Saturday, October 25, 2008

6 Halloween Costume Ideas

Looking for some home made costume ideas??? Well here's what we've done so far......

I have so far, made all of the costumes my son has worn for Halloween. I remember the fun of Halloween being in the creation of the costume and I remember being very excited when one year I came home from school to find my mother sewing me a Halloween costume. It was really rather inventive of her.......she sewed up a clown costume using white and black garbage bags. My mother, while talented in many ways has no patience for crafting, so to this day I do not know what prompted her to this creative output. Although I don't know that I've ever thanked her for it since that time, it was and still is one of my most memorable Halloween nights. I remember that year it rained and it really came in handy.

Ike's first Halloween was a skeleton made from a thrifted terry cloth sleeper which I dyed black and cut white felt pieces out to be bones which I hand stitched onto the front of the sleeper. It was cute as a button and the easiest costume to date. The following year, Ike went to a wedding and so we had a pair of black dress pants, a white dress shirt to start with, so making a cape and medallion were very little work. The only red fabric available at the time was a stretch velvet with little sequin like red dots all over it, so that's what we used.

The biggest problem for outdoor Halloweening in my area of the world is the temperature. It can, and has snowed on Halloween and rain can be an issue as well. So for this climate the biggest issue seems to be having a costume warm enough for you child to wear. The first outdoor costume I made for Ike was a little bat. My mom had cut a picture from a woman's magazine of a little girl with a bat like cape on and that's what I started with. I had a friend that had reams of black fleece fabric available from her kids school and I have bought many meters of it over the last few years. What I make first is a black fleece set of GAP style pyjamas to start with. I take a pair of fitted pyjamas and trace the pattern from them onto Christmas wrapping paper. I usually add 2 inches in length to both the top and the bottom, and add at least an inch also to the width since Ike will likely be wearing a little something underneath the costume as well. The fleece is very easy to sew and using a zigzag stitch gives the seams a little stretch as well. I have often left the neck opening unfinished because this leaves is with more stretch, but I usually turn under the bottom hems and stitch for neatness. For the waist, I sew in a piece of wide elastic although the fleece is pretty stretchy and it may not need it. But it's a quick easy job so I usually sew it in with a quick zigzag. For the Bat wing cape, I traced a pattern out on some inexpensive wrapping paper taking into account the finger to finger span with both arms extended. This would be the over all width measurement. I also traced out a rectangular strip to be the collar attachment to be added at the top center of the bat wing cape. I made one layer (collar and bat wing) of fleece and one of a black mat nylon fabric that was a little stiff. It offered a little wind protection in case it was windy on Halloween night. Then, to assemble joined the front and back sections together wrong sides together and turned it right side out. To finish it off I top stitched the wings all around the outside edge, and from each point across to the top center of the wings. I had a mountain equipment co-op kids winter hat with the 8 little points around the top and made a copy with only two points ( to be the ears). This worked out well for warmth as well. Some black mittens and black boots or shoes and he was all done.


Another year I got to reuse the cute black hat with the ears and could have reused the pants had he not grown in height. This year Ike decided he was going to be a spider, so costume modifications were minimal. Again, I made a top and bottom based on good fitting pyjamas, but before I sewed up the sides on the pyjamas, I sewed together and stuffed, four fleece tubes of similar size to the arms and legs of his outfit. When it was time to sew together the the front and back of the top, I inserted two extra fleece 'arms' on each side seam and sewed them up. You have to think about what you are doing, and place the arms inside the body of the top while you are sewing or else you may end up with extra arms on the inside of your costume rather than on the outside. Yep, I've done it. In order to make the extra arms come to life, I sewed lengths of white ribbon between each successive arm in a spider web outline. This way, when he lifted his arms he would also lift the four stuffed arms hanging below. This one was pretty darned cute......I really liked that one:)
As a change in direction away from the usual black costume, Ike decided one year to be a mummy. This time, it as white fleece and the same old top, bottom and hat set up. In order to get that 'mummy' look I soaked cheese cloth in strong black tea to end up with a dirty off white colour. Then I wrapped the fleece costume in cheese cloth tacking down by hand as I went. This was a little time consuming to say the least.
This year I think will be the biggest challenge yet as Ike has requested to be the Pokemon character Turtwig. I did not have a lot of confidence in my abilities to put out anything that would be recognizable....but five minutes into the party last night someone recognized his costume without prompting or any guessing. Go figure??



I'll have to dig through some old photos to see if I have any photos of the spider and mummy....I know they are around somewhere.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG! My 8 year-old daughter wants to be Turtwig for Halloween, too, and I found your blog while searching for ideas. I was thinking I'd have to put her into yellow boots and mittens, but I love your idea for adding yellow to the cuffs. How did you make your shell? And how did you get the twig to stand up on the head? Thanks so much! Homemade is the only kind of costume we use, too, but this year I got a late start!

LittleRed said...

I cut out an oval sized for Ike 20inches by 16 inches with a flattened top. I sewed a piece of black feece across the middle with a zig zag top stitch. Then I sewed a dart at 10 and 2 o'clock taking in 2 inches width at the top of each one and tapering of over 5 inches. Then I did the same thing along the bottom at 4, 6 and 8 o'clock. Then I sewed the shell onto a black oval cut 4 inches larger all the way around then the shell when it is filled out. Then I topstitched the shell to the middle of the black oval, cut a slit in the back to allow for stuffing.Now cut another black oval the same size and sew right sides together leaving 6 inches to turn right side out. In retrospect I should have put a little batting into the black edge before turning to make it not so floppy. Then I cut in green an oval to topstitch onto the bottom side of the shell stitching along the inside edge between the brown shell and black edging. I did not sew along the bottom, and I cut out a large neck hole and arm holes as well. I measured around Ike's body to determine the width necessary for this oval. Hope that makes some sense for you!

LittleRed said...

I forgot to mention, for the hat I sewed up a fleece hat with yellow on the bottom as you can see to be the jaw line of Turtwig. The twig is a finger shaped tube of brown fleece open at one end to stuff. After stuffing with polyfill, I sinched up the bottom by gathering with a basting stitch and then just blind stitched it to the top of the hat by hand. It stands up on its own by the stuffing alone. I ended up using craft felt to make the two leaves as they were more stiff than the fleece. Now Ike wants me to make him some "rasor leaves" to throw around. Good luck with it! Ike would love to see a photo of your Turtwig if you go ahead with it....and so would I!

Mckayla said...

Thanks for sharing great ideas for homemade Halloween costumes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help! I'm almost done with my daughter's Turtwig and will send photos and a description of what I ended up doing in the next few days. I'm also making Lucas for her brother's costume, but that's easy compared to Turtwig! -Ren near Chicago

Anonymous said...

I will be starting this costum in a few weeks wish me luck and Thanks for posting it helped alot