A short black dress – mine was a jersey fabric but it’d make your life a lot easier if the material wasn’t stretchy
2 metres yellow and 2 metres black 4-inch fringing – You may need to adjust according to your size and the length of your dress. I ordered mine on the phone from Fabricland for delivery, total cost with P&P £8.50.
A sewing machine
Pins, tape measure, scissors etc
1. Start by working out how many layers of alternating black and yellow fringing you’ll need by measuring your dress from the top to the hem. The fringe is 4 inches long but you want the layers to overlap slightly (by about an inch) and for the last layer to hang over the hem slightly. I used four rows each of black and yellow.
2. Put on the dress, take the black fringe and hold it along the top hem to work out how wide the first row needs to be. Cut off the strip of fringe. Then, starting in the middle, and while still wearing the dress, pin the fringe in place. N.B: You need to keep the dress on otherwise when you pin it the fabric won’t be stretched to the right width. If you use a none-stretchy fabric you can pin it flat and everything will be much easier.
3. Carefully take off the dress and adjust or add any pins so that the fringe is held in place. Then use the sewing machine to sew the fringe to the dress, being careful to keep the ends of the fringe out of the way so they don’t get caught. It was a bit tricky because the length of fringe was longer than the unstretched material but I just about managed it, a few wonky rows aside.
4. Repeat this process for each of the rows. By the end I was pinning two at a time and then sewing them. It took probably four hours in total.
5. Snip off excess thread or loops of the fringe that have been cut and you’re done. You could also add wings or any of the various bee bits you can get in fancy dress shops, but I didn’t bother.
My other costume was much easier. All I had to do was buy a C-3PO swimming costume, some gold leggings and a pair of gold shoes (all from eBay) and my terrifyingly tight C-3PO fancy dress was complete.