Monday, November 17, 2008

Penguin Costume

Yea! Last halloween costume post for 2008! And I've got about 10 minutes to write it before I have to go (thank goodness my husband set up windows live writer so I can leave it sitting here for a while b/c that so is not happening)!

This was by far my favorite to make!




white fleece

black fleece

1/2 yard of 1/4" foam (I got 1/2" 'cause that's all they had!)

elastic pieces (I used 3/4" wide strips for arms under wings)

2 white buttons

white and black thread

white long sleeved shirt (or short sleeved if it's hot where you live)

For the jumpsuit:

For the jumpsuit, I found a pattern appropriate for fleece (McCalls 5508, view C, size 1, shortened).

To alter the top of the wing so that they can be sewn onto the hood (as if they were pieces of a sweatshirt "hoodie"), I pinned together the arm, back (half), and front (half) pattern pieces for the sweatshirt (all the pieces that would have been sewn together to create the hooded sweatshirt). Then, I traced onto tracing paper the shape created by the top (and extended it down several inches). Then, I laid this new "pattern piece" under the wing, aligning the tops and 'blended' the  neckhole down to the sides of the wings to make it look as smooth as possible. (That was probably confusing...I confused myself while doing it!) I basically just wanted to make a hoodie, but I didn't buy enough fabric and didn't know how I'd turn the arms into wings anyways, so I made the top of the wings 'fit' the bottom of the hood. Maybe there is an easier way (like measuring the bottom of the hood piece, but I wasn't sure if the curve would work right!)

Here's a picture to help the confusion!:


I cut out the front and front facing along with 2 wings from the white fleece. I cut out the back pieces, the hood, back facing, and 2 wings from the black fleece (I got what the pattern asked for, assuming you were making a normal single color jumpsuit, but of each color.)


Then, just follow directions to make the jumpsuit and hood (part of the hooded sweatshirt). Don't bother making buttons on the sides of the jumpsuit - it's easy to slide the kid into and there's no way to make button holes (with my machine anyways) through all those layers of fleece! Just sew that part together permanently!

I don't remember what the front of the hood was supposed to be like, but if it doesn't have you make a casing to put some string through, do that. (Just hem the very edge of the hood front, then turn to the inside about 1/2" and sew close to the inner hemmed edge to make a casing to put string/ribbon through later.) I think the pattern had you make a casing though...follow its directions if it did.

For the wings:

I made a pattern using her measurements. I made it the length of her arm from shoulder to wrist and a proportionate width (about 17" tall by 10" wide). See picture for idea of shape.  Then, I altered it (as explained above) so that it could be sewn onto the hood bottom.


On the right side of the white fleece (does fleece have a right side??), sew a strip of 1/2" or bigger elastic about 3/4 the way down the wing (about where the forearm will be).

Sew the wings, right sides together along the long outer curved edge (not the top curved edge). Turn right side out. Stuff with foam (cut to wing shape, and trimmed to fit inside). Baste top edge shut.

Pin black side of wings (side by side) to outside (right side) of hood, centering hood between wings.

Here are the wings (already sewn and stuffed) and pinned to the hood. Hard to see...well, that's too bad.


Sew with 1/2" (or whatever you like, really, just don't expect smooth sewing if you go through the foam). Flip your hood up. Slip a ribbon through the casing made in the hood. (This is to tie under the chin.)


You're done. Chase her down and dress her. (If you have some black patten sunday shoes, that's a nice touch - or better yet, some orange webbed shoes...yeah, didn't think so. Me neither.)



simplicity does make a penguin costume pattern to purchase. And it was even in the book this year, but not until after I had already bought my supplies and planned this out (other wise, I most certainly would have just done that!) When I first started looking it was listed online as "out of print"...guess it got "back in print"? 

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