I did it! I managed to make my 16 year old a Merida from Brave costume before Halloween!
I made this same girl a Merida costume once before, three years ago, but she grew out of it. So it was time for another! Because she has that incredible thick mane of red hair, it really is a natural costume choice for her. Last year, she had shorter hair, so she was Black Widow. Now that it has grown back, in all it’s curly glory, she can be Merida, again.
On to the dress. If you subscribe to my newsletter, or follow me on Facebook, you know the story about the fabric. Getting it was epic, in itself. I ended up with a beautiful heavier dark teal ponte de roma from Cali Fabrics,
I used an old favorite pattern, The Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Koo, like I used here and here. Only for this, I made a few changes. The first is, I made it a-line and all one piece. To do this, I just taped the two pattern pieces together and cut the fabric as one. I raised the neckline a bit, added a facing, and then added the ruffle around the neckline (and cut up the sleeves) with some silk a lovely 94 year old woman gave me.
The Bee looked everywhere on every beach all Summer to find the perfect driftwood stick to become her bow. She peeled off the remains of the bark, and sanded the heck out of it. She then drew the design on, and etched it on with my wood burning tool.
Because we were short on time, and she is emmersed in her Junior year in High school which is fraught with homeowrk and tests, I painted it, glued the leather strap on, and made the medallion out of clay. The bowstring is off her old bow (the one she actually shoots with). She and Merida have a lot in common, you know. Although, I would like to think she wouldn’t get a witch to make a cake to turn me into bear, but… we may never find that out.
The quiver is also her old one. She now shoots an olympic recurve bow and has a better quiver. I am glad we held on to this one, though. It is perfect for this costume! We had the belt, but I painted it because it was red. I made the arrows by cutting dowels in half, wrapping them with embroidery floss, making paper fletching (feathers), painting them, and hot glueing them on.
The details on this costume were the parts that took the most time. The “bones” of the dress were done in a day, but those sleeves….they took me what seems like forever! I wanted this dress to hold up, so I finished all the seams on every component, which ate up the majority.
The minute we went outside (yesterday) to photograph this inbetween activites and making dinner, the sky opened up and poured on us. We waited a half hour, and then went out as soon as it stopped. This truly was a labor of love, all around.
Now she has a costume for when we head to ComicCon in the Spring. It feels good to have this one all ready to wear.