Here Be Dragons…

Awhile ago, back in March to be exact, my son decided that he wanted to be a dragon for World Book Day. I had never heard of World Book Day, but from what I gathered, he was meant to dress up as a character from his favourite storybook. All I heard was dress up!

Now, I love books. And as a kid, I loved them even more. I was that kid sneaking books into textbooks and reading both. I read them under the covers with flashlights (or torches, as they are called here). I brought one with me everywhere I went. So I was excited to celebrate all things books, and what better way with a costume from a favourite story?

My son was equally excited, but instead of choosing a particular character, he wanted to dress up as a frequent type of character in one of his favourite collections, Knights and Dragons (Igloo Books). But who wants to be a knight when they can be a dragon, you know? I was thrilled, and immediately started planning a dragon costume.

First of all, comfort had to be a priority. I knew he’d never wear it if it wasn’t comfy. So I decided to base my design around something that was easy to get on and off: a sweatshirt. That also meant half the battle was done in terms of fitting and sewing, because did I mention I found out about it 5 days before we needed this costume? Yep.

So, with a purple sweatshirt (his choice), I got to work making some alterations. I added horns, ears, and eyes made out of felt and hand sewed them to the hood. Then I folded a length of felt (bought off the bolt), and cut triangles along the fold. When I opened them out, they looked like interlocking diamonds. I pinned this down the back of the sweatshirt and sewed straight down the middle, cutting the diamonds in half. Then I just folded them back into triangles, stuffed them with a little polyester stuffing (old fabric scraps will do), and sewed the triangles together about 1/8″ from the edge. Here’s what it looked like:

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Next up, the WINGS. Now here’s the fun part. I found this tutorial, which I really liked, but I couldn’t find wire hangers, and they don’t seem to sell fusible fleece around here. So I improvised. I pretty much just redid everything with what I had available. So in the end, it was a lot more labour intensive, but the results are similar. I used gardening wire for the structure and cotton fabric for the inside of the wings. I cut a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded that under, then topstitched it to the felt, then stitched around the wing ‘bones’. And here ya go:

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Of course, Little Sister wanted to try:

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Fast forward to last weekend, and Little Sister decided she wanted a pair of her own. We’re still working on the sweatshirt part (hey, it’s summer and colours are limited), but at least she has wings. And a ninja mask. Because no girl should be without her very own pair of dragon wings and a ninja mask.

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