Monday, 8 November 2010


"I've just spilt my dinner all down the tunic - you dont mind do you ,mum?"

james' first halloween outfit (we did not bother last year). its a lot of effort for at best 2 or three parties, but a great opportunity to let imagination run wild I sent Mr midnite to mandors to get the material - ! m for the tunic and 1.5 m for the hat and cape and 20cm gold material for the trim. he misunderstood (how?) and came back with 2.5 m of the ridiculously stretchy dark blue material - perfect for the hat and cape but an old bedsheet had to be sacrificed to finish the tunic.

I made the tunic first - based on a well fitting sleeping bag as a pattern with  short sleeves added - the gold material proved very difficult to handle - it frayed like crazy and seemed to have a life of its own - I eventually beat it into submission and used it to bind the neck and sleves and trim the hem. the tunic was a pretty tight fit but I added elastic at the waist to give it some shape.

the cape was also based to the sleeping bag as a pattern - I added wedge shapes to the seams to make it flare out at the bottom and flared wizardy sleeves - the gold cuff on the sleeves were sewn in right at the start so all the seam are included in the sleeve seams and they turned out really neat. I finished the neck line by draping it over james and seeing where it lay best without rolling over. The sleeves are lined in red lining and the rest is lined in the old blue bed sheet . I found a tutorial online (if I find it I will add a link) about how to sew a lining into something with sleeves - somewhere along the line I went wrong and ended up with a twist so I had to cut, untwist and resew the inner lining - cape done - Phew!

The hat was a family effort with Mr M in charge of drawing the patterns and doing the maths. the rim was made out of thick corrugated cardboard - 2 discs of the covering material were cut and stitched right sides together on the outside of the circle - this was then turned the right way round and slipped over the rim. Mr M made a brown paper template for the shape of the cone. I cut one shape from the stretch material sewed the edge of the cone and then hand stitched the bottom to the cope. I the stitched the brown paper pattern to the lining material and made a cone that I sat inside the other cone with the paper sandwiched between the 2 materials. I placed a stitch to hold the tips together and hand sewed it at the base with all the seams covered. the brown paper helps the cone to keep its shape but allows it to be moulded it a more crooked shape if required.

with all the sewing done james threw a huge tantrum when I put it on him the first time but soon settled down - I had made the hat too small and it did not sit on his head but as you can see from the photos he was quite happy to hold it there as long as required.

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