Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Handmade infant Staypuft Marshmallow man costume

 We all recognize that guy right? From the Ghostbusters movie??

This one was a doozy for sure! I had a friend ask me if I'd be able to make this for her almost 6 mouth old son and it seemed simple enough so I agreed. However it nearly kicked my butt! But I do love a good sewing challenge so I was very proud of myself that I got through it and didn't have to back out of it because I couldn't figure it out, (which I was thisclose to doing.)

Now she didn't give me any mandatory criteria to include, but there were some things I wanted it to have since I was the mother of a 6 month old once and remember that stage vividly--mainly the frequent diaper changes. First, it needed to be easy on and off and ideally 2 pieces so that diaper changes wouldn't be a hassle, and secondly I needed it to already be stuffed so that she didn't have to put him in it and then stuff it. (I could imagine a 6 month old not tolerating being poked and prodded as mom and dad shoved itchy stuffing inside his costume to get it "just so" and then repeating the process with each on/off for changes Gah! Could you imagine?! She'd get it and be like "um, totally not worth it, but thanks anyways. Right??) Thinking how to do these 2 things proved to be the most difficult part of the whole process. Once I could picture in my mind's eye how to make this happen, the sewing came pretty easy.

The idea is very similar to the Popeye arm's I discussed in my previous post where you cut out 2 of the same pieces and stick inside the other and stuff it. The legs/arm assembly and attachment were very similar to the lycan costume I made last year. It will be too hard to describe all the steps without doing a full on tutorial so click on the links back to those posts to see what I mean if you're at all curious. This is what it looked like on the inside:
From the neck opening, looking in...

from the waist opening looking in...
The bottoms I made just like a pair of pants with an elastic waistband and only stuffed the leg pieces, not the top part. I didn't worry about making that area stuffed because as you can see in the picture above, the poufy elasticized bottom sat on top and covered that area.

Let me just say that I want a costume like this in my size, wait, strike that-- make it jammies to sleep in, because with the stuffing inside, it was so soft and cuddly in there! I'd be asleep in 1.2 seconds if I slept in something like this. Waking up in a pool of sweat would be totally worth it to me ;) 

The hat is just a chef's hat that you can find a tutorial for all over the internet. To make it flat on top though, I cut out a round piece of cardboard and stuck it on the inside. Then just made a little red tassel thingy, glued down a fabric covered button on top and voila! All done.

So over all, I was able to make it 2 pieces, it goes on and comes off fairly easy (the bulk is a little tricky to maneuver around, trying to find baby arms/hands and whatnot but crying stops within 30 minutes, max. Just kidding! Neither baby cried when I tried it on them! Lol) and it's pre-stuffed. I love it! I hope my friend loves it as much as I do.

The handsome little model is my brand new nephew Liam. Isn't he just the munchiest?! Muuuah!
And that's all she wrote folks. Over and out.


p.s Tomorrow is Mike the knight.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Handmade adult Popeye and Olive Oyl costumes

Oh my gosh was I excited about this one! My mom and step-dad had a party to go to that was this past weekend and it was out in a barn so she wanted something to stay relatively warm in. (Not to mention, she wasn't too interested in wearing a "sexy" crayon or anything, ha! Costumes these days, they kill me!) My step dad loves cartoon characters and super heroes, and he's a burly/muscled dude so again, I wanted to work with what we had. My mom is a brunette so I thought popeye and olive oil would be perfect (turns out, hair color would be a mute point'll see).

Mom's costume was super easy. She already had a black skirt at home just sitting with tags on it in her closet, and boots. The only thing we had to buy was the red top which I snagged at Goodwill, brand-new for $4! Bonus. I added lace to the neckline and wrists using a long stitch length so she could easily remove them if she wanted to wear it again. Same thing with the skirt, using a large zigzag stitch (So it can easily be seam ripped off), I attached the yellow ribbon about 4 inches up from the bottom. For the earrings, I took white rounded buttons I already had on hand and painted them yellow, then attached them to earing studs (again I had those on hand from my Marilyn Monroe costume from last year) and lastly, I decided to make a black hat in the shape of Olive Oyl's signature 'do using this fleece hat pattern in adult size, omitting the ear flaps and adding a "pony tail" piece stuffed with fiberfill to the back seam. I then just wrapped ribbon around it Voila! Estimated cost: $4

What a good sport! I had her contorting in all sorts of weird "Olive Oyl poses" ha ha
As for Terry's costume, He gave me a dark blue T-shirt that fit him well, and I just added the Popeye details to it. I used 2 thrifted red t-shirts to make the red collar then added black ribbon to that. I looked to this tutorial to help guide me in the shape (I attached it to the t-shirt sewing only along the back piece of the shirt and velcroed the front pieces of the red collar together so that it could still fit over his head. I worried that if I sewed all the way around the collar, I'd lose the stretch and he wouldn't be able to fit it over his large noggin, or "dome piece", as Aldo calls it) I used some scrap blue knit I had for the sleeve cuffs, and again painted some white rounded buttons yellow and hot glued them down the front. I already had the sailor hat from a Halloween costume years ago and he just wore his regular jeans and boots. I found a random wood piece shaped like a pipe and glued it to the end of a paint brush handle for pop eye's pipe. (Hey, where there's a will, there's a way!) As for the arms, I made them very similarly to Eli's popeye arms except these were made as sleeves to slip on, not attached to the shirt like Eli's. I based it off of Terry's wrist to elbow measurement, adding about 7inches of "sleeve" length to the top, and also got his bicep measurement where the sleeve would end. Then it's really 2 triangle shaped pieces (with bottom short end being a few inches larger than wrist measurement, and top long edge being bicep measurement) sewn right sides together to get a cylinder shape, with one stuffed inside the other wrong sides facing together (see pics below if this is confusing). 

Before stuffing the forearm, I made a casing at the bottom of the 2 layers so I could add some elastic (cut elastic sized to actual wrist measurement). Once that part was done I stuffed fiberfill in-between the layers of the cylinder until it started to resemble pop eye's arm. I only filled half way and the rest I left empty so it would slide over the arm and rest on the bicep. (I serged the bicep end shut to allow for stretch over the arm and to keep the stuffing in. You can do a zigzag stitch too if needed, just not a straight stitch or the thread will break when you try to stretch it over the bicep). All done! Estimated cost: Free (had everything on hand).What do you think??
These two are good at humoring me for my photos
Here they are together:

Recognize that spinach can from Eli's costume last year? ;)

One of my faves!

Best Popeye and Olive Oyl I've ever seen! (If I do say so myself). I loved how they totally got into character, ha ha ha!

Tomorrow I'll show you how I did my infant Staypuft costume:

Hellooooo HANDsome!

Lator gators,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sandy and Danny Halloween Costume

**Tap, tap, tap** This thing on?? Hey there strangers! Sorry, I've been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I blame joining Instagram. Ever since I've joined, anything I would have blogged about I've just posted a pic or video with an explanation on instagram and then blogging got shoved to the back burner :/

Well, my favorite time of the year to sew is here, Halloween! I just love making costumes and getting as literal with them as I can. This year Aaron and I went as Danny and Sandy from Grease:

These were the pictures I used for inspiration. I wanted to keep costs down and we didn't already have a leather coat so I went with the Letterman sweater for Aaron. He was out of town the whole week prior to the party we had this past Saturday and so when he came home I just said "put this on, we're going as Sandy and Danny from Grease!" Ha ha. He had no choice. (He actually couldn't even remember who these characters were! Don't worry, I kicked him for you.) He already had the black shoes, tee, and pants. I just hemmed his pants a little short so his white socks would show like in the movie. I bought the cream colored cardigan in the women's section at walmart (ha!) for $13, added a large red "R" with felt, and cut some t-shirt strips for the red stripes on the arm. I didn't luck out with Goodwill trying to find the sweater. Talk about bummer, but for a total of $13 for his whole costume, I sucked it up ;) I present to you my very own Danny Zuko!
As for my costume, it needed to be a little more precise since her outfit is what everyone remembers. I did not own a pair of leather pants (gasp!) or an off the shoulder top, or a leather jacket. Sheesh. If you know me, I pride myself in making/buying our costumes for as cheap as possible so I was a little worried if I would even be able to pull it off. The reason I even chose this idea for our costumes is to obviously work with what we already had going for us: me being a blonde with the appropriate length hair and him being brunette. 

First stop, Forever 21 because you KNOW that store has to have leather pants and coat! Well I got lucky because they had a pleather pant ($13) and I found an AWESOME leather coat on clearance for $15! I'm in love with it! (I will totally wear it again in real life.) I struggled finding the top with summer being over so I ended up buying a tight fitting tee at H&M for $6 and altered it. I cut off the shoulders, hemmed the top and sewed some elastic down the front to give it a little shape with some ruching. I already had some red cork shoes, (not exactly the same as her slip-ons but enough to make it work I felt.) Steph had the perfect belt that she loaned me. THANKS STEPH! I had big black and gold hoop earrings, and finally I curled/teased the heck out of my hair (and added some clip in extensions that I already had) to finish off the look. Total estimated cost: $35. Here's mine:

Like my "straw" cigarette? Ha ha. I wasn't about to buy a whole pack for 1 prop.
And us together:

Won a contest for best couples costume!

What a fun time we had! Stick around and I'll be back to show you Mike the knight (toddler costume), Popeye and Olive Oyl (adult costumes), and Staypuft Marshmallow man (infant costume) from this year.