Home-made skeleton costume
- glow-in-the-dark fabric paint (optional)
- black thermal underwear your child’s size
- sheets of white felt- (I used 5)
- needle and thread, pins
- For mask- white flannel, a piece of elastic, a small amount of pillow fluff, embroidery thread, needle and regular thread.
I was not able to find black footy pajamas, and buying a shirt and pants seemed expensive for something he will only wear once, so I was very happy to see the thermal underwear. The disadvantage of this is that he can’t wear it over other clothes.
After laying it out, I was able to estimate what size the bones should be. It was very tempting to try to make exact, anatomical bones, but it is much simpler to just go with a cartoonish style when cutting out felt!
Cut out the bones out of the sheets of white felt and pin in place on the thermal underwear. Hand-sew them on. Be sure to put something inside the clothes to avoid accidentally sewing all the way through ( I used a rolled up magazine for the arms and legs).
Outline the edges of the bones in the fabric paint and let it dry out of reach of meddling kids and their dog.
The mask was made by cutting out two pieces of white flannel (it was actually white with blue stars, but I used the plain side). Cut the eye holes generously. Sew it right sides together, leaving a side open. Turn right side out and stuff lightly. Sew the open side. Sew a piece of elastic to go around the back of your child’s head (measure to fit). I decided to decorate the mask in the style of Mexican Day of the Dead. If you are looking for designs online, use the keywords calaveras and Dia De Los Muertos. Anyone who has more experience with embroidery would have done a better job. Another idea would be to sew or glue on decorations to the mask.
Sewing a Hob Hat
My friend runs a live-action roleplaying game called Changling- it’s a fun game where you play fairies and magical creatures from fairyland. Of course, fairyland isn’t always a pretty, happy place, and danger lurks in every corner. Part of her running the game is playing Hobs, creatures from the Hedge that often give important information. I made her a hat to help her role-play a hob. I used the goblins from the movie Labyrinth as my inspiration.
I started by draping cloth over a ball to
get the right shape and form. (Note: a red kick-ball is too big and I switched to a smaller one). I used an old knit polo shirt of my husbands that was just the right shade of green. I then made a tiny viking hat from a circle of grey felt, edging it with some black hemming ribbon, then sewing a strip of fake fur around the bottom of the hat. The horns are made from white cloth, filled out with stuffing. A piece of cloth made the nose- I used a teardrop shape, pinched the center and sewed that to form the ridge between nostrils, then pinned it in place, tweaking it around until it shaped up the nostrils. I glued on googly eyes, a compromise because the eyes I made out of cloth just didn’t work. I finished off by shaping the hat so that it could be put on something like a bandanna. I also made an instruction card for the hob (do not taunt hob…). My friend thought it was hilarious, and I’m hoping she uses it for the next game.
(Self-publishing Experiment update: I’ve sold 10 copies of my ebook so far! )
Last Minute Dice Pouch
Need a last minute gift? Ifyou have cloth, needle, and thread you can make a dice bag.
Start with a long rectangle of cloth.
At each corner of the rectangle, fold in the sides about a 1/2 inch, sewing a straight line for about two inches on each corner. This prevents fraying.
Fold over the top of one side(wrong sides together), and then fold in the raw edge. Pin and sew along the hem, using either a straight stitch or a blanket stitch. You are making a tube for a drawstring or ribbon to go through, so make sure you have enough room when making your hem edge.
Repeat the procedure for the other side.
Fold the rectangle with right sides together, sew the seams along both sides. Turn the pouch inside out. Feed a ribbon through. If you have trouble getting the ribbon to go through, tie it to a pen and slide that through.
Dice pouches can be used to hold many things besides dice:
- change- fill them full of dollar coins!
- small toys
- small computer bits (usb cords, chargers, earphones)
- small craft projects
- very small pets
(warning, some of these objects should not be combined in one pouch!)
Laundry Basket Robot Costume
I tried a variation of the tried and true “cardboard box robot” costume, since my son is rough on his costumes. I started with a pop-up laundry basket, since he loves putting it on his head and running around. The original idea was that the basket would be usable after Halloween, but then we decided to make a head-hole, so that eliminated that.
I cut armholes out and reinforced them by sewing folded over ribbon pinched over the rough edges. I cut out the head hole and reinforced the shoulders with a cardboard yoke, holding it in place with a piece of white cloth.
To make the inner panels I used poster paper cut to fit inside the basket. I decorated it with construction paper, electric tape and markers. I used a shiny gift bag for the metallic details To keep the panels in place inside the basket, I stitched the top of the paper to the inside of the basket.
I’m hoping it will last through trick or treating! Otherwise he’ll be wearing his costume from last year.
Halloween Costume- Stargate Atlantis Science Jacket
My daughter is a Stargate fan, so we decided to make her a uniform jacket from Stargate Atlantis for her halloween costume. She’ll be able to use it as a regular jacket any time she wants.
I bought a men’s small exercise jacket, champion brand. I also bought an american flag patch from my local craft store, and a Stargate Atlantis patch online. I looked at many different images from the show and decided to go with the first year’s uniform, which is a big panel, color coded for department (I chose science blue for my girl!) Using newspaper I came up with a template. I cut the panels out and then hemmed them. DO NOT do this, instead, finish the edges by sewing them to black ribbon, it will be easier and look better. I didn’t have the black ribbon and tried to make do, and I don’t like the result. If you have time, the uniform also has a forearm pocket. I decided that it was unnecessary- it seems like a strange place for a pocket- every time you move your arm you would be rattling stuff around!
So here it is! She’ll wear grey pants and her work boots, with a plain t-shirt underneath. She’ll bring her phone and pretend to be scanning things. I’m sure she’ll have to explain her costume to almost everybody, but she knows and is thrilled. I’m thrilled she wants to be like Dr. Mckay and Dr. Weir and not some sex kitten thing.
Some Links that helped me:
Tell me about your cosplay ideas!
I made this turtle for my son- I think I’ll make more as gifts, as he is cute and easy to make! It’s from the book Little Knitted Creatures by Amy Gaines.
I’ve gone through a lot of knitting patterns looking for cute and easy things to make. Usually it’s one or the other- cute or easy. Many creature patterns are crochet, which I’ve never learned, or are in the round, which I find tricky. This guy is knit on two needles and then sewn together.
There’s nothing like having a little time off to make one desperate to cram in every possible project, book, show, activity, chore, planning session and self-evaluation one can possibly fit! Not good. Better to breathe. Stare off into space. Sit somewhere with a cool drink. As I write this mind is having an epic argument with itself as to what I’m doing next. I should… As Loretta Laroche says, “don’t should all over yourself.”
TARDIS Ipad Bag pocket
I wanted a pocket for my no-thrills iPad case to put in my earphones and such, and the TARDIS instantly came to mind (bigger on the inside). I cut a rectangle of blue velvet (which I would not recommend to new sewers, it sheds and shreds like crazy). I sewed the velvet to a matching piece of cotton, right sides together leaving one side open, then turned it inside out and finished the open side. If you are looking for the quilted effect, just using velvet won’t show very well, you do need a thin layer of batting. I folded over and sewed a small piece of velvet in the same method to make the top.
I started with a basic zip case, the fabric is like the stuff used in scuba suits.
The TARDIS (or police box) has eight squares. The two top squares are windows, the rest are paneling, with another square showing a sign. I’m considering printing and transferring the lettering of the sign as a patch later. As I embroidered the words on the top (POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX), I realized two things. One that I should use embroidery floss and not quilting thread, and two, that I am not very good at embroidery. If I was going to do this project again I would do the iron-on transfer patch thing for the top sign as well.
I sewed the finished pocket to the case by hand, leaving the top open. After testing, I plan to put in a strip of velcro for a more secure pocket.
There are many TARDIS projects out there. As I was exploring them on Pinterest I cam across a cool blog called Pinstrosity- It explored people who see a picture on Pinterest and try to duplicate it to humorous or disastrous results. It reminded me of the now defunct “You knit what?”
I knit a panda puppet for a friend’s new baby, using a pattern from Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson. My son loved it, so I made another one using the colors for the Disney character, Special Agent Oso, his favorite.
Notes- when improvising a pattern- WRITE IT DOWN. I should have been writing it down as I went. Also, I need to read up on knitting colorwork. In order to avoid huge snarls and shrinking your work, you need to carry the unused yarn along the back of the work consistently.
My son doesn’t mind my mistakes, he loves his puppet. As Special Agent Oso says, “It’s all part of the plan… more or less!”
I made a scarf for my daughter, using cotton yarn.
The pattern was extremely simple and looks great.
Cast on 30 stitches (or odd number to suit what width you want) knit the first row. Start the pattern:
Row 1- slip first stitch,* yarn over, knit two together * repeat to last stitch, knit
Row 2- slip first stitch, purl
Repeat pattern until it’s the length you want, to finish, knit a plain row and bind off.
Knitting is very soothing. It is something between meditation and fiddling with your hands. I was stuck in the Dulles airport for a day and a half, and having knitting with me kept me sane, kept me watching the riot forming at the ticket counter with quiet amusement. These mittens are for my 2 year old. I did them on two needles, because I have a hard time with double-pointed needles. I also journaled about my trip, drew pictures of costumes I wanted to make and strategized how I could get my entire family including my parents to come to this same science fiction convention next year. I had it so worked out that I was surprised when my Mother didn’t seem as enthusiastic as I had imagined.
You can be creative anywhere. All you need is time and thought. Yarn helps too.