Birdie has been obsessed with Raya since the movie trailers first started coming out last year, and immediately decided she wanted a Raya and the Last Dragon birthday party. Sadly I couldn’t find a single Raya themed anything in stores in Perth – i’m guessing something to do with all the logistics and supply issues related to Covid. But as you know, i’ll take any excuse to make my kids a cute costume, so when we couldn’t find any locally I made one!
As per usual I tried to make the elements of the costume wearable on their own and am pleased to report that they have mostly been used a lot since her party last year! Birdie loves this costume SO MUCH and was taking her character quite seriously, as you can probably tell from these uncharacteristically serious photos haha. She means business people.
For the little waistcoat/jacket I actually used the bodice of the Mini Darling Ranges pattern! I just smoothed the neckline into more of a curve. The neckline is finished with bias tape, and the hem is just folded under and topstitched. I used my favourite mushroom linen that you know I just can’t stop using, but i feel was perfect for this project! Since her birthday this waistcoat has been used as a Sheriff’s waistcoat, and some sort of dystopian future outfit for a game she was playing with Bunny and Buddy.
The pants are made using the Mini Opal pattern that I am endlessly working on and never finishing. Sorry. I decided that true wrap pants weren’t going to practical for a 7 year old, plus I didn’t have enough fabric! Instead i cut two panels based of the front leg pattern piece and curved them from ankle up to waist. They are then hemmed with a rolled hem. I actually really love how they turned out! I’m a bit disappointed that these are the one element Birdie really hasn’t worn much since. She had a big growth spurt shortly after, and associated them so much with Raya that she only wanted to wear them as a costume. But that’s ok, I can’t make everything endlessly useful! The fabric is cupro from Potter and Co in Perth I can’t find a listing for this fabric so i think it might be sold out. I used the leftover scraps from our Brumby skirt sample and nothing makes me happier than using up my scraps!!
The little tee is made using Mini Briar and my personal special binding method. I was super careful with the topsitching, because Birdie is actually wearing this tee inside out! The only fabric I had in stash that was the right colour for the undershirt was an adorable mustard bear print. So I made it knowing she would wear the bear print tee casually a lot, and then she just wore it inside out for her Raya costume. She loves that bear tee so much and wears it constantly, so I think it’s the real winner of this make! She ended up wearing it under her Paddington costume for Bookweek, and funnily enough i still haven’t taken a photo of the right side of the adorable tee!
For shoes we went with the classic Minnetonka moccasin Tramper boots which are a staple in our family!
Lastly the sword is borrowed from Buddy’s large collection. This is the greatest disappointment to Birdie as i really couldn’t manage to DIY that awesome sword Raya has. But i think she survived.
For her hair we tried our best to copy Raya’s half up half down braid style, and i think it’s too bad!
There are two elements missing from this costume, the cape and hat. To be honest, Birdie just didn’t want to wear either so we left them out! I think it’s important to stick with what the kid wants when doing projects like this.
Overall i’m so happy with how this costume turned out and Birdie loved it so much. I know I say it often, but making my kids costumes is something I never imagined I would love so much, but brings me so much joy whenever i get to do it!
And of course we can’t finish this post with some more authentic Birdie giggles, courtesy of her big sister Bunny who always knows how to bring out the big smiles even when you’re trying your very best to be a serious warrior!