Monday, October 10, 2011


My grandaugther requested for her Halloween costume the following:
To say I was intimidated, by the idea of making it, was to put it politely.
She's ten years old now and does know what she wants.
This is my version of the costume.  The A on the Belt is for
"The Amazing Avenger"
The dress form is covered with one of my turtle necks.  It will not be part of the costume.  I suggested she get a black turtle neck in her size and a pair of black tights.  Most of the fabrics came from my stash.

I purchased 1 yd blue  bonded vinyl, 1/2 yard of black felt, pattern to use the hood (never opened it, the hood pattern from last year still fit her) and 1/2 yard very stiff interfacing.  The cost from Hancock's was just over 15 dollars.  I had the iron-on interfacing, satin, wonder
under, elastic, silver lame', silver ribbon, and western pearl snap fasteners in my stash.

There was no way I was going to be able to copy the costume exactly. 
I was hoping to do something in the idea of it.  The first thing I did was to get measurements from MOM. 
They live in Florida and I am in Missouri so the logistics are in the way.

I couldn't believe how many measurements I needed to construct the items. 
Neck, around the crown of the head, forehead to base of neck, back to floor, base of neck to waist, waist to knees,  (around the wrist, around the arm just below the elbow and the measurement for the length between the two measures),  around the calf at the fattest part of the leg, and around the ankle and the length between the two).  I still had to call her to clarify more measurements.  Now that I have finished it I hope everything fits.  If it doesn't..geesh!


The first thing I did was prepare fabrics.  I used "wonder under" to bond the felt to the very stiff, heavy interfacing.  I used some very light weight interfacing which had bonding on it and applied it to the silver "tissue" lame (this fabric used to be available at Wallmart very reasonable.) I used the waist measurement and added 5 inches for overlaps, incase I needed to change anything.  Remember I don't have a plan for this belt yet.  I am drawing it on a piece of butcher paper.  I picked 4 inches as a width.  Mom had said she was 24 inches around.  So I  drew the belt 29 x 4.  The oval belt medallion I made 7  inches high and 9 inches long.
Making the medallion, finding a design I thought she would like and which was simple enough to cut out,  I settled on her initial and named her ninja type costume, "The Amazing Avenger".  I put a sun and moon on it because the avenger is on duty day and night.  I used a paper backed bond to iron on the interfaced lame' and then traced the design on it and cut it out.  I peeled off the paper and bonded it to an oval of bonded black felt.  This was so the black could show through the cut outs (it also made the belt medallion stiff.)  I zig zagged the medallion to the belt.  I decided I would use pearl snap fasteners for the belt closure, making them a decorative addition to the belt.  I marked the 24 inches and added an inch on either side and Cut the excess off and attached the snaps.  I put the belt on the manikin to see how it looks and realized I hadn't asked a very important question.  Did she measure her in her birthday suit or with the shirt and tights on?  OUCH!  The answer was in her birthday suit.

This delimna was solved using the trimmings from the belt.  I spilt the belt in the back and added 2 inches of elastic and sewed the two flaps back on.  She can now stretch the belt up to about 4 inches larger.  The only thing she has to do is after she dons the costume is have someone pin the top flap down so it doesn't flap in the breeze and it lwill look like a solid belt. (BTW, I used a black marker to cover the white edge of the piecing flaps so they would disappear.)

Neck to waist and waist to knees came handy in drawing a plan for this.  I realized I need a neck to shoulder seam measurement.  This turned out to be 6 inches.  This was the measurement I had decided would be good for the tunic.   I cut out my pattern and used it on the vinyl.  Then I took packing tape and tried to join the shoulders to try it on the manikin.  I realized then the vinyl was too stiff to hang right when it was joined at the shoulders.  I knew I would have to make a rectangle the width and length of the shoulder and join the seams.  A light went on,  I could use the lame' and the pearl snap fasteners and make it look sort of like epaulets (I have had these pearl snap fasteners since 1975 when I made western shirts for my boys.  In the making of this costume I have used all but two of them.  I am so glad to see them gone).
The bottom of the tunic need decoration for two reasons.  One because the costume she wants has decorations and two because the tunic needed something to weight it down.  The vinyl wanted to curl up (it is stored on a roll in the fabric shop so it has that memory.)  This was a wonderful place to use the snap fasteners.  They looked like jewels.  I had one red one left in the sewing box,
 it gave me the inspiration to use the circle/flower like design. 
 I used the male snap side on the back to add more weight to the bottom of the tunic.

This part was a piece of cake for me.  The last several years The kids have needed hoods for their costumes.
The following blog has a batman costume:

Last years costumes both had hoods.  See them here:

I was in luck, her head still fit in the puppy dog's hood.  I had the left over satin from the batman costume.  The satin was reinforced with some light weight bonded interfacing. 
 This kept it from fraying while I was working with it. 

The mask was made from a triangular piece of jersey like satin (it was already cut the size I needed!).  I rolled hem the longest side of the triangle.  I found the center of this side and attached it to one of those disposable breathing masks.  I whip stitched the edge of the triangle from the ear elastic on one side to the ear elastic on the other side (I used this same procedure to make the mask on the dog and monster costume.)  The kerchief like mask is put on first and the hood goes over it. 


  ARM GUARDS                                                 SHIN GUARDS
I was going to use the bonded black felt to make them and changed my mind. I had the left-over blue vinyl (which will be a hard fabric for me to find a use for).  It is nice and stiff and would make good guards.

When I went looking for embellishments I came across left over Christmas ribbon.  It was perfect for the arm guards.  I cut out the guards using the given measurements (adding an inch to each side for flaps to close them with.)  I had planned to use velcro for the attaching method and thought, this would be a great place for those snaps.  Hooray!..more gone!  I hope I won't regret the decission. I hope I allowed enough room and they fit.  This is the hardest part of long distance costuming.  You are not able to pre-try something before you put on the finishing touches. 

This is my amazing little ninja.

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blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
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1 comment:

jagarland said...

what an amazing job you did. I would never go thru all that work for a halloween outfit. And you're not even going to see her in it. yikes
great job Glo