As you saw in my Friday Week in the Life post, I was down to the wire with Halloween costumes this year. This was due in part to my propensity to procrastinate, part because my car is broken and that made buying all of that yellow felt tricky, and part because October was really terrible and crafting wasn’t in the cards earlier in the month.
With a 40% expectation that I’d have to give up and have Jonas wear something out of our playclothes basket, here’s how I made a Pikachu costume in a few hours:
Instead of buying a pattern, I took one of the kids’ raincoats and traced each piece of it onto the felt with marker. Not the best method if you want perfect construction or are using a less forgiving fabric, but it totally worked for this. I just found all of the seam lines in the coat and made sure that I had it flat and shaped correctly.
For pieces that were repeated, I traced my initial cut out rather than re-tracing the coat (2 for the hood, 4 for the sleeves, etc). I didn’t even have to think that part through too much because there’s no right side / wrong side to felt (not that I can tell, anyway).
I didn’t even care about making nice cuts, as I knew the seams wouldn’t show on the inside and that I’d be able to cut down any extra fabric off (no fraying with felt!). This project was about speed, not precision.
I had to guess about the order of operations sewing it together. I made a mistake on this part, which stunk because I learned then that it’s really really difficult to rip the seams from felt and start over. I ended up leaving my two mistakes (the seams were on the outside), and just cutting down the frayed part so it was a bit less noticeable.
You can see that I didn’t even have time to even up the bottom, but no one noticed because it blended into his yellow soccer socks. I’ll fix that for its next wear.
I ironed on velcro to the front so it would stay closed, then the fun part was adding the bits that took it from a shoddily made yellow jacket to Pikachu. I used iron on fusing tape to attach stripes on his back. (I free handed half of the shape, folded it and traced it so it would be symmetrical, then copied that to get another stripe.)
I used a ruler to draw a tail on a mat board, cut that out, and used more iron on fusing tape to add felt to both sides of the tail. I sewed it on with a needled and embroidery floss: just one point on the bum, then I used more embroidery floss to attach the tail to the hood so it could swing around.
At first I tied the tail onto the hood, but that dragged it down, so I switched it to the base of the neck and that was much better.
I free-handed the ears too (doing the fold-trace trick again to get them symmetrical). To get the ears to partially stand up, I used the iron on fusing again to add a few layers (the black felt at the tips made it top heavy, so I added in more yellow bottom layers). I doubled up the bottom of the ears and sewed them on that way so they sort of curve in at the bottom. That helps them stand up too!
I’m planning on fixing this up just a little bit to make it a tad nicer so it can be a regular addition to Jonas’s play and, if it lasts that long, his cosplay for Planet Comicon next year. Even if that’s a bust: it cost me $5, it lasted through the night, and you could tell what he was supposed to be! Mission accomplished.
This is how I spent my two hours of pledged Awesome Ladies Project time this month. And I’ve never made anything like this before so heck yeah! I feel awesome!
*I am a very amateur sewer, so if I’m wrong about anything, please let me know. I don’t want to be spreading misinformation.
This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects; an average of 1 a week. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 22 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Script Art / 2: Striped Scarf / 3: Pillow Covers / 4: Eliza’s Doctor Who Valentines / 5: DIY Periodic Table Mirrors / 6: Band Pin Display / 7: French Monuments with Eliza’s Class / 8: Crystal Nail String Art / 9: Adventures in Dye / 10: Spring Poems / 11: Getting the Garden Going / 12: Le Petite Prince Painting / 13: DIY Cleaning Supplies / 14: Picking Up the Violin Again / 15: Shaving Cream Marbling / 16: Water Marbling / 17: Watercolor Crayon Resisting / 18: Doctor Who Guess Who / 19: Spray Painting My Way to a Fancier Porch / 20: Project Life Stop Motion / 21: The Great Lego Reorganization.