AnnaMay's Wonder Woman costume!!
Before I show you the rest, a little back story:
Her mom Andrea convinced AnnaMay to put on her favorite shirt again just for us here at Epbot, though, and just LOOK at that big beautiful smile:
AnnaMay's story really struck a chord with me, so I put out an open call to you readers for help in making her a Wonder Woman costume. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions that could have easily gone badly, but I hit the jackpot when Brooke Wilkerson and Teka England - both professional costumers with insanely impressive resumes - immediately and enthusiastically stepped up. (In fact, I turned away nearly a dozen volunteers just in that first day. Because you guys are freaking amazing. But you already knew that, right?)
What followed was a three-month long-distance project, with lots of e-mailed conferences, photo references, and measurements flying back and forth. During my Sabbatical Brooke and Teka kept the ball rolling with AnnaMay's mom, Andrea, which was a huge relief, let me tell ya.
AnnaMay was practically beside herself with excitement, and requested a true classic for her Wonder Woman costume: Linda Carter's:
Of course the costume would need to be made more little-girl appropriate, though, and AnnaMay's sensory processing disorder presented an even greater challenge, since nothing on it could be tight or restricting. Again, Brooke and Teka were amazing: they knew exactly what to do at all times.
Ok, you've waited long enough:
AnnaMay's mom took this shot; check out that Super Sass! WORK IT, GRRRL. ;)
Teka made the spandex body suit extra loose with a see-through mesh shoulder section for support, plus a separate elastic skirt for modesty. Gorgeous *and* super comfy!
Brooke was in charge of the boot covers and cape, which we agreed to shorten for wearability - and she even showed AnnaMay how to tie it around her shoulders so it wouldn't cut into her neck. GENIUS.
Brooke's blog post on all the gorgeous applique details - and for a photo tutorial on how to tie it around the shoulders.
The boots were another challenge, since footwear is a big trigger for AnnaMay's sensory disorder. Eventually they decided she would wear her favorite sneakers inside the boots, which Brooke made completely from scratch. (They have an invisible velcro panel up the back.)
The tiara, cuffs, and lasso were my responsibility... so I bought them on Etsy. :D (In my defense, these look much better than anything I could have made.)
As wonderful as all this is, the best part for me was learning that AnnaMay and her parents would be visiting Orlando for the Disney Halloween party - so John and I got to hang out with them last week!
Oh, and on the way in to see them at the Contemporary, we stumbled across this Super group:
We spent a few hours at the Magic Kingdom with AnnaMay, her parents Jay & Andrea, and her Nana, Nana. :) It was a fun group. AnnaMay was shy at first, but by the end of the afternoon she was happily chattering away at my side. She even asked me to take a photo with her and Buzz:
(It was about a million degrees outside, so AnnaMay shed most of her layers for the afternoon.)
In some ways it was like going to Disney with a mini-me, since AnnaMay has a lot of my same anxieties regarding rides and transportation. She did great, though, and you'd never think she was missing out at all, between the character greets and shopping and the few rides she did go on. Plus she had the Halloween Party to look forward to; John and I left them just before that started.
A huge, HUGE thank you to Teka and Brooke for making this Wonder-full costume possible, and to all of you readers who leave such encouraging comments on all my Exemplar posts. You guys let me do things I've only dreamed of, and I've never been more proud of our community.
And, of course, we owe all of today's happy feelz to this brave little Warrior Princess:
Thank you, AnnaMay!