This is gonna be a long story, dear readers, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
I have a friend who works with a lady (Leni) whose 3-year-old daughter is dealing with her second (!!!) bout with cancer. I don’t know the kind, I just know that this girl had a tumor about the size of a baseball growing in her. 3.Years.Old.
Anyway, so my friend (Carol) approached me a few weeks ago with an idea for this girl (Delilah). As a part of her treatment, there was a story started about how D was a superhero. She got really into it and determined that she was Spider Delilah. So there’s a Facebook group and everything for this girl.
Carol approached me about making her a costume to go along with her superhero persona, because what superhero is complete without their trademark look, right? We got to work picking fabrics and designing the costume. Delilah insisted that it be pink and purple, because again, 3-year-old girl.
I must put in here a little background about myself: I have done a lot of sewing of all kinds, from hobby sewing of garments for myself to being on staff with a historical museum working in their costume studio to wardrobe their living history exhibits. I like doing custom/commission work, and my friend thinks my abilities are WAY more impressive than I do.
Back to the actual story. Carol and I had barely hatched this plan and she had told Leni that this is what we were planning. Delilah was having a bad day that day and was crying uncontrollably, so Leni told Delilah what we were up to so she would calm down. That lit a fire under us, since it went from D to THE WHOLE WARD IN THE HOSPITAL super quick. We had to come up with a back story as to why it would take so long. Another of my friend’s coworkers jumped in to flesh out a story. I’m including what could be considered the “cliff-notes” version here:
Story basics: the fabric used for REAL superhero costumes is made from thread spun by magical spiders. The spiders use fairies to talk with humans. Only a few human seamstresses are allowed to use the fabric to make the superhero costumes, and they must be approved by the fairies after rigorous testing. The human can ask for colors, and then they share what they know of the new superhero. The spiders take that knowledge, and a little bit of themselves and make the magic thread and give it to the fairies, who weave the thread into fabric. After the fabric gets final approval for the fabric design & color from the spiders, the fairies give it to the approved seamstresses to create the costume.
So, after much talking with the fairies, we came up with a plan:
Here’s the progress pics:
Finished cape! I know, I know, Edna Mode said no capes, but this one was a requirement.
The birth of the superhero logo:
(I’m a child of the 80’s/90’s, and my maiden name started with an S, so that stylized S is forever ingrained in my head!)
Bracers for warding off blows:
Finished chest logo and chest port access:
Most importantly, the tutu!
About halfway through my construction timeline, I got word that Delilah was losing her hair. So I knit her a soft hat with a spider on it:
I used pink crushed velvet for the main suit, with 2 widths of stretch sequin trim for waistband of the pants and on the bracers (not pictured). There’s 5 yards of tulle in that tutu. The top was made according to request; sort of reverse-engineered from pictures I was sent from a medical clothing website. The right shoulder seam and side open completely, as well as the panel behind the chest logo for easy access without having to take her shirt off. Carol bought some lace masquerade masks to match the colors.
This creation was delivered tonight. Carol went without me; I didn’t want to take any attention away from Delilah. She’s been in the hospital since Monday ( I think) for this round of chemo, and was just not having a good evening. All they could convince her to wear was the cape and the tutu, so there we have it: