Metamorphosis Butterfly Frock11:20 PM
This is a project I think you'll love or hate.
There's no in between because it's weird, nerdy, and a titch creepy.
Kind of my nerdy spin on all the girly butterfly stuff everywhere.
I took the life cycle of monarch butterflies and appliqued the process on a little dress for Ellaria.
And I love this thing.
My husband had a Saturday off and I had some precious "alone" time and busted it out.
I hadn't sewn in a while with the new baby and preparing our house to sell, and just creating it made me so happy.
Some people exercise, shop, or get a message for "me" time, but making this was so fulfilling and fun...which is why I have a butt-load of pictures in this post.
Anyway, the idea has been mulling in my head for over a year.
In 2nd grade we spent what felt like weeks studying the life cycle of monarch butterflies and I remember having to draw and write out all the stages, so it was fun to relive it a little again.
AP Biology was also one of my favorite classes in high school.
I remember the text book had an owl on the cover and I seriously considered never turning it back in.
It was my senior year so they couldn't have tracked me down or had any real consequences, and I really wanted to keep it as a reference because it was that great and I am that nerdy.
But on to this nerd sewing this butterfly dress.
I was inspired by:
- the pretty greens and blues of the chrysalis and steps in this image.
-Ellie's favorite book right now is Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar
RJ (almost 5) was really interested in learning about metamorphosis and helped me plan it out on the dress.We watched this video over and over, he thought it was cool and I was trying to figure out which stages I wanted to sew.
So basically the life cycle of a monarch butterfly starts as an egg,
I wanted the images to wrap around the dress so it wasn't just flat on the front.
So I cut out the dress front and back, and sewed the right side seam to work on the appliques with a flat surface.
The baby caterpillar ends up on the back side, but I liked the wrap effect of the imagery around the hem of the skirt.
HOW TO SEW SOME BUTTERFLIES!
The process is really quite easy, and was a lot of fun.
I first took a scrap of green fabric (formerly a sheet) and used fabric paint in green and a mix of blues to paint a strip of green to blue gradient.
Basically pouring a glob of green on one end and blue on the other and sloppily painting them until they slightly mix in the center.
Once dry, this strip is what I used to cut out the chrysalis pieces.
Using the pellon fusible webbing that is double sided with paper backing, I drew out the shapes of the different fabric portions.
Next, I ironed the webbing on the back of the fabric scraps, cut out the shapes, arranged them on my skirt, peeled off the paper backing, and ironed them on.
To create the details, I used my free motion presser foot and "drew" with thread.
I put the feed dogs down so I have free moving fabric and draw away.
I think my favorite aspect of the thread drawing is the sketch-like quality it gives the final shapes, like you used pen and ink.
I used different thread colors, like adding white on the butterflies and two colors of gray for the empty chrysalis.
After all the time making this dress, I wanted to make sure she could wear it a while.
So it's a basic a-line jumper that is a dress now, but could be worn as a tunic with leggings when she's older.
The neck and arms use the same orange fabric as the butterfly wings with homemade bias tape.
Milky green and blue buttons finish it off on the back for the 1" wide placket.
So both Ellie and I love this little dress and I've been thinking about my next artistic, nerdy, piece of clothing to make....