Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Best Halloween Costume Ever!

I recently completed my very first homemade Halloween costume for my son.  Some kids are lucky enough to have that "crafty" mom, but mine does not so making a costume was a real task for me.  Heck, just buying the material turned out to be stressful.  Have I mentioned that I have never bought fabric in my entire life?  Yeah, the old lady behind the counter couldn't believe it either.

Why did I want to make this costume?  I don't know, but I keep thinking that this costume will be recalled fondly by the family for years to come.  Silly, right?

My son is totally obsessed with the Wonder Pets and Ming-Ming in particular.  I figured that it couldn't be all that hard to make a duckling costume with a cape so I went for it.  I found a yellow Teletubbie jumpsuit-style costume at a thrift store for only $4 and it fit my son.  Perfect for the duckling body and cheap - yay!  The silver rectangle in the middle of the torso gave me cause to pause, but I decided that I could come up with some way to disguise it.

Since I do not sew (and don't have anything to sew with anyway - it's a long story), I wisely chose felt as my primary material.  I bought sheets of yellow, blue, and red felt to create the Wonder Pets logo badge.  Then I bought a big piece of green felt for the cape.  This was the most irritating part of the process.  Well, one of the most irritating parts of the process as you'll soon read. 

Seriously though, who knew it would be such a drag to buy fabric?  It's like the lady behind the counter was speaking a totally foreign language.  I finally just said that I need "this much" (held my arms out wide) material and called it a day.  For the record, "this much" was way too much. 

Armed with some scissors and fabric glue, I was ready to begin.  I grabbed my sheets of felt and cut out a big blue circle, a smaller yellow circle, and the red W.  I have trouble cutting in straight lines, but I think I did okay.  I didn't have any pins to use to fasten the template to the felt so I used a binder clip.  Yes, a binder clip.  Laugh if you must, but it got the job done.

I carefully glued the logo badge components together.  It was a little difficult to keep it all straight toward the end because, holy cow, fabric glue puts out some crazy vapor and my eyes were burning.  I didn't get high or anything (huffing isn't exactly my style), but I was glad that I was in a well ventilated room.

I got really excited after the logo badge was glued together because it looked pretty good!  I decided to make a second logo badge so that I could attach it on the front of the yellow costume to hide the silver rectangle.  Somehow I didn't feel the need to make sure that the logo badge would be big enough, in fact, hide the silver rectangle.  Naturally, it did not.  NUTS!

I didn't have enough felt to make an even bigger logo badge and, no other option presenting itself, I chose to remove the silver rectangle from the torso of the yellow costume.  I should mention that I do not have a seam ripper because all of my sewing supplies are at my sister's house.  My sister lives in Utah.  Yeah.  So I used the next best thing for pulling a seam:  a boning knife.

Right about now I was starting to have major misgivings about making this costume.  Have you ever had to use a boning knife to pull a seam apart?  It's not fun and it takes for-freaking-ever.  Silver rectangle removed, I was ready to glue the logo badge in it's place.  Um, felt doesn't really attach well to fleece.  At least, not with fabric glue.  CRAP!

That's it.  The costume officially was sucking and I couldn't finish it.  I felt sad that no one would fondly recall this costume for years to come.  I didn't quite cry, but I wasn't all that far from tears.

Then I remembered that hotels used to have those little sewing kits in the rooms.  I wondered if maybe I could find a needle and thread mixed in the soap and shower caps in the bottom of a suitcase.  Twenty minutes of digging through luggage later, I had a needle and thread.  Two needles even!  Success!

All puffed up yet again, I set out to sew the logo badge to the costume.  When I got toward the end of my hand-sewing session, I realized that I needed around one more inch of thread to finish.  GAH!

I got as close as I could to finishing, but there wasn't enough thread left to tie it off.  So I did the next best thing.  I glued it!  I'll bet you were thinking that I was going to use a paper clip or staples, huh?

I admired my handiwork for a moment and decided to sew the other logo badge to the cape.  One would have thought that I would have learned, but one would be wrong.  I was about one inch short on that one as well.  I shook my tiny fist of impotent rage at Marriott Resorts for not providing enough thread in their sewing kits and I glued that one too.

I must point out that during all of this work and frustration, my son was going completely bonkers over the Wonder Pets logo badge.  He kept climbing up on my lap, running his grubby little paws over whichever component I was working on, and crying for "Wah-Puff!"

For all the aggravation it caused, the end result looks pretty doggone good - even if I do say so myself!  You know, I think the family will fondly recall this costume for many years to come.

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