Friday, November 1, 2013

Mike the Knight handmade costume

Well this year Eli is old enough to have interests, ha ha, so I had to factor in his say (Waaah!). He loves his "shows" on Nick Jr and I've noticed him grab any random sword shaped object lately and go into full lunge yelling "Mike the knight!" He also currently hates putting clothes on so when I was brainstorming for costume ideas this year, it obviously had to be something of interest to him in order to not only get dressed in it, but to most likely be covered from head to toe in costume due to this unpredictable, yet sure-to-be-frigid midwest weather. So then I was like if I made him a "real" sword & shield and a complete costume some accessories to go with it, then he'd surely go for it! I am happy to report that I was right. Yay me! I made his costume over a month ago to test out my theory and it almost didn't even make it until Halloween because every day I heard "I want my Mike the knight sword momma!" and "where's my Mike the knight hat/shield/tunic" (Yes he'd say tunic. It was hilarious). Finally I had to just hide it completely and it only took 3 weeks of asking morning, noon, and night for it, he forgot about it.

In full lunge yelling "I'm Mike the knight!"
His outfit was actually very simple and came together without a hitch (I LOVE it when that happens!) The first thing I did was to google an image to get Mike's exact outfit as a reference and as usual I wanted his costume to be as close as possible. I decided to go with felt instead of fleece because its way cheaper and I managed to find plenty of the perfect color blue felt in the remnant bin at Joanne Fabrics and literally paid like $1.50 for all of it! I used some black thermals for the top and pant "underarmer" part of the costume. 

The costume consisted of gloves, elbow "pads", knee pads, belt, helmet, boot covers and of course, sword and shield. I made the sword out of card board that I cut to shape and then covered with colored masking tape. The shield is also cardboard that I covered in felt and free handed the images for each corner and then used some of the masking tape to finish off the edges and keep everything in place. I made a handle out of black masking tape for the back and secured that in place with a lot of the tan colored tape to cover the rest of the back and have it all blend together.

Then I made the tunic the same way you would a pillow case dress (using 2 rectangle pieces of fabric) except I made a neck and arm holes and cut the back piece so that it would open completely and close with velcro. I again free handed the patch that goes on the front, mimicking the shield but in much smaller, less detailed form, and then glued that puppy on.

The belt and elbow "pads" as you can see in the pic above are just one dimensional shapes (with a buckle design glued in place for the belt). I used velcro for everything. Easy peasy. The knee pads however, are stuffed with a little fiberfill and I added elastic to the backs so that they could slide on up over his knee.

With the gloves I traced his hand and then added about ½ inch all around and sewed the two pieces of felt together to make it glove shaped. I trimmed down the seam allowances as close as I could knowing felt doesn't fray and left them as is. No need to turn them inside out to hide the seams since it served my purpose as they were.

The "boots" actually aren't boots at all (sneaky sneaky sir). I made a little slip-on bootie that I fit over the front part of his shoe and then I pulled his thermal pants down over the rest of the shoe and overlapped them with the slip-on (which is how the cartoon looks. In the pics, I didn't really see the start of his shoe and the end of his pants, they seem to be one piece so that's why I did it the way I did). I added some puffy fabric paint to the bottom of the slip-on piece to give him some traction while walking but in all honesty, they were just mainly a photo prop. As soon as I had all my "modeling" pictures I took them off ;)

As for the hat, it may look like the hardest part but it really was very simple to do as well. I used the same hat link I shared in my post about the Olive Oyl "hair", only I used the kid sized one and didn't bother with the band piece for the bottom since I was going to add the "mask" part to it. (I just needed something to get me started for a basic hat shape that already fit his head and this pattern fit that bill). I free handed the red feather by sewing 2 pieces of felt together, (so it would be a little stiffer and able to stand up) trimmed down the seam allowance to nearly nothing, and inserted that into the top seam of the hat. It's hard to see but I did cut a jagged piece of brown fleece and sewed it hanging down from the front of the hat for Mike's "bangs", ha ha. I traced the general shape of the mask piece onto a piece of paper as a pattern and used it to cut out 2 pieces of felt, sewed them together then turned it right side out. From there I sewed long, skinny rectangles on the the front and cut the centers out to create the final slit look and then just sewed it onto the main hat. Finally I cut a rounded bill shaped piece to hang down the back and sewed that on. It sounds way more complicated then it was, I swear! Estimated cost: $7.50 ($5.00 for the 2 rolls of masking tape, but I will definitely use them for other projects).

You can see the details I've described, including the "bangs" in this pic:
See? No shoe covers. Took them off so he could dance
Overall, felt is defintiely my go-to fabric of choice for costume making because it's just so easy to work with and it doesn't fray. Costume sewing is so liberating because a lot of the rules for sewing clothes can get tossed right out the window since its just to create an illusion and doesn't necessarily have to stand up to wear and tear and be all that functional. Most importantly, it doesn't have to be perfect. Woo hoo! Did I mention he won best homemade costume at his little kids party?? Well he did! He shot his hand up in the air and said "I'm a winner!" Ha ha ha. It was hilarious. As the DJ announced him as a winner he added "and he's a good dancer too, I've seen him." Too funny. Love that kid.
$10 cold stone creamery gift card for winning!
Me and my little knight in shining armor :)

I had so much fun making these costumes. My brain is already in overdrive thinking of a fun family themed costume for next year. I probably won't tell my husband until the day of and just say, "put this on!" like I did this year so he won't fight me on it. Seems to work best that way ;) If you have any ideas, shoot them my way, pleaseandthankyou.

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

Perfect timing for this blog entry! My 3yo has a fancy dress party to go to this weekend, and apparently only a Mike the Knight outfit will do. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hi thankyou for the inspiration I made this for my sons book week costume was so much fun and has given me the confidence to try some more sewing projects