Two weeks ago, Love Notions Patterns (affiliate link) issued a challenge. Take the Mallory Dress pattern and get creative. The only rules being that part of the Mallory Dress pattern must be used in the design, and any other pattern pieces have to be either an original creation or part of another Love Notions pattern. The prizes for the top 3 creations include Love Notions patterns and gift certificates for Pink Zeppelin Boutique, Fairytale Frocks and Lollipops, Cuddle Muffins Fabric, and KNITorious Fabric. The top creation will also have the option of having their design professionally drafted and added to the Mallory Dress Pattern.
And just to make it more challenging, I decided to sew for the Bug.
I started with examining the Mallory Dress pattern, looking for elements that I wanted to include. The crossover hood of the Mallory Dress opened up in my imagination, trailing under the sleeves and creating wings. Wings led me straight to a pteranodon.
If you live with a toddler (and are American), you are probably familiar with the popular PBS Kids show “The Dinosaur Train.” On this show, the plucky Pteranodon family time travel through out the age of the dinosaurs with their children, learning about different dinosaur species. With as often as my children request to watch it, it is not surprising that I have dinosaurs on the brain.
To create my pteranodon vision, I morphed the Mallory Dress with the Moto Maxx Tee and mixed in a little of my own design. I modified the Mallory Dress back bodice piece to have the length of the Moto Maxx Tee to create the shirt back. I then used the same piece and lowered the neckline a tad to create a shirt front. I also used the cuffed sleeves from the Moto Maxx.
The Mallory Dress front bodice piece became the wings. It was modified by widening it so it would reach the cuffs of the sleeves when opened up, and a contrasting triangle of fabric was used to connect the base of the bodice piece down the side hem of the shirt. I thought the wings might sometimes get in the way, so I decided to use hook and eyes to attach them to the sleeve cuffs so they could be wrapped around the front of the shirt and hooked out of the way. I left a space in the wing side seam to accommodate the wrapped wing.
To complete the pteranodon look, I added a crest to the back of the hood and a beak to the front. These elements were the most difficult to incorporate. The beak needed to be supported so it would not hang down and cover the Bug’s face, and the crest needed to stick out straight behind the crown of the hood.
I stabilized the fabric of the crest and beak with Decor Bond interfacing. For the beak, I used interfacing on both the outer fabric and the lining. The hood lining does not include the crest. I used polyester horsehair braid to stiffen the top and back hood seams. I hoped this would be enough, but it was not. My next step was to cut up one of the Bug’s flexible plastic place mats, and use strips between the hood layers to support the crest. The place mat was too flexible to keep the beak from falling down and covering his face. That required two coated copper wires twisted together and inserted into a fabric tube sewn to the top and back of the hood. The fabric tube is sewn closed inside the hood, but is closed with a snap under the beak. This allows the wire to be removed when necessary. I suspect that boning could be used in place of the place mat and the copper wire, but didn’t have time to order any if I was going to meet the contest deadline.
Black buttons for eyes were the final touch.
The Love Notions contest ends tonight. To be eligible to win, entries must be linked up by midnight (CST) tonight. Winning entry or not, the Bug loves his new shirt. He just wasn’t sure about wrapping his wings up. He likes to run around flapping his wings and pretending to fly.