Thursday, September 22, 2011

Owl Halloween Costume Tutorial

OWL Halloween Costume

As you have read, I made my daughter a camouflage princess Halloween costume. You can see pictures Here. I though of making my son a camo prince, but I'm not too sure he would appreciate it as much when he got older. I will let him decide in the future if he wants to be a prince. 
Anyways, I was just browsing Halloween costume ideas for boys online and came across Finding My Aloha's Blog post "Handmade Owl Costume"  
(found HERE)

I though HOW PERFECT! So I read the post and decided I was going to attempt to make the costume. She gives you some instructions on how she made it, along with some very cute pictures of her adorable son! 

I read how she made it, and of course, tried it my way. I am sharing with you my attempt. There is a picture on Emily's blog (I believe her name is Emily too! How cool!) were he shows you her pattern. She up-cycled sweaters and other old clothes to make her feathers. If you have that available, use that! Please read her blog if you are seriously interested in making this costume. She probly has some info that I will forget to post. Here is another link to her site Finding My Aloha
(pay close attention to this photo, I will be referring to it later)
I took this pattern idea and altered it to create my own pattern. You will be able to do the same thing no matter what size your lil one is. You could even make it for your daughter if she loves owls too!

Total Cost for this project size 24 months $11.00
Seeing you child in their beautiful hand made costume $Priceless
you just can't beat that

You will need:
  • A Fabric for the body, wings, and hood. I bought 1 yard for my 24 month size and had more than enough. I would suggest that a yard would be good for up to size 4 or 5T. If your sure, always buy a little more than needed, or make your patterns first and measure what you will need.   I used a crushed velvet fabric that I found on clearance at Joanns. Im not sure of what it is exactly called, but it worked great! I live in sunny Florida, and I wanted something that wouldnt be too hot, or itchy for my lil one. I would recommend using felt if you live in a colder climate. Note, the crushed velvet fabric does stretch in one direction. If you are using this fabric, make sure when you cut out your pattern pieces where the fabric stretches horizontally.
  • Fabric for the feathers - use a mix of textures and colors.
  • Felt Sheets
    • Orange
    • Dark Brown
    • White
    • Tan
  • Thread, sewing machine, scissors, needle
  • And google eyes if you like

First, you have to make the pattern. I would make mine available, but what are the chances you will need yours size 24 months? If you would like it anyways, I will do my best to get it to you. Please email me for more information. My email is at the top of this page =]

The above pictures are of the pattern I created. First I taped 4 pieces of card stock printer paper together. You may need more depending on how large you are making the costume or just a big piece of paper. I used card stock because its not as flimsy as regular paper. I took one of my sons shirts (a size 24 months because I wanted to be sure it fit on a month, he grows like a weed) and folded it in half. I also folded the 4 sheets of paper in half "like a hot dog" haha. Then I placed my sons shirt on the paper, matching the folds of the shirt to the fold on the paper. 
Then, I traced around the shoulder, arm hole, and down along the side of the shirt. The arm hole is the hardest to trace, but do your best and straighten it out a little after you remove the shirt. Trace down the shirt all the way to the bottom so you can see how long you need to make the pattern. Remove the shirt from the paper and fix your lines if needed. You will only need one pattern for the front and the back. Instead of making a line for the neck hole, make the top straight (like the right side of the photo above) For the back, disregard the neck lines. Now for the belly part. Either measure your child from the armpit down to the knees (or lower) to decide how many inches long you will need it. Then measure down the paper your measurement and mark it off. To create the belly, just draw it out to create an "owly" shape. The biggest (widest) part will be on the bottom. Once you have your shape, add another 1/4 inch to the whole thing for seam allowance and cut out the pattern. 
When you open up your pattern, it will look like the picture above. Now you have two choices, Either fold your fabric and your pattern in half and place both folds together, or open on the pattern on the fabric and trace around. Do what you are comfortable with. 
Once you have a back piece cut out, Fold your pattern in half and create a deep V neckline. See the line in the photo? Make the line straight and disregard my other lines.
Once you have your neck line figured out, cut on the line and remove the triangle piece. This will be your front body pattern, Cut out 1 piece for the front. 

Time for the wings and the hood. 
Note: I didnt make the hood piece connected to the main body piece, I attach it later. It just worked better for me.
I just winged it when it came to making these patterns. (haha get my joke?) You can measure or guess in my case the size of the wings. First, decide on how long you want the wings to be. I wouldn't make then too much longer than your child's arms. Then decide the width. You can try to measure the arm holes, to see the circumference, or just pick a measurement that looks good.  Make them wing shaped, and cut out 2 wings from the same fabric as your body fabric. Make sure to add an extra 1/4 inch at the top for the seam allowance.

A for the hood, I did my best at creating a pattern. I have never done anything like this before and this was my best shot. I suggest making the top part wider depending on the size of your child's head. Mine was just wide enough for my 18 month old one sewn together. Cut one hood piece out of your main body fabric. Note: make the whole hood wider.

Now you should have all of your body pieces cut out.

First things first, I took the front body panel and hemmed the neck line. I cut a small slit in the bottom of the V, pinned it back 1/4 of an inch and sewed it.
Look back to the photo from Finding My Aloha. If your too lazy to scroll up, you can find it HERE. In her picture she shows you where to hem the hood piece. I did this now to save time and have everything hemmed and ready to go. I also hemmed the the two small end flaps of the hood. See second and third photo.

 So, you can make the feather Shape any way you want. You can make a few different shapes. I only made one and I am happy with the result. I have no clue how many feather pieces I cut out, but there was a lot. I have some left over, if you dont cut out enough, you can always cut out more if needed. 

Once you have all your feathers cut out, start at the bottom of the front body piece and pin a line of feathers along the bottom. Making a pattern, or randomly placing your feathers. TIP: make sure to leave a 1/2 inch gap on the outside of the whole body so you dont sew the feathers when sewing the front and back together.
 Sew one solid line at the top of the feathers about a 1/4 of an inch of the top. Repeat this process until you have reached the neckline. You can offset the feathers a little or a lot. It will look like then when one.
 Do the same for the back body piece. 

Also, do the same for both the wings. I made the wings a mirror image to each other, that way i didn't have to come up with 2 patterns, yep I'm being lazy again.
What I did next was pin the front body piece to the back body piece with the right sides together. Pin the top shoulder piece and along both sides. DO NOT SEW THE ARM HOLES OR THE BOTTOM OR THE NECK. TIP, if you are using this crushed velvet fabric, increase your stitch length a little and it will sew easier.

  Remove the pins and leave inside out. Take a wing and pin it to one of the armholes right sides together. I measured the middle of the wing and matched it up to the seam on the shoulder. Then pin both sides down the armhole. I did not sew the wins on mine like a sleeve because I wanted them more like a flap.
Once you have both wings sewn on, turn the whole piece right side out, and admire your work so far. 

I have to apologize. I didnt take any pictures when sewing the hood. Refer back to Finding My Aloha's picture. She explains in her photo (Again Here)
how and where to sew the hood. Once you have the hood sewn together. Hem the front of the hood back 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. 

  Pin it to the back body piece rights sides together. The flaps on the hood will stretch around towards the neck line.
 This may be a little confusing, just be sure you have the right sides together. Starting at the end of one flap, sew the hood around until you get to the other end. Be sure to back stitch at both ends. 

Now its time to make the Owls face. This is very easy. You can make the face however you want. I made mine have big eyes. I cut out two orange ovals, two little bit smaller dark brown ovals, two half ovals for eyelids, one orange beak, and two feather shaped (but a little smaller) pieces for the ears out of a brown felt.

For the ears, I took the feather shaped pieces and folded them in half and sewed along the bottom. The eyes, I glued the pieces together (not using a lot of tacky glue) (I left off the google eyes til the very end.) Then I hand stitched, with a needle and thread, the eyes to the front of the hood. Next,  I sewed the beak on. 
The Ears are a little tricky. Figure out where you would like to place the ears on the hood. made a cut into the hood fabric just big enough for the bottom of the ear to fit, pin, and sew.

Make sure your sewing on the "wrong side" of the fabric.
 Remove pins and turn right side out.
Glue on Google eyes.

You can choose to hem the bottom depending on what type of fabric you are using. I chose not to. Spot clean only. 
Please, please, please, leave me comments or pictures if you tried this tutorial.


*Simply Country Crafts* 

Update!!! Here are some photos of my son in his costume!