Costumes · Sewing

There’s no place like home: Glinda the Good Witch Halloween Costume 2017

Halloween? It’s my thing. This year I was getting concerned because I had no ideas for a costume. Normally, I just know. Then, wham, one week before Halloween it came to me. For some reason, I decided I wanted to be Glinda the Good Witch. After looking at pitiful costumes online, I was determined to make a much better, more accurate, costume than what was available to buy.

I knew the outfit was elaborate, but there were so many fine details of this costume I never noticed before. For instance, I have no idea how many times I’ve seen this movie in my life, probably over 100, and I never noticed the amount of butterflies on her dress and how her puff sleeves aren’t really puff sleeves, but wings. Did you?  There was no way I could match every fine detail, but if I could get all the recognizable parts down, I thought I could make a fair adaptation. So I went hunting online and in several stores to get the following:

1. A floor length pink tutu (it would have been simple enough to make probably, but I just didn’t have the time) – Amazon (came with sash)

2. A long sleeved v- neck shirt – Wal-Mart

3. Quilters plastic for the crown – Hobby Lobby

4. A wooden dowel and star for the wand – Hobby Lobby & Joann’s

5. Metallic silver spray paint for the wand – Wal-Mart

6. Iridescent tulle for the sleeves and neck – Wal-Mart

7. A broach for the chest – Hobby Lobby

8. Jewels for the crown – Hobby Lobby & Wal-Mart 

9. Glitter glue for the crown – Wal-Mart

10. Super glue for the jewels – Wal-Mart

Other tools used, but already on hand were:

1. A drill

2. An iron and ironing board

3. A sewing machine and thread

4. A fabric ruler

5. A regular ruler

6. Paper and tissue paper

7. Sharp scissors

8. A fading/wash-out fabric marker for measurements

9. Thin flexible jewelry wire and cutters

10. A pearl necklace

11. A broach pin.

12. Templates I made for the crown and clip art templates for the butterflies and stars

I started making the crown first because I thought it would be the most time consuming. My method was to measure the crown of my head for a perfect fit and leave a half inch overlap for gluing it together.

I had printed one of my crown stencils on legal paper and used that as my estimate of height for where the points of the crown would start. 

Beginning from the left, I traced my second stencil into the crown seven times for seven points. If you keep white paper under the plastic you can easily see your tracing. I then thought it would be easier to use my glitter glue to outline the points before I cut the crown out, but this didn’t work. When the glue dried and I began to cut, the glue peeled right off the plastic. So instead I gently pulled the glue off in one piece, cut out the crown, and then used super glue to glue the glitter glue back on. So this is a big deal to note, regular glue will peel right off your crown!

My second cut was the bottom of the crown. The crown has a pointed forehead piece that hangs down. So, I marked the center of my crown and then cut off about two inches from the bottom, leaving a rectangle in the center. Starting from that rectangle I began gluing my jewels. It was the “bling on a roll” that I used to trim the bottom and add the starburst of jewels. It made very straight and precise lines considering they were all sewn together. I used fake pearls, glitter fabric, and fake clear jewels to create the center piece. Upon close examination of the real crown, I believed I saw leaves and flowers – hence my glitter fabric cut outs. I used super glue to attach everything and applied glitter glue between the stones for an added effect. Here is another lesson I learned: super glue will leave a cloudy white residue that is impossible to remove!!! Using acetone on the residue only made it worse. This is possibly due to whatever had been added to the plastic to give it its appearance being scummed up by the acetone as well. I suggest if you’re going to do this, to test out a few glues on the plastic first. 

Once my crown was finished, I hid the white super glue residue by smoothing coconut oil all over the plastic. It’s all I had on hand and could think of at the time. This gave it a really nice sheen as well, but it’s kind of messy.

I trimmed the plastic around the points of the snowflake medallion so the edges couldn’t be seen.

I started working on the wand next because I knew the spray paint would need time to dry. I wanted the star to be very secure on my dowel so instead of just gluing the two together, I decided to drill a hole into the star to insert the dowel about an inch in with super glue.

This worked perfectly. 

I then spray painted the wand and attached jewels to the front. I noticed that the real wand appeared to have a few colored jewels sprinkled in here and there so I added some small colored ones I had on hand. Tweezers really helped with this task and since the star was wood, my glitter glue worked just fine and provided a nice backdrop. It also had a longer drying time so I could push jewels around as I worked.

I saved the best for last. The shirt. 

Constructing the puff sleeves was an experiment because I’d never sewn clothes before or used patterns. I did a lot of you-tubing and discovered I could make a pattern by tracing the existing sleeve onto paper. I then had to cut out the pattern then add width and height. The width is for the gathers. The height is for the amount of poofiness you want. I cut my pattern into sections and glued them to tissue paper adding an inch between each section to increase the width. I then measured six inches from the top and six inches from the bottom to create a top and bottom puff sleeve. I cut out my new pattern, pinned it to the fabric and cut out my pieces.

I added a basting (loose) stitch to the top and bottom of my sleeve pieces and then pulled the thread to gather the fabric.

However, when I pinned the sleeves to my shirt, I didn’t like them. They looked frumpy to me. At $4.97/yard, I wasn’t going to buy more fabric to increase the layers and add height. So instead of making sleeves, I decided to settle on a smaller puff that would only be attached to the shoulder of the existing sleeve. I sewed the fabric from point to point creating a crescent shape. For body and reinforcement, I folded the end points towards the center. 

I set my poofs aside and started working on the neck trim because I knew it’d be easier to sew without the poofs attached. 

Basically what I did was make a thick piece of bias tape out of the iridescent tulle. I sewed a two and a half inch tube of fabric to the outside of the neck about a 1/4 inch below the existing seam. I then folded the fabric over the neck and attached it to the inside seam. This way all the seams were hidden.  It seems weird to sew onto the right side of fabric, the this is how bias tape works.

I then used my iron to press the tape flat making a new trim to the neck. 

To attach my poofs next I had to rip the top seams of my sleeves out. Don’t be scared! I didn’t cut or alter the fabric, I only removed the seam to the shoulder, inserted my poofs, and then sewed the seam closed again using a zig zag stitch.

Ta-da!

All that was left at this point were the embellishments. I should mention I didn’t end up with a real broach. Instead I found an iron-on version. So, I ironed on my fake broach to the center of my shirt just under the collar.

I cut out my butterfly and star clip art and traced them onto my glitter fabric with my marker and cut them out. I decided with the large shoulder butterfly to only carve out the details on the bottom wings so the the top wings would have more material to keep shape and stand up more.

I put on my shirt and began strategically pinning.

Once I was happy with their placement, I sewed my butterflies and stars into place using a button stitch. There is a small butterfly on the right sleeve as well that is not pictured here.

I sewed another butterfly to a broach pin and used it to attach to my waist sash like Glinda. I attached a fourth butterfly to some jewelry wire and wrapped the wire around a pearl necklace I already owned. I made two button holes in the center of the butterfly to do this.

Once the outfit was finished I simply curled my hair and put on some make up.

Ta-da! I won the office costume contest and made many people smile that day. We went to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland in the evening and had a blast, but I was so glad to get out of that tutu by the end of the day!

So, what do you think? Did I do a good job? Do you think it looks better than the store bought costume? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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