I finally completely finished Jack's costume (tutorial for tunic found here). I put him in some light blue long johns that luckily matched. I also covered his shoes with some of the blue fabric and added little white icicle anklets. We added white to his hair and eyebrows and a little red his nose and cheeks to make him look cold.
Rob's costume was very easy after the robe and the beard- just a clock tied around the neck. Rob colored his hair white last night- it looked cool.
Some people at the party thought he could have been a Grandfather Clock- also a good interpretation.
It's finally done! I figured it all out, and it was all ready for the Halloween Party we went to last night.
Here's the front: rainbow sash made from tulle, purple velvety petals, a flowery shirt, and some feathers.
Here's the back: the sky and clouds along with some leaves and vines.
I had so much fun making the butterflies because I thought they ended up looking very real. Just crepe paper (from a streamer) with pipe cleaners. I liked drawing the designs on the wings.
I wrapped a piece of zebra fabric around my leg and wore fuchsia tights (so many of my flowers were this color this summer) and silver shoes.
Not pictured (because I forgot to put them on for the picture), I wore a shell necklace, turquoise stones, and orange leaf earrings.
I tried to include as much as I could think of. I think if I would have had more time, I would have done a little more- scales or a fin somewhere and maybe some more leaves. I think it would have been cool to glue some sort of caterpillar to my arm, but that wasn't really practical with a one-year-old.
Although we are using this robe for Rob's Halloween costume as Father Time, it could also be used for a monk costume, a Jedi, a wizard, an angel or a spooky monster- pretty versatile.
Here is a simple step-by-step picture guide on how to make it:
- Start by folding a blanket or sheet (probably at least a full size sheet for an adult) by making ends meet in the middle.
- Have the person who will be wearing the robe, lie on the blanket with feet touching the ends of the blanket. Mark a few inches below the armpits.
- Mark a curved line on each side of the blanket using the armpit marking as a guide. This line will be straight along the middle (middle section at least 2 1/2 feet wide) then curve down for the arm. You can just estimate on the length.
- Cut along the markings and sew (sew where the red lines indicate. Just guess.
- Turn it right side out and try it on the person. Using all that left over fabric on top, try to manipulate it to form the collar and look you like. Use pins to keep the fabric in place. For Rob's, we pulled it all forward and pleated it down around his neck.
- Roll up the sleeves and mark where you would like them to end.
- Either safety pin or tack down your collar pins, then hem the sleeves.
Can't wait to show you the finished family look!
I'm still progress with our family Halloween costumes. I'm pretty much done with Rob's (post to come soon), Jack just needs some shoes and... well, mine is stumping me a bit. But I do have this:
I got some tulle in rainbow colors! It's hanging up by my bed to encourage me to keep brainstorming about the entire costume.
This is what I have decided on doing:
- feathers somewhere on the bodice
- zebra print somewhere in the skirt
- a globe pendant on a necklace
- shells somewhere
- flowers (paper or fabric?) on the bodice
- leaves (paper or fabric?) for part of the skirt
Most of the stumped is in the materials to use for a lot of these things because the leaves are falling and crunchy and the flowers are dying. Hmmmm... Any suggestions?
So, I've finished Jack's tunic for his Jack Frost costume. I still have some boots or shoes to go, but I thought I would post the tunic because it is useful for other costumes too. Last year, I did a tutorial for Jack and the Beanstalk. He wears a tunic too, but this one is just a little more detailed.
Note: Most of the numbers (in inches or yardage) refer to different sizes. The first number refers to about a size 12-18 months and the larger number refers to about a size M adult. If you are making this for a size in between, just estimate.
1/2 yard- 1 1/4 yards blue fabric
1/4 yard- 1/2 yard white fabric
1 sparkly white snowflake
Find a loose fitting piece of clothing to base your pattern off of. You'll be cutting sort of a rectangle shape. Leave 1 1/2-3 inches on each side of the shirt, and cut the bottom to about mid thigh length. (I used a one piece jumpsuit just so I would know how long to make it.)
Cut the shoulders and neckline. For shoulders, angle up a little bit. For the back neck, cut a semicircle with a radius of about 1-1 1/2 inches. For the neck, cut a semicircle with a radius of about 4-6 inches. Mark a slit down Center Back about 4-6 inches long.
Sew the shoulder seams and side seams. Make sure to leave 6-10 inches open at the top of the side seams. These openings will be the armholes.
Fold the armholes, fold the fabric under 1/2 inch and topstitch. Reinforce the armpit area by sewing perpendicular to the seam at the end of the armhole a few times.
This is what it should look like.
Cut out different sized triangles for the icicles. Be sure to leave a strip of fabric 4 inches wide. Sew two sides of the triangles right side together, trim corners and turn inside out. Press all of your cute little triangles.
Pin the bigger triangles along the bottom of the tunic, (Pin to the right side) and sew along the bottom. It should look like this:
Pin the smaller triangles to the neckline (again- right sides together), and sew around the neckline. Make little clips in the seam allowance 1 inch apart along the neckline.
Cut a piece of blue fabric on the bias (about 2 inches by the length of the neckline- cut a little extra just in case). Press the fabric in a circle to mimic the neckline. Sew the bias piece on the neckline- all raw edges matching. Clip the bias tape too.
Fold the bias tape inside the neckline. Pin and stitch. Make sure to keep the icicles out of the way.
This step is really optional. It's a little difficult, so you can do a different method if you like. Basically, you'll be making a continuous bound placket. You'll need another strip of blue fabric (not on the bias) that is 2 inches by 8-12 inches. The directions for making a continuous bound placket are found here.
Note: This one is sloppy. My excuse: It's a costume.
Cut a long strip of white fabric 4" wide by the length of your fabric. This will be either 44" or 60" depending on how wide your fabric is. Fold in half lengthwise and sew along the long edge. Pull inside out. Tuck ends in and sew the tie closed. Press.
Thread the tie through the snowflake and you're set!
I love the fall. The leaves are so beautiful and I can go out in the middle of the day because the temperature is perfect. The mountains are stunning too! The colors change daily. I love it.
Jack and I have been going on fall walks all this week. It has been a nice refreshing activity together. Jack loves to go on walks. He'll go sit in his stroller waiting to leave as soon as I tell him we're leaving.
I've gathered numerous leaves from my walks. Each so pretty and unique. Here are some darling little leaves I found beneath a weeping birch tree-
Aren't they cute?
P.S. Do you ever specifically go out of the way to step on an old fallen leaf just to hear the crunch? It is so satisfying isn't it? Sometimes, I get a little carried away and realize that anybody watching me may wonder... they've held in their laughter as far as I know. :)
sweater- Gap $34.50, Monro wool pant- J. Crew $168.00, Cashmere muffler-
Nordstrom $78.00, Wool blend textured sheath dress- Banana Republic
$152.00, DKNY Tweed pencil skirt- Macy's $99.00)
I remember when I went back to New York City for the fashion tour- we went to CAUS and they gave us previews of upcoming seasons and the colors predicted for them. I remember looking at the palette of colors for women 2009-2010 and thinking, "There is no brown!"
Nope, there was none of that rich dark chocolate brown which happened to be my favorite color at the time. I asked about it and was told that brown was on its way out and greys were moving in as the star neutral.
Well, here we are, a year and a half later and there's about 10 times more grey being sold in the stores than brown. But that doesn't mean you can't wear the classic brown you've been sporting for the past few years. Just mix it. "Mix brown and grey?" You may say. "Yes," is my response. Here's how:
1. Use color! Bold and bright color will give the eye something to focus on, leaving the brown and grey as the background neutrals.
2. Try using more contrast: light grey with dark brown and dark grey with light brown.
3. Spread the "accent" neutral around. For example, if you're wearing brown pants, accent it with a grey belt AND hat or scarf or hairpiece or shoes. If you've got two of something, it will unify the look instead of seeming accidental.
Here's another one just for fun:
Just a note: Lest you think I really shop at all these places, most of these items are just things I would dream about. sigh... I do window shop at these places. If you know me, you know I don't actually dress this stylishly.
Halloween is coming right around the corner! For a few months now, I've been planning our family's costumes. I've been trying to hold in my excitement- knowing how nerdy/weird/ridiculous (choose whichever adjective you like) it is to begin planning in July. Now that we are safely into fall and the leaves are turning colors, I think I can talk about it. :)
Our family will have sort of a folklore of nature theme this year. Jack will be Jack Frost, Rob will be Father Time and I will be Mother Nature. I've obviously spent the most time planning my costume because it is the most fairiesque, but I've realized that spending hours hand painting sheer fabric for the perfect rainbow to turn into a waterfall is not realistic for Halloween. I would feel pretty silly admitting that I did all that work just for the ward Halloween party. I have to say. I love to dress up. Growing up, every time I had my friends over we would dress up... even when I was in college. Why didn't I study costume design more?
I plan on posting little parts of our costumes periodically with instructions in so you can use them if you want to adapt it for your child's (or your) dressing up needs. What are your Halloween plans?
Rob is going to be Father Time for Halloween this year. Last year he tried to grow a beard (see this in the color green). This year, thankfully, he will not, so I made a much softer (and very temporary) beard from white yarn and duct tape. This is a no-sew project for you who don't want to (Yes, I realize almost every post I do includes sewing of some sort.) This was also very cheap- especially if you have the materials on hand.
- duct tape (and clear if wanted)
- one spool of white yarn
- a storage box lid or piece of cardboard (about 24" long)
Step 2: Tape duct tape across the yarn and press with your fingers to make sure that each strand is secured by the tape. Cut across the tape. Don't cut right down the middle. Leave 1/4" on one side.
This is what it should look like after you spread it out.
Step 3: Fold one 18" piece of duct tape in thirds. Tape a 4 1/2" long piece of tape right in the middle of the long piece of tape. Cut a half-circle out of the added piece for the mouth. This is your base.
Step 4: Lay the beard piece on the sticky side up of the base with the thinner tape side on top. Turn over. Pull the beard in through the mouth piece and tape down. Make sure the other side doesn't show the tape from the top of the beard piece. Tape down the sides of the middle piece along the bottom edge of the base.
Step 5: Make two side pieces using the same method as the middle beard piece.
Step 6: Tape the two side pieces onto the base, folding around the top of the base so the duct tape doesn't show.
Step 7: Make the mustache piece using the same method as the middle beard piece, but tying a piece of yarn around the piece and cutting it off on the opposite side of the tie.
Step 8: Wrap tape around the the mouth hole on the base to hold down the mustache. You may also want to stick some rolled tape along the base on the under side of the two side pieces to hold the yarn into place.
Step 9: Carefully lay the mustache on the rolled tape and adjust/fill in in places where you can see the tape. Trim off the tape at the bottom and trim your beard.
You may want to bring the two ends of the base together so you can wrap it around the person's head. Rob wears glasses, so we will be hooking the end pieces to his glasses.
You may also want to cover the base in white flannel when you're done so it is softer and more comfortable to wear. I would just duct tape this on.
Tip: After doing this, I think that white duct tape may have been a better option to match the yarn, but you know... free verses another 5 bucks...
Tip: You can also make a long white wig using a similar process to go with your beard. I would just get a bigger spool of thread. Still deciding if I want to do this...