Original Costume for a Girl: The Other Maleficent
My daughter became obsessed with Disney’s Maleficent the moment we saw it. I had just spent months (with the help of grandma) making an Elsa costume for her which of course went right out of the window once we saw this movie. She immediately decided that Elsa was out and Maleficent was in!
Abby, being the difficult child she is, couldn’t just be the simple, easy to find original black-cloaked Maleficient like everyone else. She needed to be the young, impish, fairy one!
After scouring the internet for any such costume I decided that I had to make one myself. I went to Johanns and started looking.
The easy part was finding the materials. The not-so-easy part was finding a pattern that worked. Do you realize how hard it is to find an empire waist dress these days? I ended up finding something that would work with a few alterations.
Now, when I say “a few alterations” I think I need to add that this is literally only the second thing I have made on the sewing machine by myself, ever! The first being a small Elsa dress for a doll. So this was no easy undertaking.
I followed the dress pattern for the most part only leaving off a belt and trim along the bottom. I ended up sewing a stop line around the bottom and just ripping the ends to make it look frayed and tattered.
The pattern was sleeveless so I used a nice feather trim I had found to cap the sleeves. I found devil type horns that had a similar curve to them as Maleficents, which I spray painted brown. They came attached to a giant rubber band that was supposed to be tightened to fit your head. The problem was that the holes were positioned to hold the horns at the wrong angle on the head.
Maleficent’s horns curve toward each other and these ones curved to the back of the head. I thought at first about glueing them to a thick headband so off I went to the store and guess what? No thick headbands. I couldn’t use a small one because the horns are hollow and wouldn’t hold well on something so thin. Then I thought of a cloth headband but they would still flop on my daughter’s tiny head. Then I found some giant hair clips. They worked really well.
I glued the horns onto the clips in the right angle and they held pretty well (I’m not gonna lie, I had to add extra bobby pins so they wouldn’t slip out of her hair, but they held.)
The next steps, after the horrors of sewing and horn maiming; I mean making, were finding the extra bits. A blue ribbon, some feathers, using hemp and wooden beads (such a great buy, I used them for so many things!) to crochet a necklace and bracelet (thanks mom), and hot gluing felt and wooden beads onto an old camera case for the pouch. I was able to use leftover wooden beads to make the buttons on back of the dress too.
Abby had to have a pet bird (even though Maleficent does not make a bird slave until she is an adult) so we got a little raven that we can Velcro to her shoulder when she wants. I made the bird and pouch removable because who wants big bulky things on them all the time?
I sewed the ribbon and a string of hemp with more leftover beads (again from the necklace) onto the front of the dress in a cute loop so that it looks good with or without the pouch. The pouch has a loop on the back so we can use the blue ribbon on the dress to tie it on, otherwise that ribbon just hangs down.
We found some brown owl wings that work great when the feathers aren’t falling off (thank you hot glue!).
Overall, what did it take to make this costume? Patience, silently swearing, creativity, vocal swearing, lots of trips to the craft store, and lots and lots of hot glue! I honestly didn’t think that everything would come together until today when I put it on her to take pictures.
I have to say, I am impressed with myself! I am so glad that Abby doesn’t have to go to school and mumble”my mom made my costume” when kids ask where she got it.
The first thing she had to do today was run over and show her friends. They all loved it! And I can’t stop smiling at my accomplishment. If I could pat my own back I would but I’m not willing to risk that injury. I hope you like it as much as I do.