Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costume Round Up

Phew! October is nearly over, and I made it through another season of Halloween costumes! Actually, I think the combination of early deadlines, planning, and a little bit of crazy went a long way to making this October so much smoother than last year.

To all my friends who asked me to leave my house in the first 2 weeks and got as a response, "I can''s October..." thanks for your understanding, I am now able to come out and play again!

To my husband and children, thanks for the support, love, encouragement and help you've given me this month. Oh, and double thanks to the kids for being my super-cute models.

And now, the Halloween Costume Round-Up (in no particular order)

Little Zebra

Nice face, right??

Gus and Jaq--Cinderella's Mice

Red and Green Yoshis (Mario Bros.)

And last, but certainly not least....



I am so glad that I got to make these costumes for all these great kiddos. I hope all of them enjoy being superheros and princesses and sharks and all the other wonderful characters they imagine and that everyone's Halloween is fun, safe and more treats than tricks.

Linked Up HERE

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shark Girl Costume

I have been making this little girl's Halloween costumes for the last 3 years, and let me tell you, she is an outside the box thinker if I've ever met one! So far she's been an alligator and she and her baby brother were the boy and girl bumblebees (with stingers, if you please!) last Halloween.

This year Emma decided she wanted to be a shark. But not a plain, old shark "suit"; a girl shark with "teeth and a dress." As a side note, don't ever let anyone tell you that small children are indecisive, they know exactly what they want, especially when it comes to their Halloween costumes. So, a girl shark dress and hood with teeth it shall be!

During the month of October, I play the role of the Costume Fairy.

My idea was to use make a simple pillowcase dress using grey satin, with a white satin stomach and jagged teeth along the hemline. The dress came together really quickly, the most time consuming part was sewing all the triangular "teeth".

I used a bright pink ribbon through the neckline of the dress, so that everyone would clearly see she's a girl shark.

For the shark's head, I used a basic hood pattern, added a fin on the top, eyes on either side of the head, and teeth around the front opening.

Once I had fit it to Emma's head, I added snaps to the bottom corners to help keep it in place. It was a little big and satin is very slippery.

And easy as that--Shark Girl Costume!

Cue the theme music to "Jaws."


My all-time favorite line,"I think you're going to need a bigger boat!"

Linked Up HERE

Friday, October 19, 2012

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle Halloween Style

I'm going to interrupt the parade of Halloween costumes to show you another fun project we just finished up last weekend. The whole family did their part on this one, from saving our plastic soda bottles, to hanging the lights, the whole thing was a collaborative effort.

Our new Halloween Lights!

I truly do not remember where I even came up with this idea. I've seen various project that use a strand of lights in milk bottles and other things similar, but we don't really have a ton of options for displays when it comes to the outside of our house and we had an extra string of Christmas lights idea was born.

What I wanted was very straightforward, I would decorate the bottles with a few different kinds of Halloween faces, and my husband would put the lights in and hang them.

I asked my husband to start saving his soda bottles back in the beginning of September (and he never even asked why, what a guy!) So, when I finally had a spare afternoon last weekend, I went to see what we'd collected.

Wow! That's a lot of bottles! After I got them all out of the shed, my husband finally asked, "So, what's your plan here?" Don't you love it when they ask?? I explained my idea to him and put him to work pulling the labels off the bottles, untangling and counting the number of lights so that I could figure out how many different Halloween faces I'd need.

I finally settled on 3 different faces and colors; orange, white and green. Jack-O-Lanterns, Ghosts and Frankenstein faces. Here is how I decorated the bottles.

 First, I decided to use tissue paper rather than paint to color the bottles in the hope that it would be more opaque and let more light through. I put a thin coat of Sculpt-or-Coat on the outside of the bottles (Sculpt-or-Coat is very similar to Mod Podge, which you could substitute if that's what you have on hand.) 

 Next, I gently wrapped the tissue paper around the bottle.

 I used smaller pieces of tissue paper to fill in the bottom part of the bottle and the top.

Then, I put another coat of Sculpt-Or-Coat over the whole thing to seal the tissue paper.

Green and orange finished.  The next step, painting the faces! I used plain acrylic paint and just painted the faces freehand.



And Frankenstein.

All together.

The next morning, my husband and kids took everything outside to hang the lights. The kids were so excited.

They loved the way the bottles looked and couldn't wait to help their dad hang them.

I did nothing during this part but stand back and take pictures.

You really have to love a guy who's willing to go along with some of your wackier ideas, right?

The whole family got to have some fun and make some new holiday decorations.

And we used only recycled materials, or items we already had to make this. So, the cost was FREE!

Now we have a festive, not so spooky Halloween house! They really are cute during the day and at night all lit up.   How are you decorating this year?

Linked Up HERE

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Easy Musketeer Tunic Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for a simple tunic that can be used for so many different costumes. This one is for a little boy who is going to be a Musketeer, but with some color and applique variations you could easily make this a knight, or one of the playing cards in Alice in Wonderland, or make it longer and use it as an over-dress for a girl. Huge possibilities with a very basic tunic.

Here's how to make it.

You'll need about 1/2 to 1 yard of fabric, depending on the size of your child and the length of the tunic.
About 1/2 yard of contrast fabric or felt for the shield
A fat quarter of 2nd contrast fabric for the heraldry in the center of the shield
Trim of your choice, around 3 yards, again depending on the size/length of the tunic and where it is to be used
3 yards of matching ribbon
matching thread

Start by measuring your child from where you want the bottom of the tunic to end on his front, over the shoulder to his back where you want the bottom of the tunic to end on his back.

Hopefully, this makes more sense in the photo.  This is the length of the tunic. Mine is 31 inches.

Next, measure your child across the front from the outside of one shoulder to the outside of the other shoulder. This is the width of the tunic. Mine is 14 inches.

Lay your fabric out on your cutting table folded in half with the fold at the top.

Cut the fabric using the width measurement (14 inches) adding seam allowance on either side for hemming. I added 1 inch to each side, so I cut my fabric 16 inches wide.

Next, with the fabric still folded, cut the length using half of the length measurement you took earlier. My measurement was 31 inches so I would measure down from the fold 15 1/2 inches, add my 1 inch seam allowance and cut my fabric at 16 1/2 inches long.

Now mark the center of your fabric along the folded edge. I'm sure there is a mathematical way to figure out the size circle you'd want to cut for the head, but I just use a bowl that is the right size and trace around it.

Then cut your circle. I always cut on the small side, you can always make the hole bigger if you need to, it's much harder to make it smaller. At this point, I tackle my child and force them  ask my model politely to try the tunic on, then make any adjustments to the head opening.

Now, hem the sides and bottoms using your 1 inch seam allowances.

If you want to add trim around the front edges, you can add it now.

Set the tunic aside while you work on the applique and shield. I used black felt for my shield, I just drew a shape free hand and cut it out.

After it is cut, lay it on top of the tunic to check the scale, trim down if necessary.

For the applique, print and cut out your shape, symbol, number or whatever you're using for the center of the shield. I used a griffin for mine.

Next, trace the shape onto a piece of Heat Bond, remember that you want to trace it backwards on the Heat Bond so that your applique will be facing forward on the fabric. I didn't do that in this case, because the griffin can face either direction, but with a letter or number, you want to make sure you do the reverse so that you're not kicking yourself and having to do it over. (It's happened to me more times than I even want to think about.)

Once the griffin is traced on to the Heat Bond, follow the directions on it to apply it to your contrast fabric, cut it out and use your iron to bond it to the center of the shield. I always stitch around the inside of my appliques for extra security, but it is not absolutely necessary.

Now, sew the shield onto the front of the tunic.

If you want to add some additional trim around the shield, you can sew that on now.

There are a few different ways to finish the neck. I cut some 1 1/2 inch bias in the same blue fabric and used it to bind the neck. You can just sew the bias around the neck and call it done. I was asked for a small ruffle at the neck to give the illusion of a ruffle collared shirt, so I cut a 2 inch strip of white fabric, folded it in half, serged the edges together and gathered it up.

Pin the ruffle around the neck and topstitch down. It really does make a nice little touch.

Last, cut your ribbon into 4 equal lengths, pin them to the sides of the tunic a little bit higher than halfway down the length and sew them in place.

And that's it, you're done!

A basic tunic that can be worn for Halloween, used for a school play, of just added to the dress up box.

Linked Up HERE