Make, Jane, make!: DIY Halloween: The Cheshire Cat How-To, Part Two


Small Share

Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY Halloween: The Cheshire Cat How-To, Part Two

You came back for more after my long-winded Part One? Thanks for the interest! The first part of this tutorial in which I go over how I modified an existing (free!) dinosaur costume into a cat body is here. And the original, unmodified costume pattern is available here.

The hood part of the costume is where I made the most changes. Nothing mind-blowing or super innovative. Just adding a lining so that details could be added onto the hood or, in the case of my modified Buddy the Dinosaur costume, teeth could be inserted into the mouth opening.

So the process is pretty straightforward. Cut two sets of hood pieces out, one from your costume fabric and one from a lining fabric. I used a red polka dot flannel, cuz that was what was on sale. Then I ran out of said flannel and had to find a flannel scrap to complete my liner, but it has some red on it so it matches, right?!? Assemble both hoods according to the pattern directions.

Make your hood add-ons. For the Cheshire cat, this would be ears, eyes, nose and smile.

The ear are two triangles with pink fleece scraps appliqued onto the front. Start by drawing out the ears, add a small seam allowance around the ears and a longer seam allowance along the bottom edge where the ears will attach to the hood. Cut out two ear pieces for each ear, a front and a back. Zig-zag stitch a pink inner ear onto the fronts of each ear. Place ear pieces rights sides together and stitch all along the edges of the ear, leaving the bottom edge open. Turn the ears right-side out.

To make each eye, cut out three leaf shaped pieces and the black pupil. I used felt but fleece would work just as well. I'd probably not recommend using a thinner fabric, such as broadcloth or quilting cotton, because I think the texture would probably clash with the fleece on the hood.

Notice how the pupil doesn't extend all the way to the edges of the leaf shape? That ensures that the narrow ends of the pupil won't eventually be sewn into the seams. Stitch or glue your pupils onto one of the leaves.

With right sides together, sew one the leaves onto the side of the centre-pupil panel. Stop sewing just short of the edges so that there is room to attach the other leaf. Repeat the process for the other leaf, sewing it, (right sides together) to the other side of the centre-pupil panel.

Fill the eyes with some kind of stuffing* - batting, fabric scraps, etc. Sew the opening shut. If you want it neat, you can use an invisible ladder stitch or if you're like me and you just want it quick and dirty, you can use your sewing machine and have an exposed seam.

*Try to use something washable because at some point during your son's birthday party, a child, who you'll later find out has lice, will wear this costume and then you'll need to wash it. 

Next draw and cut out two pieces for the smile. Then, using embroidery floss, knitting yarn or a good fabric marker, mark some teeth. Sew your smile pieces together with right sides facing, leaving a small opening along one of long edges for turning. Turn the smile right-side out, stuff it and close the opening.

Attach everything to the hood. It may take a few tries pinning everything in place and trying the hood on your child to get everything looking properly spaced. The nose here is simply black felt that I sewed in place. The eyes and smile were stitched on by hand.

I picked apart the seam on the hood where I wanted the ears placed and resewed the seams with the ears in place. (If you were ambitious you could have tried to predict the ear placement and sewn them in when first assembling the hood, but that's beyond my design skills).

I sewed the seam allowance for the ears down on the front side of the seam to help the ears stand up.

Finally, flip the hood lining wrong side out and slip it over top of your embellished hood. You now have a hood sandwich where the bottom layer is the hood, the middle is all the face details and the top layer is the inside-out liner. Match every edge up and make sure that all of your hood add-ons are pinned out of the way so that they don't get caught when you're sewing the hood to its liner. Sew all around leaving a small opening on the long bottom edge for turning the hood right-side out again. Clip the curves, turn the hood, close up the opening and topstitch all around. Add velcro and you're done!

Here's some pics of all the "Alice in Wonderland" kids together if you're interested.

I hope these instructions help if you're interested in making this costume or a similar one. If not, please leave me a comment or contact me and I'll try to clarify anything that was unclear.

No comments:

Post a Comment