Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY Onesie Wolf Costume

Howl cute would any kiddo look as the Big Bad Wolf? I can't begin to tell you how adorable the man cubs were last year as Baddie and Little Red together. They had a terrific time at their pack's costume party, and I'm sure a good deal of that candy had them up with the moon all night.

Okay, I'm done with the puns. I think.

First, I went to Hobby Lobby. That's usually how I start most projects. I bought a brown onesie in the right size, a 1/2 yard of furry brown/pepper material, and a half yard of a brown knit fabric that was soft and close to the color of the onesie. This tutorial involves sewing,  but very minimal. I'm no expert, and I survived in and completed this in one attempt.

Figuring out the layout of a hood was the hardest part. I mostly eyeballed this part, and it worked out well. The important part is making sure the hood is deep enough and tall enough to actually hood the wearer with the desired effect. For Halloween, you usually don't mind a deep, loose hood, so if you're guessing, the longer the measurement, the safer. 

I cut the knit fabric a bit wider than the onesie it'self, since I'd be attaching it at the shoulders and back, the finished project will be about half the width of the armspan of the onesie. The length of the fabric I left as the length of the spool of fabric. This seemed to fit well on the 18 month old who wore it.

Fold the fabric top to bottom, face side should be inside the fold. Sew seems along the sides first, then turn right side out, and sew the bottom closed. I folded the bottom in a bit so there wouldn't be a rough edge, and used a zig-zag seem so it would be more durable.

Fold the same fabric down again, then in half.

Sew a seem along the TOP where the fabric meets, then turn right side out.

If you bring the top seem to the middle and let the fabric open in the front, you'll see your hood is finished and now needs attaching. 
Like I said, it's better to guess big. This hood pretty much fits my head. I'm not 18 months old.

For this I just hand-stitched the hood onto the onesie. I found the center of the bottom of the hood, then the center of the onesie between the shoulders on the back, and stitched.

Then take the corners of the hod, and attach to the front of the shoulders with hand stitches. The overlapping shoulders on the onesie made this really easy.

Next, cut tail from the furry fabric. This part is messy, I suggest you do it outside if possible, or over a wide mouthed trash bin. The fur got everywhere.

For the tail, I just folded the fur fabric in half and cut long mirrored acute triangles. I sewed a single seem down the center to hold it together. I didn't take photos of this part, I apologize.

To place the tail, center it about waist-level on the back of the onesie. I pointed the tail upward and sewed a seem along the bottom, so the tail would fall with some curve.

At the moment I do not have a photo of the entirely finished product, which featured EARS, too. Those were just cut triangles from the fur as well, same as the tail only small, and attached equidistant from the center seem on the top of the hood. I also used excess fur to make leg warmers and wristbands for our little wolf, those were just strips sewn onto his black leggings and tied onto his wrists. Little Red will be posted soon!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Refashion an Old Mask

I know I'm not the only one that goes into that kitschy import store in the mall and falls in love with a lot of things I ended up using a maximum of ONE TIME. Friends, I fall victim to the wall of masks at Earthbound Trading Co. every single time I walk into any of their locations. Even at the local party store, those papier-mache faces just steal my gaze. But if you plan on reusing them year to year, you're going to either have to be extra careful, or very prepared to retouch those beauties. The latter isn't very hard, as I'll show you today!

I recently received an invitation to a HUGE masquerade party. If you don't know me personally, you may not be aware that I have fantasized about going to one since I was a little girl. You may think of some recent television episode of a popular show featuring elegant ballgowns and tailored tuxedos. Personally, my first thought was the Masquerade scene in Phantom of the Opera. I'm actually planning a big road trip with friends to the event, as it's out of state, and asking someone particularly special to be my arm candy for the evening. I want the weekend to live up to my expectations, and since I'll be asking someone as my date, I realized it's only fair I provide them with a mask as he may not be prepared.

So, I need TWO masks. One for me, one for him. I happen to never throw anything away, so I'll be using one from a previous Halloween costume, and another from a   past Mardi Gras celebration. This tutorial is great for a mask that just needs some retouches or even if you just dislike the color. You can also use this on an undecorated mask to give it the look you'd like.

What you'll need:

[Mask]ing tape (Couldn't resist)
Hot Glue Gun
Exacto Cutting Tool (OPTIONAL)
Spray Paint (Try and think of what you'll be wearing with it when choosing a color)

Start by looking at your mask and decide what needs to be done, then follow what steps you find necessary out of this tutorial.

This mask had pieces chipped with the paint that were necessary to the textured swirling pattern.
I guessed at the finished look of the pattern and filled in the missing parts with the glue gun. My gun is a little old and my hands are a bit shaky, so my lines aren't perfect, but I don't consider them noticeable to those who don't read my blog. You'll see them better on the painted mask nearer the end of the post.

Next I wanted to conserve the sheet music artwork on the mask already. To do this, I took small bits of masking tape and pressed them over the parts I wanted untouched. I used the Exacto Cutting Tool to get better definition and tear away the excess tape so I wouldn't have to worry about the old colors showing through after the painting process. I had the thought that I could take either more music or pages from an old book and Mod Podge them onto the mask after painting, but the masking tape was just as efficient.

Alright, a final look before going outside to paint...
OH RIGHT I don't want those ribbons all crunchy with dry paint! Cover those with some tape, too. I just went about halfway down each ribbon, making sure the tape didn't stick to the actual mask.

Time to paint! I love painting. Even spray painting. I used a Metallic Silver on this mask, and a Satin Red on the other that you'll see near the end.
PLEASE make sure you paint on a surface you don't mind getting permanently altered, and in a well ventilated area. Outside in a remote part of my backyard near my shop is where I set up my little pedestal (empty peach cans work great).

Follow the safety guidelines and instructions on the can's label. Also, don't forget to check under the ribbon and along the edges of the mask for old color to cover. I also painted the back of this one, as it had some writing on it I wanted to cover.

Make sure you didn't miss any spots and allow to dry.

Next, remove your tape, and you're done!

My other mask, the one I'll be wearing myself, I had to repair where the ribbons attach to the inside of the mask. The end were glued and tipped with felt circles to prevent the ribbon from coming loose, but the base white paint on the inside of the mask came off where it was glued, detaching the entire ribbon. This happened on both sides, and I repaired it twice. The first time I used glue dots, found in the scrapbooking section of your local hobby store or WalMart. The second time I used Gorilla Glue. The second repair seems much more permanent than the first.

This mask was originally a darker red with gold glitter accents, but the paint had chipped, and I had Red Satin spray paint from a previous project lying about. Voila.

If we happen to be at the same Masquerade this fall, be on the lookout for the supermegafoxyawesomehot couple wearing these, and feel free to say hi!