With my goal of not spending anything on their Halloween costumes this year, it took a while figuring out how I was going to make it. Nickjr has instructions for a no sew version, I just didn’t like how it looked. Whitney has a post on rookie moms with an extremely easy method involving two store bought pink sweatsuits.
I however didn’t have any pink sweatsuits lying around. I did have a lot of left over fleece accumulated over the years, most if it bought on fabric.com. Determined to use that, I did the following:
I cut a t-shirt pattern just below the armpit, folded it in half and sketched the lower half of costume. To create more of a bubble, I divided the lower half into four parts, which is why you only see half of the t-shirt top. If you use a store bought shirt, you can just cut a pink shirt off a bit below the armpit. Use a long sleeved shirt to make it even easier. For more on creating the lower pattern, check out the Ming-Ming costume.
Cut out four lower halves. If you’re making the top, follow the pattern instructions. I used a pattern from my favorite kid’s sewing books. Make sure the fabric stretches width-wise. Pin two of the lower halves together and sew along one side edge, leaving about 6″ open at the bottom. Repeat for the other half. This will give you two huge pieces. Pin and sew those together, right sides together.
Now you should have one huge piece made up of four smaller pieces and your top section. Turn your top section right way round and place it inside the lower half with the bottom lying on the top of the lower section. Make sure right sides are together, and the side seams are aligned. I know it sounds confusing. I often messed up this step when I first started sewing clothes. I found it best to pin it, then turn it the right way to make sure it will work out before you sew it.
If you don’t want to stuff the outfit, you’re finished. It will still poof out a bit. If you want to stuff it, do the following:
Lay a very stretchy fabric down. An old t-shirt works perfectly since this won’t be visible. Lay your costume on top, folding the top section down and bunching the seams in the middle. You want two pieces of fabric the length of the lower half and the width of the lower half without the extra curves. Those will be filled out with stuffing. Cut two layers. Don’t worry about accuracy. Stretchy fabric is forgiving.
Sew along the long ends using a stretch stitch such as a zigzag or overlocker.
Right sides together, sew the lower end of the lining to the costume. It is easiest to do this by stuffing the costume into the lining tube and pining carefully. Stretch the fabric as needed to fit. No one will see your sewing, so don’t worry. Once you pull the lining out, it will look like the picture above.
Stuff the costume bottom back into the lining, right sides together. Pin the top of the lining to the seam where your top t-shirt meets your lower costume.
Sew it on the seam, leaving two openings for stuffing and turning. I like leaving an opening in front and at the back. Turn the costume the right way through the opening.
The easiest way to make the flower for the neckline is to create an oval about 16″-17″ in diameter on some white or pale pink felt. Draw around it.
Draw your flower petals around the oval you created. Cut the flower out, including the oval. You’ll just slip it over her head. No sewing needed.
Since I sadly can’t knit or croquet, I used some of these foofa hats on Etsy as inspiration to create one out of fleece. I used a viking hat she got for Christmas last year as a template for size and cut out the hat making it more pointy towards the top.
I then drew and cut out the eyes, nose and mouth with some design help from my very particular daughter. I used felt, but you can use any scrap fabric you have. I can either applique it on, or just glue it on with fabric or krazy glue. To get the black outline around the eyes you can appliqued the white of the eyes on, or just use a permanent marker. Here is the Foofa hat pattern. It fits my almost four year old with ease. I’m sure it would fit a child from 2-6 years old. If you want the flower to stand up more, stuff the top of the hat.
To create a firmer flower, use two or three layers of felt either glued together or sewn together using a blanket stitch. Since I didn’t have any remaining pink felt, I used two layers pink cotton and one layer felt, and serged the edges together. You can also use interfacing to create a stiffer flower.
Once she tried it on, she refused to take it off and insisted on watching Yo Gabba Gabba immediately. I’m just glad I finally found a costume she’ll wear!
Since she loves the soft fleece so much, I plan on taking the costume apart along the upper seam where the shirt joins the lower half, and will turn the top part into a sweater. I’ll add more stuffing to the lower half and she’ll have a pink pillow.