Make, Jane, make!: DIY Hallowe'en: Dragon Wings


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Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Hallowe'en: Dragon Wings

It's been forever since I've posted about anything other than the kitchen and food. The summer bounty from our first ever CSA experience has definitely kept me busy. But with a major sewing holiday coming up, I knew I had to get my pins and needles ready.

I asked my son what he wanted to be for Hallowe'en this year and, without hesitation, he replied, "A fire-breathing dragon!" I then asked my younger son what he would like to be and, being only 19 months, his older brother readily answered for him, "He wants to be a a fire-breathing dragon too!"

Not that I was surprised that I would be making two identical costumes this year - in fact I kind of expected it. Especially since we can't go clothes shopping without my eldest son picking out matching clothing for his brother and himself. I've got a feeling that it's only a matter of time before, "Here comes double trouble..." becomes the catch-phrase for our house.

Luckily, I remembered seeing this super great Dragon Wing tutorial from I'm Feeling Crafty. Her instructions and pictures are super clear, making this a great project even just for the dress-up chest. I love that she found a way to efficiently cut two wire coat hangers into the best wing shape ever!

I didn't use the template provided since I wanted to customise the wings to fit each of my two boys. So I bent the spine of the wings, tried them on for size and then drew the wing shape around my wires. Word to the wise: If you can get cheap, thin dry-cleaner hangers, they'll be a lot easier to cut and bend. I went to Dollarama and their wire hangers are amazingly quality hangers. They were pretty difficult to cut through and quite stiff to bend.

I differed a bit in my execution simply because I didn't have some of the materials at hand. Instead of fusible bonding, I used some white glue to hold the wires in place until I could sew them in permanently. On the second pair, I found that I didn't even need the glue... I just pinned the wires into place by sliding some pins down either side of the wire, which held everything together well enough until I could get them to the machine.

Used the zipper foot to got around both edges of the wire to hold everything firmly into place.

And yes, it was a little awkward going around some of those super curvy parts. I found I had the wings jutting out all over the place and much bending of the wires had to be done to get them to fit between the arms of the sewing machine.

If you do need to bend your wings a lot - don't worry. The abuse they take from you is nothing compared to what will happen to them after your kids have them on :)

I made my elastic armbands really loose because there's a good chance that my kids will have to wear puffy coats under their dragon costumes (those will be seen in a later post!).

My son does complain that his armbands are prone to slipping down his arms because they are loose when worn with only a t-shirt underneath. So I think I will add a couple of pieces of velcro to the straps to act like a chest strap. You can see the makeshift chest strap I tied on, so that he would stop complaining about the straps.

Ecstatic about the wings!
Update: The armbands actually fit very well when worn with the amount of underclothing needed in our fall climate. However, I added a chest strap anyway so that the wings could be worn indoors as well. Here is the velcro chest strap:

Just a piece of hook tape sewn onto one band and loop tape
sewn onto the other.

And here they are being enjoyed:

Stay tuned and I'll show you what the rest of the costume will look like :)

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