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The Sheikah slates for our children’s costumes were created entirely by Husband, so I’ve asked him to write a guest post about how he made them!

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One of my principles of Halloween costumes is that they need to have some element that glows in the dark.  I could pretend that I’m very concerned about safety and visibility in the dark, but really I just think it makes costumes more fun and cool.  The Sheikah slate in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is such an integral part of the gameplay that I knew the kids would want to have Sheikah slates as props in their costumes.  I also thought that if I did it right, they might be toys that the kids could play with after Halloween, too.  

For the body of the Sheikah slate, I made a template that seemed big enough to hold the two pieces of electronics hardware, and cut a baseplate out of cardboard.  Then I started using lots of adhesive-backed craft foam to build up layers and thicken the tablets, making sure to leave a central cavity big enough for the speakers and lights.  After a few foam layers were down, I inserted the speaker button through the foam so that it rested on the tab of the Sheikah eye symbol, and kept adding layers until the sides were high enough to enclose the electronics.  Since I needed to maintain access to the electronics to turn them on and off and eventually replace the batteries, I hot glued strips of velcro to the top layer of craft foam and to the back of what would become the ‘screen’ of the Sheikah slate.


To make the screen, I used black adhesive craft foam and drew the Sheikah symbol on it and cut it out.  I had to make some adjustments, because unlike an actual screen, when you are cutting material you can’t have fully enclosed shapes floating in mid-air.  After I had the symbol cut out, I peeled off the paper and adhered a square of light blue vellum to the foam.  Even without the LEDs, it has pretty good contrast with the foam, and when the LEDs are lit up, the vellum smoothes out and softens the glow from the point sources of light.  


For the electronics, I found some battery-powered blue LED lights (aff link) and some battery-powered programmable speakers (aff link) like you might find in a singing birthday card.  I found mp3 files of the Sheikah slate sound effects from the video game and loaded them onto the speakers.  When you press the attached button, it plays a random sound from the list of downloaded files.  


At this point, I had functional, but parti-colored, Sheikah slates.  I wrapped the edges in black craft foam to hide the multi-hued strata of foam, and then painted all the remaining nooks and crannies with black acrylic paint.  I used orange craft foam on the handle to mimic the orange glow there in the game, and then wrapped the handle in brown yarn.  I cut out the decorative Sheikah symbol for the back of the tablet from orange, yellow, and blue craft foam.  For the border of the screen side, I used some more blue craft foam shapes and then free-handed some designs with metallic gold paint.  


They are definitely just approximations of the video game devices, but the kids were thrilled with them, and they are pretty durable and should hold up to being played with for at least a while.

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Our son dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At the time we were deciding on our costumes, his game character was wearing Zora armor, so he specifically requested to wear that gear as his costume. We brought up his character in-game and took photos for reference!

I made the blue shirt and stealth leggings by hacking Simplicity 1030. It’s a Captain America costume pattern in which the lower half of the shirt is pieced stripes. (Side note: I am really impressed with the design of this pattern. Often costume patterns are badly drafted and ill-fitting, but this is not the case for Simplicity 1030! The style lines and construction are well-done!). The upper part of the shirt has some nice style lines that were perfect for Link’s blue shirt, so I combined the side panel pieces to extend as one piece from the underarm to the hem and lengthened the upper torso pattern pieces to the hem. The result was a very sharp-looking athletic shirt, and I’m contemplating making it again with another fabric!

I added the side accents by layering some scraps I cut into the proper shapes and attaching them to the shirt with basting stitches. The blue fabric I used for the shirt and pants was an interesting athletic knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics, but it was difficult to stitch, so I thought it would be better for those side panels to be temporary. We will likely repurpose the shirt and leggings as winter pajamas!

I found a free jacket pattern (in my son’s size!) that was the perfect starting point for the scale jacket, and I hacked it beyond recognition, haha! I used a sueded fabric that was handed down to me in a bin of fabrics–it was the perfect color. After I cut the outer layer pieces, I hand-cut all the scales and sewed them in rows before stitching the pieces together.

My final contribution to the Link outfit was the beaded bandolier. I used Sculpey (polymer clay) to mold the moon medallion and the long beads (in retrospect, perhaps dry ziti would have been a lighter weight and easier solution for the long beads!). I strung them with some plastic faceted beads, and my husband spray painted them all with chrome paint. I used a scrap of vinyl to create the “leather” strap that goes over his shoulder, and the beaded strand is attached to key rings I stitched to the ends!

Now, on to the showstopper parts of the costume: the armor!

Husband sketched out the armor pieces on paper after studying the reference photos we took of all angles of Link, cutting out the paper templates to test sizing on our son. When he was satisfied with the design, he traced the pieces on to layers of craft foam and cut them out by hand. After constructing the pauldrons, bracers, and faulds (hip guards), he spray painted them with chrome paint. If we make foam armor in the future, Husband notes that he will apply some sort of sealant to the foam before spray painting to prevent the metallic paint from soaking into the foam and give a shinier end result.

The pauldrons are pinned to the shoulders of the scale jacket.

The faulds are threaded onto the belt with elastic loops that are adhered on the back.

The bracers have elastic straps for our son to wear them on his forearms.

The greaves (shin guards) are also constructed from craft foam, which Husband hand-painted with brown and metallic gold craft paint.

We had a lot of fun taking action photos of our soon acting as Link during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

(No healthy pumpkins were harmed in the making of this trick shot!)

This last photo is a little teaser: Husband created Sheikah slates for our Zelda and Link! Stay tuned for a guest post from him about how he made them!

Summary of patterns:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

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Our daughter dressed as Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

We found some amazing reference images from a book of concept art (aff link), and those images gave some great insight into the layers we needed to create.

We used ready-to-wear leggings and boots on her lower half, and we spent our energy creating the layers on her upper half.

The first layer was a blouse with lantern sleeves, and I used the Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up (aff link) as my starting point. The main hacks I made were to the collar and sleeves. Zelda has a tall collar closed with a single round button, so to create that effect on my daughter’s blouse, I increased the height of the collar stand and omitted the collar pieces altogether. I was pleased with how easy it was! Since there is no visible placket on the character’s blouse (fantasy means no practical concerns such as how you put on a garment!), I added hidden snaps between the placket layers.

I used a modified version of the Melly Sews lantern sleeve hack: instead of inserting a rectangle, I used a trapezoid shape. That resulted in an ungathered seam at the elbow and an asymetric blousing effect at the cuff. I stitched the gathers to wide elastic and then covered the elastic with a cuff made from the same knit as the jacket. If I were to do this again, I would omit the elastic and just stitch the gathers into a cuff!

The middle layer was a jacket effect. Since there were no visible closures (again!) and raglan sleeves on Zelda’s, I decided to use the Blank Slate Rivage Raglan (aff link) as my base pattern and an aqua knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics. After making a quick trial version from scrap knit, I added 2″ of height toward the neckline on the back and sleeve sections, drew the notches in the hemline and sleeves, and modified my pattern pieces. After I cut and assembled the new hacked pieces, I started adding the gold trim. Let me tell you, lamé bias tape is no joke to work with! I also realized only after I’d opened my packages that I’d purchased single-fold bias tape, rather than double-fold! It was an adventure, but I took it slowly, stitching it on with a long stitch length in clear thread (and just plain white in the bobbin). (I will admit that this costume was an exercise in not letting perfection be the enemy of the good…).

I cut the decorative shape at the neckline from craft foam, painted it with a few coats of metallic gold paint, and attached it at the front, behind which the gold crosspieces are pinned in place: I wanted to have enough room for her to get her head in and out!.

The outermost layer is a corset effect (velcro closure in the back), which I constructed from scratch. I added batting and quilted the design, adding the top bands of gold trim over a strip of aqua fabric to match her jacket layer. Husband created the “leather” belt from craft foam. He scored and heated it to give the effect of leather tooling before painting it brown and giving it a wash of black paint for further depth.

He also created the Triforce medallion from layers of craft foam and painted the details with metallic gold paint. We simply hot-glued it in place!

The final touch was her hairstyle! I have no idea why I have not used YouTube for braiding tutorials before–now this has opened a whole new can of worms, haha! THIS video was the perfect tutorial for this cute headband braid style: I learned some new tricks, and we’re excited to keep trying some more in the future.

We got some absolutely beautiful (if I do say so myself) photos of our daughter acting as Zelda during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

Summary of patterns:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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My children talk almost nonstop about their progress playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! Since they love the game so much, it was the perfect source for costume inspiration. Without further ado, I present Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild!

Our son specifically requested to wear Link’s Zora armor, which is what his character in the game was wearing at the time we decided on our costumes.

The costumes were a collaboration between Husband and me: he made all the foam accessories (Link’s armor pieces and brooch, Zelda’s belt and Triforce medallion, and the Sheikah slates), while I focused on the fabric pieces (and I made Link’s beaded bandolier).

During our photo shoot at a nearby pumpkin patch, they had a really great time getting into character and acting out scenes for the camera.

I’m thrilled with the costumes, and I think our children are, too!

I will do separate posts (Zelda, Link) with details for each costume and one for the Sheikah slates, but until then, here is a list of the patterns I used:

Zelda:
blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

Link:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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I was not just sewing for myself for this trip to WDW! My family gets involved in my Disney bounding ideas, and as we planned our wardrobe back in the spring, I had purchased a number of RTW garments for my daughter (the last time we went, back in 2016, I sewed princess dresses for her). It was harder to find things we liked for my son, so I decided to sew him a couple garments for this trip. On the first day, since we were going to Hollywood Studios, we all embraced our love of Star Wars.

this Magic Shot is so fun!

I was dressed in an R2D2 ‘bound, my daughter was ‘bounding Leia, and my son ‘bounded as Han Solo. We altered a pair of navy blue shorts he already had by adding strips of a red iron-on patch down the outer seamline. Over a plain white T-shirt, he wore a vest I sewed from black denim in my stash.

To make the vest, I used the (free) Melly Sews “Punk Vest” pattern with pockets that are from the Bookworm Button-up pattern (aff link). Since we knew it would be warm (and actually, this particular day had “feels-like” temperatures in the low 90s, so it really was hot and humid!), I chose to line the vest with some thin black cotton that was also in my stash.

This particular day was filled with amazing moments, and one of them was when my son got to interact (at a distance) with Chewbacca.

Periodically, Galaxy’s Edge/Star Wars characters come out onto a rooftop stage and wave to the crowd. My son and I had caught a glimpse of Chewbacca earlier but just missed him. A bit later, we were nearby and noticed that the characters were making another appearance. We were a little ways off, so we started moving forward. Chewie spotted him RIGHT away, even before we got fully into the open, and he pointed right at him and roared like he was seeing his old friend Han!  It was SO SO awesome.  Becker was waving and Chewie posed with his arms up in the air for photos behind Becker.  It was about as perfect as you could get without being able to go up and hug them.  Once again, major kudos to the Cast Members for really making these distanced interactions feel personal.

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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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