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Archive for the ‘costume’ Category

We have continued an inadvertent “tradition” of having my son in a green costume each year!  He was Prince James, then Pascal, and then Peter Pan last year… and he’s the Green Ninja this year! (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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Like the Nya costume, the base patterns for Lloyd’s pants and tunic were the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pants and Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern, respectively.  The pants were a basic modification: leave off the cuffs and lengthen the legs to compensate.  The tunic top was a different story, haha!

Because I really, really love to copy every detail that I possibly can, I convinced Husband to help me to drastically modify the bathrobe pattern to capture that really handsome-looking triangular cross-over that Lloyd’s minifig wears.  I would have tried to do it myself, but I wasn’t able to stand up long enough to make large-scale changes to a pattern like that… so I am very thankful that Husband agreed to help me!  I think he did a great job.

We cut black trim on the bias so that it would easily go around the curved parts of the modified front (mostly the flap that crosses under), and I also added black trim at the cuffs and hem.  We added snaps at the corner of the triangle, the neckline, and one snap at the hem to keep the tunic hanging properly.

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I wanted to make actual frog closures for Lloyd’s tunic, but when it came down to it, I didn’t have the right cord on hand.  Instead, I raided my button stash and found some decorative gold buttons that had been given to me, as well as a little scrap of metallic gold trim that was just right.  I attached one end simply by stitching the braid and the button to the tunic, and on the other end, I stitched the button to the braid and then stitched a snap to sandwich the braid.

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We made the gold dragon designs the same way as for Nya’s costume–hand drawn, scanned, adjusted in Silhouette Studio, and then cut with my Cameo 3; I especially enjoyed getting the curled dragon on Lloyd’s back just right…but then we decided that it would be best to mirror it, so that it would connect more logically to the dragon head on the front.

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Again, we changed out the not-really-a-real-character symbol printed on the minifig for Lloyd’s dragon symbol from an earlier incarnation of his outfit on the show.  It is also cut from gold vinyl and applied onto a circle we cut from a scrap of the same dark green fabric as his head tie and belt.

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The belt and head tie were made from fabric left from his Prince James costume, but we didn’t have enough for the leg ties.  We had a scrap of an old dark green t-shirt that was a close match in color, so we used that for the leg ties instead.  We ended up cutting out his hood from a women’s t-shirt, because I couldn’t find any other knit that was a good match!  It was nice and soft, but was a bit more prone to stretching out.

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Action shot!

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Let’s talk about Nya!  (2019 costume overview post HERE)

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When we were starting to plan these costumes, I started looking at commercial patterns that I could use to construct them.  As I looked, I wasn’t really finding exactly what I wanted, and I also knew that I had a great PJ pants pattern that I can make in about an hour that I’d use for the bottoms.  Husband and I were sitting together discussing the top, and our daughter walked into the room wearing her bathrobe.  Husband instantly made the connection, and we realized that the Citronille Emile bathrobe pattern would be just the right basic shape!

We ended up making the size 4 pattern that I’d made for her way back in 2015: we simply lengthened the sleeves and shortened the hem length to make it into a top.  I added black cuffs, added a black band at the hem, and used black fabric as the facing (in the original pattern, you’d use the same as the main garment).  In the unaltered pattern, the facing is only supposed to show around the neck, but I tacked it open at the hem as well, to show the black border all the way down the front.  I added two hooks-and-eyes to help hold it closed under the belt.

The aqua belt, head tie, and leg ties were all made from some scrap aqua knit I had on hand.  I was so excited when I discovered that it was exactly the right color– and my daughter already had an aqua shirt that was almost a perfect match to wear underneath.  I was really excited to find inexpensive dark red knit for the hood that was a nearly perfect match the the woven we’d bought for the main costume pieces.

Probably the most time-intensive parts of these costumes were the gold vinyl dragon designs.  I spent some time looking online for images or stencils that I could adapt for my purposes, but in the end, I decided that it would be easier–and more accurate– to draw them myself.

I first sketched them in pencil:

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and then I colored each one in with black marker…

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This design is for Lloyd’s back, but you get the idea!

…so that I could scan them as .jpgs and trace them in the Silhouette Studio software.  I spent a lot of time editing points, smoothing edges, and fine-tuning the shape, since we connected the dragon pieces from front to back.  Since I could only cut 12″x12″ areas of vinyl at a time, I disguised the joins by making them look like scales.

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I asked for it…I told her to look at me like a ninja…haha!

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We cut the dragons on my Cameo 3 from Cricut vinyl that I got on a very good sale; we deliberately did not use the iron-on (HTV), which was about 3 times the price (after all, these are just costumes…)… but it would have worked much better.  I knew I wasn’t using the appropriate kind of vinyl, but I was dismayed at how poorly this vinyl stuck to fabric.  At the end of a day of wearing these costumes to school, it was definitely and obviously peeling off.

If we ever have the kids wear these costumes again, it would not be hard to re-cut these designs (now that I have them!) from high-quality HTV and replace the peeling vinyl.

On Nya’s back, we decided to use her symbol, rather than the unidentified character that appears on the 2019 Legacy minifig (see Lloyd’s post for a reference photo!).  I cut it from the same gold vinyl and applied it to a circle cut from a scrap of matching aqua woven.  I used fusible web to attach the circle to the top’s back.  I didn’t have any energy left to satin-stitch the edge!

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Now, how about some action shots?!

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sassy Nya, giving Lord Garmadon a “look”

 

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As you may have guessed from my son’s birthday party posts this past summer, he and my daughter are Lego-crazy, and especially Ninjago-obsessed.  So this year, it was not a hard decision for them to choose Lloyd and Nya for their costumes!

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And as usual, I went crazy with the details.  I love cosplay, and each year, these costumes are exactly the excuse I need to give it a try.  If you’re familiar with Ninjago, there have been at least nine seasons of the show, with different outfits for the ninja in each one– and then there are different Lego sets with different outfits for the ninja!  In order to limit ourselves, I decided to create costumes that are modeled after minifigs that my son owns: we chose to use the 2019 Legacy versions of Lloyd and Nya.  (It turned out that this was a very good idea, since I found it hard to find good images of the backs of minifigs online!). In future posts, I’ll show the minifigs with the costumes so you can see how we copied/adapted the details!

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I am especially proud of these costumes this year, since I am recovering from ankle surgery, and I just started bearing weight on that leg last week (so I’m still on crutches).  It’s also because of that pesky surgery that Husband and I don’t have costumes this year… I love dressing up, but these costumes were almost more than I could handle, so I’m glad we made the decision not to even try for ours The vast majority of these costumes were completed within the past two weeks.  Husband and I worked together to create them– Husband was awesome at doing all of the cutting (since I couldn’t stand to do it), helping with the reengineering of the tunic for Lloyd (more about that in a later post), and on top of all of it, fetching and carrying for me so that I could work on them as much as possible.

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we have aqua leg ties for Nya; I just forgot to put them on for this photo!

Another thing I’m proud of is how little we spent (at least in actual money– I don’t even want to consider the cost in hours!): the main fabrics (green and dark red cotton/poly wovens, and the dark red knit) for both costumes were approximately $15 total, and the rest of the fabrics were ones we had on hand (either scraps or fabrics that had been handed down to me in the past).  We bought vinyl for the dragon details, which was about $4, and I used a $3 green t-shirt to make Lloyd’s ninja hood.  I had all the right colors of thread on hand already (amazing!), as well as the snaps, hooks and eyes, etc.  So the total we spent on materials was around $20!  Husband also bought their light-up “energy blades” (yes, they are technically lightsabers, but for this costume, they’re energy blades, ok?) for safety after dark, but since they will play with them after Halloween, I’m not counting them 😉

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I’m going to write a post for each of the costumes, showing them in more detail, but I wanted to include some basic information here:

pants pattern: slightly modified Blank Slate Snuggle PJs (I lengthened the legs and left off the cuffs.  I really love this pattern, it is a real TNT for me.)

jacket pattern: modified Citronille Emile (bathrobe) pattern (modifications will be covered in subsequent posts; they were extensive for Lloyd!)

hood pattern: DIY Balaclava freebie pattern/tutorial from Make It & Love It

dragon vinyl designs: I sketched them myself, adapting the images printed on the minifigs.  I scanned them as .jpgs and then used Silhouette Studio to turn them into cut files.  I did a LOT of point-editing work, and with the invaluable help of Husband, we created cut files that were useable on an actual human.

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Recently, we had a fun-filled week of VBS at our church!  We tried our best to deck ourselves out to coordinate with the theme of each evening.

Monday night, we went on safari!

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We dug out a plastic pith helmet for B that had been part of a butterfly catcher costume for Husband in 2007 and 2011, and a tan bucket hat for V.  V chose a tropical print sundress to wear, while B and I layered button-up shirts with rolled up cuffs over our team color shirts.  B is wearing his Peter Pan shirt, made from the Blank Slate Bookworm pattern, and I’m wearing a cream-colored cotton Blank Slate Novelista!  I sewed my headband from my team bandana fabric using the tried-and-true mmmcrafts Kinder, Gentler Headband pattern that I’ve been using for years.

On Tuesday night, the theme was animals!

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B’s class was known as the “Tiny Tangerine Tigers,” so that was our obvious inspiration for his costume.  Husband added stripes cut from electrical tape to the $1 orange t-shirt I’d purchased, and I quickly sewed up a tail and tiger ears from orange felt, adding more electrical tape stripes to complete the costume.

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V was tickled to receive a super-cute hand-me-down bee costume from a family at church, and it worked perfectly with her class color (she was one of the “Golden Gazelles” this year)

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I repurposed some fabric fish and shells from a previous year’s VBS costume and attached them to my headband to make myself into a coral reef.  I also dug out some big, wooden, fluorescent fish earrings from when I was in middle school or so to complete the look!  Haha!

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Wednesday night was color night, so we did our best to infuse as much of our team hue onto ourselves as possible!  B and I added “hair mascara” to color our hair; we had neither lavender nor orange, so I mixed pink and blue for mine and yellow and red for his.  I think his hair looks a bit like flames!

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I repurposed one of V’s dress-up princess dresses for her skirt: her Snow White costume had saggy elastic in the bodice, so I unpicked the stitching between it and the skirt, added a waistband made from a yellow t-shirt scrap and called it done!

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The Thursday night tradition is pajama night!

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I had a yellow sheet in my stash, so I whipped up a pair of yellow PJ pants for V, and then I found some $2/yd orange fabric to make a pair for B, too.  His have dino fabric at the cuff to coordinate with a pair of Daddy’s.  Both of their pairs were made from the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pattern (I have made SO MANY pairs of PJs using that great pattern!!) .

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After several years of being on the lavender staff team (snacks!), I decided to finally make a pair of lavender PJ pants– and I even incorporated my team bandana as trim above the cuffs.  I couldn’t resist re-using my moon-and-stars headband attachments again this year (previously used in 2017 and 2016!)

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On Friday, it was “Mathletes and Athletes” night.

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B proudly wore his tee ball shirt from the program he did this past spring, and V wore her ballet class gear.  I decided to take the opportunity to tackle a project that I’d been wanting to do for a while– make a shirt with heat transfer vinyl!  It was so very satisfying, and I’ll have a post about my first shirts soon.

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But our outfits/costumes weren’t the only VBS crafts this week!  The weekend before VBS, the staff worked hard to transform our church with all sorts of decorations!  I mostly helped out with the snack area, called “Grizzly Gulch.”

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We decided to make it look like a nighttime campsite in the Rocky Mountains(ish), so we cut out bear silhouettes from black paper and attached them to a starry background.  We assembled our artificial Christmas trees from home and made a little pine grove, and made the kitchen window look cabin-like with curtains that I made from the plaid-printed plastic tablecloth material.

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I had fun making a sign and a campfire out of cardboard and paper scraps, too!

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The part of Wendy was played by our 6 (almost 7!)-year old daughter.   (Find the group photos HERE)

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For V’s costume, we referenced the Wendy from Disney’s animated movie.

The pattern that I used for this dress was Simplicity 1507, this time in the girls’ sizes.  This is a tried-and-true old friend of a pattern.  Remember the princess dresses in the past?  Sofia and Elena were both adapted from the little girl/toddler size range of this pattern, and my mom made V a couple dresses from this pattern, too!

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I widened the neckline to make it more of a boatneck look, and I also modified the skirt.  The pattern’s original skirt was a wide rectangle, gathered quite a bit at the waistline.  I decreased the width of the waist seam so that the gathering was more of a 1:1.5 ratio, and I swept out the hem so that it was fuller (the resulting piece looks more triangular).

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I used costume satin to sew the dress, and since it was so very shiny, I decided to use it wrong-side-out for the main dress.  I used the shiny side to bind the sleeves and to make the sash and hairbow.

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V was very excited to have her hair curled for this costume, and on Halloween morning, we even got up extra early before school so that I could curl it again for costume day at school.

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our sweet Wendy Darling

 

 

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Our 4-year old son played the part of Peter Pan this year. (Find the group photos HERE)

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We referenced the animated Disney character, the character description and illustrations in the book the kids read with Husband this summer, as well as the licensed costume I spotted at the Disney store one day when walking through the mall.

I loved the look of a leaf tunic over a green collared shirt, so the first thing I made was a button-up shirt– and since by itself, it’s just a nice cotton top, I’m excited that B will be able to wear it throughout the rest of the fall and winter.  In fact, I’m going to dedicate a separate blog post to that shirt!

I used the Blank Slate Snuggle PJs pants pattern as the basis for the green leggings– I simply narrowed the legs so that they appear more leggings-like, and I left off the bottom cuffs.

The pièce de résistance of the outfit, in my opinion, is the tunic.  Husband did an amazing job of developing the pattern for this garment, which is supposed to look as if it’s been made out of large leaves.  A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a roll of upholstery fabric that was absolutely perfect for this project– there are stitched embellishments that look like leaf veining!

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I added a seam in the front so that the neck opening would be a bit wider and more comfortable, and I set some eyelets through which I threaded some fake leather thong as lacing.

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Of course, we needed some accessories to go with the costume to complete the look!  Husband drafted up the patterns for each of these sewn accessories:

A jaunty cap– I used more of the upholstery fabric and lined it with some of the extra green cotton.  I added a flat loop in which to slip a red feather.

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Elfin-looking shoe covers– these are kind of like spats: we slip them onto B’s ankles, and he wears his actual shoes underneath.  We found some vinyl “pleather” on clearance, and it was perfect for this!

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We used more of that pleather to make a sword holster!  We looked at some LARPing inspiration on Pinterest and found this basic design to be managable–both to make and for B to use.

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And of course, that leads us to the sword, which might be B’s favorite piece of the costume (although I think he really does love the whole outfit!).

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Husband whittled the blade out of some scrap wood we had on hand, and B took great delight in helping Daddy paint it (they used several coats of metallic craft paint).  Husband wrapped the grip in black electrical tape both for looks and also for comfort.

B is so excited about this little wooden sword, and he is quite the fierce swordfighter in his imaginary duels!

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When Captain Hook shows up, you fly!

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just look at that cute, mischievous face! so very Peter Pan…

 

 

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This past summer, Husband read Peter Pan aloud to our children, and after they’d finished the book, they also watched the Disney animated film.  Somewhere along the way, B declared, “I want to be Peter Pan for Halloween!” and upon hearing this, V exclaimed, “And I could be Wendy!”

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And thus our costume plan was born.  We had originally intended to make it a full-family affair, putting to use again Husband’s Captain Hook costume— and I was going to be Tinker Bell!!  But the lack of an event for adults (besides taking our kids trick-or-treating) led us to conclude that perhaps my time/money/energy would be better spent on other things.  However, I am so delighted that our family is still willing and able to do group costumes together.  (Here’s to many more years!)

In this post, I’ll share some costumes of our Peter Pan and Wendy together, and also with our Hook (who dressed up for the photo shoot!  yay!).  I’ll have a couple more posts coming up soon with the details of each of the new costumes!  HERE are the details about Peter Pan, and HERE are the details about Wendy!

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I sewed the Wendy dress and hair bow, the tunic, shirt, hat, and pants for Peter Pan, as well as using vinyl “pleather” to make the shoe spats and sword holster.  Husband designed the pattern for the leaf tunic, sword holster, shoe spats, and hat!  I’ll share all those details soon!

Of course, we need some action shots!

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about to take off!

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And then Captain Hook showed up, and Peter Pan had to do a little sword fighting!

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And then they had the idea to reenact the scene in which Wendy is tied to the mast of the Jolly Roger, and Peter Pan is fighting to rescue her– thanks to a convenient tree in our photo shoot location!

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VBS robot alien

This little “costume” for my son was one of the most last-minute of the VBS theme costumes, but I think it’s my favorite!

Earlier in the week, Husband spent a lot of time getting Becker’s antennae just right; they are made from thin copper tubing and red plastic beads.

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We hadn’t gotten much further than that when Friday morning rolled around.   I was stumped.  I browsed Pinterest for “easy boy alien costume” and similar searches, but was coming up with almost nothing reasonable!  On top of that, I didn’t have much access to my craft room because our contractors were replacing plumbing and had to cut into my ceiling to do so.

Somehow, though, the Pinterest search sparked the idea of a robot costume, and one of the VBS directors had mentioned lots of eyes…  I ran downstairs to my craft supplies and gathered all sorts of bits and bobs and my glue gun.  I assembled my crazy concoction on the kitchen counter while my kids played nearby.

The robot panel is on a base of felt, and I combined felt scraps with textured craft foam to make the different pieces.  I used reflective cardboard for the dial and added beads and sequins from a stash of random bits to give the idea of buttons.  There are little sliders, too– and they actually slide!– fluorescent green pipe cleaners thread through the plastic pony beads.  And of course, since it’s an alien robot costume, there are lots and lots of googly eyes.

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

I sized the base panel to cover the screen printing on one of B’s red T-shirts, and while I had a phone meeting that afternoon, I hand-basted it into place!  B was so excited about his robot shirt, and it made the work worthwhile!

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Well, another week of VBS is in the books!   We had a crazy-and-fun time again this year, and of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with headwear (and sometimes more…) for each of the nights’ themes.  You know that I love costumes of any kind!

We tried to color-coordinate the themes to the kids’ class colors (because of course, I need to make it more challenging!).  B was in the “Lil’ Red Rockets” preschool group, and V was in the “Galactic Green” kindergarten class.  Husband and I did a little bit of pre-planning and a tiny bit of advance work, but most of these were developed on the day itself…  I intended to do headbands for V and myself again (since they worked out so well last year), and my friend P gave the awesome suggestion of decorating a ball cap for B!  My headband for the week, upon which I based all of my crazy decorations, was actually a cover (made from THIS pattern–I’ve made countless headband covers over the years!) that I sewed from the hot pink bandana that we wore to designate ourselves as the snack team.  I also made a quick ruffly clip with more strips from the bandana to embellish the headband even further– I also used this clip to help stabilize and attach some of the pieces.

My friend J gave us a hand-me-down red hat that we used for B’s headwear.  It had a team logo on the front, but I used my VBS iron-on logo and turned it into a patch to go over it.  I ironed the logo onto some heavy-weight cotton, which I had interfaced with fuseable interfacing.  Then I satin-stitched a border around the logo and cut it out close to the outside edge of the stitching.  I hand-basted this “patch” onto the front of the hat, and I think it turned out really cute!

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Monday night was space night.  I really, really wanted us each to have a rocket launching over our heads…and these creations, made from cardboard toilet paper tubes covered in paper with tissue paper flames, turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected!  I managed to rig them up well enough, though!

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Tuesday night was super hero night.  Husband and I brainstormed a few superheroes that had a signature color that coordinated with each of our kids’ group color.  We chose logos, and I used my Silhouette to die cut or print-and-cut those logos from cardstock.   In keeping with the bobbing-above-the-head tradition, I mounted them on wire and attached them to each kid’s head.  B’s was mounted on his hat, and V’s wrapped around her hair bun.  I’ll show you my superhero contribution in a future post…(I couldn’t think of any hot pink superheroes that had easily-recognizable logos, so I went with an apron!)

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Wednesday night was color night– each kid dressed in their VBS T-shirt (a plain colored shirt with the iron-on logo affixed to the front), and I broke out the hair mascara from a few Halloweens ago and went to town on their hair.  The kids LOVED having their hair colored!  Vivian also wore a little ruffly hair clip I made from fabric scraps, and I painted her fingernails with green polish!

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Vivian with Galactic Green hair

Thursday night was pajama night.  I liked the moon-and-stars idea that I’d done last year, so I just modified the attachments I’d made for V and myself.  For B, I cut out red stars from textured craft foam and made a white felt moon (a red moon felt a little too grim!).

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pajama night for VBS!  I made moons and stars for us to wear on our heads

Friday night was create-your-own alien night.  By the end of this crazy week, I thought I was clean out of ideas (we also had our upstairs hall bathroom remodel begin on Wednesday morning, and on Friday morning, they needed to cut into my craft room ceiling for some plumbing work…)  However, some ideas came together at the last minute!  I’m going to do a separate post about my son’s outfit, but I’ll show my cute aliens off here, too!  B was a red robot alien, and V was a green sparkly alien!  We combined an old Tinkerbell dress-up costume with a sequined jacket her sparkly alien costume, and I made antennae eyes with pompoms and green mesh, which we attached to her hair buns with wire.

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Last but not least, possibly my very favorite of our costumes this year– Husband as Flynn Rider.

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The main part of this costume is the vest Flynn wears, of course.  I started with Simplicity 4059, view B and made some pretty significant modifications.

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I found a woman who made a Flynn Rider costume beginning with the same pattern and blogged about it in 2011, and her documentation of the modifications she made to the vest pattern (she also started with Simplicity 4059) were extremely helpful, as were her detailed notes on the vest Flynn wears in the movies.

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We chose a faux suede in a slate blue that I found on clearance+sale at JoAnn.  I bought two yards and spent about $9 on it!  I consider that a good deal.  We pored over screenshots of Flynn’s vest and analyzed and studied it some more.  I added some width and length to the pattern so that the front would overlap and the torso would be long enough for my tall Husband.  I also “drafted” faux yoke pieces for the front and back and we marked out what seemed to be miles of topstitching lines.  To give the vest the loft in its quilting, I padded the main torso section with a layer of flannel (an old sheet!)  and the yoke sections with an additional double layer of flannel before doing the quilting. Husband drafted the collar (my brain was fried)

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We collaborated to figure out how to recreate the hook closures.  Husband bought a short length of brass chain at Home Depot and took apart the links– half of them were twisted to form hooks, and we left the other half of the links “whole.”  We devised fabric mounts (for lack of a better word) that involved tiny buttonholes and fabric loops…I was glad to finish that portion of the vest!

 

Husband wore khaki pants and a white button-up shirt he already owned, but we wanted him to have the rakish adventuring boots that Flynn has–without having to buy much.  Husband had the brilliant idea to turn an old pair of brown pants into a spat-like device that covered boots he already owned to give them to floppy fold-over top (they are also lined with pieces of yet another old sheet!).  We used a swatch of pleather to make Flynn’s spats.  I sewed elastic to the corners to make loops, and we added large brads from my scrapbook stash to look like the studs on Flynn’s.  I didn’t have brass brads, so we used a yellow permanent marker to color some silver ones.  I was amazed what a difference they made!

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To top it all off, Husband grew a beard and shaved it to a goatee for Halloween weekend.  Look at that smolder!

 

 

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