Jo and her daughter were reading a book called Sweet and Spooky Halloween a few days ago and got to a picture of a dress that looked like a pumpkin. Jo’s daughter saw it and fell in love, and wondered if there was any way she could get a costume like that in time for Halloween. “Do you think if I ask Chica, that she would make me one?” Well, if you know me at all, you know that I can’t turn down sweet requests from my favorite little girls, so I had to give it a shot. Here’s a photo of the original and her modeling the version I made for her.
I’m sharing this with you guys today not only because it’s cute, but so that I can tell you how fleece made this last-minute costume possible. Yup, fleece. It’s my new hands-down favorite fabric to use when sewing costumes. Why? To start with, you don’t have to hem fleece, and you can cut it easily on the fly to make adjustments. It’s also really stretchy, forgiving of wayward stitches, and warm enough to keep the kiddos happy as they Trick-or-Treat. If the sleeves are too long, just trim them on your model. Skirt too long? Just snip it off, and don’t worry about hemming it when you’re done. Oh man, do I love fleece! I would never have had time to make this costume this week if I’d used any other fabric.
After I finished the dress, I realized that she would probably like something for her hair, too, and inspiration struck. Could I make Jo’s famous ribbon hair bows but with strips of fleece instead of ribbon? Well, it worked beautifully!
I just cut my leftover fleece scraps into strips about 8 inches long and 1/2 inch wide and tied them tightly onto an elastic hair tie.
One tip here that I learned the hard way — fleece will stretch nicely in one direction (and bounce back), but if you stretch it in the other direction, it will be ruined forever. So before you cut all your strips, test pulling one really hard to be sure you’re cutting in the good direction. If not, just turn the fabric 90 degrees and cut along the other side.
I think I actually like this result better than using ribbon. It’s way cheaper, it really pops, and it’s a great way to use up leftover scraps.