Halloween Costumes 2019

Halloween Costumes 2019

Halloween used to be the holiday Icompletely ignored growing up, and now that I have kids and am a costume designer, it has become my favorite one, next to Christmas. I love the excitement and joy that making custom looks gives my boys and my niece and nephews. As they are getting older now, I know these years are short, and I cherish each handmade memory that I can create for them.

INSPIRATION

We came off this year already with a few Aladdin costumes, and spare costume pieces throughout the year such as a few skirts, a hoop skirt, a corset, and of course the normal pirate garb. Though some years, I’ve instructed them to grab something from their closet to wear, I prefer to take special requests and am challenged if they come up with something interesting, like Nathan’s blue jay costume from last year. My boys, along with their cousin, requested to be the Lego Ninjago characters of Lloyd and Zane. My niece chose to wear her Princess Jasmine costume, and nephew, a glowing stick man. Love.it.all! 

MATERIALS

For the ninjas they decided to skip the actual “lego yellow man” look, and just look like themselves in the lego character’s costume. So, I purchased a green tablecloth for James’ green ninja look, and gold & silver glitterbug fabric from JoAnns for Lloyd and Zane. I made their gi patterns myself, and spray painted some inexpensive ninja swords from Walmart. The looks came together pretty easily and all three in 3 days. They weren’t exactly complete looks by day 3, but the kids were all elated and enjoyed them fully just as they were. A thankful Halloween for sure!

MORE COSTUMES

My husband and I worked with what we already had in our closets and sent as Rey from Star Wars and a Jedi.  

My sweet niece and I.  We were freezing!

Dog or Cat Hat Pattern for Kids

Dog or Cat Hat Pattern for Kids

My kids have always done things, especially their play, outside the norm. We’d buy them the latest robotic stem gadget off Amazon, and though their interest would be peaked for a few hours, they’d quickly head back to the cardboard box and markers. Somehow, they’ve always found a way to repurpose items meant for other things. If you also have a creative child or grandchild, you must know exactly what I mean.

It came upon many occasions where I would suddenly see my boys acting as animals in their play times. James always seemed to be the cat, and Nathan the dog. They’d just play happily as themselves for hours on end, and once in awhile be biting down on the dog bone softies I had made Nathan when he was 2 years old. Out of their creative play, came a need for these role play hats. And now they are available to you as well with dog bone included!

The hats can be made from cotton, fleece, flannel or even fur. Such a quick sew, and delightful item to be used over and over for years to come. Best fit for 2-5 year olds. 

Download the pattern from Etsy!

Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever

Before the very first frozen came out, I was working on designing Anna’s outfit, from the few internet pics and clips Disney released. I’d pause it, zoom into pictures, try to find every angle of their costumes….every revealed detail, and put it into my design. After all, a critical trait of a great costume is the quality of the design and look alike characteristics of the characters. 

 

A few years after the Frozen scene was still on fire, and young little girls were looking for more, Disney released a short sequel to Frozen, called Frozen Fever. A cute short story of a surprise birthday party, and Elsa sneezing out baby snowmen. I was intrigued by the different costumes they gave them, even more elaborate than the first. 

I bought new strange fabric to pull off Elsa’s new leafed bodice and glittered train. Anna’s outfit came alive, bursting with sunflowers and intricate, embroidered design.

I recreated the majority of Anna’s new look, using the same Anna complete pattern I had made, except shortening the sleeve, converting the vest to a square neckline instead of princess cut, and adding a green vest, trimmed in turquoise bias tape. 

Elsa’s look also involved using my original Elsa Ice design, but shortening the sleeves, and appliquéing by hand over 100 shiffon leaves to the outer bodice. 

Both looks turned out to my satisfaction, and were spot on with the movie. A bit lengthy to stencil, but a pleasure to use a cutting device for Anna’s vest and skirt details. Now who is anxiously awaiting for Frozen 2 to come out in November?! That’s right! You and me! And they spared no design detail on Elsa’s new ballerina cloak! I’m excited to make it! 

Wonder Woman Costume

Wonder Woman Costume

FASHION SHOW INSPIRATION

In April 2019, I had the privilege of participating in my first fashion show in a local showcase, Clash Dayton. Since I was in the middle of costuming a musical, I entered a simple sheath dress as my only look. It was a grand event, and I’ve never felt so special getting my own model, full makeup, hair, and professional photos done! 

This fall, on September 21, I’m excited to put in a full line of six costume masterpieces to be showcased in the fashion show! I’m pretty giddy about it, but grinding into the work at the same time! 

The first costume of six I’m creating from scratch is Wonder Woman from the 2017 movie. Her look will be 100% constructed of different thicknesses of EVA foam, contact cement, some pleather for the skirt, and zero sewing! 

MAKING A TEMPLATE

I started by adjusting my dress form to my model’s size, then wrapping it with plastic wrap and then duct tape. This strategy enabled me to make a pattern for the foam pieces on the bodice. I looked at the movie picture to draw the lines onto the duct tape with a sharpie. I only drew one side, since the opposite side would be a mirror image. I labeled the pieces, and then cut the duct tape shell off the mannequin at the back, and cut up my pattern pieces. 

 

CUTTING OUT THE PIECES

 

After the pattern pieces are made, they become the templates for the foam. I purchased about 15 sheets of ⅜” thick EVA foam from hobby lobby. Before I could apply the pattern pieces, I needed a base layer. I went back to my mannequin, and made a solid foam bust form with cups.

I decided my attachment point would be at my model’s side, since there was so much detail in the center back pieces. I cut the foam bust at the side, and did a test run with the foam pieces, using masking tape to adhere each foam pattern piece down. Adjustments definitely needed to be made, but once I had a good fit, I glued each piece onto the under bust form with contact cement.

I prefer contact over glue gun, because the hold is much greater.

 

As of today, I have the front bust, headpiece, arm band, and arm cuffs fully completed.  Work is still progressing with the back details and leg grieves, with my first fitting next week.

The next look I’ll be starting will be the original Lynda Carter Wonder Woman look. This epic look will no doubt rave the crowds! I can’t wait to show you!

Easy Shorts Pattern

Easy Shorts Pattern

Last week I had the privilege of helping with a local Fashion Camp. I teach kids to sew regularly, but this event was special since I taught 5 girls at a time to not only sew for the first time, but to make a piece of clothing as their first project. While most chose to make a simple skirt, two girls made shorts.

Fashion Camp

For the skirt pattern, I followed the tutorial of Dana Willard from MadeEveryday.com. She has such a simple formula for taking your waist measurement and multiplying it by 1.5, and that’s your skirt length. Then you measure from your waist to where you want the length of your skirt to hit, and add 3”. That gives you the width. The girls chose their material from a selection of calicos and solids. The only other notions you need are thread and some 1” non-roll elastic.

Fashion Camp

For the two girls making shorts, my go to pattern is from purlsoho.com. The City Gym Shorts are a free pattern, accurate to cut and wear, and fits from children through adult. I use it all the time! Their pattern for the shorts directs you to cut curved side seams and apply bias tape to the edges. I have made some like this and they are cute, but when I teach for a beginner, I omit the bias edging and square off the curved side edges. Download the pattern today!

Typically, when I am in my sewing room, it is to work on projects for others. Working on projects for others is a joy, but I find I don’t often leave enough room to make myself, or my kids, something fun!

Shorts Pattern
Shorts Pattern

After completing an alteration the other night, I went right into making a pair of City Gym Shorts for myself out of this amazing rayon blend my friend Debbie had given me. They are such a quick, 1 hour project, that my soul can often be satisfied! They are so comfortable in fact, that I wore them the entire next day!

Shorts Pattern

If your wardrobe is lacking in shorts or summer skirts, I highly recommend you make yourself a pair! 

Shorts Pattern

Sewing a pair of shorts is one of the easiest sewing projects to get started with. I created this pair for my niece to wear in Paris last summer. The patterns are so easy to follow that my son made a pair for the neighbor down the street!

Easy Shorts Pattern

What are you waiting for? Go get started!

Memory Bear

Memory Bear

Hearing the Story

One day, my son’s teacher shared that she had lost her only daughter to a disease that took her life as a young adult. We were grief stricken for her. We became a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. Six months passed and she told me she had some of her daughter’s clothing saved and wondered if I’d be able to turn it into something she could hold onto in her daughters loss. What an honor to be asked to sew something like that. I listened to her talk about all the personality traits, favorites list, and core of who made up her daughter and how her husband and son were affected by her loss. Out of what she shared came a focus on three items that would become of sentimental value.

A Family’s Treasure

 For the Mother, I wanted to make a memory bear out of her daughters favorite clothes. I supplemented extra fabric from some of her favorite colors and prints. 

For the father, I made a custom pillow, cut out of his daughter’s t-shirts. 

For the brother, I made a star ornament that he could cherish. As I got to work, I prayed peace and comfort over their family, and asked for wisdom for the Lord’s design on these projects.

Memory Bear

Finished Project

Each special item came together quickly and before long I was able to present my son’s teacher with these three gifts. She cried when she saw each item. I cried too! It was such a memorable time that I will never forget! I consider sewing items like that a true honor! Nathan has since graduated a few years later from his speech classes, but we still see his teacher and love on her still. Deep rooted bonds are never disconnected.

Sewing Process

For the bear pattern, I scoured Pinterest for the perfect looking, adorable bear. I came across the Joy bear and instantly fell in love.

  • Easy to print out.
  • Easy directions to follow.
  • Easy to sew.

I matched up the pattern pieces to the T-shirt pieces that I wanted to incorporate and cut them out. I bought a little green flannel and zebra print at JoAnn Fabrics to compliment the daughter’s style and favorites.

I made sure there were pieces her daughter wore. I made sure he was soft and fluffy and large enough to cuddle on any night she needed to be held close, and I made sure it was a reflection of all their daughter meant to them. 

Click on the image below to be taken to my Memory Bear Pinterest Page to get the pattern I used!


Memory Bear