Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Sew a Cupcake Costume

It's that time of year again when Fall begins to shake it's leaves and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg begin to permeate the cool air.  I am so thankful for a glimpse of Fall after several weeks of pure sultry heat.  I may be one of the few that relish cool, cloudy and rainy days but just think of all the chores you make progress on!  With the approach of all the wondrous Fall activities, my children have already gone through several Halloween costume ideas.  So far, Katelyn has wanted to dress up as Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, a mermaid, a purple princess, a cup with straw and currently a strawberry cake with a candle headband.  Soon enough she will understand once I begin making a costume her choice will not change again!  Oh, girls!  Noah has been a bit less indecisive although he has wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, SpiderMan, Optimus Prime (Transformer), a Knight and a bat "with fluffy ears" (oh my!).  I was trying to keep all costume catalogs out of the kid's hands but alas that did not happen.  Um, have you seen the Chasing Fireflies costumes?!

So back to last year's costume choices...

After flipping through the Pottery Barn catalog, Noah wanted to dress-up as a shark and Katelyn wanted to be a cupcake.  I felt very unschooled in the ways of costume making but I thought I might as well try.  They are not perfect but they made the kids quite happy!  What is wonderful about felt costumes is that they will last through several imaginary shark attacks and cupcake tea parties. 

My method for sewing the cupcake costume was not quite precise but it did the job.  I bought bolt felt in the colors needed: light tan, dark brown, light pink and white.  For the circles, I used small sheet felt found in the crafting section of the local craft store.  I also purchased a dark brown thread and light pink thread for the two main sections. For the back of the costume, I purchased a light tan satin ribbon and sewed it to three sections (top, middle, bottom) of the cupcake and tied it in bows instead of making an over-the-head or zippered costume.

First, I measured the dark brown felt to my daughter's waist.  I cut it lengthwise from the waist to the knees and width a bit bigger than around her waist to produce more of a bubble effect.  After cutting the dark brown felt to size, I laid it flat on my cardboard cutting board and cut a piece of the tan felt twice as long and a bit shorter than the dark brown felt.  I pinned the tan felt to the dark brown at one edge then created a ripple and pinned down the ripple before making the next.  (Does that make sense?)  I worked my way across the felt, lastly pinning the opposite edge.  I used dark brown thread to machine sew the lines down each ripple and edge, leaving the top and bottom open.  I only sewed the lines vertically.  There you have the bottom half!

Second, I measured the pink felt to my daughter's chest by making a sort-of tank top to fit with a scoop neckline in the front.  Laying the pink felt flat on the cutting board, I cut it the same width as the dark brown felt and the length from shoulders to waist.  I then cut out a scoop neck U-shape (again, not quite precise but this will be covered by the white collar) and cut out arm holes large enough to fit her arms through.  The loveliness of felt is that you do not have to "finish" the edges.  Just cut and leave be!  After cutting out the top half, I cut two pieces of "topping" pieces to create the icing ripples.  I simply left the top strip straight and cut the bottom of the strip with scalloped edges.  I cut circles of different colored dots, sewed them onto the pink icing ripples with 6 strand floss, and then attached each icing piece onto the pink tank top.  After completing this, I sewed the pink top to the bottom of the cupcake.

Third, I cut a piece of white felt, a bit longer than twice that of the scoop neck, and created a "fan" by folding the felt like you would to make a paper fan.  I sewed one end to hold the fan together then sewed the fan collar onto the scoop neckline.  To finish, I sewed the satin ribbon on the back six different places - three on each side of the open back, and tied each in bows to secure.

To make the headband, I bought a thick, plastic, brown headband and made a smaller white felt fan then sewed the fan together to make a circle.  Finally, I cut out a strawberry shape in red felt, used 6 strand floss to sew knots for seeds on the strawberry, and sewed the strawberry to the floss then the entire piece to the headband.

I hope this helps and please send any questions my way!  I will try to answer them as quickly as I get them.  Good luck and happy sewing!

*As I finish typing this post, Katelyn has now decided she wants to be a candy corn...

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