Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make A Cuddly Cute Pumpkin Costume Without A Pattern

This year my daughter was very matter-of-fact that she wanted to be a pumpkin - for Halloween months in advance - and never wavered from it.  I'd been certain she'd have picked a My Little Pony (her obsession) or the girls from Frozen (thanks to it's constant bombardment on everything everywhere we go), but no, she stuck to "I want to be a pumpkin".  Last year she picked being a ghost, so she definitely prefers traditional.  And I'll take that any day over the borderline vixen-style costume looks that keep getting pushed at little girls these days.  

I didn't want to have to buy a pattern (out of a combination of pride & thriftiness), so I came up with this DIY design instead.  It's got all the festive features - jolly jack o' lantern face, and plump pumpkin shape as well as all the practical necessities - easy to slip on & off, wide opening for walking and being fully lined in cozy fleece for a warm trick or treat experience. Plus a cute green stem on top:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and thought it would be helpful to share how I did it.

To get the overall shape and sizing right I used a raglan-sleeved A-line dress my daughter had in her closet.  

I traced around the front, back and sleeves and added a seam allowance to all edges (adding about 4 inches extra length at the bottom.  To get the rounded shape I used my French curve design ruler and expanded the sides a bit further out and then curved them inward.

Now I had my main pattern pieces ready to go.  I cut out two fronts, two backs and 2 pairs of sleeves.

For the jack o'lantern face I used some black fleece scraps and cut some slightly rounded triangles for the eyes and nose.  For the mouth I grabbed a dinner plate to make a perfect crescent shape and cut out some teeth.

I used a little spray adhesive on the backs of the pieces to hold them in place while I appliqued them onto a front piece.  I just edge stitched around.

Next, with right sides facing, I stitched the sleeves to the fronts and backs of my outer and my lining.

Then stitched down the sides from sleeve end to hem to complete things.

At the center of the back, I clipped a straight line down about 2 inches on both outer & lining. 

Then I turned the lining right side out and inserted it into the outer and pinned around the neck hole, adding a small loop of elastic at one of the corners. 

I stitched them together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then I clipped around the edges and turned so the right side of outer pumpkin was on the outside.  

I hand stitched a button to the corner opposite the elastic loop for my neck closure.

I inserted the lining sleeves into the outers, folded the raw edges inward about 1/2 inch and topstitched them together.

I folded the raw edges of the hem inward the same way and topstitched, but left a gap about 3 inches wide.  This was for adding some fiberfill to plump out the pumpkin shape.  After I got a good amount evenly around I made sure none was too close to the hem and topstitched all the way around about 2 inches from the bottom to create my casing.

Next I cut a piece of 1 inch elastic about 4 inches wider that my daughter's waist and snaked it through the casing, sewing the ends together and then stitching closed the gap.

The neck hole was a little wider than I wanted (I didn't want the collar of her clothes underneath the costume to show) so I also made a green stem collar.  This was a bit of a design-as-I-go affair.

I started by cutting a pair of curved green pieces several inches wider and longer than a basic collar from a pattern in my daughter's size (that I had on hand).  I tried it on her and trimmed it a bit as needed.  I folded it in half and hand cut the pointed edges.  

With right sides facing I stitched all the way around with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving one end open and then trimmed down the raw edges with pinking shears.  A knitting needle helped poke out the points and I slipstitched the opening closed by hand.  I used sewn-in hook & eyes for the closure.

For a festive little stem headdress I grabbed a green glitter headband from the $1 section at Jo-Ann Stores as my base and made a sort-of star-shaped stem bit.  Again just eye-balled the points and I stitched the right sides together with a small gap to turn.  

The stem top was just a tall rectangle, folded in half & stitched down the side, then pulled so the top seam would be perpendicular to the side seam and a bit curved.  

I tucked the open end under and inserted a curled a small pipe cleaner (done by winding around a knitting needle tucking the fold under the stem).  

slipstitched it to the base, then hand sewed that to the headband and it was done.

Truthfully, I was a little nervous when she finally tried it on.  I had the horrible last-minute thought that she'd not like it being so plump & round.  Several of the big 4 pumpkin patterns were basically sparkly orange dresses or fluffy tulle tutus to better compete with the glitzy girly costumes.  I started to think maybe that's what she was picturing and would hate that it wasn't frilly or pumpkin princess-y.  A lot of 5 yr old girls can be like that.  Not this one though. The moment she put it on she had a big smile with a laugh said "I'm a fat pumpkin!". I love this kid:)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Craftastic Monday Link Party & Giveaway Winners Revealed!

Happy Craftastic Monday my crafty friends!  Today's link party is even bigger than ever.  We've got several giveaway winners to announce and LOADS of features to peruse. There were so many great projects linked up last week, I just couldn't narrow it down.  You guys outside yourselves last week!!

Let's start off by seeing who won the latest giveways...

For the Kreation Krate Crafting kit giveaway, we have TWO winners:
Luna Moon
S. Doshi 
These lucky crafters will get their choice of themed kit from Kreation Krate.  A big thank you to Kreation Krate for providing these great prizes.  

And for the Kid's Costume PDF Pattern giveaway from my shop, The Green Hedgehog, our lovely winner is:
Natasha Tung
Congratulations to all 3 winners and I hope you all enjoy these crafty prizes!!
Get some FREE advertising for your blog/shop!

After linking your latest project posts below, head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  It's a way to let even more people see your site or its FB page and find some new sites you might love at the same time.

How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Domestic Evolution shared this cuddly cute monster hat: 

I love this shell bracelet how-to from Moois van m(i)e.  I really want to make one of these!!

Sweet Bee Buzzings made this awesome toy doctor's bag.  Plus, the lining fabric she used is just awesome!

Make an adorable pumpkin ribbon sculpture with this tutorial from The Ribbon Retreat:

JoyJonne Hooks showed how to use loom rubber bands to dress up your earphone cord:

Crafty Lumberjacks showed how to use some paper and glass vases to make festive, light-up owls:

Use up those fabric scraps and crochet a rug thanks to Scattered Thoughts of A Crafty Mom:

And de Jong Dream House shared this beautiful "Up" themed memorial quilt. Not only is it just an amazing quilt design, but the loving story behind it is truly beautiful too:

If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
Follow Me on Pinterest

Ready to link up your crafty creations?

Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  The code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, October 17, 2014

New "Sew For Yourself" Fall Patterns from Seamingly Smitten + FREE project

Now that I can cross Halloween stuff for the kids off my sewing list, I'm ready to start adding some items for me (aka selfish sewing) to the mix.  My lovely advertiser Jenny of Seamingly Smitten Patterns has just released some new Fall-themed patterns so the timing is ideal for my fashion sewing plans.
What's new for Fall sewing?  Her Esplanade Coat Pattern, with a raglan sleeve with large fold-back collar and options for inseam pockets and choice of single or double breasted styles.  You can also do either facings or a full lining so that your lining can peek out at the collar for a punch of color or print.  Wools, cords, wovens or fleeces all work well with this one. 

This is a great way to wear those busy or colorful prints that would normally be too much to wear as a top or skirt, but add a splash of style as a lining.

To make it extra cuddly, line it in something fuzzy like the fleece shown in this one.  I'm thinking about making one with some faux fur for myself.  I think the clean lines will be a good combo with something plush and luxurious.  Maybe some faux baby poodle or minky mini shag?

Yes, Jenny is a paying advertiser here, but one of the things I really like about her patterns is how much she shows tester and purchaser results.  A lot of patterns show just one or two photos of an item, or worse, a stylized illustration (I'm looking at you Big 4 patterns!).  That makes it hard to see how something will look on your body type or difficult to envision it with totally different fabric.  I saw her original sample coat in corduroy and was amazed at the variety of looks people have come up with using different fabrics and combinations since then.  Jenny shares loads of them on her Seamingly Smitten Facebook page, so it easy to check them out. That's a big selling feature to me personally.  It's also how I stay up on her new releases and pattern tester calls;)

She's also got this new Slouch Bag Pattern too.  With shoulder or cross-body length and optional pockets, fringe & tassels. 

Once again, totally different fabrics can make totally different looks - this bag can be done in wovens, linens, suedes, leather and faux.

And if you're looking for a great FREE sewing project, check out Jenny's blog for this tutorial for sewing up a knit dress with pockets (as well as a great idea for finding binding fabric outside of the fabric store!):

Happy Fall sewing and have a great weekend everyone!

Seamingly Smitten is a paying featured advertiser at Sew Can Do.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my honest experiences using & purchasing patterns from this shop.


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