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Hydra and Greek Princess costumes

Life has been so busy lately that I haven’t had a chance to write anything on my slightly neglected blog. I’ve been busy creating for various family members but also (and most importantly) I’ve been busy parenting. With half-term and children’s social calendars full let alone my husband away on business, it’s been difficult to think once they’re asleep, let alone write!

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But hubby is back (“yay” for reinforcements) and we’re settling back in to school routine after a mental start to the term. School decided to celebrate the start of the Olympics and the last term of the school year with a bang- Ancient Greek Day! I knew this was coming before half-term began but due to several social engagements I also knew I wouldn’t start it before the last weekend of the holiday. This was nearly my downfall.

Now those of you who’ve read my sewing entries before will know full well that my sewing skill is often outmatched by my ambition.

Merida’s costume was relatively simple- she wanted to be a Greek Princess. When we were looking at ideas she had a brief fling with the notion of being Medusa but without time to buy material and no resources in our cupboards I convinced her she was too pretty and we couldn’t make her ugly enough to be a convincing Medusa. She loved this (who wouldn’t?!) and was swayed back into Princess realms.

imageMerida had an old white dress (slightly stained) that became our base. I sewed some extra white material along the bottom to increase it’s length. In fact the material I used was some light curtain lining I had leftover from the baby’s curtains. She also asked for a ribbon so that went where requested. Because it was a black ribbon on a white dress I changed the thread to black but kept the bobbin white. This way the thread couldn’t be seen at all.

I sewed the rest of the material into a sash. Annoyingly one hem I did the wrong side of the material and had to unpick and resew. This was frustrating given time restraints. Despite Merida reassuring me “It doesn’t have to be perfrect” but I wanted it right for my Grecian Princess. Add a blue rope tie I had and a flower garland Merida had plus a nice hairdo and voila! There she was:

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Now for Finn…

My Finn has an affiliation with animals. In every imaginary game they play he’s an animal (proof here!) So I only briefly spoke about warriors and gods before moving on to mythical creatures.

At first he chose a Chimera! Now a dragon, lion, goat and snake on it’s own I could have managed but all four in one costume?! No chance with three days and other commitments (like feeding the kids). After a little persuading he chose a Hydra. Now given our family’s love of the Avengers this was an amusing choice. It prompted a discussion as to why the Avenger baddies chose that name.

So the proper Greek mythical Hydra it was. “I want nine snakes, mummy, including my head and my hands.” We had two suitable stuffed toy snakes so only seven to find! Luckily I had a lot of scraps and found this great pattern for a scrap snake. It’s really well written, instantly dowloadable and easy to follow.

imageNow my printer is bust so I had to copy the pattern shapes in my preferred manner – free cutting. It meant I had to alter as I went but I muddled it together. I made three snakes out of felt (colour combinations by Finn) and one jellybean snake for a bit of fun.

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I didn’t finish any as suggested in the pattern as it was only the heads I needed, so I attached them to the top Finn had chosen along the front and shoulders. The jellybean snake and the other stuffed ones we had I attached to the back. Some handsewn, some machined.

Now for the gloves – these came into being with sequinned green material. I just made the snakes head, didn’t stuff and some gloves were born. The eyes on these I made felt as opposed to sewn like the others. I might change them all to felt in the future. All done by 9pm the night before. image

The final touch was to paint Finn’s face in the morning and do Merida’s hair, both of which I kept quite simple. the kids were really pleased. One Hydra and one Greek Princess complete. (In fact Finn was so pleased I couldn’t get a decent photo of him as he was too busy practising the Hydra’s roar)

imageI think I’ll give myself more time in the future (I’ve said that before). I felt like I was on the Great British Sewing Bee because I was under such time pressure. I don’t think Esme and Patrick would be impressed with my haphazard technique but the kids didn’t care and that’s the main thing.

I now have pictures of a Hydra chasing a Greek (apparently warrior) Princess down the road to school.

Mission complete!image

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