Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sewing Project: Halloween costume

No, you didn't read that title wrong, and yes, I realize it's April! Humor me for a minute, pleeeease? Last October was AB's first Halloween. As a new mom and a newcomer to sewing, of COURSE I wanted to make her a costume. It was doubly fun for me, because when I was growing up, my parents were against trick-or-treating, so I don't have all those memories of fun costumes like a lot of other people. And I'm blogging about it in April because I didn't have a blog in October! Lucky you, you get to read about it now :)


See? Wasn't that worth humoring me? I'm not sure exactly how I decided on Robin. Mostly I wanted something that could be paired up with me, and if he had been willing, my husband.

I had to edit the snot out of this to
hide my dirty bathroom mirror.

IF he had been willing, I would have modified this Batman costume for him, and I would have been Catwoman. But he was a stick-in-the-mud so I got to be Batman.

I was pleased with myself that I didn't spend too much money on this project (does that sound braggy? sorry!). I can see pricey costumes in the future, when AB actually understands what's happening and has her own requests. At the time she was only eight months old, so it's not like we went trick-or-treating. The costume was mostly for photos, one lunch out on Halloween with my former co-workers, and a trip to an event at a local college basketball stadium.

Keeping an eye out for trouble.

I found some templates for felt masks on Pinterest, but I ended up just drawing out my own. The masks are two identical pieces of black felt with elastic sewn between the layers. I topstitched around the outside edges and the eye holes.

For AB's top, I found a plain red t-shirt on clearance at Jo-Ann's and zig-zagged elastic to the neckline to shrink it up (I think it was a size 2T or something). It didn't really work, but it fit over her head and stayed on her shoulders, so it worked for a costume she wore once! I cut away the excess on the sides and sewed new seams to fit. For the sleeves, I cut off the ones that came on the t-shirt, then used those as a template to cut new sleeves in green. The green sleeves and skirt are from the bottom of an old t-shirt (no hemming!). They are separates, not a dress, because I had the intention of using the skirt again, but it fit oddly over AB's cloth diapers so she hasn't worn it since. The "R" patch is a circle of black felt with an R cut from yellow felt, then sewn together. She's also wearing a tall pair of black socks to simulate boots.

The cape was the most fun part of the outfit, and it wasn't as hard as you'd think! I went through my pile of baby bibs and tried a few of them on AB, backwards. I picked the one that seemed the most "cape-like" and then made a template, simply extending the sides until they were long enough to make a cape. I bought a half yard of this yellow satin from Jo-Ann's and cut two identical capes from it. Right-sides together, I sewed it up, leaving an opening to turn it right-side out again. I then sewed up the opening and added a snap. One thing I should mention about capes that I read later: use a Velcro closure, not a snap, just in case your little one is running around and gets it caught in something. AB was 8 months old and not walking (although it was just around the corner!) so for her it wasn't a safety issue. If for some reason I pull the cape out again in the future, I'll remove the snap and add Velcro.

Pretty sure I was the only adult
there wearing a costume.


I refused to buy anything for my Batman outfit, so I had to be a bit creative. The yellow utility belt is actually the waistband of a pair of capri pants. I had previously cut them up for some other project (they had a hole in them) so I simply removed the waistband and, yes, painted it yellow. Plain old acrylic paint. It's not like I'm putting it in the wash or need it later!

The logo on my chest was made the same way as AB's Robin logo. I turned a grey t-shirt inside out and literally just safety pinned the logo to the shirt. For the shorts, I used an old pair of my husband's boxer briefs (TMI??) and colored in any bright threads with a black Sharpie. I wore grey tights underneath, tall black socks, and a pair of pointed flats. The mask was made the same way as detailed above. Finally, my cape was a long piece of black fabric from my stash that I tied around my neck.

I don't know how much AB loved it, but it was fun for me to make and for us to wear around the house and at this event. Anyone already planning this year's costumes?


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