur out into the rip so it looks like fur is coming through. I also trimmed the fur around and close to my stitching to cut down on so much bulk. I just picked a few random places on the jeans to do this. Then since the pants were too tight I cut through the elastic on the inside of the band so that it wasn’t visible on the outside.

For the shirt I cut 3 slits in a diagonal direction across the front and then pulled the t-shirt so that the knit would curl. I cut a piece of fur big enough to cover the whole chest area and sewed it down. Again once I was done I fluffed the fur out and trimmed around my stitching. I also cut one slit on one of the arms. After that I thought I should rough up the hem on the sleeves and the bottom. So I cut slits and pulled it to curl it. And since I was using an old shirt it looked worn and faded which was perfect!

My son is so so excited to be a werewolf. And I loved that this costume was cheap and cheerful!

My Halloween Costume – Part 3 – Fruit Jewelry

I really wanted to try my hand at making the popular ‘real fruit jewelry’, using these Fruit Jewelry Guides: eHow, Garden Guides, Carrot Museum
The basics seem to be to slice fruit really thin, then put it in the dehydrator and spray with sealer every so often. However, all the sealer/shelac that I could find seemed rather toxic, and I don’t want to ruin my expensive dehydrator. Not to mention running the thing for three days, what a waste of electricity!

So instead I decided to crochet some slices of fruit for my costume… I could not find any patterns, so I winged it. I tried to write out my stiches as I went, and I’m not sure how well I did, so if you decide to try the patterns below, perhaps use them as a guide only, trusting your better judgment to make them work :)

Fruit, cream, DMC Floss #739 Ultra Very Light Tan
-ch 6, sc in second sc from hook, and in each sc (5st)
-ch 1, twist slightly and sc along the bottom of the chain (5st)
-ch 1, twist slightly and sc along the top of the sc line (5st)
-ch 1, twist slightly and sc along the bottom of the sc line, and 2 sc, 2 sc in sc, sc in sc, sc in sc
-ch 1, 2 sc in ch, ch 1, *sc in sc, then 2 sc in sc*, repeat from * around
-ch 1, 2 sc in ch, 1 sc in 3, 2 sc in sc
-ch 1, 2 sc in ch, 4 sc, 3 hdc, 4 dc, 2 sc along “top”
-4 dc, 4 hdc, 4 sc, 1 slip st
Peel, red, DMC Floss #814 Dark Garnet
-join red with slip st, start at “bottom” go one row of sc around, tossing in 2 sc in one st every 4 spaces or so
-3 slip st at the top of the apple, instead of sc.
Stem, brown, DMC Floss #632 Ultra Very Dark Desert Sand
-ch 5, sc in second ch from hook, sc in last 3 spaces
Leaf, DMC Floss #699 Christmas Green
-ch 5, sc in second ch from hook, sc in last 3 spaces

Fruit, red, DMC Floss #814 Dark Garnet
-ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
-2 sc in each sc (12st)
-*sc in sc, 2 sc in sc*, repeat from * around
Stem, brown, DMC Floss #632 Ultra Very Dark Desert Sand
Join brown with ch, ch 3, sc in second and third ch from hook
Leaf, DMC Floss #909 Very Dark Emerald Green
Join green with ch, ch 3, sc in second and third ch from hook

Fruit, green, DMC Floss #3346 Hunter Green
-ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
-1 sc in each sc, slip st to join (6st)
-join green with ch 1, 2 sc in each sc, slip st to join (12st)
-ch 1, *2 sc in sc, 1 sc in sc*, repeat from *around, slip st to join
-ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join
-ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join
Peel, brown, DMC Floss #839 Dark Beige Brown
Join brown with slip st, ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join

Fruit, light yellow, DMC Floss #745 Light Pale Yellow
-ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
-1 sc in each sc, slip st to join (6st)
-join green with ch 1, 2 sc in each sc, slip st to join (12st)
-ch 1, *2 sc in sc, 1 sc in sc*, repeat from *around, slip st to join
-ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join
-ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join
Peel, bright yellow, DMC Floss #726 Light Topaz
Join brown with slip st, ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st to join

Peel, brown, DMC Floss #938 Ultra Dark Coffee Brown
-ch 11, sc in second ch from hook, and all chains across (10st)
-ch 1, turn, sc in each sc (10 st)
-ch 1, turn, slip st in each sc (10 st)
Fruit, yellow, DMC Floss #725 Topaz
-Join yellow with a ch 1, sc across
-sc in each row to top, doing 1 sc in the middle of every other row
Note: also sc in ch space to keep edges looking neat

Body, red, DMC Floss #666 Bright Christmas Red
-ch 7, sc in second ch from hook, and in each til end (6st)
-ch2, dc in the very first ch, dc in remaining stiches, (6st)
-At end of row do 5 hdc to form a “bottom”
-6 dc up the side to the “top”
-slip st all the way around
Stem, DMC Floss #699 Christmas Green
-ch 3, sc in second ch from hook, and in next ch (2st)
-ch 3, sc in second ch from hook, and in next ch (2st)
-ch 3, sc in second ch from hook, and in next ch, then slip st in very first ch

Peel, DMC Floss #904 Very Dark Parrot Green
-ch 11, sc in second ch from hook, and all chains across (10st)
-ch 1, turn, sc in each sc (10 st)
Peel, cream, DMC Floss #739 Ultra Very Light Tan
-join white with ch 1, turn, slip st in each sc (10 st)
Fruit, pink, DMC Floss #892 Medium Carnation
-Join pink with a ch 1, sc across
-sc in each row to top, doing 1 sc in the middle of every other row
Note: also sc in ch space to keep edges looking neat

10 Easy Steps to Dip Dye Fabric with Fruit!

 One of my favorite things to look for when clothes shopping are things that are dip dyed, where the color fades from dark to light. I’ve never even considered that I could do it myself, when I accidentally came across a tutorial while searching for something else. I was unbelievably excited!!…until I discovered how chemical, and plastic laden, the process is :( As I researched it more, finding other tips and tutorials, I learned that it uses harsh chemicals, some suggest that you wear a face mask, all suggest that you use heavy rubber gloves, and I’d need to buy a big plastic bucket that could be bleached after, and a plastic drop cloth that I could throw away after, and… I started to lose my excitement. Then, just at the end of my researching, I clicked a link for “natural dyes”, hoping for something that would be less toxic to myself and the environment. I was instantly thrown back into enthusiasm for the project as I watched a YouTube video of a girl dyeing yarn with onion skins: How-To Make Your Own Natural Dye with the EtsyLabs. But could this be done with fabric? Yes! But could it be used as a dip dye! Double yes! I was most influenced by this fabulous tutorial: Brittany Makes – DIY natural dip-dye

Making a Fruity Dip Dyed Skirt!

$2.00 for a 2lb bag of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)
$1 in non-iodized salt
$2 for a white 100% cotton thread
$4 for 2 yards of white 100% cotton muslin (it was on sale)

I sewed the cotton skirt with the cotton thread, using my usual skirt pattern.
(click here to view the Effortlessly Earthy Skirt Pattern)
(Also, I forgot to pre-wash my fabric, I do suggest doing this first)

Based heavily on the above tutorial, this is how I dyed my skirt:
Day One…In the evening…
1. Filled large stockpot over halfway full of water, add one cup of salt, and boil the skirt for one hour.
2. Right before the skirt is done boiling, use a blender or food processer to puree the thawed mixed berries, with a half cup of salt, and roughly two or three cups of water. Then boil the mixture in a saucepan for less than five minutes.
3. Place a tarp down and put two mixing bowls on top of it.
4. Pour the skirt and extra boiling water from the stockpot into one bowl. Leaving the top of the skirt in bowl one, stretch the end of the skirt, into the other bowl. (see photo below)
5. Pour the berry dye into the bowl with the bottom of the skirt, and make sure it is submerged.
Day Two… the next morning, roughly 12 hours later…
6. Briefly boil one cup of salt with four cups of water.
7. Poured the newly hot salted water into the mixing bowl with the fruit dye, and very carefully stir around without splashing.
8. Next drag in another portion of the skirt, make sure it is submerged, and leave it alone again.
Day Three…
9. While soaking in the mixture this whole time, the water and dye have slowly climbed up the skirt. Ever so carefully lift the top half of the skirt out of the bowl that was only salted water, and taking care not to let any of the white part of the skirt drop into the dye, take the whole mess to the bathtub.
10. Shower the skirt off, making sure the top stays at the top and gets no dye on it, while washing and wringing the bottom to get all the fruit and seeds gone. From experience, I discovered this is easier with four hands, so have a friend handy if possible. Let the skirt hang dry, then iron it out.

The fruit dye was a deep red, but as the dye came off, the skirt became purple, and as it dried it faded to a lovely light purple/grey. I love this skirt, and can’t wait to wear it out! I plan to wear it first on Halloween as a part of my costume, it’s just too good to pass up, to be wearing a fruit dyed skirt for a fruit fairy costume!

Another great tutorial can be found here: itty bitty IMPACT or simply google “DIY Natural Fabric Dye” for tons of ideas! I can’t wait to try more experiments in organic fabric dyes!

My Halloween Costume – Part 2 – Peaked Pixie Hat

A day or two after I decided to do hair falls for my Fruit Fairy costume for halloween, I came across this hat pattern, to buy from etsy, and I fell in love!! I really wanted to buy it: Mittenmade Etsy Shop – Hobbit Hat Pattern

But being extra short on expendable income at the moment, I decided to see what I could do with yarn that was on hand, and whatever pattern I could find for free. I found these patterns that could work…

Stich A Yarntastic Life – Hood for tots
Just A Few Nuts – Little Pixie Hat
Ms. Crafty Galore – Pointy Ribbed Pixie Helmet Hat
Etsy Blog – Stella Pixie Hat
Fuzzy Galore – Pixie Ribbed Hat
but none of them were perfect, until I saw this hat! Womanpuli – Woodland Hat, and then realized that even though it was not a pattern, just a hat for sale, that with the beginner knitting that I just learned, I could do something very similar! That hat on the bear is my finished creation, not too shabby for my second knitting project, if I do say so myself!

After reviewing some of the above patterns, this is the pattern I concocted as I blithely stumbled along:
Cast on 90, Knit one row, Pearl one row, repeat for about 20 inches.
About 12 or 15 rows in I threw in a few messy decrease stiches, first time trying them. And then about two inches before the hat was done, I did a few increase stiches. Trying to make sure that it would peak in the back.
(Pic below shows what it will look like at this stage, just a big piece.)
Slip stich up the back on the inside with a crochet hook.
(Note on yarn, I LOVE the aqua yarn my sister sent me, and could not bear to let it all be used on dishcloths. So with the remaining Sugar N’ Cream aqua colored yarn I started the hat, and when I ran out, I switched to some white Sugar N’ Cream yarn that I’ve carried around since my teen years. I love how the soft medium thick yarn turned out with this make shift pattern! ♥ )

For the hanging ties:
Ch 50, tie off. (make 4), knot two chains together for the “ties” that hang down on each side, attach to hat.

for the little crocheted star/flower, I freehanded that, then counted stiches:
leave a long-ish tail, ch 3, join to form loop
*ch 3, slip st in 2nd chain and 3rd chain from loop, slip st in loop*
repeat from * to * 4 times
tie off in front of star, then use the hook to pull the knot through the center, to the back. Use the loose strings to tie to the hat.

Hope that all makes sense!

Just days after finishing the hat, I happened on this pattern, at A Crafter xD blog, that is perfect! I’ll definitely have to try making this hat sometime also!

Halloween Costume – Part 1 – Hair Falls

Every year I’m a different random fairy, why bother creating a costume to be anything else, it’s the only day of the year that I get to wear wings! This year, after a little thought, it came to me! This year I’ll be a Fruit Fairy! :)

I did a google image search for “fruit fairy costume” to get some ideas flowing, and came across something I’ve never seen before, it’s called a hair fall, and I saw it first at this etsy shop: FancyFairieGirl

I LOVE how they the etsy one turned out, and I briefly considered buying them instead of making them, but that isn’t my way, and besides I have tons of yarn. I did a quick “how to hair fall” search, and arrived at the below video.

So this weekend I gathered up some colors and set to work! I added some crochet chains, and braids to mine, and also I used the back of a chair instead of a table, but otherwise did just like the video shows, and they turned out cute!


My hair fall colors, number of strands wrapped around the chair:
30 Pink
10 Orange
5 Red
10 Purple
20 yellow
15 Green
10 White
5 Grey