I love Book Week and this year I decided to make a costume from Roald Dahl’s book – Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Miss 6 is reading it in class so I thought it would be fun to make a “Veruca Salt” costume for Book Week which is on this year from Saturday 22nd August – Friday 28th August. I remember our library teacher reading this to me and my class when I was at Primary School!
So do you all remember who Veruca Salt is? She’s the spoilt little girl with the wealthy Dad who screams and throws tantrums to get what she wants. When Veruca demands that she gets a Golden Ticket, her father buys thousands of boxes of Wonka Bars, and has his employees open them all up to search for one. She is the second child to find a ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
I picked the costume to look more like the Veruca Salt from the 1971 movie adaptation of the book as her costume was quite iconic. She wears a red drop waisted dress, with black buttons down the front with white collar and cuffs.
Of course chocolate has to be eaten during the photography of this costume!
Looking for a drop waisted sewing pattern proved to be more difficult than I thought, so I actually had to pick a design that was the closest and add some modifications. The pattern used was Burda 9455 which is made for a stretch fabric, so I also purchased from Spotlight 1.5 metres of combed cotton jersey in red and .25 of it in white.
The modifications I made were to cut the top front yoke and the body of the dress as one piece as I didn’t want that seam on our dress. After checking Miss 6’s measurements, I also shortened the top and back sections of the dress by 9.5 cms so that the seam would sit at her hip height.
To make the dress more usable after book week I made the white collar and cuffs detachable. The cuffs just sat on top and the peter pan type collar piece was sewn on to some white bias binding so that it could just be placed around the neck and tied at the back. You could choose to tuck the bow inside the dress and you’d never know it wasn’t a permanent feature.
Even though the dress is stretchy there is a zip at the back so that you can add facings and make it sit neatly around the neckline. Before sewing the front and back body dress sections to the skirt I added some black bias binding right side facing to the bodice. That way once the skirt sat on top and it was all sewn together I could fold down the bias binding towards the skirt for a neat looking mock belt.
When sewing, I like to overlock all my pattern pieces once they are cut and then sew them together in order on my sewing machine. I find that a zigzag stitch with a 0.8 width and 2.3 length works well for stretch fabric as it is a small enough zigzag to look like a straight stitch but with a good amount of stretch so that the threads won’t break when the outfit is worn.
Lastly, I sewed some black buttons down the front with a needle and thread.
I created a little “Golden Ticket” printable PDF to share with you so that you can create your own costume or character for Book Week. All you need to do is download this Golden Ticket Printable file and print it on a colour printer. If you have pinking shears, use them to cut out the zigzag edges of the ticket so it looks like the real tickets. Missy took her ticket to school today to show her class as she was so excited when everyone thought it was a real golden ticket! Even her teacher.
Often with sewing it’s about finding the best pattern to suit your needs and adjusting accordingly. Sometimes you’re adjusting the fabric you use to something you already have on hand or you need to check and adjust the size to fit. The same goes for Book Week costumes and I understand that not everyone has the time to sew a whole dress for the occasion, but there are adjustments you can make and shortcuts. You could purchase a red t-shirt / skirt and then add some buttons down the front, add a strip of black fabric for the belt and a make the detachable fabric collar and cuffs. Some cute stockings and Mary Jane shoes finish off the outfit perfectly along with the most important part – The Golden Ticket!
I’d love to see your Book Week costumes or hear from you if you make a costume. Does your school celebrate Book Week? Are you like me and secretly love the excuse to go shopping at Spotlight and to get sewing?