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Archive for the ‘costume’ Category

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!

rocket selfie!  VBS day 1 (space theme)

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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!).

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

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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Costumes 2016: Pascal

Our almost-two-and-a-half-year-old son played the part of Pascal in our family costume this year!

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We started with the basic jumpsuit in Simplicity 1765 in the smallest size published, but it was still over 10″ too long for our boy, since the pattern is really a “child” sized pattern, not a “toddler” sized pattern.  We shortened the pattern and also took out quite a bit of bulk on the side seams.  Since we were making a chameleon outfit and not a dinosaur, we lengthened the tail and changed its shape a bit.  When the suit was assembled, Husband added some strong twisted wire into the stuffing of the tail, and we used that to curl it up.

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I changed the feet on the pattern to be more like Pascal’s three toes, and instead of making mittens, which B would have hated for restricting his ability for holding onto things, I modified the feet to make something that is effectively a wristband with three big puffy toes that come out over the hands.  The wristbands are held together with Velcro.

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We hand-stitched the head and eye ridges onto the hood and added fabric eyeballs.  To make the eyes, I cut two large circles out of white cotton (old sheet, of course!) and ran a long stitch around the perimeter.  I added some polyfill inside and cinched the stitches.  On the first one, I used a marking pen to determine the placement of the iris and pupil, removed the stuffing and flattened it again. Based on this marking, I used freezer paper templates to paint the iris/pupil onto the flat fabric circles, then cinched them up again with stuffing inside.  At the very end, I added a little catchlight (the white dot) in each eye, and it absolutely amazed me how much of a difference it made– the eyes suddenly looked friendly, rather than staring.

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The hood (as well as the hand-toe wristbands) is lined with some fabric from an old dress shirt of Husband’s.  When I realize that there was a likelihood of the lining being visible, I knew I needed to use green fabric– and the only reasonable green I had in my stash was this shirt.  Before I cut anything, though, I made sure that I could also transform the shirt into an apron!  The hood lining was cut from the upper sleeves– it is amazing how much fabric goes into a sleeve!

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Stay tuned for Flynn Rider!

 

 

 

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When we first started discussing the idea of having our family do a Tangled costume this year, it was obvious that V would be Rapunzel, but we debated who would play what other characters.  I absolutely nixed the idea of being Mother Gothel, and after briefly considering Husband and I dressing as Pub Thugs, we eventually settled on my dressing as Maximus, the royal guard horse.

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Instead of taking the costume too literally, we decided to stylize things a bit.  A full horse suit would have been an overwhelming amount of work, and I was already overwhelmed by the amount of sewing for this year’s costumes as it was!  First, we chose a medieval-style dress pattern and added a brown belt to call Maximus’ harness to mind, then topped things off with a stylized horse mask.

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The dress is Simplicity 1773, view A, and I wanted a full lining, rather than just facings, since I was sewing it with plain white cotton– an old sheet, to be precise!  To create the lining, I made a second dress, but without sleeves, and attached it at the neckline (as the facings would have been attached).  I sewed the lining to the armholes with a machine stitch, and hand-stitched the zipper opening to the zipper tape in the back.  The lining has a simple overlocked hem, and I did a single turn hem on the outer dress.  I had the sheet and thread on hand, and the zipper and elastic were among sewing notions that I’ve been handed-down from people recently (thank you, thank you, thank you!), and so the only thing I had to purchase for this dress was the buttons.  I didn’t want to spend much–there are nine on each cuff!!!– so I got super cheapo buttons at Walmart: a pack of 20 for $0.88.

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Husband was in charge of the accessories, and honestly, I don’t know which one is the better show-stopper!

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My horse-head is made from white posterboard (another thing we purchased for my costume).  Husband found an amazing horse mask when he was searching for ideas, and we thought it was beautiful (and prohibitively expensive for our costume purposes!).  As he looked at the pictures, he said to me, “I think I can recreate that!”  And he did.  (His spatial reasoning skills continue to amaze me).

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To create the leather medallion that Maximus wears on the front of his harness, Husband turned to an excellent tutorial on the Epbot blog for making craft foam look like leather.* He used scraps of foam I had leftover from another project and traced Rapunzel’s kingdom’s sun emblem onto the medallion using a template and added the horse’s name, since he spotted it in a closeup in the movie.  The only other thing we purchased for this costume was the gold wax to add the gilding effect.  Of all the characters in our costume, I think I probably needed the most explanation, so it was nice to have such a stylish “nametag.”  It slides onto the belt (from my closet) with a foam loop he adhered to the reverse of the medallion.  After I fasten the buckle, the medallion slides over and covers it.

Stay tuned for Pascal and Flynn Rider!

 

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Our four-but-very-close-to-turning-five-year-old daughter played the part of Rapunzel in our family costume this year.

The dress is not new; I made it for our big Disney World trip this past January.  You can read all the details of the construction in the blog post I wrote back then.  But since she was the main motivator behind our group costume,  I wanted to give her a post on her own.  Some of these photos might show some of the dress details better (or at least differently) than the photos from our Disney trip.

Of course, our Tangled Rapunzel needs a frying pan!

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She took it along as she “adventured” through the pumpkin patch…

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…and played a bit of peek-a-boo!

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I was surprised and delighted that the dress still fit her this fall.  She has been growing so much– but it is apparently mostly in the length of her legs, so that bodice still fits her very comfortably.  I love that she is getting so much use out of this dress, because I love it, and I put a lot of work into it 🙂

Stay tuned for Maximus, Pascal, and Flynn Rider!

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VBS headbands

It started out because Monday’s VBS had a theme of “nautical…”

At our church’s VBS, we have a ton of fun.  Each night has a theme, similar to a “spirit week” at school for homecoming or whatever.  I really love getting into the themes…

Anyway, I had no idea how to dress in a nautical way with what I had on hand, or help my daughter to do so, for that matter.  I got to thinking…  Boat-related…hmmm…maybe we could wear headbands with boats on them!!

The night before, I broke out the pipe cleaners…and then the floral wire because I had wimpy pipe cleaners, old scrapbook paper, and scraps of fabric–and my glue gun. (I went through so much glue gun glue this week!!)  While watching TV,  I made little paper boats with sails (similar to the one I made for B’s first birthday cake!) and tethered them to headbands for V and me.

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The next night was “under sea” night.  Since the headband idea had worked the night before, I decided to continue with the theme, even though V had a mermaid costume to wear from her dress-up clothes.  I had a printed fabric panel with shells and fishes, so I fussy-cut them out with a matching felt backer.  (I made my blouse back in 2009!)

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(Wednesday night was color night, so V wore her purple shirt.  I had ballet class, so I was unable to go myself.)

By Thursday, I had a reputation to live up to!  Thursday was pajama night, so I made moon-and-stars headbands for V and I to wear.  (See more about V’s robe HERE)

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Friday was “wacky-tacky” night, and so I completed our outfits with heart headbands.  (Tutus HERE and HERE)

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Each age group/class at VBS has a color associated with it– my daughter was a “Lil Purple Guppy,” and the adult support teams have colors, too– my team, the snack team, was aqua, and we received a color-coded bandanna to wear to identify ourselves.  I tried to make sure to incorporate our color (and in my case, pieces of my bandanna!) into our headbands each night!

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