Got a last-minute costume to sew for World Book Day? Here are May Martin’s list of crafty essentials you’ll need to get creating your own novel hero!
Traditionally used in fitted bodices and hooped skirts, boning is wonderful for shaping and stiffening edges but it is also great for giving structure to a pair of wings for a Tinkerbell outfit or the plumage of a peacock costume! Make it easy and buy the type that has its own casing and sew along both edges of the tape to secure in place.
Interfacing such as Vilene is another product that is good for stiffening and giving structure to large areas. It comes in several different weights and the quickest to use is the iron-on variety. Use heavyweight to give body to a hat for a Peter Pan costume, headdresses, helmets or a belt for a Mad Hatter costume.
Elastic can instantly give shape and flexibility to a flat piece of fabric. To encase the elastic, make either a double hem by turning the edge of the fabric under twice or attach a strip of bias binding. Make an Aladdin genie costume by taking a bright pair of pyjamas and threading narrow elastic through the hems of the sleeves and legs.
4 Make your own iron-on motif
If you have an old T-shirt that you want to jazz up for your child’s costume, this is the most amazing aid for applying appliqué motifs for garment decoration. Cut a square of fusible interfacing such as Bondaweb bigger than the finished shape to be applied. Iron onto the wrong side of a slightly bigger piece of fabric. Draw your shape onto the paper - remember if letters are being drawn these should be drawn back to front. Cut out the shapes. Peel off the paper backing. Position onto the garment glue side down, then stick into position with a steam iron. This is great for a quick Harry Potter or Hermione Granger costume where you can draw out the Gryffindor crest.
5 Add sparkles and beads
There are endless wonderful products that can be stuck onto fabric. They come in numerous shapes from pearls, jewels, hearts, flowers, stars and much more and can make a real difference to the end result. Great for turning an everyday dress into a Cinderella costume!
6 Sew-on sequins
You can purchase these either singly or joined together with a chain stitch. The latter are great where a long continuous line of sparkle is needed, for instance for a fairy costume or some sparkles for a Little Mermaid outfit. Continuous strips can be easier to work with as individual sequins tend to get lost!
This is another great product. There are a range of styles and colours and it’s great for children’s costumes as it doesn’t fray. Felt is perfect for hats and flowers to embellish a Mad Hatter costume.
Ribbons are easy to use and gives long lines of colour. There are currently more than 200,000 to choose from on www.ebay.co.uk and it comes in many widths and can be plain or patterned. This is wonderful for bows for an Alice in Wonderland costume.
Eyelets are easy to insert and come in many colours. A good way to use eyelet fastening is to mimic a long pair of lace up boots by choosing a piece of fabric to blend with a pair of shoes, shape and hem two pieces of fabric to wrap round each leg. Insert eyelets on the long edges in pairs and lace them together to create a boot effect for a Pirate costume. You could also use this method to create paws for a Gruffalo outfit.
10 Paper patterns
There are lots of dressmaking patterns that can be used as a basis for many costumes. Choose from Superman, Tinkerbell, Little Red Riding Hood and much more. A good tip is to make costumes with generous hems so that they can be lengthened and worn again.
May Martin’s crafty tips brought to you by Ebay, visit www.ebay.co.uk/rpp/world-book-day for more details.
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