Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone! I can't wait to see your Halloween costumes, and post pictures of hubby & I (and beagle) in ours, but it won't be for a week or so. I'm taking my "final, final exams" for school for the next several days. Ugh. Fingers crossed they go well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last minute Halloween costumes part III - Thing 1 & Thing 2

Last year, my friend and I wanted to make Halloween costumes that went together. But, they had to be fast, easy to make, and inexpensive. So, we decided to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat.

Total cost to make 1 costume: roughly $3 ($2 for the red shirt and $1 for the pom poms, plus some change for a remnant. I already had one of the remnants, and puffy paint.)

Thing 1 shirt and wig

Here's how to make a Thing 1 or Thing 2 costume:


Red shirt (long sleeved probably would look better, we made short sleeved because that's what we found at the store, but I think wore a long red shirt underneath)
White piece of fabric 10"x10" or so
Fleece (big enough to make a hat)
Set of blue pom poms (check out a dollar store for these)
Black puffy paint

Making the shirt:1) Cut the white piece of fabric into a circle
2) Write: "Thing 1" on the circle (or Thing 2, accordingly) using the black puffy paint
3) Sew the "Thing 1" (or Thing 2) circle onto the center front of your red shirt
4) Once sewn on, puffy paint the perimeter of the circle

Making the Wig:

Thing 1 and Thing 2 wig
1) Cut 2 half circles of fleece, so the stretch of the fabric is in the direction of the diameter of the circle. These should be big enough to be worn as a hat, once sewn together. BUT DON'T SEW THEM YET!2) Dissect the pom poms.
3) Divide the streamers from 1 pom pom into 4 or 5 sections
4) Take 1 section of the divided pom pom, and lay the streamers out in a line across 1 piece of your cut fleece. Start at the bottom of the fleece and work up to the curved top.
5) Sew a line across the streamers, connecting them to the fleece.
6) Take another section of streamers and sew them in a line about an inch or 2 above the first line.
7) Repeat steps 4-6 with the remaining streamers from the one pom pom, spacing the lines out so streamers will go to the top of the fleece. (but don't sew up into the seam allowance)
8) Repeat steps 3-7 with the other pom pom and other piece of fleece
9) With the streamers facing INSIDE, line up your 2 fleece pieces, and sew the rounded parts together, leaving the diameter open. TAKE CARE to avoid sewing streamers in your seam, so they will lay nicely when you open out the hat.
10) Turn the hat/wig right side out

Thing 1 and Thing 2 wig inside out

Finally, I just wore some red sweat pants to complete the look, which I already had.

Thing 1 costume

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last minute halloween costumes part II more pirate mix-n-match

Once upon a time, I was a "craft helper" for a week long children's program that had a pirate theme. To make it more festive for the kids, I dressed as a pirate every day.

Of course this pirate themed week was nowhere close to Halloween and I didn't have much notice of the theme, so I was in need of a bunch of pirate things, and I needed them fast!

To make it through the week I made 3 skirts, 1 vest, and a few different sashes. Using different tops I already had in my closet, and switching which pieces I wore together, I think it worked out.

Here are a couple more pieces that can be used for a pirates costume.

To have a variety of looks the skirts were all different:1) black cotton fabric, slightly past the knees Click here to see that pirate skirt

2) brown polyester, shorter skirt. Instead of cutting notches on the bottom of the skirt, I just left the selvaged edge the way it was... which had little clumps of thread every half inch or so.

3) striped fabric, shorter skirt. This one, like the black skirt has triangles cut from the bottom.

The Sashes:1) gray/black striped, more mesh like looking fabric, raw edges
2) red/green striped, cotton, sewn and pressed
3) plain red, not sewn
4) hemp, knotted sash with medallions

Just switching the sash worn over a skirt made the outfit look much different. With a few interchangeable pieces, you can tweak the look and make multiple different outfits. This is great if you have a couple different Halloween parties to go to, but don't want to wear the EXACT same costume.

These skirts and sashes were incredibly fast to sew, very simple, and very cheap.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last minute halloween costumes part I - Pirate (and witch skirt)

I wasn't going to open up my Halloween costume/decoration boxes this year... (I'm studying for a HUGE exam) but since it is my favorite holiday, I couldn't resist.

It was kind of fun digging through things, and I came across several costumes I made last minute in the past that were fun, quick, easy, and CHEAP.

First off, lets explore the world of simple pirate costumes for ladies.

The Skirt (which could also be the skirt of a witches costume):

Super simple pirate skirt
This literally took 5 minutes to make, here's all you need to do:

1) Decide how long and wide you want your skirt (mini skirt? knee length?)
2) Take those measurements, add an inch to both the length and width(or whatever you want for your seam allowance)
3) Cut 2 pieces of fabric to the size determined in step 2
4) Sew the 2 pieces of fabric together along the sides of the length
5) Add elastic to the waistband
6) Cut random triangles or chunks off of the bottom of the skirt leaving it with ragged edges.
7) Depending on your fabric choice, and how raw you want the skirt to look at the edges, you may want to add fray check along the bottom of the skirt.

Sashes:Pick out some fun striped fabric to make pirate sashes. Again, depending on how ragged of a look you want, you may want to sew the edges... or you may want to leave them plain. I also cut a thin strip of matching fabric to tie in my hair as a headband.

Pirate sash and headband

Add these two items together:
Pirate skirt and sashes
I also made some sashes/ties with medallions, but can't find them! Bummer. But, I just cut long strings of hemp, (maybe 3 or 4) and tied a knot connecting them all together every several inches, (the strands are still separate between knots). Then, on the ends of the hemp sash, I tied medallions at varying levels.

To complete the outfit and make things REALLY easy, just pair this with a top you already have in your closet. Tank tops work well.

This tank top is from GAP. The sash shown is different than above, and is not sewn. You can mix and match sashes to make the look different too.
easy pirate costume matched with tank top

This is my favorite shirt to pair with the skirt though:
easy pirate costume matched with long sleeved top
It is a "My Michelle" shirt that I bought from Kohl's, probably 10 years ago. It's supposed to be a dressy top, but for some reason I like it as a pirate top.

If you want to be even more classic pirate, make an eye patch and a fake hook. Also, adding any necklaces, bracelets or other jewelry that go with the pirate feel make it look so much better!

For guys, or ladies who don't want to go the skirt route, you can easily use the same ideas above, but with pants. Just cut chunks off of the bottom of a pair of pants to give the zig-zag random edge. Add some sashes, and there you go.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tin Man progress

I wanted our dog to have a full fledged tin man costume for Halloween to go along with hubby and I being the Lion and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. But, hubby didn't want anything to do with dressing up the dog.

The compromise:
1) Beagle gets a funnel hat, and a silver collar cover

2) These items are only to be worn by the dog for photographic evidence, but no longer. (In my eyes this is largely for the safety of our destructive little guy who would likely eat chunks of his costume if we looked away for more than a second; in hubby's eyes, dressing up a dog is just plain ridiculous)

Funny thing though... hubby was pretty excited about the spray paint we picked out and decided he was in charge of making the hat.

It should be dry now, so it just needs a strap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Completed coat!

My first coat is finally finished! It shouldn't have taken so long, but there were other things with more pressing deadlines.

I used McCalls M5525 pattern, style "B" and absolutely loved the pattern. It was easy to follow (with one exception discussed later), and there are several cute options to make. I'm already imagining the next coat/jacket I'm going to sew with this pattern... however, I do have a Simplicity coat pattern that I may try first.

In case you missed it and are interested, here are links to posts about the earlier stages of this project:
picking the pattern
finding the fabric
starting to sew
back panel & early stages of the infamous vent
lastly, the lining

Here, the lovely Ingrid (dress form) models the coat:
McCalls M5525 style B, front (looks like some of those buttons might to need adjusting... I'll have to see)

Here's the (blurry) back view, on me:
McCalls M5525 style B, back

I must admit, I had some issue with the coat lining... which, luckily is hidden. While sewing in the lining, I had a lot of trouble figuring out the vent, but after re-reading the pattern several times, thought I had it under control.

That was not the case. I think I either cut the lining on the wrong side, or sewed it inside out which caused some troubles. More than likely, this problem was not with the pattern, but with me. I have a habit of sewing things into the wee hours of the night, when I'm not thinking as clearly :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dorothy costume "done" but not really

I've been working on a costume of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz using McCalls pattern M4948. Here is what it looked like:

McCalls M4948 Dorothy costume

This picture was taken before I sewed white buttons on the straps, and after I hemmed it about 9 inches shorter. The skirt was VERY long before, and now falls just above my knees. Unfortunately by adjusting the length so drastically, the proportions look a little crazy, oh well.

This pattern was very easy to follow, and overall I'm happy with how it turned out. But, there are several changes I am in the process of making to make it look a little more like the original. That's why the costume is "done" but not really.

The Tin Man costume I wanted to make for our beagle is underway now too. Hubby and I compromised... I wanted to make a full fledged suit, he wanted nothing. So, the dog will have a funnel hat and silver collar cover. (hubby is in charge of the hat, and I think he actually had fun painting it!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lion Paws

The lion paws for hubby's Halloween costume screamed "mittens" so I cut fabric pieces to sew onto them to look more like the bottom of a paw. Hopefully they will now scream "animal feet looking mittens" But, we'll see :)

I cut brown scrap fabric into shapes that resembled the bottom of a paw, and used fray check around the edges since they were hand stitched directly on without turning the fabric under. There was much debate on the number of pad cushions and placement of them, but since it's hubby's costume, I let him decide. After the decision was final, I sewed the little pieces onto the mittens, and before they were fully sewn on, stuffed them with cotton to give them a "pad" look. (This would have looked a lot nicer had I sewn them on before finishing the mittens, but I didn't think of it until the mittens were done, and didn't want to rip them apart)

Finally, to complete the paw mittens... I had to add a little puffy paint around the perimeter of the pad cushions. I may have a slight addiction to puffy paint, and find any excuse to use it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

from lioness to lion... almost

The lion pattern (McCalls M6106) I used to make hubby's Halloween costume called for the use of longer fake fur fabric for the mane of the lion. When we purchased our supplies to make the costume, the store was out of it... and, since we live pretty far away from a decent fabric store, we didn't want to go back. So, we decided to look around for a substitute.

That's when we found tan/brown boas. We bought 3 of them, and instead of using the long fake fur in the pattern, I used the same material for the entire costume (fleece) with the plan of hand sewing the boas on for the lions mane.

Here is our lovely TV antenna modeling the mane. Obviously, there is still some work to do. This is what it looks like with 1 boa sewn on.

Besides the boas, I still have to add the dreaded elastic to the ankles of the costume. In the hopes to make hubby look "cooler" (ie, not wearing sweatpants) I did sew it without the elastic at first, but thought it would actually look better gathered, so the elastic is back in the picture.

To see earlier stages of this years halloween costume making process click the following links:

Picking out Dorothy & Lion costume patterns and fabric

Finding Dorothy's ruby red shoes (for cheap!)

Sewing the skirt to bodice for Dorothy costume

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm melting! melting!

Ok not the Wicked Witch, this time it's Dorothy!

I'm almost done with the Dorothy costume, but this is a picture from when I was gathering the skirt to sew it to the bodice :) That was A LOT more fabric than I'm used to.

Hubby's lion costume is almost done too... but I made it a little too GIANT, and will be cutting off oooooh, about 10 inches from the legs. Better too long than not long enough?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween ghost how-to

How to make a ghost out of cloth:


Scrap white fabric cut roughly into a square (mine was probably 6"x6")
Mod Podge
foam brush
cup (to mix mod podge & water in)
a little bit of water

First, mix mod podge and a little bit of water into a cup (the water just helps make it easier to spread)

Next, drape the fabric over something so the center (or ghosts head) is in the middle. I used the container of mod podge as the form.

Then, use the foam brush to paint the mod podge solution onto the fabric, making sure to get the areas between the wrinkles as well.

Allow it to dry, and use puffy paint to make eyes on it.

Then, use thread to string a loop on the top of the ghost so it can hang somewhere as decoration.

* I used too much water the first time I painted the mod podge solution on, so I used less water and did a second coat, making the ghost much stiffer and giving it better form. *

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Moccasin kits

Yesterday, while out running errands, hubby said he wanted some slippers... which reminded me of those make your own moccasin kits that I've seen around (and always wanted to do for some reason). So, I mentioned the idea of making our own and he was on board!

We went to Hobby Lobby, and bought a kit for each of us.

moccasin kits

Later on we busted out the kits, and the process of making the moccasins was more of a family project than I anticipated.

Someone kept stealing the strings we were using. We had to keep a sharp eye on this little one... she'd grab them and run away.

It took about an hour to make the kits. (probably would have been less time, except there was some unlacing and re lacing involved that could potentially have been avoided)

completed moccasins

Now, the trick is to keep these away from our other family member... (dog) who would love to add some more holes to them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

got the shoes!

Hubby & I went on a mission to find some Dorothy shoes and had success! He spotted them from several aisles away. These were from Walmart and are the brand Faded Glory. I usually wear a size 8 shoe... these are size 5 and fit perfectly.

Red Dorothy shoes

On a side note, I finally disposed of another pair of red shoes today. It took me a long time to accept that they were no longer wearable and that I needed to part with them. Hubby did not like those shoes at all... so I'm still slightly convinced he fed them to our beagle on purpose.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On the look out for red Dorothy shoes

Hubby & I finally got to the fabric store and picked out patterns and fabric for our Halloween costumes. Assuming I get them made in time, we are going to be Dorothy & the Lion from the Wizard of Oz. I kind of want to make our dog a tin-man costume, and hubby agreed that might be ok, but we'll see what happens there :) (he strongly opposes our dog having a wardrobe)

McCall's Costumes M4948 Dorothy

McCall's Costumes M6106 Lion

I'm keeping an eye out for red Dorothy shoes, since that is pretty much key for her character. I've seen them in the past (and almost bought them) but if anyone has seen some similar shoes that are inexpensive around this year, let me know where. Otherwise, I'll probably end up making fabric shoe covers or something.

costume fabric

We couldn't find long fake fur fabric for the lion mane, so instead we bought two 6' long boas in a brownish color (pictured above) which will hopefully look ok instead. I think that will have to be hand sewn onto some fabric so the "hood" area of the lion costume will likely not follow the pattern. The fabric for the lions body is fleece, which should be nice and warm.

The sewing machine I'm borrowing is being tuned-up right now, so I won't be sewing until next week. But, cutting patterns and fabric (along with studying for my huge exam next month) should keep me busy enough :)

*** Take a look into the future... Dorothy's ruby red shoes! ***