Sewing

Happy Halloween from Cheeks and Cupcake!

Heyyyy!  Long time no see, but I finally got off my duff (well, actually I remained seated, but you get the turn of phrase) and not only sewed but also wrote about my babies’ Halloween costumes!

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Cheeks:  3
Cupcake: 6 months

HOW CUTE ARE THEY???  I love them so.

I thought about splitting this up into a couple of different posts, since I have a poopload of photos, but ultimately decided to just make this a massive, awesome Halloween costume bomb. KA-BLAM.  You’re welcome.

Cheeks’ Dragon

My Sweet Cheeks got this super cool costume (the hood and wings) from one of his aunts for his birthday.  For a couple of months leading up to October I asked him every week or so what he wanted to be for Halloween and every time he said…

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A DRAGON!

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Don’t worry, he’s just roaring atcha.

The show piece of his costume is the store bought (thanks Aunt J!) wings/head, so I resolved not to go to bananas with the rest of it.  I managed to go at least half ass bananas, though.

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Dragon Top

His shirt is none other than Jalie Nico, which I’ve made him a few times but apparently have only blogged about one other time (previous make).

I measured him and he fit into a size F, though I’ve made him G before and it fit fine…but for some reason I decided to go with the F (WHYYY) and it is definitely a bit of a tight squeeze (“Mama my shirt hurts”  Damnit, I see it’s trying to strangle your armpits, Bud).  I don’t know why I would do this, since going bigger with kid clothes has been my mantra since I started sewing them.  Maybe it was some sort of temporary insanity?

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I considered just going overall red, but to make it interesting, I though I’d try giving him a scaled belly.  And if the scales somehow didn’t work out, he could at least have a contrasting orange marled belly.  I drew a style line, added seam allowances to each side and went from there.  Sewing it in got a little funny because of the stretch in both fabrics and it’s a bit tilted to one side, but meh, it’s fine.

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I decided to try out the fabric blade on my Silhouette Cameo to cut the scales.  I also had a new mat on hand, so I cracked that out.  I “drew” the scale in Silhouette Studio by using the curved shape maker tool (Ha, I’m so descriptive) and then copied/tiled a bunch to cut.

The first couple of sheets more or less worked, but the fabric was too stretchy and the mat got to be not as sticky and then the upper right started happening…

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So I ended up cutting a template (lower right) from cardstock and hand tracing and cutting for the rest I needed.  Was a nice veg out thing to do in front of the TV, but I wouldn’t want to do it for a much larger surface area.

The scales were 2″ long and a bit less wide.  To make sure they overlapped and didn’t show the stitching line (1/8″ from the top), I tiled them on top of each other in rows spaced 3/4″.  I really love how the effect turned out.

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The finished top is pretty basic, other than these groovy scales.

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Dragon Bottom

I had a few choices on hand to use for his pant, but settled on the Love Notions Moto Maxx, decidedly not moto’d up at all.

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I used a 4T and shortened them 2″ based on his measurements and will definitely use a 5T the next time I make these for him.  Man, the last time I sewed these for him I used a 2T.  WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

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The plain version is pretty basic, but has a nice not super tight but not super relaxed fit.

Dragon Fabrics

The main fabrics I used for both of these were from JoAnn, because it was easiest to match color in person.  The red is a foiled knit; I believe this one, and the marled orange is a Yaya Han cosplay fabric:  here.  I used the same fabric I used for his previous Nico for the waistband; got that at Fabric Mart.

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But What About The Girl?

I knew I wanted the bunnies to coordinate (while I still have that choice), so I racked my brain…what is a good complement to a dragon?  I’m apparently super original and was stuck at “princess” for a bit, but I got a few ideas from the folks over at the Pattern Review costume contest including a dragon rider, another dragon (hey, I could’ve been the Mother of Dragons, too), any Harry Potter character…

I ultimately decided that Cupcake (or should I call her Peaches?  I keep changing my mind…and nobody really gives a crap what I call her but I keep on talking about it) should be a treasured Disney villain, or if you’ve watched the new live action remake, a very wronged Disney Heroine:

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MALEFICENT!

Maleficent Dress

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I’ve made this dress combo before, but it looks a bit different this time.  It’s Violette Field Threads’ Georgia dress and Pearl Pinafore.  I made the same size as the last set:  6-12 months…we means the dress set I made before she was born should fit now!  But I’m silly and haven’t even put it on her yet.  Oy.

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I made just a couple of changes to both pieces to create this look.

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On Georgia I omitted all of the neck and sleeve ruffles, lengthened the sleeve a couple of inches and swung it out to create a bell sleeve that I shaped to a point at the underside.  If I had planned better I’d had taken a photo of the patternmaking work on that.

I also omitted the skirt placket because I was using a knit.  I chose not to hem any of it because it’s a costume, it frays not a lick, and I was also overcome with a case of the fuck-its.  ‘Cause nobody gonna care, especially not the wearer!

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I also used snaps on the back of both instead of buttons, ’cause mama ain’t got time.  I used my handy dandy KamSnap DK93 press and some slightly moody gunmental size 16 open ring metal snaps and sandwiched some twill tape in between the layers for stabilization. It was pretty bulky, though: I’ll try organza next time (a tip I picked up from a random Facebook group).

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I’ll admit, I am still kind of intimidated by my snap press (I don’t know why!) but it makes installing snaps sooooo dang easy.

The fabric is a really neat oil slick Yaya Han cosplay fabric from JoAnn (or was it this fabric?  It might be this one instead.  They’re BOTH PRETTY COOL though).  Basically, I eyed it while looking for the dragon fabric and decided it needed to come home with me; I just needed to figure out what to make for her with it.  And Maleficent was just the ticket.

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On Pearl I drafted an attempt at a Medici collar.  It would’ve been a bit more successful if I had raised the back neckline on the pinafore itself, but I am still pretty happy with how it turned out.

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I traced the front and back necklines and overlapped them a LOT on the shoulder seam to get this shape, and then I hand drew the peaks to make the points.

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Like I mentioned previously, I used snaps down the back, but decided on velcro for the collar, figuring it would help it in standing up.  I also used a fusible fleece inside to make the collar stiff but still flexible.

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Sewing the teeny tiny shoulder straps of the pinafore was a bear because of the collar.  Just like with the sleeve ruffles when I previously made this, it had to be “taco’d” (encased in but not sewn into the shoulder seam) and then turned inside out, which was super bulky.

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Because I had such a problem with this last time, I machine sewed until it started to get pretty narrow and then turned inside out hand sewed the narrowest portion.

The rest of sewing the pinafore was pretty straight forward.  I used a Casa “liquid” satin from JoAnn, which is quite slick and shiny looking, but wasn’t too difficult to work with.  Mostly it came home with me because it was the cheapest of the black satins I found there.  Ha.

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Maleficent Hat

This hat…it’s the real labor of love in this whole costume, and it really makes it.  It was full of what-ifs and hope-it-works.  It all started with a practice hat:  Purl Soho’s Winter Baby Bonnet (well, this one is really the Lamb Bonnet).  And the pattern was freeeeee:

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The one thing that was a bit dismaying:  the pattern doesn’t come with a size chart.  Cupcake’s head is pretty baby average (unlike her giant noggined brother) so I chose the 3-6 month size and to my relief it fit great!

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The modifications I made to the hat itself are pretty simple.  I cut the center strip and added the signature widow’s peak (which Cupcake also has naturally:  she got it from my mama!), and straightened out the ends of the neck tie so they weren’t so cutesy.

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I’m unsure if the latter was a good move:  they come undone very easily and I think the extra bulk at the ends may have helped that to NOT happen, but it also could be just a fabric difference issue.

The fabric used is a Yaya Han faux stretch leather from JoAnn.  ‘Cause Maleficent is a badass and needs something leathery to show it.  I lined with a cotton/lycra jersey.  I would use more stable fabrics for the hat if I were to do it over again, since I got quite a few wrinkles from the stretch factor.

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The horns were the real question…how would I make them?  Would they look right?  Would they stay upright easily?  Would I accidentally sew one on super cattywampus, making them look ridiculous?  I started by drawing a curvy horn, and drew an angled line along the bottom so it would sit properly on the side of the head.

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Then I cut and sewed them up and stuffed them with fiberfill.  They seemed like they needed something more, so I cut 1/4″ wide 14″ long strips of the “oil slick” dress fabric and swirled it around each horn.  I hand sewed each pass of the “ribbon” down, starting at the outside base of the horn, working my way up and back down to the other side, so it wouldn’t shift during wear.

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The last thing was to  figure out the placement on the hat.  I centered the inner seam of each horn 3″ back from the edge of the hat along the center strip seams.  I couldn’t pin into this fabric because it would leave holes so I held it in place while I sewed on and prayed:  twice.

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Happily, the horns were as symmetrical as I could hope for in that first go, in both shape and placement.  They aren’t exact, but hell they’re dang good enough!  And they definitely get the point across.

Maleficent Bottom

I got the other three pieces done and realized that she had no pants…and ain’t no baby gonna be cool with not having pants in Wisconsin in October.  I had already planned to make her some Max & Meena Max Footies for Winter; they were all traced out in the 9 month size!   Though, the pattern looked a tad big for her at almost 7 months, so I traced the 6 month size, and huzzah!  Perfect fit.

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I bought this pattern because I loved the bum circle option, where the sky is the limit for applique,color blocking, and making-your-butt-look-like-an-animal-face fun, but just used the plain option for this purpose since no one will be lookin’ at her bum.

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Sewing these up was seriously fast and easy.  Only thing I regret about my methods was using a serger around the foot.  There’s just no way to get that tight of a curve sewn in a pleasing manner, plus you can’t clip the curves of a serged seam (can you?) so that results in a weird pucker.

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The pants are made from a double brushed poly Lycra that I bought from Fabric Mart last Spring, and obviously the dress Yaya Han fabric for the feet.  The pants and the dress are both made from very synthetic materials that do not breathe; things I would generally not dress a baby in (and never ever when it’s warm out), but for an hour or two at a time in October I’m comfortable with my choices.

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Final Thoughts

I’m loving how these turned out; there are still things I could definitely be self critical of (why didn’t I make him shoe covers; her hat is quite wrinkly) but overall I’m pretty proud that my vision actually worked out!  Plus, they’re only wearing these a few times so any non-catastrophic blunders seem even more insignificant.

And now for some group and action shots before we bid adieu:

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO YOU AND YOURS!!!

7 thoughts on “Happy Halloween from Cheeks and Cupcake!”

  1. OMGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!! These are amazing. Your scales for the dragon belly make the costume much more authentic-looking (inasmuch as that is possible, anyway!) and I cannot even with Cupcake as my favorite-ever Disney baddie. You made amazing fabric choices for both outfits–if you can’t wear metallic/oil slick fabric on Halloween, when can you??–and now your little ones both have costumes that nobody else will ever have. I bet they’ll look back on these later on and have all the feels about their mom turning it out for Halloween! :-D

    1. Thanks lady!! :D

      I totally have the feels about my mom when I think of the one costume I remember her clearly making for me. I was like a princess superhero or something (I had a dress, crown, and cape!) and she endured shitty gold lame for me. <3

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