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I’m not sure if it’s just in our house, but there seems to have been a lot of occasions requiring fancy dress recently. Fortunately I love a challenge!

We copped out at Christmas, it was my daughter’s first nativity play at her pre-school and she had been cast as a star.(Not the star, mind you; in this play she was just one of a galaxy) I had every intention of getting busy with the glitter glue and sequins but I fell at the first hurdle. It turns out that I am geometrically backward and I couldn’t even manage to draw a decent star shape on cardboard.

I happened to be in the supermarket later that day and saw the lovely golden (and geometrically accurate) star costumes for just £6. It was a no-brainer; I justified it to myself that I would have spent more than that on glitter to make a homemade affair. Furthermore, my daughter would have no doubt refused to wear my offering as it would have been so rubbish, uncomfortable and generally embarrassing.

This summer though, I’ve had a bit more practice and I’m getting more confident at the whole “homemade-costumes” concept. As with all things, practice makes perfect and I’m now finding my groove. I’m actually even contemplating buying a sewing machine. Well, I might just borrow one for a bit and see if I can figure out how to use it.

This week we’ve had a double whammy. My daughter is entering a fancy dress costume at a village summer fair and the theme is animals. The pressure is immense; she (aged four) has informed me that she is in it to win it and she wants to be a butterfly. The regulars at the village fair have informed me that shop-bought costumes don’t win and so the focus is on me to produce the goods.

It’s taken up most of my evenings this week but I’ve managed to make the wings. A bit of garden wire and some beautiful scraps of fabric later they’re looking pretty good. The fact that they are incredibly fragile and likely to fall apart at any moment is a bit of an issue but hopefully they’ll at least last through the judging.

The second fancy dress costume was a proper mum’s-challenge. When I dropped my girl off at pre-school one morning the teacher informed me that she would need to be in costume the following day, dressed as her favourite book character.

I tried my very best to convince her that she should be Tinkerbelle, thus getting me off the hook and giving the new wings a test run. My daughter was having none of it and was resolute that she wanted to be the big bad wolf. Brilliant.

A quick Google later and had some ideas. I managed to get hold of a big piece of grey fun fur for a couple of quid and got busy. Don’t get me wrong, I am no dress maker, but I am not ashamed to admit that I am disproportionately proud with the results.

Not only does the costume feel like a mummy badge of honour to me, I’m thinking that it’ll do for Halloween and with a slight variation to the ears, hey presto we’ve got a nativity donkey!

What’s on

Saturday, July 13

9am – 5pm Ashville Sports Club’s Family Fun Day, Yew Tree Lane, Harrogate, HG2 9JP
www.ashvillesportsclub.co.uk. Come along and try our facilities free of charge, Kids’ activities, competitions & bouncy castle, badminton & tennis, family swimming session after 11am, discounted family memberships and refreshments available.

11am-1pm Jennyfield Styan Community Centre Summer Fayre and car boot sale. A variety of stalls and table tops inside and out including tombola, cake stall, raffle, refreshments, face painting and BBQ

11am-3pm Treasures Toyshop in Wetherby have a free craft event planned. On Saturday 13th July we have a team of experts from Alex (children’s toys & craft company) joining us to demonstrate some fantastic products. Children will be encouraged to get stuck in make their own animal or monster puppets , create beautiful giant flowers and they get to take home their creations. The product quality is high with everything you need is included in each set, these activities will keep children occupied and stretch their imaginations.
This will be a super event and it’s free. No need to book families can just pop in.

Sunday, July 14

11am-3 pm Martin House fundraiser day at Wetherby Children’s centre. 50p entrance fee
Refreshments, Avon, Jamie Oliver, Raffle, Face Painting, Phoenix Cards, Nail Art, Books/Clothing and much more. A local mum of three is doing a sponsored head-shave on the day

Wednesday, July 17

10-11.30am Tots and Toys Toddler Group Wednesdays (term time) at Mowbray Community Church Westmoreland Street Harrogate HG1 5AT

Thursday, July 18

1.30-2.30pm Penny Pot Fun Session. Exciting play activities for parents and children held at Pennypot Community Centre.