My artistic challenge this week was to create an outfit that showcases butterflies. It’s hard not to like butterflies. They help pollinate our gardens, they are pretty to look at, and in some ways they are big mysteries disguised inside tiny bodies. I still don’t quite understand how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. (I’ve read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar dozens of times and I’m still stumped). These mystifying, colorful creatures bouncing through the air intrigue me, which is always a good qualification for costume inspiration. So with no further ado, here’s my butterfly-inspired outfit:
This shows my hat in an early stage of development:
And here it is once I’ve finished it:
Bird’s eye view (or would that be butterfly’s view?):
A better view of the back:
And the front:
The butterflies on my shirt also include batik as well as other fabric pieces from my sewing stash. I think clothes deserve to be visually interesting on the front as well as the back, so I did a butterfly on each side. The front side has buttons as the spots. (I heart buttons.) This costume was really fun to make because I appliqued pieces together and it was a little like quilting, which I’ve started to learn in the last couple of years.
The necklace is something I made a year ago—not as a necklace, actually—using broken mirror pieces. I found it yesterday by accident, which proved to be perfect timing, and it demanded to be part of the effect today.
Monarch butterflies live only a few weeks, and for me, seeing one feels like I’ve been gifted with a happy surprise. A butterfly encounter is ephemeral, so I appreciate the few seconds when they are nearby. Then they’re off, bouncing through the air on those beautiful wings—which somehow are both strong and delicate at the same time—seeking another garden to dazzle.
And now, like the butterfly, I am off. But I’ll come visit again soon. Let’s plan to meet right back here, next Wednesday…