after an enchanting encounter at the detroit zoo lead to a new fascination and favorite animal my sister and i decided maya had to be a peacock for halloween. 

my vision was for a dress that could later be worn independently and some sort of detachable fan. i set out to find some 'abstract-in-pattern-and-peacock-esq-color-scheme' fabric for the dress. my first trip out i came across this apples fabric from the liberty of london fruits and leaves collection at gather here. jackpot.

figuring the fan fabric could be tackled another day i came home and whipped up an oliver + s bubble dress over a pumpkin flavored beer. i made one key alteration: adding a contrasting purple ribbon along the  bottom of the bodice, but only stitched it to the dress along the front, leaving it dangling at the side seams (more on that later).  

i had to go across the country to find the right buttons (okay i might have been out in california already), but it was worth it because they are perfect.

then it came time for the fan.

with the help of the amazing staff at gather here (hi other maggie!) i picked four solid kaufman cottons in peacock colors that coordinated with the liberty. i also picked up a fat quarter of solid yellow.

i made seven 'slices' and sewed them together to create a half circle. (i measured and cut so each slice would be 26 degrees after seam allowances were subtracted).

i added yellow teardrop on each slice for the eyespot and repeated the whole process for the back of the fan. finally i sewed the two half circles together.

the hard part was finding the right balance between having the fan be stiff enough to stand up behind maya while still being light weight (she is a real peanut) and comfortable. in the end i cut a piece of stiff interfacing into a semi circle and sewed on light weight boning radiating out from the center. i slipped it inside the fan, and stitched the whole thing closed by hand. 

i really wanted the dress to be worn in everyday life after halloween so designing a way to attach the fan, but not detract from the dress got a lot of thought (over many pumpkin beers).

remember that ribbon i added to the bodice that was only attached on the front half of the dress? well i made two button holes in the fan spaced so that when the dress was worn the ribbon could be threaded through them and tied around back. 

that was the majority of the security but we added two safety pins for extra security/to get it to stand up. 

which was perfect for the neighborhood halloween party...

but since almost 2 year olds like to run around it also spent a fair amount of time in the down position after mom's work party around downtown ann arbor.

here it is in front of angel hall... 

and in nickles arcade...

though it was time to go trick-or-treating a few days later it came up again. 

as i hoped maya has continued to get use out of the dress sans fan. though my sisters informs me the fan still gets use during dress up time.


aunt maggie