Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Owl Costume Tutorial

...alternately titled, "Audrey's First Halloween," or "Mommy's First Sewing Project." :)

I wasn't sure if I was going to dress Audrey up for Halloween this year. She's only 10 months old. Let's face it: she's not going to remember and she can't eat candy. But my mom bought her a really cute owl hat for the winter, so I decided to make her an owl costume.

I found some inspiration on pinterest, dug my mom's old sewing machine out of the basement, got a sewing machine crash course from my gram, raided her cloth room (yes, she has a whole room full of fabric!) and got to work!

My main goal was for Audrey to be comfortable. We didn't actually take her trick-or-treating, just to a few family members' houses, but she's still only 10 months old. It wouldn't be much of a costume if she pulled all the different parts off.

So the owl hat my mom bought from The Children's Place was my main inspiration.
Cute, right? Again, purchased, not made! This is my first sewing project, remember? Anyway...

First, I found some inspiration for the actual owl costume via pinterest here and here. I didn't use their tutorials, but it got me started.

Next, I found a hand-me-down shirt that was given to Audrey that I didn't mind sewing over. The shirt was a size 24 months and she's only wearing 12 months, so it was a bit big, but that gave me room to put a onesie underneath it to keep her warm and the length made it more like a little dress.

On a regular old piece of paper, I hand drew a feather template at about the size I thought would look good. (Real technical, I know!)

Then I had to decide on fabric for the feathers. There were 3 shades of pink in the hat and Audrey had a pair of leggings in the darkest pink color, so I decided she would wear those with the shirt. Upon raiding my gram's cloth room, I found scraps of cloth in both the medium pink and light pink from the hat. YAY! Who doesn't like free?

So then I traced the feather template on both of the fabrics and cut them out. I started with 20 feathers in each color. I don't know how many I ended up using, but I did cut more, and the number you'll need will depend on how closely you overlap them and the size of the shirt.

Once they were cut out, I overlapped the feathers, alternating the colors, and pinned them in place. I sewed them on one row at a time, starting at the bottom. I just used a straight stitch because that's all I know how to do, so nothing fancy! I must admit, sewing on to one side of an already assembled shirt, without sewing through the back side, got difficult near the top. I just tried to keep a flat surface where I was sewing and went slow.

When I got to the top, I sewed some feathers around the neckline too. Then, I put the sleeve on a piece of paper and drew a wing template.

I decided to use the medium pink for the wings, but then they looked a little plain, so I sewed some of the individual light pink feathers onto them before attaching them to the sleeves.

At this point, I realized I couldn't sew the wings on without sewing the front and back of the sleeves together. Shoot! At first I thought well maybe I'll use fabric glue, or hot glue, but then I found some no-sew hemming tape in a drawer. Perfect! If you've never heard of it or used it, it comes on a roll and looks like a white mesh. You put it between two pieces of fabric, iron, and it essentially glues the two pieces of fabric together. Easy peasy!

So I cut a piece of the no-sew tape the length of the wing. I put the tape on top of the sleeve and lined the wing up on top of the tape. Then I just ironed over the wing! Make sure you can't see any of the tape before you iron. If you iron directly on the tape you'll end up with a mess of glue all over your iron.

And that's it! Done!

Not bad, if I do say so myself! Especially for my first time ever using a sewing machine! And if I thought it was cute when I finished, I just about died from cuteness overload when we put it on her!
Is she not the cutest little pink owl ever or what?! Super fancy costume? No. Made with love? Absolutely! And way cuter than any plastic store bought costume!

I hope the tutorial was helpful. If you want to get fancy, I guess you could do the back of the shirt too. Audrey is 10 months old. Totally not necessary for her in my book! If you have any questions about what I did, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them!


Kristen said...

Oh my gosh....sooooo cute!! Great job, Sara. I'm really impressed!

Sonya said...

you did awesome and she looks absolutely adorable!!!

MrsMassacre said...

Oh my God, that's the cutest thing I've seen all week!