Sunday, November 04, 2012

Halloween 2012

It was Millie's third Halloween this year, and since she still doesn't have strong opinions regarding costumes, I was able to let my imagination go wild.  I'm not exactly sure where the idea came from, but I thought an ostrich would be kinda fun.  It didn't take long to get her excited about it, and when anyone would ask what she was going to be she'd say "A type of bird called ostrich!"  Try as I did, I couldn't find any ostrich costume patterns, so I decided to stretch my sewing abilities and create my own.  I'm not exactly adept at thinking out patterns, so trying to put my idea into a 3-D form was tricky.

Basically I planned the body shape I wanted to see from a side view, then cut those out with a seam allowance.  I created an elastic waistband out of two large pieces of fabric sewn together, did this twice and then joined them to create one long piece with two waistbands.  I then gathered the sides of this long piece to fit the two side-view pieces with the waistbands aligned top and bottom.  The gathering allowed for the bumpy hips you see, which really gives the effect I was looking for, and also allowed Millie to adorably waddle while walking.  I stuffed the whole thing using batting from some old throw pillows and created a tube to hold all the batting in using black knit from an old shirt of mine sewn to the inside of the top and bottom waist bands.  

At Gardner Village in Utah
Once I had it all planned out, constructing the body took me less time than expected.  I put it all together in one late night while watching the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (I really recommend that film, btw). The furry fabric is super forgiving which really helped.

The head piece was constructed using the hood from last year's toggle coat pattern.  The inside is flannel cut out of the 6-12 month sizing.  The outer furry part is the 3 year size which was then gathered at the bottom to fit the flannel.  I then stuffed it a bit at the top.  And since Halloween is typically freezing in our area, I sandwiched a layer of Thinsulate between the flannel and batting to keep it extra warm.  The hat is held in place with a band of Thinsulate-lined flannel held together with snaps.

My mom helped me a ton with this project, which made it go a lot faster.  We made the hat together in about 2 hours.  We constructed the eye shapes by stuffing the toes of Leonard's old socks and tying off the ends. She then added all of the finishing touches.  I especially love the thick eyelashes and the light reflection detailing.  I think the eyes really made the whole costume - thanks so much mom!

Millie and cousin Chloe
We certainly got our use out of the costume.  Between Halloween here and our visit to Utah last weekend to see Kyle's parents, she went to two trunk-or-treats, Gardner Village, our work party, and regular trick or treating.  She really loved Halloween, and it was so great that she was able to better understand what was going on, while still being little enough to have no idea how much of her candy we ate!