My Fair Lady

By Denise Umland, costumier for the Round House Theatre Bethesda and Silver Spring. Productions include "The Chairs," "columbinus" and "Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train."


White twin flat sheet

1 package Rit dye (she used the teal color)

Craft glue, such as Sobo Premium Craft and Fabric Glue, or hot glue

Iron-on fusing tape, such as Steam-A-Seam

Small package plastic faceted gems

3 yards fabric-backed pearl trim

1 yard fabric-backed pearl trim in contrasting design

1 sheet colored 28-by-22-inch poster board

1 piece of chiffon, tulle or organza fabric, 281/2 inches square

1 foot thin elastic trim for chin strap


5 yards white-and-gold cord trim

Dye the sheet in washing machine, following package instructions, and dry. (Make sure to clean washer afterward, using detergent, bleach and rags or old towels.) Fold sheet in half horizontally. Cut an oval shape roughly 10 inches long for the neckline (see diagram). Make a roughly 45-degree cut on each side for the sleeves, and cut the body of the dress out at a slight angle, giving ample room for movement. Turn the dress inside out and fuse the sleeve seams and side seams with iron-on fusing tape. With the dress right-side out, glue fabric-backed pearl trim to edge of sleeve openings. Glue additional pearl trim to top edge of neckline and then a ring of contrasting trim about 2 inches below it. Glue jewels to neckline.

To make the hat, cut the poster board diagonally; roll into a cone, trimming the bottom to fit your head. Staple the top, middle and bottom to form a cone (this might require two people). Also glue the seam, which will be in back of hat. Take the chiffon or tulle and staple a corner of it twice to the peak of the cone. Glue jewel over staples. Try on hat to determine position of elastic strap; staple strap inside hat on each side. Wearing the dress, wrap the cord trim around neck and cross in front, then wrap again two or three times around waist. Knot and let the ends dangle.