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Cookies and Milk Halloween Costume

2017 October 26

My youngest is hilarious. I have no idea how or where she saw this costume – but she has been wanting to be a cookie since September. Which is super-fun and requires me to make a “working” milk carton treat bag – of course!

This costume is surprisingly simple to make, thankfully – because I had a lot of doubts before getting started!

Cookie:

  • Felt outer, appliqued with felt chocolate chips.
  • Brown Broadcloth inner, 1″ smaller all around than the outer felt cookie.
  • The felt outer was hand-pleated and pinned to fit the smaller broadcloth. Then sewn around, leaving an opening. When it is turned right side out the felt bunches out at the pleats, giving it depth.
  • I added a bit of stuffing, and then “quilted” it between the chocolate chips to help the stuffing to stay in place.
  • The straps are double-thickness felt, sewn only to the broadcloth.
  • The sides are about 4″ wide and sewn to the edges of the felt and broadcloth.
  • She wanted a bite out of the cookie, so I cut that out of the original circles before sewing. Top-stitching it afterwards helped it to stand out.

Milk Carton:

I contemplated taking tutorial photos – but since my time was limited, here are a few quick details.

  • The whole thing is white felt on the outer, with white broadcloth as a lining, to prevent the felt from stretching once it gets filled up.
  • I started with a flat rectangle and appliqued the blue and red ribbon onto it.
  • The sides were sewn together by flattening the fabric and sewing up the edge.
  • The bottom is a square, each side is sewn on separately.
  • The top is folded like a carton of milk – I used one from our fridge to get it right. The fold lines are top-stitched and I added Velcro around the top as needed for it to fold properly. Surprisingly this worked really well! The felt was stiff enough to hold the shape.

Cup and Straw Headband:

  • The cup was glued to the headband, with a piece of felt underneath to hold it on.
  • A round piece of cardboard, covered in felt “milk” was glued in. Before gluing, we added a hole for the straw and hot-glued it in as well.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of photos of the headband (being top-heavy) falling off. So we’ll need to augment our strategy before next week. Even if we don’t find a fix, the Milk Carton makes a great place to hold the headband!

On our early trick-or-treat trip to Niagara Falls, we went to the Hershey Store – it’s our family favorite MUST STOP for the kids - and they were so pleased with her cookie costume that the manager gave us a free personalized extra-large chocolate bar! It pays to dress up early, I think!

Over the Rainbow – a Dorothy Halloween costume

2017 October 24

“There’s no place like home… *click, click* There’s no place like home…” *click, click* Unless, of course, you can trick-or-treat at other people’s homes and get free candy!

This year, we watched The Wizard of Oz with our girls, probably in the spring or early summer. They LOVED it, and my oldest declared she should be Dorothy for Halloween. Of course, I LOVED that! (lol)

This  costume is so fun to make, and like most years, I used a simple elastic-back bodice (as in Anna and the Pirate Princess) since it will fit more easily. This costume was pretty simple – and I have a good base of knowledge (read: lots of practice!) for making these now, so I could concentrate on making the fun details.

A few things we took from the original costume:

  • Bias-cut bodice details and hem detail
  • Rounded bodice top
  • Straps and buttons on both front and back
  • Puffed sleeves! (though we chose to make them long for our chilly Canadian weather)
  • Bias-cut neckline detail
  • Red ruby slippers
  • Toto (flat, more details below)
Notes on the sewing/glittering:
  • Dress and Shirt:
    • Dress: Annabelle pattern – bodice sized-up a bit for a longer fit, simple gathered skirt
    • Shirt: Vintage V-Neck pattern with puffed sleeve variation, self-drafted the length for the sleeves
    • The buttons are sewn-on without working buttonholes.
  • Ruby Red Slippers:
    • We glittered some old ballet flats with regular glitter. (It will stick well enough for Halloween, but not much longer!)
  • Toto:
    • I made a “Flat Toto” (similar to Flat Stanley) with a fabric printout on the front and felt on the back.
      • To print on fabric: Cut a piece of freezer paper to letter size. Adhere it to a same-sized sheet of (in my case) broadcloth. This will allow it to go through your printer. Print the image.
      • It will be a bit light in colour, and won’t withstand washing – but it is a quick alternative to buying a stuffie.
    • We sewed a metal loop to one side and attached a toy leash, so it could be attached to the basket.
Extras:
  • I found actual Wizard of Oz fabric on sale at my local shop and bought enough to hide a border of it underneath as the dress lining. It’s fun that she has the actual characters in her costume!

We went to Niagara Falls (very near to us!) and did an early trick-or-treat run last weekend. My Dorothy had so much fun being recognized and the photo-shoot was impromptu at a cute picnic area we found to eat our lunch.

As my “little” girl gets older it’s fun to note what things she’s excited about. This year, it was thrilling to get to wear real pink lipstick as part of dressing up, and important that the costume was as perfect and “real” as possible. I am imagining that soon I will be hovered over as I sew – just to ensure each part of it is exactly right!

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #10

2017 October 10

Halloween Sewing Tip #10:

Use all the fun and unique machine settings. Embroider, add text – be creative!

If you are anything like me, you default to what you know best. Using straight, common stitches and expanding to zig-zag when the need arises! With this last costume tip I want to encourage you to try out some of the fun stuff your machine can do.

Costumes allow you to be creative, even a little silly! Too much embellishment is never a problem. Use the opportunity to try out something new. Add a row of that decorative stitch you’ve been wanting to try or some Halloween text if your machine has a built in alphabet.

I recently found some glow in the dark embroidery thread at my local fabric store (on sale!) and thought it would make a fun Halloween themed project. The embroidery function on the Skyline S9 made quick work of the simple text I wanted. It has yet to turn it into the candy-basket I’m envisioning. But, how fun is it that it glows! And I’m pretty sure any child would be over-the-moon about glow in the dark on their costume. Plus, did you know, embroidery thread isn’t only for embroidering – you can use it for any decorative stitch as well!

Most of all, be sure to take lots of photos and have fun creating a costume you and your kids can treasure (and maybe enjoy laughing about!) for years to come. I hope you’ve found lots of inspiration in these Halloween Costume Tips. Thanks for coming along on the journey!

P.S. You can read more about machine embroidery in last fall’s series of posts.

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #9

2017 October 9

Halloween Sewing Tip #9:

Embellish trims to make your costume unique!

So, you are following yesterday’s tip (Ribbons and sequins are your friends.) and can’t find the perfect one? How about making your own? Use a zigzag, decorative stitch or multiple lines of straight stitches to create unique ribbons to add to the costume. If it is very special – and destined for the dress-up box, you could even spend time hand-stitching with embroidery weight threads.

If you are inclined to make a lot of unique trim, I’d recommend investing in the Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide. (It really would have made making this embellished gathered skirt (tutorial!) a lot more fun.) The machine foot makes embellishing unique trim easy! Trying it out for the first time a few weeks ago, it was user-friendly and simple to install. It screws directly into the machine’s needle plate and holds the ribbon in place as you stitch.

I tried a few Halloween-friendly trim ideas using the decorative stitches on my Janome Skyline S9. Since these won’t be usable for our costumes this year (maybe next!) I think I might use them for a themed shirt, or as hair ribbons closer to the end of October. The “Boo Cat” ribbon NEEDS to be used, it’s so cute! Uses in the future? Maybe school-spirit themed ribbons with their school name on them? Or personalized BFF bracelets.  #bestmomever

Follow all 10 Janome Halloween Costume Tips with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin’.

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #8

2017 October 8

Halloween Sewing Tip #8:

Ribbons and sequins are your friends!

Ok – you might not agree with me yet – but it’s true! Ribbons, sequins and trims are so fun. Use them with abandon in your costumes. They add the perfect touch, and – ribbon in the right places, allow you to match the look of a higher-end, more professional costume.

In relation to being more professional, I got to try out the coolest sewing machine foot for this post. Janome Canada lent me a Ribbon Sequin Foot and it is amazing! (And so much fun!) Clip the foot on and feed the ribbon through it and sew. The ribbon follows the direction of your seam and can be sewn on with a decorative stitch. It was so easy! I pointed the presser foot and let the Skyline S9 attach the ribbon.

This means CURVES! Imagine multiple rows of curvy ribbon sewn to the bottom of a fancy ball gown or down the back of a dinosaur costume. I wanted to test this out, so I fused a half-circle to a scrap of fabric and stitched around the edge with ribbon. Then I outlined it with a second piece of ribbon, just for fun, LOL. The sequins in the photo would have gone on next, but I managed to purchase one that wouldn’t lie flat, and was fastened with elastic. Apparently I have a thing or two to learn about sequins. LOL. #newbie

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #7

2017 October 7

Halloween Sewing Tip #7:

Knits make ideal costumes. They are quick to sew and the variety of finishes and prints allows you (and your costume) to be more creative!

Knits (most stretchy fabrics) are great base fabrics for any costume. Plus they are fast to sew! Knits don’t fray so you can leave all of your seams unfinished – and even un-hemmed. (gasp! LOL)

The stretch also means you don’t need closures or a perfect fit. The costume will stretch over your child’s body when they put it on. I used a length of thrifted jersey to create my daughter’s simple Star-famous princess costume a few years ago.

Here are a few basic tips you need to follow when sewing with knit fabrics:

  1. Cut your pattern pieces with the stretch going around the body – not vertically up and down.
  2. Use a ballpoint needle. Regular sharp needles will create holes in your seams.
  3. Use a stretch stitch. The seams need to stretch with the wearer. Many sewing machines have a dedicated stretch stitch, or you can also use a zig-zag stitch.
  4. Don’t stretch your fabric as you sew. Allow the fabric to feed naturally through the machine as you sew.
  5. Use a Walking Foot or Dual Feed Foot to help layered fabrics feed through your machine in unison.
Ready for more? Find more in depth tips you can use: 12 Tips for Sewing Knits!

 

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #6

2017 October 6

Halloween Sewing Tip #6:

Specialty fabrics like vinyl can help make your costume extra-special. Don’t be afraid to use them when you sew!

Check out the start of the gumball machine costume pictured above. Clear plastic for the glass, vinyl for the money slot – they all add to the reality of the costume. Specialty fabrics can seem intimidating, but with a few easy-to-follow rules and tips you can conquer them!

  • Use a leather/denim needle: Vinyl and thicker fabrics require a larger needle size to sew properly. Get one at your local shop.
  • Use a Teflon or Ultra Glide Foot: This will allow the stickier fabric to slide through the machine more easily. (The snap on Janome Ultra Glide foot is pictured in the photo above.)
  • Press carefully: Vinyl and clear plastic, even real leather, can be pressed carefully with a press cloth! But, too much heat can melt these specialty fabrics. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and use a press cloth to avoid direct contact with your iron’s sole plate. When in doubt, start with a low heat and work your way up.
  • Don’t use pins: Needles and pins will leave permanent holes in vinyl or plastic. Instead use clips, clothespins or paperclips to hold your fabrics in place before sewing.
Find more tips for sewing vinyl and thicker fabrics: You can read these tips for sewing thicker fabrics and use these leather/vegan leather tips on your vinyl projects as well.

 

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #5

2017 October 5

Halloween Sewing Tip #5:

Fleece makes a great (easy to sew) costume. It stretches, so fitting is easier and more forgiving. Plus, you don’t need to finish the raw edges because it will not fray!

Fleece also creates body, since it is fluffy and, depending on it’s thickness, can hold a sturdier shape well. It also provides warmth for a small trick-or-treater in a cold climate!

Tips for sewing with Fleece: (Along with these you can read 12 tips for sewing knits.)

  • Use a ballpoint needle: Fleece is a knit fabric and regular needles will cut small holes wherever there is a seam. Ballpoint needles are easily found online or at your local fabric store. Also, a good rule is to change your needles after every 8 hours of sewing to keep them fresh and avoid skipped stitches.
  • Use a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch: This is a good rule for any knit fabric. It allows the sewn seam to stretch while it is being worn.
Last year I used fleece for my daughter’s princess costume (pictured above) and there are more details and tricks for how I simplified the sewing process of her costume to make it as fast as possible in that post as well.

Follow all 10 Janome Halloween Costume Tips with InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin’.

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #4

2017 October 4

Halloween Sewing Tip #4:

Choose inexpensive fabrics! A one-night costume doesn’t have to be fancy. Felt or broadcloth are great cheaper options, watch for sales at your local fabric stores or online!

I generally choose broadcloth (on sale) for most of my handmade costumes. It comes in lots of solid colours, is lightweight and translates well into the “clothing-type” costumes my daughters usually choose. (Princess, Princess, Princess… LOL) This year, however, my youngest wants to be a chocolate chip cookie – so I bought 4 1/2 meters of felt on sale last weekend. I’m excited to play with a new type of material I haven’t tried yet!

Sewing Tip: When sewing felt (and other fluffy Halloween fabrics like faux fur) a lot of fluff can accumulate in your bobbin case. Make sure to clean it out regularly to get the best performance from your sewing machine. Collecting fluff can put a lot of wear and tear on the mechanics over time.

Follow all 10 Janome Halloween Costume Tips with InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin’.

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #3

2017 October 3

Halloween Sewing Tip #3:

Size up your pattern pieces! Sew the costume one or two sizes larger than your fast-growing child so it can spend lots of time in the dress-up box. (Maybe it could even be re-used or re-purposed next year!)

While you take the time to sew an awesome costume, make sure to start and end each seam with a locking or reverse stitch. This will hold the stitching tight and allow your costume to make it through the whole day at school and a busy night!

The Skyline S9 I have on loan from Janome Canada has a specific stitch that includes locking or reversing. The lock-a-matic (U2) and locking (U3) stitches will automatically reverse or create a locking stitch at each end of your seams. Check your sewing machine to see if you have a setting like this as well!

My oldest’s princess costume (from her first year of kindergarten in 2012!) is a good example of up-sizing. It is still upstairs in our dress-up box today and is “the favorite” dress to pull out when playing. It still fits my youngest and gets worn all the time.

(Of course, if you are in Canada or another cold-weather Halloween country, you know sizing up is important so you can fit the child’s snowsuit underneath! LOL)

Follow all 10 Janome Halloween Costume Tips with InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin’.

Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

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