mary poppins white dress

About three weeks ago, I explained Halloween to Melissa. Last year we just skimmed over Halloween because Lila was born at the end of September, and I think Melissa was just slightly too young to really understand it all. She did love dressing up as a fairy though. Melissa has always been up for a game of dress-up.

When I told her she could dress up as any princess, character, etc. that she wanted. . .

She got this really deep, thoughtful look on her face, the face she makes when she’s processing a new idea. She tilts her head up a little and looks past my face, and processes the new idea. I asked her who she wanted to be.

“Mary Poppins!” And not just any Mary Poppins costume – the Jolly Holiday dress. (She also wants Lila to be Cinderella, me to be Princess Anna from Frozen, and Rory to be Pooh Bear.)

So I started researching Mary Poppins costumes on online costume shops.


I turned to Etsy.

They were all between 70-100 dollars, and that wasn’t including the famous umbrella and white hat.

I love my child, but I do have to be realistic. I can’t fork over that much money for a costume.

I asked Melissa who her second choice would be. She said she wanted to be Rapunzel with flowers in her hair. Well, that was doable. There were tons of cheap options for a Rapunzel costume. But I just didn’t feel good about it.

Melissa LOVES Mary Poppins. She’s always wanted the “Mary Poppins white dress”. Any dress she has that is even just a little bit white, she calls her Mary Poppins white dress and she pretends to be Mary Poppins.

Melissa is a hyper handful. She drives me crazy a lot. But she is also the sweetest and most understanding little girl I could ever hope for. She shares with Lila, she’s always bringing her toys. She’s patient (for a 2-year-old). She is gentle. She gives Lila kisses all the time. And seriously, what an old soul she is! How many girls her age ask to be Mary Poppins? My little girl deserves to have a real Mary Poppins dress. If I can’t buy one already made, I’ll just have to put one together and hope it comes out looking decent, while being friendly to our budget at the same time. I can’t make one up from scratch, but if I can buy different already-made pieces to stitch together, I could make it work.

Amazon has been my friend through this. Confession time: up until these past couple of weeks I’ve never really perused through Amazon before. Ignorance was bliss. Now I’m kind of obsessed.

So I ordered her a petticoat, and a ruffle blouse that has that old-time Mary Poppins look to it. The rest is up to me.

I also ordered a cheap white umbrella and hat.Those were supposed to be a surprise for her once her dress was finished. But she found them in my “brilliant” hiding spot. She nearly fainted from excitement.


The petticoat came already. I’m not too excited about it. The picture made it look like it added layers upon layers to a dress, just like Mary Poppins’ dress. So for only $13 I grabbed it up. It’s only three wimpy layers. I gave it three stars on Amazon. The seller contacted me and offered me a full refund if I change my review to five stars. (I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed.)

Now, I’d like to think I’m an ethical person, but I’m also a stay-at-home-mom on a budget. I can have clouded judgment. I am flawed. I gave the petticoat five undeserved stars. I got a free petticoat. So there’s that. Moving on.

Sewing, I cannot do. I can sew a button. That’s it. I need to add more layers of tulle to the petticoat, and a lacy white layer of fabric over that. I need to conjure up a red corset. And maybe –maaaybe—add white lacey sleeves to the top since it’s a short sleeve top.  I tried sewing a layer onto my petticoat by hand. I think every seamstress in the world would be reaching for their barf bags if they could’ve seen me. So I ordered myself a mini sewing machine off Amazon for $25. Free two-day shipping. Another Amazon purchase to save the day.

My little guy.



All of my components so far! Time to get sewing.

So far it’s a costume under $30, if you don’t count the sewing machine. I don’t. 🙂

She is so excited. If she wasn’t so excited I’d give her the cheap and easy Rapunzel dress because she’s 2 and she won’t remember this. But every day she says (only about 100 times), “The Mary Poppins white dress is came in the maaa-iiil! Mama gonna fix it uuu-uuuup!” In her little sing-songy voice. I mean, how can you ignore that wonder and excitement? What a cool old soul she is.

Plus, I know this dress will get more than one or two uses. She will wear it all the time. She’s even already planning her Mary Poppins themed birthday party.

I just hope I don’t mess it up! I’ll keep updating as I go!