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Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

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The peacock tutu has its feathers!

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I mentioned in the last post that the costume inspiration this year was Eric Carle’s peacock from his book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? It’s such a beautiful illustration, and the simple shapes were easy to mimic.

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The feathers are cut from wool felt and sewn down the center with gold thread. And I added yellow dots to a store-bought shirt using a round sponge and fabric paint.

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The headpiece is felt feathers on pipe cleaners, wrapped around a headband.

peacock peacock -- probably actually-0680The tutu itself (from Little Things to Sew) was the most time consuming part of the costume, and the only thing that required any real sewing, but it wasn’t hard to put together. Details about that are here. And of course it has nothing to do with the illustration, but it was a fun way to bring in all those peacock colors. Most of all, I just really wanted to make one.

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I sewed the feathers to lengths of ribbon, then attached those to the waistband of the tutu with the thought that they could be easily removed if she wants to use the tutu for dress-up later on. But the ribbons kept twisting and turning and exposing the backsides of the feathers, so I ended up tacking the bottom feathers to the tulle anyway. And realistically, I don’t think this will get much more after-Halloween play than last year’s wings, which have only come out a handful of times. And that’s more action than the tree costume (from two Halloweens back) ever saw. I think its safe to say she’s not big on everyday dress-up.

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But even so, Halloween deserves a special costume, right? I think so. I’ve never really been bothered by the “only going to wear it once” thing. I just like to make stuff.

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Happy Halloween!

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So I managed to make it four years and eight months without sewing my daughter a tutu, but my run is over.

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Lila and I settled on a peacock costume for Halloween. It was definitely my idea – she suggested dressing up as a monkey, which I nixed, simply because I had no interest in monkey-sewing. Is that mean? One of these years I’ll let her choose, but after showing her Eric Carle’s peacock illustration she was genuinely excited about the idea, so I don’t feel all that bad.

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I don’t usually go for fancy or frilly in clothing or costumes, but the The Oliver + S tutu from the Little Things to Sew book has always appealed to me – it layers five colors of tulle on top of each other, and I like the effect. And I thought it would look nice in an array of peacock-ish colors – I picked green, gold, turquoise, teal, and royal blue, and layered the lighter colors on top. The colors show through differently depending on how they catch the light – it’s pretty, I think.

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Now…when shopping for my tulle, the colors I happened to want were of course located not in the $1.99/yard section, but in the “Italian fancy-guy tulle” section. So not only did it cost a bit more, but compared to the other stuff it’s softer and drapier…which probably isn’t really what you want for a nice full tutu. It works though – it’s not super poofy, and it’s not at all stiff or scratchy, which I think Lila will appreciate.

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This was another one (late) night project – it’s pretty painless to put together, you just need some floor space to lay out your tulle and you’re good to go. And the construction is pretty clever – it ties in the back like an apron, which means it’s adjustable and could potentially be worn for dress-up long after Halloween. In fact, I’m hoping to attach the peacock feathers in a non-permanent way to leave the tutu intact.

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One thing – when you attach your short ribbon, your stitches will show from the front, which I didn’t realize. I would’ve tried to match my thread better if I had.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Little Things to Sew, I highly recommend it – you’ll find lots of other wonderful projects in there. It’s beautifully written and photographed, and the directions are just as clear and detailed as any Oliver + S pattern. And while this is only my second project from the book, the first was the baby carrier, which is my all time favorite thing ever sewn. So I guess I have a special fondness for this book!

Okay, stay tuned for more details on the peacock costume. Felt feathers are now in production…

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I saw this post on Prudent Baby last year and I’ve been daydreaming about making bird wings ever since.

Luckily Lila made no specific requests for a Halloween costume, so I was able to steer her in the direction of “bird” pretty easily.

I had a hard time getting motivated and came close to ditching the idea of a handmade costume, but once I got started, it was a totally pleasant project – time consuming with all that feather cutting, but straightforward and easy. And choosing the fabrics was the most fun…per usual.

I used this tutorial from Llevo el Invierno for the wings, and just made a few changes.

After measuring Lila’s “wingspan” I decided to add a few inches to each wing (the directions say they’ll fit 18 months to age 3, but it doesn’t hurt to measure and cut accordingly). So my wings are 15 x 15 inches, rather than 13 x 13. I added 1/4 inch elastic loops instead of finger ties, and instead of tying at the neck, I attached elastic shoulder straps under the top binding so that she can get into them herself.

I also bound the side edges along with the top, just to clean things up a bit.

And a felt bird mask to finish things off.

Happy almost Halloween!

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halloween proper

Lila was really into Halloween this year, giddy with excitement all day long. It could be because she got to eat a cupcake first thing in the morning (no frosting, so that’s really just a muffin, right?), or maybe it was because she got to sit on the dining room table with said cupcakes while enjoying an unauthorized Dum Dum.

Whatever the reason, she could tell it was a special day. And she was a pretty cute little tree, blue leaves and all.

Not sure what this facial expression is all about – concentrating on keeping that precarious bird’s nest on her head, I think. I covered her headband in the woodgrain fabric, and it wasn’t quite grippy enough. (There are more details about the costume in the last post, if anyone’s interested).

The little squirrel came out to play, too.

We went to a Halloween party at the library and trick-or-treated a little bit nearby with her buddy the referee. We must have rehearsed the trick-or-treating script a hundred times at home, and her performance was flawless…of course she completely clammed up once we were out. Isn’t that always the way (it is over here, anyway)…

The highlight of the day for me was how she kept mysteriously disappearing, and each time we’d find her upstairs in her room, door closed, under the covers, getting into her candy stash. Sneaky.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween and got to eat their candy in peace!

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Lila’s tree costume is coming together. It’s a simple little costume, but I managed to make it a lot of work anyway. I’ve heard people say it’s silly to put a lot of time and effort into a Halloween costume that’s going to be worn once, and that makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to do it any other way – maybe I’ll feel more comfortable throwing things together once I become a better sewer, or maybe I’ll never be a corner-cutter, who knows. So yeah, all my seams are finished and the oak leaves have veins. And I didn’t get anything else done all week.

The wood grain dress is Leila & Ben’s Sweet Little Dress pattern with lengthened sleeves. And a knothole.

The blue leaves were Lila’s idea, by the way. She really, really wanted blue leaves. I got a blank stare when I tried to explain photosynthesis, and besides, who am I to deny my daughter a couple blue leaves on her tree?

I’m pretty sure the squirrel is what sold her on the costume. It’s attached with velcro (a la Sophie’s super cool interactive stuffie shirt) so it can scamper around in the branches and collect acorns. Lila’s into it!

There are a couple details still in the works, but it’s almost done, and I’m pretty excited for this thing to get its couple hours of wear. And maybe we can throw it into the dress-up bin (which we don’t yet have, but hope to someday) after Halloween…

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