This Paper Butterfly Dress was part of a local fashion show to raise money for books for children. It was a lot of fun and an entirely new adventure in sewing!
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Paper Butterfly Dress
Each year a local charity, Madison Reading Project, has a fashion show to raise money for books for underprivileged children. My dress would be made of something that you wouldn’t find in department stores or even clothing boutiques! I decided to make a paper dress for the challenge, meet new people and step out of my comfort zone a bit. It was a lot of work, but a fun project!
The first step in creating this paper fashion look was a tulle underskirt. The skirt has 10 yards of gathered tulle that is gathered around a simple 2″ elastic waistband, then zig-zagged in place. The underskirt has a total of 3 layers of material and nearly reaches the floor. It’s easy to shorten this underskirt if needed, as it is not hemmed. (I had also considered using tissue paper for this portion of the dress but decided that the dress would have more structural integrity with a tulle underskirt.)
The bodice of the dress is next. I used a roll of 24″ wide medical paper and interfaced the pieces with Pellon mid-weight fusible interfacing to give it some structure. The bodice design is simple with just a waistline dart and a round neckline. The skirt is made with the same paper and interfacing, just gathered at the waist with a simple 1″ grosgrain ribbon for the waistband. Bodice and skirt are separate pieces to make it easier to put on. As you can imagine, paper clothing is rather delicate.
The first fitting went surprisingly well! It was finally time to decorate the dress with the butterflies!
Making the Paper Butterflies
The paper butterflies were cut on the Cricut Maker. It cut 108 of them so quickly! Each easy butterfly reminded me yet again why I am in love with this handy tool. You can find the butterfly design that I used in the Cricut Design Space. I was tempted to leave the butterflies white or even do a simple black and white look, but I thought a bit of color might make them stand out even more and add a whimsical feel to the finished product.
I spread 108 butterflies out on a piece of canvas in our attic for colorizing. Our attic is big, open and has plenty of room to work. Using the layout with an ombre coloration in mind, I began to spray the ink on the butterflies.
I created the ombre effect by working with light, medium and darker inks from left to right on the butterflies. After they were completely dry, I used a hot glue gun to attach them to the finished dress.
My paper dress turned out even better than I could’ve hoped! It’s always exhilarating when a vision for a project comes to life and the final result exceeds your expectations.
Professional hair and makeup artists were on hand to make the models even more beautiful for the fashion show!
You can see the entire process, including the dress on the runway coming soon on video! It was so much fun to step into the world of high-end fashion designers for a few days and watch my disposable garment come down the runway.
If you enjoyed this project, here are a few others from the blog that you will love:
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