Both of these costumes were made during Kids Clothes Week but I didn’t want to jinx the chances of S wearing hers on Halloween by getting her to try it on before yesterday. S’s costume was particularly apt for the storybook theme as the outfit is supposed to resemble a wild thing. H on the other hand could not be convinced that a Max costume was a good idea and stuck firmly to her plan of vampire bat.
For S’s costume I only used materials I already had – the fur was left over from a coat trim I made a few years ago and it seemed sensible to use it up even though it wasn’t the perfect colour.
I constructed a hood using pieces of exactly the same shape as for the winter bonnet but at a larger size, partly because I wanted it to look big (wild things have big heads after all) and partly because I wanted it to have a long-term home in the dressing up box. I lined the hood with grey jersey and sewed the horns (made from felt and stuffed with wadding) on by hand at the end.
The stripey T-shirt was customised by sewing triangles of felt on for claws. For the trousers I contemplated sewing scales on to a pair of old leggings but figured that the narrow legs would make it almost impossible to do using a machine, so I cut some new leggings and sewed the scales on to the legs before construction, adding the scales to the body part of the trousers after sewing them together. The feet were made as padded flaps that are attached to the front of the trousers only, so they could sit on top of her feet or shoes without tripping her up. The tail was made from a tube of fur and hand sewn to the trousers.
I was slightly concerned she might not want to wear the costume, but once she saw H and the neighbours dressing up she was pretty keen. She did have to spend the day vehemently refuting her cuteness and insisting she was in fact fierce.
For H’s bat costume I constructed a hood in a similar way to S’s only adding a little extra length to the side pieces so I could create a seam in the side for half the ear to go in. The other half of the ear was folded round in to the seams between the side panels and central panel of the hood. I lined this hood with black fleece. The ears were made with the same velvet and lining material used for the wings.
The wings were made in a similar way to this tutorial. I made them a bit more elaborate by playing with the contrast in texture between black velvet and polyester lining, adding strips of black velvet ribbon to the inside of the wings.
For the body of the bat I wanted to created something reusable beyond the purpose of the costume so I made a fur gilet, lined with grey wool with a single button closure. I really battled with the bulk, slipperiness and fluffiness of the fur and ended up with something with a lot less finesse than I had hoped for, but H loves it so all’s well that ends well.