Anda Corrie is an American artist, armchair anthropologist, and autodidact living in Berlin, Germany with her young family. She works as a graphic designer for Etsy by day, and also frequently by night. Stalk her thrilling life on Pinterest, Spoonflower, Instagram, or her woefully neglected blog.
As the proud mama of a kindergarten-aged daughter, I operate in a universe of peer-influenced taste that runs the wide, wide spectrum from pink to princess to unicorn to pink. Needless to say, when my kid announced out of nowhere—with a ferocious snarl—that she intended to be a VAMPIRE BAT THAT DRINKS BLOOD for Halloween, I was pretty much thrilled. After confirming several times that she didn’t actually mean a pink princess unicorn vampire bat, I got to work.
You will need:
Long-sleeve knit shirt that fits your child
1 yard lightweight woven fabric for wings
Chalk and about 2′ of string or yarn, for marking fabric
5-6” diameter saucer
Scissors, thread, and your sewing machine
Fold your fabric in half and lay the shirt next to it flat, with the arm slightly raised and extending over the fabric.
Tie one end of the string to your chalk.
Place the chalk at the cuff and pull the string taut to the armpit of the shirt. Hold down that end of the string as you arc the chalk across the fabric from cuff to bottom hem of the shirt, drawing a curved line. Use the chalk to trace the shirt seam and sleeve onto the fabric.
Cut out the resulting shape—since the fabric is folded, you’ll have two pieces. Repeat on opposite side of shirt to create the second wing. You should now have four total wing shapes, two for each side of the shirt.
Grab a plate and trace half-circles along the curved edge of each pair of wing pieces and cut out.
With right sides together, sew a straight stitch along the curved edges of each wing.
Notch fabric along this side and clip the corners.
Turn right-side out and press.
Turn the shirt inside-out. Carefully open up the seams of the shirt along its sides and underside of sleeves.
Insert the wings, lining up and pinning the two unsewn sides of each wing along the seams you’ve just opened on the shirt. It will look pretty bunched up, especially in the arms, so pin and then sew one side at time to make it easier to handle.
Sew a straight stitch along where you’ve pinned, essentially re-closing the seams of the shirt. When you turn the shirt right side out again, it will look like this (above). But don’t turn it yet—repeat with opposite side first.
And then you’re all done! Bat wings! Put the shirt on your kid and watch them fly all over the house.
All photographs by Anda Corrie.