Monday, 15 April 2013


I was asked to make a costume for the caterpillar in a school production of Alice in Wonderland. 

But the caterpillar had to turn into a butterfly during the performance.  Hmmmm. 

After much head-scratching I began by making a caterpillar body consisting of a quilted green tunic. 

And then set about making a hat with antennae.
Two attempts later and I finally figured out how to a) make a head shape (you know, that is a real toughie if you've not done it before LOL!) and b) how to get the antennae to stand up.
Raking through my supplies to see what I had that would be worthy of sticking up on someone's head, I came across some net curtain wire.  Excellent!  Yes!  That would be it!
Except when I tried to put it on my head they crossed each other and ended up looking rather like the antennae on an old fashioned television set.
Hmmmm.  I know!  Bend them!
And sure enough, after covering them in green felt and making a channel in the lining of the hat for them to sit, they stood up #soproud!!

So far so good.
But I had to find a way for the wings (when they were eventually made!) to stick on the back.  Aha!  Velcro it was! 
But the caterpillar needed a tail.  So I would make one with some velcro and another quilted part.  How hard could that be?
Well, my original idea was to have the tail sitting sideways on the body.  I added some more velcro to the back of the body and the tail and then had the caterpillar/butterfly try it on.  Hmmm.  The tail just wrapped around the body.  Not quite the look I was aiming for!
Much unpicking later, I decided that gravity would do the work for me and I would have the tail pointing down instead.  So I added velcro up inside the tunic and added the tail.
Yep!  That would definitely do it!

But how would the butterfly appear without the aid of a cocoon?

Easy peasy!  The headteacher had already figured this out for me <grin>.  The interval would be called just prior to the metamorphosis.  Whew.

During the interval, the tail would be de-velcroed (!) and the wings would be attached to the back instead.  Sorted!

Note to self: don't try to be clever and try to applique the spots on the front AND the back at the same time LOL!  Just do the front section then the back section and then sew them together :)

And now would be a good time to add straps for the now-butterfly to insert their hands to ensure the wings stay out too.

And here is the end result:
One caterpillar...

And one butterfly!

Of course, the face paint is always a great addition to any costume too :)

The production was a success!!

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