children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

literature character dress up day

I’ve been back from Sewjourn for a week, and am only just getting back to the computer – in a blogging capacity, that is.  As always, the weekend away was wonderful and restorative.  My sewing tally – two jackets, two dresses, two tops, three pairs of pants, two dresses for Stella, a dress for Clare, and much of the work needed on Clare’s dress for the school literature character dress up day that was held last Thursday.

Anne of Green Gables and Silky of the Magic Faraway Tree

Stella’s Silky costume (from the Enid Blyton books The Enchanted Wood and The Magic Faraway Tree) was actually made for Clare back in 2010. I fixed up some of the shoddy construction after it had been worn the first time, and Stella looked delightful in it. The prep parents had put in a great deal of effort – almost every prep child was dressed up. There was a plethora of fairies, mermaids, Harry Potters, the Saucepan Man, Darth Vader, Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, and pretty much every other character that you can think of.

Silky of the Magic Faraway Tree

But this year, all the work for me was in Clare’s dress. The pattern is Simplicity 2843, and now that I have googled it a little bit I have discovered that I am not the only Melbournian to have thought of using it for an Anne of Green Gables costume. So it appears that I’m not very original! But anyway, it was a huge success on the day.

Anne of Green Gables

Now I do have to say that there was a LOT of work in that dress. In terms of sewing techniques, I was never quite sure if I was making a costume or a dress. There are some details that could have been done much better if I had thought about them more and gone my own way rather than following the instructions. However, the finished product was quite pleasing! Especially those puffed sleeves. The bodice is made from a quilting cotton and lined in some lawn that was in stash. The skirt fabric came from stash, originally from Spotlight I think. I used an invisible zip in the centre back, with decorative grosgrain ribbon and buttons on the front. Clare is 10 and a half years old now, but I made size 7 for her based on the flat pattern measurements, and it is pretty much perfect fit-wise.

Anne of Green Gables

The pattern suggested a petticoat underneath, but I didn’t have time for that! Clare just layered with leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. The back of the hem sweeps the ground. It was funny watching Clare try to manage a floor-length skirt – she really had no idea and often picked it up rather awkwardly! And yes, her hair was dyed for the occasion.

"red embers" in progress

“Red embers” doing it’s job! We couldn’t find a satisfactory wig, so decided on a temporary colour. It will wash out in a couple of weeks worth of washes – but she’s actually rather enjoying it at the moment! It was interesting at the literature character parade that all the adults instantly recognised Clare’s character as Anne of Green Gables, but few of her peers did. Obviously it is a series that this generation isn’t familiar with. The copy of the book that Clare is holding is the one that my Gran gave to me when I was a kid. Clare has almost worked her way through the whole series now.

Simplicity 2483

You’ll see this dress make another appearance on Stella in a few years time, I’m sure!

Anne of Green Gables


20 thoughts on “literature character dress up day

  1. As soon as I saw the photo I saw Anne of Green Gables. My absolute favourite book as a child, and I would have killed for a dress-up like that one! And gorgeous puffed sleeves, of course. Nice work!

  2. You sew beautifully what precious girls you have. They look adorable in these costumes/dresses! What lucky little girls they are…. and how blessed you are. Keep the talents going on, teach them to sew as well..

  3. Swoon… what a doll! I would have adored a costume like that when I was Clare’s age. I’ve still got all my LM Montgomery books too – exact same editions as yours by the looks of it. I spent most of my pocket money on them over the course of a couple of years…

  4. Fabulous costumes! The girls both look amazing. I have ‘red embers’ here but haven’t tried it yet as I’m scared I’ll go scary red but it looks quite subtle on Claire so hopefully it’ll just add a bit of red to my red!

  5. The other parents must ‘hate’ you ;-). Amazing costumes, I don’t care if it’s been done before – Anne of Green Gables looks fabulous – and Stella is the cutest little Silky.
    Big pat on the back for you!

  6. Seriously lovely costumes Lara!!! You’ve inspired me to move costumes further up the (pile) list, especially since our huge box of costumes with India written all over went into storage 😦

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