The big day is here … time for the Halloween costume reveal!
As I mentioned, our daughter decided she wanted to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid this year. I’m not surprised that she wanted to be a princess, but happy to report that she won’t be one of the thousands of Queen Elsa’s (Frozen) running around tonight.
First thing to tackle was the red hair.
I made a hat using a 2×2 ribbing pattern so it would be extra stretchy. I then woven in strands of varying lengths of yarn to create “hair”. Not the refined and flowing hair that Ariel has, but it works for a one-day event.
I had hoped to sew the hair to the hat so it would stay better and wouldn’t pull out. I found that extremely difficult to do without sewing down parts I didn’t want so I gave up. We’ll see how long this lasts before we find all kinds of yarn pieces all over the house!
Pattern: basic 2×2 ribbed hat
Yarn: Red Heart Shimmer
Colorway: 1929 Red (has gold sparkles)
My Ravelry pattern page
As I mentioned last week, I was inspired on my drive to the store to try and find some mermaid fabric. Actually, I think the picture of the fabric I showed last week was the wrong one. Unfortunately you don’t get a nice sheet when you purchase from Hancock as to what fabric it is (unless it’s on the receipt and I’ve never noticed!) Next time I think I’m going to snap a cell photo while I’m still in the store!
Keep in mind, all except the very first seams in the sequined skirt were hand-sewn! (I’ll repeat what I said last week…) I didn’t realize that the odd texture of the fabric was actually a sticky substance that kept gumming up the sewing machine needle, causing the thread to stick and then break. Probably a lack of experience about fabrics on my part, but if I’d known that I would have gone looking for a different fabric.
The t-shirt was store-bought but only cost $5. I wanted a long-sleeved shirt because Halloween around here always seems to be cold, rainy – or both. Today we’re expected to only reach 41ºF. Only die-hard football fans wear swim suit tops in that kind of weather.
The seashells were the most mentally challenging. I couldn’t wrap my head around how I was going to sew scallops! On Saturday I was done with the tail and knew that I finally had to jump in and work on the top. Fortunately when I went to the craft room to hunt for purple fabric I spotted our wonderful supply of felt. What a great idea – then I don’t have to worry so much about the scallop edges as they aren’t going to fray. I found a scallop seashell image on the internet that was simple, printed it and cut out the shape. It was then a simple plan to trace onto the felt, cut it out and then do a running stitch around the edge to tack it to the shirt. The lines on the shells are marker and may wash out the first time we wash it, but I don’t care.
Now for the pièce de résistance – the tail. A couple days after my big fabric-store purchase (which actually was < $20), I realized that the sequined fabric was much thinner than I remembered. Our daughter is not yet 4 years old so we felt a bit of modesty was in order – even though it will be cold tonight and she’ll be wearing pants. The main part of the tail is a simple skirt with some teal knit fabric underneath for a lining. It’s hard to see but there is also a black iridescent stretchy sequin belt around her waist.
The tail is basically an apron; a double-layer thickness of the material that is tacked inside the skirt and hangs down below. I cut fin shapes and sewed them to the sides of the apron. To give the tail a bit more of a 3-dimensional look and to add a bit of weight, the bottom of the tail and the fins were lightly stuffed with polyester filling. Once they were filled, I sewed some “ribs” to make them look even more like a tail. Oh, and did you notice that Papa won the “argument”; I did end up having the tail in front so she could kick it. I think it will show up better that way.
Our daughter has some sparkly turquoise shoes that she’ll wear with the costume tonight. We don’t have a coat that goes well with this costume, but that’s not surprising. What mermaid needs a coat?!
Was this worth the time and effort it took? Absolutely! I know it looks hand-made but that also makes it unique. I think it all cost $20-25 for the whole costume. Last year we found her a Princess Sofia dress for $15. That didn’t have hair but did come with a tiara. She’s worn that Sofia dress so often that it is literally falling apart and is beyond repairing … again (I think I’ve fixed it at least twice). The fabric and sewing in this costume should outlast the store-bought one if she should so choose to wear it out.
Fabric: American Knit Sequins Teal Fabric from Hancock Fabric (item 2104230). Belt is a stretch sequin but I don’t see it on their website.
These pictures were taken last Saturday as we were both excited that the costume was done (a full 6 days early – unheard of for me!). I’m planning to get some more pictures tonight before we head out for trick-or-treating.