Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Tale of 2 Costumes: Lovely Cinderella (Simplicity 2817) and EVIL Fairy (Simplicity 2872)

No, my little pink fairy was not evil...but the pattern was.  In fact, Simplicity 2872 is the current winner of my "Worst pattern award".  The pattern calls for lining the bodice with tulle!  Yes, that itchy, scratchy stuff-put it right next to your skin!!  What wacko came up with that idea? and WHY?  If they think I was going to putting something scratchy like tulle next to the skin of my youngest child who freaks out if the seam on her socks is the tiniest bit off, then I would be as nutty as them.   So no tulle lining...cotton.  Much better.  For the lining not only did I use cotton shirting, but I made it fully lined rather than just having facings.  I traced off the front & front yoke (contrast part of the 'straps') pieces together and used that as a pattern for the front lining.  The pattern also calls for the costume to be pull  I put in a center back zipper to make everyone's life happier.  

My little fairy loves the color pink.  This pattern could be done in several color combinations for the bodice, belt, petal overskirt and underskirt.  Knowing my little fairy like I do, I knew that she would change her mind as to the color combinations if I didn't lock her down.  So, before cutting, I made some drawings showing what the dress could look like and  made her decide which combination she wanted and sign her name.  (Yes, I made a contract with a child under 5--it was a wise move if I do say so myself).  

The Contract
I also skipped the tulle underskirt and instead made a separate hoop skirt that would help the skirt pouf out a bit.    Here's my fairy in action and my official review:


Simplicity 2872: Tinkerbell and Disney Faries
Pattern Description:  Girls Fairy costumes
Pattern Sizing: Girls 3-8, I made a size 4, View B
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?  NO NO NO.  Starting right at Step #1, the instructions were confusing.  There were mentions of lining, but you were never instructed to cut a lining, the interfacing was  tulle, and they called the contrast straps in the front 'Front Yoke".  I wound up ditching the instructions almost immediately making the bodice how I wanted to.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? TERRIBLE Pattern.  The instructions would have you LINE the costume with Tulle!  I can’t imagine anything less comfortable than having a layer of tulle next to my skin.  Who made this pattern?  Monks wearing hair shirts thinking that tulle wouldn't be so bad?  Completely Wacko!  I used cotton shirting instead.

Fabric Used: Satin

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I drafted my own lining pattern and did a full bodice lining of cotton shirting, completely ignoring the patterns instructions.  I omitted the tulle overlay on the front of the shoulder straps.  I added a zipper to the back to make it easier to get on and off, and omitted the tulle underskirt.  Instead, I made a removable tulle hoop skirt to wear underneath.  I did a narrow hem on the skirt.  I also used velcro on the belt rather than having grommets and ribbon holding it together.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I would not recommend this to others, especially to a beginner.
Conclusion:  There MUST be better fairy costume patterns out there…use any one of those instead.  

On to happier things...
Cinderella's costume went together with no problems, and was a breeze to make.  The pattern calls for sparkling organza for the sleeves and skirt puff.  I couldn't find an acceptable equivalent so I just used white satin for both.  I tried out the blind hem stitch for the first time and it was quick, but I definitely need more practice.  Rather than the stitch looking like a tiny point on the outside of the skirt, it was more like a 1/8" long  (or more) stitch.  Sigh...I was too lazy to redo it, and so it stayed.  I will call it a design element.  :)  

Here's my official review:

Simplicity 2817
Pattern Description:  Girls’ Cinderella and Snow White Costume

Pattern Sizing: Size 7-14, Check the measurements…I had to grade down to fit my 7year old
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  My daughter wanted to be Cinderella, so this pattern fit the bill

Fabric Used: blue and white satin

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t have any sparkling organza, so I used white satin instead for the skirt puff and sleeves

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, and yes.

Conclusion: A good basic costume pattern which you could easily modify to become other princesses as well. 


  1. I am making the Evil Fairy for 3 girls (out of 8!) for our ballet recital. I bought everything but the tulle for all 8 costumes thinking it was only to puff out the skirt and not really necessary. Now that I've opened up the pattern and read it, I'm sure the other two sewing moms, who aren't even fairy moms, are hating me with every fiber of their being.

    Your review and suggestions are very helpful. I'm going to ditch the instructions and go based on other people's experiences and my own gut instincts.

    Thank you for letting me know I wasn't losing my mind when I read the instructions and went "What the....?!"

    By the way, totally loved the monk/hair shirt reference. I really did laugh out loud. :D

  2. Unfortunately, I just opened this pattern (2872 Fairy)... can someone tell me what the difference between the sheer skirt and the tulle skirt is? I can't see two layers from the picture and I too do not want tulle where it touches my daughter's skin. She will not wear it. Thanks for any insight you might have! Julie

    1. This pattern is terrible and the instructions are extremely confusing. I'd cut piece 6 (the skirt front and back) out of normal fabric, not tulle. Steps 13 & 14 talk about the tulle skirt. Just ignore them and don't do it.

      Good luck.


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