If you happened to stop by Pattern Review yesterday, you may have noticed a familiar costume posted in the pattern review section of the site. That’s right, I finished Easton’s costume (and even got him to model the finished product):
Last night I started on wedding gifts for this coming weekend, then it’s on to Taylor’s Halloween costume – both of which need to be finished by Friday! Crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to burn the midnight oil and get it all done in less than a week – I feel so Project Runway. ROFL. BTW, what did you think of this season?
“I don’t recall your name, but your fez is familiar” – Austin Powers
Last night I finally was able to finish the last pieces to Easton’s monkey costume – the fez and vest. The pattern originally called for felt to be used for both items (and then embellished with rick rack), but I found this fabric in the home decor section and it seemed like a better fit. The downside to using it? All the pieces needed to be finished (since the pattern called for felt, there wasn’t a need to hem,etc.). Instead of turning under the raw edges, I opted to line the vest with a burgundy sparkle cotton that was in my stash and used some purchased bias tape to finish off the arm holes.
Now I just need to tack the fez to the head and take some photos with Easton in the complete costume! Next up – a fun wedding gift and starting on Taylor’s costume (I counted, 14 days until Halloween so I really need to get crackin’!).
I’m making slow, but steady progress on Halloween costumes. My latest accomplishment, a monkey head.
I put off making this part of the costume because it seemed daunting – all those darts, attaching the ears, etc. I was surprised to find that in the end it was fairly simple to make! I did make a few changes, however. Since the pattern called for using fleece for the ears, I needed to add some puff to my suede. For this, I added fusible fleece to both sides of the material before sewing them together. The second change I made was attaching the ears to the outside of the head before sewing in the lining – it allowed me to machine sew it and avoid some hand sewing.
Now I only have the fez and vest to construct (along with a few pattern changes) and this costume is finished! Now I wonder if Easton will wear the whole ensemble long enough for me to take some pictures?
The monkey feet are finished. They look a lot less like something you would find on a primate and something more like you’d find on Robin Hood or Captain Jack Sparrow. Not only do they look like boots, they are absolutely enormous – I’m very thankful that Easton isn’t walking because he would trip wearing these shoes. Here he is wearing one of them:
From the looks of it, his foot is only filling up 1/2 the shoe and it comes up mid-calf, but it may look less obvious once it’s worn with the romper since it all should ‘blend’ together. I’m not bothering to try to make it any smaller since I know he’ll only leave them on long enough or photos.
Next up, the hood, hat, and vest…then it’s trying to wrangle Easton in the costume for photos!
After steadily working on Easton’s costume, I finally have the ‘romper’ portion of the monkey finished:
It actually took a lot longer than what I had anticipated to finish this up as there are quite a few steps to get to this point (and it doesn’t even look like I’ve made a dent in the pattern pieces) I haven’t hand the opportunity to slip him into it to see if it fits, but I did measure it against one of his well fitting sleepers and they seem fairly comparable (with the costume being a bit larger, but from the way it fits the kids on pattern envelope, this seems about right). Next up, monkey feet……
If you read my previous post about Simplicity 3594, you’ll know that I made a few changes in regards to fabrics. Since I eliminated fleece (and substituted suede) for the monkey’s belly, I needed to create a finished edge for this part of the costume. To do this, I cut the suede slightly larger than the pattern piece and cut fusible fleece to finished size (not only does the fleece give the belly a bit of ‘puff’, but also helped in the shaping of the suede). I ironed the excess material to the wrong side of the fabric around the fleece and , thankfully, it retained it’s shape without the need for gathering or basting stitches:
After attaching the belly, I managed to construct and stuff the tail and attach it to the back of the costume:
There’s still quite a bit of work to be done before the ‘romper’ portion of the costume is complete (neckband, sleeves and sleeve bands, velcro closure, and elastic around the ankles), but overall, it’s really starting to take shape!
Who would have thought that something as simple (looking) as a monkey costume could have so many pieces? I spent the better art of the day (in between playing with Easton and making bierocks) cutting, cutting, cutting…. Finally, by the end of the night, I had this:
I did make a few changes to the pattern – and they all have to do with my fabric choices (I may be altering the leg and arm length to the body before I’m finished, but I’d like to wait on that a bit, just in case Easton goes through a growth spurt!):
1) The Body:
The pattern suggested synthetic fur for the body. Unfortunately, I searched all over for ‘monkey fur’ and never found what I wanted. The closest I could get to brown was something that resembled cat fur, so I opted for velveteen. It’s nice and soft, but I forgot that the width would be smaller than the fur so I had to play with the pattern quite a bit to get it all to fit. WHEW!
The pattern also called for fleece for the tummy and ears. Up against the velveteen, the fleece just looked cheap, so I purchased some tan microsuede. Because of this, I had to make a few pattern changes – adding a finished edge to the tummy piece and fusing fleece to the ears to make them ‘puffy’.
2) Vest & Hat:
I skipped the felt (which is what the instructions call for) for the vest and headed straight for the home decor section of the store instead. I found a great fabric that screamed “grinder monkey vest and hat” and am using that instead. This also means that I’ll need to finish the raw edges – originally I was going to line the vest, but I may just turn under the raw edges and bind the arm holes instead. I’ll wait to do these last, so I’ll have plenty of time to mull it over.
With all the changes I’ve made to Easton’s costume, I’m almost afraid to start cutting into Taylor’s pattern!
I did a bit of fabric shopping. Thanks to a Fabric Mart coupon, I purchased the bronze goat skin leather that I had my eye on (plus a few extras):
I also picked up an yelloworange polka dot cotton (it had a great Halloween vibe), a few notions (a pin case and bobbin box), and a knit bundle. I’m really happy with two of the pieces that I received (a black matte jersey and a plum jersey). However, I’m not sure what to do with the other black knit (it’s kind of thick and has a cut out design throughout) and the white floral reminds me of something you might see made into pajamas (which is probably how they will end up). As for the leather, I plan on (finally) using my Metropolitan Homage Tote pattern with it (although their new envelope clutch really caught my eye).
I also made my way to Hancock Fabric’s sale last week and picked up lots of necessities (I actually plan on using everything up soon and not just stashing):
The fleece on the left is going to be used to make an I Spy Bag. I stumbled across this toy recently and fell in love with them. I thought it might be fun to make my own and thankfully, the sell makes DIY kits (fabric not included). If all goes well, I’ll be making a frog sometime in the future. The next three fabrics are part of Easton’s Halloween costume, along with several of the notions. I also picked up lots of zippers (for box bags) – at $1.17-.81 each, I couldn’t resist on ‘stocking up’.
The final thing that arrived this week (and this has absolutely nothing to do with sewing) was my egg molds:
I first saw these posted on My Montessori Journey‘s website and was highly intrigued. Basically you hard boil eggs, peel them while hot, place them in the molds and cool in cold water for 10 minutes. We already tested them out – the eggs didn’t last more than 5 minutes before they were all gone!