Ava the Sunset Fairy

My town CANCELLED trick-or-treating this year because of the storm damage! In my mind, this is kind of like cancelling Christmas. I mean, people would still get trees and decorate them and give presents to their kids anyway, right? So my immediate neighborhood (maybe 15 households) got together and decided to do trick-or-treat last night. The kids had a ball, and I finally managed to get photos of my older daughter’s Halloween costume.

She decided that she wanted to be Ava the Sunset Fairy. She started collecting these fairy books by Daisy Meadows when she was 4, and I would read them to her. Now she is 7 and she still likes them, although she reads them to herself now. There appear to be an unlimited number of these books available, with new ones appearing constantly. The series started with the Color Fairies. Ava is one of the Night Fairies.

Ava herself. Image from bn.com.

The costume was really fun to make. I started with some white bamboo knit, left over from this dress. I cut out all the pattern pieces, then mixed up some Procion dyes in fuschia and yellow. I added just a bit of fuschia to the yellow and vice versa so the colors would blend with each other better, and put them in spray bottles. I soaked the pieces of the dress in soda ash, then sprayed the dye to get an ombre effect on the skirt and sleeves. It actually worked!

When the pieces were dry, I made stencils with masking tape in the sunset design. I used a hole punch to get the circles. I taped the stencils to the dress and painted over them with screen printing ink, left over from this project. When the ink dried, I peeled off the masking tape and voila.

When all that was done, I sewed the dress together. I worked hard convincing my daughter to allow me to put sleeves on the dress, even though the original does not have them. I want this to be a dress that she wears to school.

sunset motif painted with screen printing ink over a stencil.


Skirt detail. You can see my spray-dyeing and my fabric painting.


Here she is with the wings


Here's our group. It was so hard to get them to be still for a photo. I blanked out faces of the kids who are not mine, which is faster and easier than getting parental permission.




  1. Posted November 6, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Both of your daughters’ costumes are amazing; unique, custom made and pretty. “Pretty” is important to me because with sons, I have only made monster or video game character costumes. Sounds like it was a great neighborhood Halloween celebration.

  2. Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This costume is amazing. I love the spray dye technique. So cool. I’m glad the girls got to trick or treat finally. Phew!

  3. Posted November 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    awww, that is a cute costume, and so creative!
    I found a box of Halloween costumes in varying sizes from my daughter’s childhood and I really enjoyed looking at them.
    During those years I was not sewing for myself at all, but I made it a point to sew a costume every year.

  4. Shams
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 2:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    Adorable! I can tell you had fun! Both costumes are really cute and inventive. I’m surprised that your town didn’t reschedule, rather than cancel. I’m glad you made alternate plans! This is one of the most important holidays!!!

  5. Posted November 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love both the Halloween costumes this year! The wig for Elastica is quite innovative.

    I am glad you are enjoying your treadle! I bought myself one for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago because I always wanted one. I secretly hope that the power goes out someday to use it–our powerlines and underground and I am on the same grid as so many gov’t agencies that we have never lost power for more than a few minutes except for maintenance. I did use my treadle while my real machine was in the shop and it was fun.

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