Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wizard of Oz ~ Cowardly Lion

The Cowardly Lion. How do you do that without having to make a whole huge fursuit? Well this was very easy. I found an ear headband and tail at the dollar store and made the cuffs and collar. One sheet of craft fur was enough for both cuffs and the collar. The back of the craft fur is very scratchy so I lined it with craft felt. Cut the rectangle of fabric into 4 smaller rectangles. Sew both long sides to the felt leaving the short sides open to run a drawstring thru. I should have tacked the collar pieces together so it wouldn't gap apart, but I threw this together as an after thought. I was just going to use the ears and tail, but the cuffs and collar added so much more I'm glad I made them.

You can see the collar gapping open. It's cute and can work
but I still wish I had tried to tack it together.

Close up of the stitching and where the collar gaps open.

Felt sewn to the back of the cuffs and collar.

Stitching at the bottom and under the fur.

Backside of the collar. I used some yarn as the drawstring.
Have your model wear a brown shirt and pants. A little face paint for a nose and whiskers and you are done! One sheet of craft fur: 3 bucks. One sheet of felt: 25 cents. Ear headband 1 dollar. Tail: 1 dollar. Total: 5.25.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wizard of Oz ~ Dorothy

This Dorothy costume is what got me making the outfits for the store. When we were thinking about dressing up, Dorothy was the one we thought for sure we'd have to buy and costumes at stores tend to be more expensive. No one wanted to spend much money on this, so I decided I'd try and make one. I bought a pattern for it but ended up never using it. It turned out more of an apron than a pinafore but still works well.

Me as the Witch and a Co-worker as Dorothy
I wish I had thought to take progress pictures so I could show you what I did to the fabric and the cuts I made. It is 2 yards of a blue and white gingham check.

Here is a pattern I whipped up to show you how I cut up the fabric.

Unfold your fabric. The majority is going to be skirt. A small square will be the bib front. The fabric to the side of the square will be your straps and drawstring. On the one that I made, I made the bib front too big and it tends to gap open at the top. Learn from my mistakes :)

You will hem the 2 sides and bottom of the skirt and the 2 sides and top of the bib. Aline the unhemmed edge of the bottom of the bib with the middle of the unhemmed edge of the top of the skirt right sides facing each other. Altho with Gingham there really isn't a wrong side, but if you are using different material then make sure your right sides are together. That sounded really confusing. Here is another picture of what I mean:

Now the next part isn't really tricky, but it is odd. You will fold down the top unhemmed skirt to make a big channel. This will make the waistband that the draw string will go thru. I did it with wrong sides together, but I regret that. You should do it with right sides together so that the channel for the waistband will be inside the pinafore, not outside where you can see it. This will require that you are careful with where the bib ends up. I accidently got the bib snarled up and had to rip the seam out because it sewed weird.

For the straps I simply sewed down one long side (Right sides together if you have a right side and wrong side) and turned them inside out so the sem was inside and it was a long tube. Press it flat and sew it to the corner of the bib. Bring it over your shoulder and pin it to the inside of the skirt. Repeat for the other shoulder. Run your drawstring thru the waist band channel and you are set to go. Tie the left over bits from the shoulder straps into bow in your hair and you are good to go! Here are some close ups of the finished apron on a manikin in our backroom. Sorry for the poor lighting and all the cardboard stacked up, we are getting ready for chirstmas and it was too cold for me to take pictures outside.

Front of the pinafore. You can see what I mean
about how I regret not making the waistband
 channel to the inside of the pinafore where you
wouldn't be able to see it. I also think I made
the bib too large.

Side and back view. The straps are pinned to
the inside of the skirt with safety pins.

Detail of the shoulder strap sewn onto the bib. I like to make
this cross pattern when sewing down straps. It makes me
think that it is stronger, tho I admit that the apron will
not be bearing much weight. And yes, I know there are
loose threads everywhere. I am a very sloppy sewer. Even
more so when I am under a deadline.

Have your model wear a white blouse and
since the skirt isn't sewn up the back she will
need to wear pants as well. Add props and
you are done!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wizard of Oz ~ Scarecrow

Oh wow, this past week was a busy one. At work we decided that we were going to dress up for the release of our christmas ornaments as Wizard of Oz characters. I was so excited! We've always wanted to dress up for these events but never actually did it. As the only one who not only had a sewing machine but also wasn't afraid of it I decided I was going to help outfit some of the girls. I made costume pieces for Dorothy, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. I also assembled pieces for the Wicked Witch of the West. Today I'm going to show how easy and simple the Scarecrow is.

A co-worker models the Scarecrow outfit.
These costumes had to be very simple for a couple reasons. One was this was work and we couldn't be tripping over big or complex costumes. Two, I had very little time to prepare each outfit (Scarecrow took me about half an hour. Any more and I would have been late to work that day). And Three, they had to be made to fit several different people. Not only did I not know who was going to wear them this past weekend, but I don't know who will be wearing them in future years to come.

The capelet is simply half a yard of burlap folded, not in half, but unevenly so the top will be shorter than the bottom. Sew along the fold about an inch or more. This makes a nice channel for the drawstring to go thru. The burlap isn't the most comfortable material so the neck has to be wide enough so whoever is wearing it can make the hole big enough that it doesn't rub against skin.

In between the two layers of burlap I knotted lengths of Raffia and sewed it down so it looked like straw peeking out of the scarecrow's clothing.

Finally I made a drawstring out of more raffia (I'd never worked with it before and it was much stronger than I gave it credit for) and tied it in a bow in the front.

Instead of hemming edges I just pulled a handful of threads off the burlap and let the other ends free. The scarecrow is a raggedy character and it just added to his charm.

I seem to have forgotten to get a good picture of the hat but here is what I have. The hat was a store bought stiff felt like thing. I think it was originally for a Robin Hood costume, it had that shape to it. There was a red feather glued to the side but it peeled off easily. I couldn't get the line of hot glue to come off tho and tried my best to cover it with more raffia. I made a hat band of raffia and hand sewed it in places to get it to stay in place. The hat was very round and it kept wanting to slide off the top. I then folded some other lengths of raffia in half and sewed them inside the hat to either look like hair or like straw was falling out of it.

The straw "hair" tied inside the hat.

The raffia hat band sewn in place.

The line of glue where a red feather once was.

The whole ensemble on a manikin in our backroom. Sorry for the poor lighting and all the cardboard, we've been very busy getting ready for Christmas.

Have your model wear a green shirt and brown pants. Cover her nose with some brown face paint and there you have it. A very simple Wizard of Oz Scarecrow made in just under an hour and very work friendly. Cost of materials: Half a yard of Burlap: 2 bucks. Raffia: 3 bucks. Store bought hat: 5 bucks (Not purchased by me). Total for costume? 10 bucks. I was reimbursed for my materials.