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For my niece on her 6th birthday

A few months ago my sister asked if I had a photo of the sweet butterfly costumes my mom made for us when we were kids. She wanted to show her daughter.

wings by Helen Ellis, circa 1980s

I guess my niece is going to have a butterfly-themed birthday party. My mom couldn’t make her wings for it because she doesn’t have a working sewing machine. I said, “I have a working sewing machine! I’ll do it!”

When I was done and put them on a kid, the tops of the wings fell over the shoulders, like a chic little cape, so I added a clasp there. Now it can be worn either way: for flying, or to a fancy event, a Butterfly Ball perhaps.

My own kid was not as obliging as my sister and I were in the 80s and would not let me photograph him in these butterfly wings, so you will just have to believe me when I tell you that they look cute on an actual child.

There was no pattern for this - I WINGED it - except for the quilted vest. It’s the Pippa Vest from MeAndKiddoPatterns on Etsy. It’s the first thing I have ever sewn from a pattern! It has a lot of cat hair on it, but it came out good. I recommend it.

When I start a project that I know will take a long time and go through a lot of different stages, I often plan to document the progress from beginning-to-end. But at some point I generally forget that was the plan, and I end up with photos of just the beginning. I did that with these wings.

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4. That’s it.

Okay, that’s all for now. If you need me I’ll just be over here embroidering the rules for Milo’s D&D Club onto a piece of muslin. If you own an adorable children’s clothing company and want to pay me a bunch of money to license my butterfly wing cape, holler.


P.S. Don’t tell my niece. Her birthday isn’t until next Tuesday.

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