With Halloween less than two weeks away, you have plenty of time to whip up this cute owl costume for your little owlet! This costume is great for a toddler who is just starting to walk and still holds out their arms for balance, making it look like they’re flapping their wings! Virginia just started walking at the beginning of October so she’s definitely at this stage right now (as you can see!).
Why make an owl costume you ask?
For over a month I’ve been trying to decide what Halloween costume to make for Virginia. Now that she’s 15 months old, and starting to show her own personality and interests, I thought I’d like to make her a costume to reflect something she seems to like at this point in her life.
Right now she seems particularly drawn to all things outdoors, specifically leaves, trees, squirrels, birds, airplanes, flowers, and the moon. I’ve been collecting ideas on Pinterest, which is always a good starting point for inspiration, and found some cute ideas for trees, squirrels and owls.
Then this past Sunday I just had the urge to get this project started! You know that feeling when you want to do something and you need to get it done NOW!? Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt. At that point I was leaning toward making her a tree and incorporating a squirrel and a bird, kind of like this cute little costume from Probably Actually.
But I also just wanted to start making something and didn’t want to go to the store. Does this ever happen to you? I get so frustrated going to the store! It seems like such a process these days and then I feel deflated because after all the time, effort, and money, I still don’t end up with what I really wanted. So I was determined to make something work from what I already had in my fabric stash.
After digging around in the attic I settled on an old pink paisley cotton bed sheet that already had a number of chunks missing from other past projects, as well as a large remnant of blue fleece material I got for free at an Etsy event which I attended a few months back at the local fabric store, Stitch.
At this point I had abandoned the adorable tree idea and started to think about this cute owl costume that I saw from Martin Family Times. I figured I could make a new crocheted owl hat (I made one for Virginia last winter) from the Repeat Crafter Me free pattern instead of making one from fabric as shown in the above mentioned inspiration.
Originally, I planned to make a cape of fabric feathers, similar to the inspiration, but I quickly changed my mind and went for a fitted poncho instead, mostly because I wanted something that she couldn’t easy take off!
How to make the feathery fabric owl poncho:
First I measured Virginia’s “wing span” (24 inches from wrist to wrist), which gave me the diameter for my foundation fabric (the blue fleece). I also figured out how big of a hole I needed for her head (about a 4.5 inch diameter circle in her case) then added a small slit to be able to put it over her head.
Next I cut a second circle 4 inches bigger than the first from the “feather fabric,” in this case a light weight cotton bed sheet.
Now I took my paper pattern and folded it in half, than half again, and again, and again, etc, until I had a circle with evenly spaced segments to base my feathers off of.
Next I sewed the two circles together along the inner circle (where her head goes) and the outer circle to hold everything in place and cut out the outermost row of feathers.
For each successive row, I cut my paper pattern 4 inches smaller in diameter, traced it onto the front of the costume using chalk, sewed along the chalk line, then cut the feathers out, staggering them over the previous row. To cut out the feathers while the fabric was sewn down, I used a pair of small, sharp scissors and was very careful not to cut through the foundation fabric. After the feathers were cut out, I flipped them up and sewed all the way around the row of feathers again very close to the edge of the fold, thus hiding the original line of stitching. This gave the feathers a little more “lift” and dimension.
I like the way the raw, fraying edges of the fabric adds to its “featheriness” don’t you?
Once the whole poncho was complete I sewed two vertical lines from the bottom up, leaving enough room for her arms, which created “sleeves” and also makes it nearly impossible for Virginia to remove it once it is on (HA!).
To finish it off I created my very own bias tape for the neckline (which I sewed on inside out, oops!) and a single, sew-on snap secures the neckline in the back to give it snug fit.
Crochet owl hat modifications:
As mentioned above, the crochet owl hat pattern that I based Virginia’s hat on was originally by Repeat Crafter me, which is a WONDERFUL pattern all on its own. I’ve made this hat in several sizes following the pattern to the letter and they always turned out beautifully. But for this time I wanted to alter the pattern a bit to make it a bit warmer. To do this I first switched yarns (from 100% acrylic to 100% super wash Marino wool) and used a slightly bulkier yarn BUT kept the same size hook (H) so as to make a tighter stitch. In addition to using a bulkier yarn, I also worked the whole pattern in half double crochet instead of double crochet. Of course this meant that I had to add more rows. All in all I’m very happy with the way the hat turned out, even though the half double stitch shows the seam way more than when I did a double crochet stitch, but I can live with that.
Oh, and did you notice that she’s got a little crocheted mouse? I made it years ago from a pattern out of the book Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute
I couldn’t be a prouder owl momma!
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I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post! Happy crafting and happy Halloween!