Twain and Lewis Homemade Costumes

Dress up like your favorite authors to read!

When my boys were little, I was invited  by a friend to participate in a project for book site.

I was challenged to show my boys (at the time 1 and 3) love for the written word. My boys love being read to, and I was so excited to see what I could create!

I grew up reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series and the Screwtape Letters. The passion and creativity he wrote with captivated me and drew me into his books.

I made my one year old into C.S. Lewis by sewing a Sunday best bow tie. The dinner jacket was given to me by a friend.

DIY C.S. Lewis Costume
DIY C.S. Lewis Costume

I made a pair of round spectacles out of pipe cleaners and black electrical tape. We had so much fun (even though he wouldn’t wear the spectacles)!

DIY C.S. Lewis costume

Mark Twain has also been one of my beloved authors.  I love his adventurous writings of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. His look in old age reminds me of Albert Einstein. I wanted to make my 3 year old a full white fur hair cover, but due to time I just made a turned down mustache

DIY Mark Twain Costume
DIY Mark Twain Costume

Read to your kids often! Teach them about the authors who wrote the books you are reading. I bet you already have everything you need to create something amazing!!

Hans Frozen Costume

Are you ready for all your favorite FROZEN characters!! Read my steps to creating the perfect Hans costume!


Introducing my Hans costume from Frozen! I had so much fun designing and creating this costume especially for (and by special request) my 8 year old nephew, Henry. His sister, Lilly, has been my beautiful Elsa model for my Sofia pattern, and then my Elsa dresses. Now it was time (actually long past) for her handsome brother to join in on the Frozen fun! And I could not have been more pleased with the result, or the amazing joy and delight my nephew has been radiating with!! His excitement (and politely asking me for it for 4 months now) fueled my design and desire to sew it up!

 One of my favorite things to attempt, is to see a photo and create a tangible design that looks just like it that is wearable. I like the realism, and fortunately that is what the kids want to. They WANT the costume from the movie. They don’t want one off the shelf that is only a “hint” of the idea of the idea of the character, they want all the real details too.
So glad that someone captured a screen shot of the back of Han’s tail coat here, so that I could see the design. Boy was that elaborate, but so fun to draw up! I used felt for the gray part, and hunter green fleece for the detail. I would have used felt for the green part too, except I didn’t find it in the right color…so fleece it was (the color was so perfect!).
So, how did I make it? For the jacket, I started with a boys size 7/8 long sleeve t-shirt to get the body sizing/trunk part right. I drew long sleeves, added sleeve caplets which I made up, cut the tailored line to the front, and added tails on the back piece. All the black accent pieces are black felt (I bought a black bottom weight fabric to use instead, but time was not on my side to do all that finishing work…so felt it was). I took a short cut on the undershirt and used a royal blue dress shirt from Amazon, and made a corduroy vest to go over top of it. The burgundy cravat was just 1/3 yard crushed panne, tied in a square knot. The pants I cut free hand from a boys cargo pair I had bought on clearance at Target last year. I used a strip of blue broadcloth to add the stripe to the sides. I made the pants with a flat front and gathered back waistband, similarly to the pant I made my son HERE, and added two gold shank buttons to the front.
And now…almost the whole Frozen crew is here in my pattern designs!! We had a fun, quick photo shoot before the kids headed to the Frozen themed out party. You can find..
and Hans?…well, no pattern for him. The only way I know you want my design here to be a pattern is if you beat down my inbox with requests, so drop me a line if you’d like at:
And some cameos with the “real deal”. I hope cosplay costume patterns are in my future! Oh the fun! Just look at how that Anna vest stencil matches mine? Maybe she used our stencil templates for her vest and cape???!!! We may never know, but they all looked pretty sharp!
Yea!!! So much fun!! Are you ready to get your ANNA, ELSA, or OLAF pattern today?!!!
All our patterns at Joy2Sew are made for advanced beginner sewers. If you have any doubt just check out my shop reviews and see for yourself. All of you using my patterns have absolutely blown me away with the gorgeous dresses and Olafs that you have been creating! You are making true-to-movie costumes that are not only beautiful, but that will stand the test of repeated play, dancing, and singing venues of “Let it Go”.
Keep sending those pictures to me and posting on my Facebook page of all your amazing work!! YOU are why I love doing what I do. YOU making costumes for your kids that they just
love brings me so much joy! Keep it coming, and thank you for choosing Joy2Sew!

DIY Blue Jay Costume

Our oldest son started asking for a blue jay costume back in early 2017. At first I was excited, and thought I would make simple wings  he could fly around the yard with! But as most best intentions go, I didn’t even begin the project and the idea soon faded away. Every few months, my son would remind me about the costume and I started to feel guilty for saying I didn’t have time.

In September my son was still asking. So, with full assurance, I started on a Blue Jay costume for Halloween! 

 I  drew the design in my art journal to get a good idea of what the shapes would be for the costume. 

I grabbed an old supply sheet we had from my husband’s work and cut out the general shapes of the bird body. I stapled the edges together and had Nathan slip into it. The costume was love at first sight for Nathan! After a successful sample pattern, I used  plastic template pieces to cut out the real body pieces from white blizzard fleece.

I sewed the body up, leaving a hole at the back neck for Nathan to step into. And I lightly stuffed the front belly and back tail area with polyester fiberfill.

For the wings, I covered his arm with black blizzard fleece, and sewed a “pocket sleeve” at the top for his arm to slip through. Then I cut additional shapes of feathers out of black fleece, and glued them on with Fabri-Tac along the backside of the wing, overlapping them as I went.

I waited 24 hours for the wings to dry, and then used acrylic paints to apply the feather looking designs.

The acrylics make the fleece stiffen a bit and slightly hard to the touch, but they dry exceptionally fast and create vibrant colors. I used this same acrylic paint to give the bird body some color and simulated feather texture.

I ran out of black fleece, so I ended up using several sheets of thin, EVA Foam for the tail feathers. I painted them and glued them on with  Fabri-Tac.

And for the finishing piece, I created a lightweight head mask out of thin EVA foam. I started by making a paper pattern, and achieved the sizing by comparing it to one of the boys’ knight helmets. After knowing the paper sample hat fit, I used those pieces to then cut out of foam. I used contact cement to glue the foam pieces together. Once my mask was done, I added a few areas of acrylic paint to highlight it and hot glued on some feathers to the beak.

The shoes covers were also made of EVA foam and wrapped around the shoes and velcroed.

The whole project took me about a week to complete and was a fun and definitely unique request to fulfill! I was thankful I had followed through on the project!

And maybe it’s just my bias, but I think his cuteness and uniqueness may just have awarded him extra candy on trick or treat night!


Sewing Simple Baby Gifts

These lovely giraffe rattles were inspired by Lotta Jansdotter, in her book, Simple Sewing For Baby. The baby can hear the gentle rattle of jingle bells inside, easily hold onto it’s trunk, and will LOVE to munch on its ribboned ears. They are sooo easy.. I made a small army!

Ribbon Tag Blanket also inspired by Lotta Jansdotter, in the same book, Simple Sewing For Baby. The blanket is about an 8″ square and easy for Baby to hold on to, and munch on the ribbons. Easy to machine wash too, and get rid of the germs!

Baby shoes inspired by Joanna of Stardust Shoes. She incredibly provides a pattern for free on her blog for home use (only). I have a special friend I intend to gift these adorable shoes to! 

These burp cloths were inspired by a favorite blogger, Erin, @ Sutton Grace

Bibs for him… I used Simplicity 2924, view F for this one. I usually wait until JoAnns is having a sale and buy the patterns for $1. or $1.99. Then I stock up : )! For the closure, I used cute button snaps. They come as a kit, and I used the backing fabric to cover each button snap!

Baby gifts ready to mail. I think I made all this (and a little more) in 2 days.. Sure do get lost in it all when I am having so much fun!!!! Where do the hours go? So….. I say, “Bébé bienvenu”! (Welcome Baby)! And, I hope you enjoy your handmade gifts, my friends!


A Simple Birthday Theme

Our oldest turned 8 back in January. I have been so busy sewing that it has taken me awhile to share pictures from the party!

It has been a wild 8 years! As my husband and I were celebrating 6 years of marriage, we  were into our careers  and pretty sure we weren’t going to have kids. We were in one of the hardest seasons of our marriage.  My husband had his deployment overseas canceled, we moved back home to Ohio, and were both without jobs for 4 months. We were struggling more than ever.  Then, in the midst of our sorrow, I was pregnant with  our son. He was my reason to go on and work hard again.  

8 years later we  celebrate the many joys God has allowed into our life because of our son. He has a wealth of talent, design, thoughtfulness, and wonder! We are so  thankful our story changed when he came into our lives!

We gathered with family to celebrate. Our family braved a January snowstorm to celebrate with us. Maybe they did it because there was warmth, maybe because there was food, but I think most of all because they love our little man so much. My heart is full.

We do birthdays pretty simple over here, and though I thrive on a good Pinterest party hack, the simple but lovely is usually all I have time for.

The decor was simple crete paper, a banner made at home from card stock, a few gold frilly things from Walmart, and some of my son’s toys set out (aka…art supplies and stuffed doggie friend), well….because…it was a very RAD dog + painting celebration for our special 8yr old!

We had a quiet day of visiting, sharing, opening gifts, excitement, and lots of love. We are so grateful that our family is nearby and all the endless support that they give!