I’ve made many costumes over the years. Each Halloween is another challenge to make something my daughter will love. This year I chose to take part in a Halloween DIY round up, so I had to get started much earlier than normal. After much brainstorming about, my daughter and I decided on a DIY Weeping Angel Costume. If you aren’t familiar with a “Weeping Angel”, they are characters from the popular British sci-fi show “Doctor Who”. They looks like huge angel statues commonly found in cemeteries and gardens, with their hands over their eyes, weeping. These however will send you back in time if they catch you. They only way to stop them is to look at them, which is tricky when you are running from them. They 1st appear in the episode “Don’t Blink”, so check it out if you are interested. For this costume, the dress, wings and mask tutorials are featured here. To find out how to complete this costume…makeup, hair, and other elements, head to my blog Crafty Lady Abby.
- 6-8 Yards of OlyFun in Slate – The amount is based on the height of the person, doubled, plus some for blousing and the yoke. You can buy it by the yard at Hancock Fabrics
- 3-4 Cans of Krylon Natural Stone Textured Finish in Granite – The mask and wings took 3 cans. If I’d requested a 4th can, the dress would have a dusting of faux stone too
- 1 Can Clear Plastic Primer – To prime the plastic mask before spraying on the stone finish
- Adult Angel Wings – The ones I used work perfect for this project
- Weeping Angel Mask – Great for photos, but wouldn’t recommend wearing it a lot, as breathing is difficult
- Grey and White spools of thread – Grey for the dress, white for the wings
- White hook and loop tape
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Fabric scissors
- A sewing machine with straight stitch
- A fabric measuring tape
- A dress form OPTIONAL – I used one to drape the dress before sewing
- Black and White acrylic paint – Mixed together in a foam bowl to make grey
- Grey fabric paint – To paint the wing elastic
- Small foam brushes
- Trashbag or plastic shopping bags – To protect your outdoor surface when spray painting
- A black belt – We used a thin one she had
- Safety pins – For styling
1) The curved part at the top of the dress is called a “yoke”. I used a dress form along with my daughter’s shoulder, neck, and armhole measurements, to drape the dress. However, the yoke is something you can flat pattern out, but draping is my preferred method for all clothing construction. I used 2 rectangles of Oly*fun fabric slightly wider than the shoulders and about 8 inches tall. I centered one piece of fabric on the front, going up the neck a bit, securing it to the dress form with straight pins.
2) I sliced along the neckline, so the fabric would curve along the dress form shape. This is like you would do for curved seams in other garments. I pressed it along the dress form to the shoulders, using straight pins to secure the fabric along the neck, shoulder, and bottom.
3) Using a pen, marker or chalk, mark the shoulder and neckline. Measure the shoulder seam to match the shoulder width measurement of the person. Mark this, and draw an even curved yoke.
4) Using scissors, carefully trim the excess fabric, leaving about 1 inch overlapping at the shoulders. Unlike most fabrics, Oly*fun doesn’t need to have finished edges, so an even cut edge is fine. It’s a non-fraying fabric.
Repeat this draping for the back.
5) On the sewing machine, sew hook and loop tape to the overlapping shoulder seams. This is how the dress will close. It’s the easiest way I could figure out.
6) Cut two pieces of Oly*fun that are the person’s height from shoulder to feet plus 1-2 feet. My daughter’s measurement is 4 feet. I added 1.5 feet to that measurement. The width of the fabric will be the existing width. However, if you are a larger person, you might need to double the width. For this cut 4 pieces. Sew two pieces together along the length and top stitch. Do this for the other two pieces too. My daughter is 11, so she’s tiny. Doubling the width will make the dress more voluminous which will create an awesome effect. You’ll have two dress panels, a front and back, after doing this.
7) With the sewing machine on the longest straight stitch. Stitch about 1/4″ from the top edge of each dress panel. Carefully hand gather the fabric, making sure not the break the thread. I tightly gathered the fabric, as it needed to fit the body of a small girl.
8) Put the yoke back on the dress form. Use straight pins to secure it in place. Starting on the front, center a gathered dress panel edge to the bottom edge of the yoke, putting it under the yoke edge. Use straight pins to secure the fabrics together. Don’t secure it to the dress form.
9) About where the armpits would meet the yoke, pin the gathered dress panel end to the yoke there. From the end to the center, adjust your gathering, making it tighter or looser as needed. Use straight pins to attach the dress panel to the yoke edge, making sure the gathered edge is neatly tucked under the yoke edge.
Repeat those two steps for the back dress panel.
10) Where the armholes should meet at the armpits, use straight pins to attach the two dress panels. This only needs to be right at the armpit area. Sewing the sides will be easy and no pins needed…well I don’t use them anyway.
11) Back the sewing machine. Open the shoulders with their hook and loop closures. With the machine set to the normal stitch length, sew the dress panel to the yoke. Remove the straight pins as you move along the seam. Take your time and adjust the gathers as needed, so they lay nicely. Do this for both the front and back.
12) Flip the dress inside out. Starting at where you temporarily pinned one armhole, sew straight down the side, lining up the fabric edges as you go. This can be a bit tricky, so take your time. There’s no rush.
13) Put the dress on the person, closing the shoulders. Put the belt around the person’s natural waist and buckle. This style dress blouses (has volume/poofiness) at the chest, so make sure that belt is tight, but not uncomfortable. Gently pull the fabric up and out along the belt area, so the volume overlaps the belt. Do this around the waist, adjusting as needed.
14) If the dress is too long, you will need to shorten it. Again, Oly*Fun doesn’t fray, so no hem is needed. You need to mark where the bottom meets the person’s ankles, using a pen, chalk or a pencil.
15) Unbelt the dress and take it off the person, using the shoulder closures. Use a ruler to match up your bottom marks, so the bottom is straight. Cut along the line carefully with scissors.
16) The wings will slip through slits on the back of the dress. This will create a better effect and hide the wing’s straps. On the back of the dress cut vertical slits about 6 inches long and 3-4 inches from the yoke/panel seam edge. These will blend into the gathers and shouldn’t tear or fray.
17) Mix black and white acrylic paint together to make a dark grey. The one I mixed was a bit lighter than the dress fabric color. Use a foam brush to pounce on the paint, creating an uneven grey coloration. If you want, you can do this with a few shades of grey. You can lay the dress down on a table covered in a trashbag to paint it. After you are done, hang it up on a hanger and on a rail to dry.
Under the dress the person should wear a tank top and shorts or a long sleeve shirt and tights (depending on the weather and preference). To wear the dress and wings, put on the dress and close at the shoulders. Slip one wing strap through it’s coordinating slit on the back of the dress. Put the wearer’s arm through the strap, adjusting it, so it’s comfortable. Do this for the other strap too. Use safety pins to secure the straps to the tank top. This will make sure they don’t slip and show beyond the dress armholes. Belt and blouse the dress as you did before.
You will paint the mask outside, because spray paint has a lot of fumes.
1) Turn a plastic shopping back inside out, so the print is inverted. Lay the mask on the bag, face up.
2) Shake the can of primer as instructed on can. Lightly spray the mask evenly. You will only spray the outside. Let dry for about 10-20 minutes. Drying time can take longer based on air temperature and humidity.
3) Shake the can of stone finish as instructed on can. Lightly spray the mask evenly. If you get too close, the paint will puddle, so try to keep an even distance. Let dry completely.
4) Look over the mask. Check for places where paint is missing. Spray those areas. Give the mask a light overall coat to help blend those sections into the rest of the mask. Let dry completely.
1) Try the wings on the person. I found that the elastic strap were very large on Alex, so I needed to take them in. With scissors, I cut the elastic about 2 inches from the bottom. I used straight pins to secure the elastic straps on Alex at the correct length for her, overlapping the ends about 1 inch.
2) Take the wings off the person. Check your new elastic length to make sure it is even. Use scissors to trim the elastic as needed. Overlap the ends about 1 inch and secure with straight pins
3) Using the white thread and hand sewing needle, sew the overlapping elastic together. Knot end and cut the excess thread. Do this for both straps.
4) Go outside. Open a trash bag along one side and the bottom. Lay the open bag flat outside. Lay the wings flat on the bag, back up.
5) Shake the can of stone finish as instructed on can. According to the can, you have to reshake the can for 10 seconds every minute. This is likely because the stone granules will separate from the paint inside the can. Move the straps to the wing bridge (the part where the wings connect). Lightly spray the back of the wings evenly. This will be tricky, as the feathers will shift under the pressure of the spray. You don’t have to catch all of it the 1st round. I didn’t spray the wing bridge. Let the wings fully dry.
6) Look over the wings. Spray any areas with missing paint. Look around the edges and under the feather edges. Let dry completely. If you still notice gaps, and have run out of spray paint, you can use grey acrylic paint and a paint brush to carefully paint any white gaps.
REPEAT STEPS 5-6 on the front of the wings. Make sure to tuck the straps under the wings. Do spray the wing bridge. Let dry completely and air outside for a few hours. I placed my mask and wings on my covered porch to dry, after I’d finished each paint coat.
7) Using the grey fabric paint and foam brush, paint the elastic straps.
8) When wearing the wings, it helps to safety pin the straps to a black or grey tank top, so they will stay under the dress and not show.
This costume took me about a day to complete. That was mostly waiting for paint to dry. This is something I know my daughter will wear a few times for various costumed events. For this costume, the dress, wings and mask tutorials are featured here. To find out how to complete this costume…makeup, hair, and other elements, head to my blog Crafty Lady Abby.