Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sewing Costumes

It is the time of year when a lot of people start to think about making costumes and I have made a few during the last few years so  thought I would share some of them.  Normally I am not inclined to make a costume just for one night of the year so the costumes I have made have been at the request of the child (more on them later).  However, a very dear friend's baby was born on 31st October last year and the only thing he could possibly wear on his birthday is a pumpkin suit and not knowing what else to get for his birthday I offered to make one for him.

I started with Butterick B5585 which calls for fabrics with minimal stretch and a woven bias binding trim.  It also includes a 1.5cm seam allowance which confused me a bit when coming to the neck.  I used a fantastic bright orange velour from Plush Addict with green ribbing for the cuffs, neckline and placket.

For the neckline I cut a length of the ribbing just slightly shorter than the neck and attached it as on the Renfrew or Skater pattern, stretching slightly as I overlocked.  It took me three attempts to get the right height as it was at this point I forgot to take the 1.5cm seam allowances into account!  I also attached the cuffs and leg cuffs the same way although originally I had hoped to make a footed version.  I would like to use this pattern again as I can see it being very versatile but not having a child the right age to try it on as I was sewing meant I was sewing blind a lot of the time. However, I am very pleased with the outfit and took it with me yesterday when I went to see him and was very relieved that it fits!

A few weeks ago the Child's school had a Roald Dahl dress up day and as soon as she came home with the letter I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her.  I had bought some interlock (also from Plush Addict) to make a maxi skirt back in April but this just did not work as it was too heavy.  It is beautiful material though but it was just the wrong fabric for the use.  It was also a perfect colour for a Violet Beauregard costume!

I started with the KitschyCoo Skater Dress pattern and lengthened the bodice bringing it out in an a-line shape.  I appliqued the collar, belt and buckle and used the same fabric as the collar for the cuffs. I finished the top using some gold buttons which I found in my parents' old button box.  The leggings I made using the Go To Patterns Leggings pattern.  I had almost run out of fabric by this point and had to piece together the leg fronts.  However, I then had a moment of madness and made two matching legs so now the leggings have a front and a back on one side, and a front and back on the other!  Thankfully jersey is a forgiving fabric!!

I have previously used the Skater Dress pattern to make the Child a Kwazii from the Octonauts outfit.  The Child is obsessed with the Octonauts, less so now than a year ago but it is really all she wants to watch and play so when she asked for a Kwazii costume I had to oblige!

The top was made lengthening the bodice again but this time I attached a band at the bottom to bring it in a bit.  The trousers were self-drafted from a pair of her existing trousers and I attached the tail into the back seam.  I wasn't sure if this would be secure enough but it has lasted over a year with various trips through the washing machine.

I also made an Octonauts themed dress for the Child's birthday in February.  No prizes for guessing the pattern!!  The fabric came from KitschyCoo too and is an organic sweatshirting.  I used some iron on flocking for the logo on the front and appliquéd jersey for the collar.  This has been worn so much and the sweatshirting makes it extra snuggly in the winter.

 Well, that was longer than I expected!  I have made other dressing up items but I think that is plenty to be going on with.  The good thing about sewing play clothes from jersey is that they can be worn and washed like normal clothes.  We have been given dressing up items in the past and they are flimsy and thin, can't be worn out in all weathers and don't wash well and as a result don't last.  The Child has just watched Brave and has now requested a Merida costume.  I know exactly which pattern I will be turning to as a starting point - it's so versatile!!


  1. You are definitely the master of kids costumes! I love that they are actually wearable too!

    1. It means I don't mind her going out in public in her dressing up clothes because I know she will be warm enough etc and let's face it, what 4 year old would choose sensible clothes over dressing up??