Tag Archives: Halloween

Owlet Costume for Halloween

Owl costume two view

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!).

owl costume in flight

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.

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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.

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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!

owl costume front and back

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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I couldn’t be a prouder owl momma!

Keep up with all things zween make sure you like me on Facebook, where I update regularly about all things crochet, baby, thrifting, and upcycling!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post!  Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

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DIY Ewok Costume for Baby

ewoks side by side

Although Return of the Jedi is my favorite of the Star Wars movies (which just so happens to feature the Ewok species), growing up in the 80s, it was the made for T.V. movies about the Ewoks that I was really drawn to, specifically the star Ewok, Wicket, and his young human sidekick, Cindel.  I can’t even imagine how many times I watched my VHS copies of Caravan of Courage and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.  Now, 28 years after the Caravan of Courage debut, the Ewoks have found their way into my life again.

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The seed for this costume idea was planted this past summer when I found the brown furry fabric remnant (shown above) at a yard sale.  It was not a complete piece, but still had some good-sized sections remaining. The woman selling it said that her mom was a seamstress and that this fabric was most likely left overs from a coat lining. I couldn’t argue with the price either ($1).

I was still pregnant at the time but as soon as I layed eyes on it I knew I had to have that fabric.  Jon was with me, and being the voice of reason that he is (he hates clutter) said to me,  “What would you ever do with that?”  After a beat or two I proclaimed, “I’ll make an Ewok Halloween costume for the baby!”  And so, about 5 months later, here we are.

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To be honest, when I first came up with the idea I had serious doubts that I’d be able to pull it off.  It seemed a little too ambitious and out of my sewing capabilities.  I didn’t even know where to start.

Eventually I decided that my first plan of action would be to deconstruct a pre-existing sleeper in Virginia’s size to come up with the pattern for my Ewok suit, made out of the before mentioned fur fabric.  This is pretty self explanatory.  Find a garment in the size and style you want, take it apart, and use the pieces as a pattern for the new garment that you want to make.

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You’ll want to keep in mind that your “pattern” wont have any seem allowance, so just add that on when you cut it out. My original deconstructed sleeper was assembled with a serger.  If you have one, great!  Mine does’t work, so I utilized the zigzag stitch on my Plain Jane sewing machine and called it a day.

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The only parts that I omitted completely from the design where the cuffs around the arms and neck.  The neck area will be covered by her hood, and the sleeves could be covered by mittens.  I was going to make mittens, but because of my daughters’ age (3 and a half months) and the fact that she would just be putting them in her mouth constantly, I skipped this detail.

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Above was my first fitting after constructing the suit. You may notice that there is a fit issue around her left foot. Oops!  I ended up removing that section, cutting out a new leg/foot piece and re-esembeling it. Then I realized that the new section that I just made was for the RIGHT foot! Oops again! eventually I got it all worked out so that she could have a decently fitting right AND left foot. Below is the completed Ewok suit.

Work in progress; Ewok costume!

Now all I had to do was make a hood.  For this I found a medium-sized men’s shirt at a thrift store (shown at the top of this post) in the perfect mustard yellow to contrast with the brown fur.  I wanted the neck opening of the shirt to become the face opening of the hood, so I cut off the sleeves and up the sides of the shirt as shown below.

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Now all I had to do was shape it. In the back section of the hood I sewed in a small piece of elastic to help make the hood more snug. This is not how Wicket’s hood looks, though many other Ewoks sport this hood style.  Though I did try the hood on Virginia periodically to see how it was fitting, I mainly used a small pie pumpkin to shape the hood.  Not only did the pumpkin stay perfectly still, I could actually sew the hood while on a form.  The hood was mostly hand sewn using brown embroidery floss so as to stand out and look very tribal, much like actual Ewoks look.

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Overall, I’m really happy with how this costume turned out.  Seeing that this is Virginia’s very first Halloween, I figured I’d go all out with making a sweet costume for her.  She’s too young to go trick-or-treating, and we don’t have plans to attend any costume parties, but I still had to get in the spirit and make an outfit, if only to share with close family and all of you on the world wide web.

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Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that if you have been inspired if you are planning on tackling your own Ewok costume.  If you do I’d love to hear about in the comments here!  As always, you can keep abreast of all things Zween by following me on Facebook and Pinterest.  Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

This post has been added to the linky party Made by You Monday on Skip to my Lou.

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Halloween How-To: Crochet Bear Ears

Here’s some fun, last-minute bear ears I made last night.  They only took about a half hour to make!  So, if you know how to crochet and need a really quick costume for next year, this is something to keep in mind.

How to make cute head band-style Halloween ears;

First crochet around the head band in single crochet.  I left just a little bit of room on each end where it tucks behind my ears.  Once you have single crochet along the whole band fasten off.

Now decide were you want your ears to be.

Ears (this pattern is for making rounded, bear-like ears, but could easily be adjusted to make triangular cat-like ears, or long bunny-like ears)

First ear

Row one- With the RIGHT SIDE facing and a new strand of yarn, single crochet into 6 sts (please note that I used a fairly thick yarn, so if you are using finer yarn you may want to adjust the number of stitches.) Ch 1, Turn. (6 sts)

Row two- 1sc in each st, ch 1, Turn . (6 sts)

Row three- sc 2 together, 1 sc in next 2 sc, sc 2 together, ch 1, Turn.  (4 sts)

Row four- 1 sc in each st, fasten off yarn

Second ear

Row one- With the RIGHT SIDE facing, repeat row one through four of first ear.  (this means that you will be starting from the right side of each ear and working left)

Finishing

With the RIGHT SIDE facing and starting on the right side of the right most ear; sc around ear, 1 slip stitch in each sc between ears, sc around second ear, fasten off.  Weave in all ends.

Inner ear (optional)

At this point you have ears!  If you used a fairly bulky yarn and crocheted it fairly tightly, they should have nice structure and stay up all by themselves.  Now you can add a little bit of pink to the centers to make them look more authentic.  For this part you could just cut little pieces of pink felt that are the appropriate size and shape, or, you can crochet them like I did.  To crochet the inner ears I used a finer yarn and a smaller hook and I followed the same pattern as for the outer ears but did a single crochet around the entire shape to end it.  After that I just used some black thread to sew the inner ears to the outer ones.  Easy!

I was working on some plarn owls last night and suddenly had the idea to make these.  I wasn’t sure if my co-workers would dress up for Halloween so I wanted to have something just in case.  Turns out nobody did, so they ended up staying in my purse all day.  Oh well!  I think these would look really cute with a matching crochet tale and mittens complete with little claws!

CRAFT Halloween Contest

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