21 August 2013

Rainbow Brite costume

If you've read my previous post on doing a leather jacket refashion, you'll know that I have started to do blog posts on some of my more interesting sewing adventures.

A few weeks ago I received a request that stated:

costume for city to surf

Nothing heavy but would like to know if you can make a Rainbow Brite costume?

Well, I must say I had to google Rainbow Brite, and the date for the City to Surf. Rainbow Brite sounded kind of familiar, but nothing I could put my finger on. I found numerous images come up of costumes made by others, and, a colourfully clad cartoon character, named Rainbow Brite. This character appeared on Hallmark greeting cards in the 1980's, and even had an animated series made.

Image source
I was a little reluctant to take on this project, not normally one for doing costumes, unless it's for one of my children. On showing the email and my google findings to my husband, he encouraged me to pursue this, even though the dress needed to be totally finished and ready to run (pun intended) in less than 4 weeks. I am so glad that I did though, I had a ball making this dress, and the outcome was great!

For those non Aussies reading this, the City to Surf is the world's largest fun run, held annually in Sydney on the second Sunday in August. It starts in Sydney's CBD, and follows a 14km course ending at Bondi Beach (for those who don't get sidetracked and finish up at a pub along the way that is). My client, Linda was running in the City to Surf to support her charity of choice, Youth Off the Streets. I have always thought it would be fun to enter, but have never quite gotten around to going in it myself. Maybe when my kids are older it might be fun to go in it as a family!

Linda and I looked at quite a few Rainbow Brite images of other costumes and the original cartoon character (not to be confused with the modernised version of Rainbow Brite that Hallmark have introduced). Linda wanted the dress to look as close to the original as possible, so we used a few different images as reference to come up with our design and colours.

The majority of the fabric I used was from my remnants stash. (I end up with a lot of off-cuts when doing day care sheets!) The coloured fabrics are poly cotton, very light weight so Linda wouldn't get too hot on the day, and not so cotton rich that she would end up all wrinkled by the time she got to Bondi Beach.

I won't bore you with too many details of the design though, you be the judge of how we went against the original.

And how cute are these stars? Linda did a great job adding her trademark sparkle to this outfit, and managed to turn a piece of cream felt into this gorgeous gold star at the end of the rainbow!

Lets not forget the legs!
Thanks Linda for taking me on an adventure with the making of this dress!

Image Credit: Jon Manez
Photo: www.Marathon-photos.com


  1. I love this! Would you be willing to post a tutorial of the sewing project. I'm going to be Rainbow Brite for Halloween and my daughter is going to be Twink! I haven't been able to locate a good RBB costume tutorial.

    1. I'll see what I can do for you. I won't be able to use step by step photos, but I'll look through and find any other photos that I took while I was making it. Be sure to link me up to some photos if you manage to make one!