Candy corn costume
With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time once again to work on costumes. I learned last year while making Little Jo’s costume that fleece is a fantastic material to use on costumes, because it’s stretchy, warm, soft, forgiving, and doesn’t require hemming. I love it! I used fleece again this year to make costumes for the girls, and I want to show you the the candy corn costume I came up with for Jo’s younger daughter, MiniMe.
BTW, I TOTALLY GOOFED UP and made this costume with the colors in the wrong order. The bottom should have been yellow and the middle should have been orange. I don’t know what I was thinking! MAKE SURE YOU SWITCH THE ORDER OF THE COLORS to white/orange/yellow when you follow this tutorial.
You’ll also need a dress that fits the child very comfortably. This garment will be an integral part of the pattern. If your child is a boy, a shirt will work fine, but hold a tape measure up to him to see how long to make the costume.
To assemble the fleece into that familiar candy corn stripe, you’ll first need to do a little bit of math. Start with the measurement from top to bottom of the dress. In my case, this was 18 inches. Then add three inches to that. For me, that made it 21 inches. Divide that measurement by three to get the height of each stripe. For my costume, that was 7 inches. (18″ + 3″ = 21″ / 3 = 7″)
Use fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and straight edge to cut a piece of each color of fleece with the height you determined above, and a width that’s at least as wide as the dress you’re modeling after.
Now use the sewing machine to sew the three pieces together along their longest sides.
This will create a roughly square-ish, striped piece of fabric.
Then do it again! You’ll need two pieces of striped fleece.
Stack them, right sides touching, on your table and smooth them out.
Pin the sides together with some straight pins to keep everything stable, and place the sample dress on top.
Use a marker to trace around the dress onto the fleece.
Be pretty generous with the shape, especially around the arm holes, so that the child has plenty of room to move around comfortably. You also need to account for seam allowances, so give yourself a little extra fleece to work with.
Remove the dress and pin the layers together all around so they don’t move.
Then use your fabric scissors to cut out the arm holes and the neck hole. This is where fleece is so amazing, because you don’t have to hem these cuts at all.
Now use the sewing machine to sew across the lines at the top of the shoulder strap.
Then cut away the excess fleece.
By the way, have I mentioned lately how much I love my Singer Futura CE-150? It’s great for complicated embroidery or sewing projects, but it also handles simple projects like this with ease. Man, I really love this sewing machine!
Sew up the seams on the side of the costume and trim the excess.
Make sure the bottom of the dress is cut straight, too.
Now just flip it inside out and you’re done.
Done? What? That was pretty easy, wasn’t it? I gotta give most of the credit to the fleece. Since that went so fast, let’s continue on with some accessories.
A hat would finish this off nicely, so let’s make one. Measure your child’s head and add one inch to that. For my costume, that was 18″+1=19″. Then cut three pieces of felt with that measurement for the width. The white piece should be 5″ tall and the yellow and orange pieces should be 3″ tall.
Sew them together in a stripe, just as before.
Fold the striped piece in half, right sides together.
Sew the ends together on one side.
Now measure the width of the hat (not counting the seam) and divide that by four. For me, that was 9″ / 4 = 2 1/4″. Put a pin this distance from the left and another one this distance from the right.
On each side, sew a row of stitches from the pin down to the place where the yellow and orange fleece meet.
Pick the hat up and squish the white end so that the gap opens up.
Pull the top and bottom flaps so that the gap is closed, and you have what looks like a cross shape. There should be no hole in the top anymore. Put some pins in to hold it in place.
Sew a row of stitches on each new flap, going from the center of the top down to the yellow/orange seam.
Trim the excess and you should have a nice pointed beanie shape.
Flip it inside out and your hat is done!
If you’ve got some fleece left, why not add a matching treat bag?
Cut a piece of yellow fleece that’s 18″ x 3″ and pieces of white and orange that are each 18″ x 4″. Also cut a piece of orange that’s 18″ x 1.5″ for the handle.
Setting the handle aside for now, sew the other three pieces together, just like you’ve done twice before.
Fold the striped piece over in half like you did with the hat, and this time sew up the side AND the bottom.
Flip the piece inside out.
To make the top a little sturdier, fold it in about a half inch, pin in place…
… and run a row of stitches all around the top.
Pin the ends of the handle in place on both sides of the bag.
Then secure each end with a rectangle of stitches.
And now the bag is all done, too!
Here are the finished pieces of the costume. They all match nicely and weren’t they easy to make? A comfortable sewer can easily whip this out in a half hour.
Jo put her daughter in a white shirt and orange tights to finish the look, and easily slipped the dress on. MiniMe couldn’t complain over such a soft and comfy costume, and she loved the bag, too.
For the finishing touch, Jo took some of MiniMe’s old shoes that she had almost outgrown and used some multi-purpose paint to make them match the candy corn costume. Perfect!
REMEMBER THAT I GOOFED and did the colors in the wrong order, so be sure to switch the order of the yellow and orange when you make yours!