As you now know my son loves Ladybirds, so when I saw him in a tabard Ladybird costume at his nursery I knew I had to make one for him for home, and for the shops and for walking and fro from the nursery and toddler groups … you get my drift …
Pictures are a little dodgily dark; as always, I did it late at night and as my husband insists on cloaking the house with energy saving light bulbs (frugal miser not eco-warrior) you possible can’t see details as good.
I started out with two pieces of black fabric that should be as wide as your child’s shoulders and somewhere a few inches above the knees. Then shape as a Ladybird towards the knees end but double hem the neck end straight; same for both pieces.
I used a standard double hemmed ‘flat seam’ to connect the two neck ends together which made it durable but to be honest a single flat seam is fine if its not going to get a lot of wear and tear. I would however stitch over again (as in the picture above for extra strength). There are loads of tutorials out here on how to do a decent flat seam, capping it off with a diagonal seam (shown directly above) for extra support where the head is pulled through. As stated previously I added another line of stitching on top as shown above in red thread for even more strength but this isn’t essential.
You can make the red wing pieces from two pieces if you want, I just decided to do it using one long strip and fold it. Leave 5″ for stuffing in the wadding that should be cut to the same shape as the wing. You could do an invisible stitch to close it up but I kind’a liked the crisper look so I just went all the way round on the machine.
The Red wings should endeavor to be the same shape and size as one of the Black tabard sides BUT if its slightly bigger or even smaller I wouldn’t sweat it. Mine are an inch bigger either side; a mistake but it looks fine.
I ironed on some fusible web stuff on to the back of the same black fabric I used for the tabard and after penciling with a chalk pen, six large mug circles, I ironed them on to the red wings and then used a contrasting red thread to keep the dots in place. Then all you have to do is sew up leaving the 5″ gap, load in your wing shape wadding and close.
I debated how to attach the wings but decided to attach from underneath so they flop back in place when worn. I did iron the crease a little but remember wadding compacts on ironing so a light press only… ever!
My opinion is that finding a good black fabric is preferable. A normal cotton is too light weight and fleece gathers and is blinking hot for indoors during summer AND my pet hate with fleece is that it does attract all sorts of household debris and no amount of picking, washing or vacuuming gets it out (think velcro). A stretchy jersey would have been the best option all round due to its practicality for pulling over little heads and medium weight but I couldn’t get hold of any so a fine corduroy was my second and only option. I still think I’ll be hoovering him down, but anyway … an 8/10
It was waiting for him when he woke up and when he saw it I got the response I was hoping for. It would look terrific in yellow or green and could be embellished with ribbons or buttons.