...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making an elephant for Halloween

When it comes to Halloween costumes I want my children to dream big.  This is the time of year and I will indulge their every whim and promise them that I will do everything in my power to make their dress-up dreams comes true. 
So, when Ellie first told me she wanted to be an elephant for Halloween I smiled and went along with it.  Then I got to thinking about how I really have no idea how to make an elephant costume and I can't remember that anyone I know has ever had an elephant costume and I sure don't have money to buy every kid a costume every year (imagine spending $20 times six children year after year for one night of fun...I just don't have that). 
And that is what prompted me to try to talk her into being a princess or a fairy or a vampire or a witch or Shadow the Hedgehog (all costumes that we already have on hand).  I even employed her father (who can usually talk her into anything) to try to talk up these other ideas.
No dice.
This little filly is stubborn (wonder where that little feature came from?...no comments please).
So, I gave up and started to think my way through an elephant costume.  I picked up some wrinkly grey fabric at the store for $1.50/yard (I only needed 2 yards so hooray for budget friendly material).
Then I brought it home and stared at it for about a week.
Until Josh asked me (in so many words) if I was ever going to do anything with that.
That sounded kind of like a dare to me so off I went.
I looked online and HATED every set of instructions on making an elephant costume (they looked even dorkier than the way mine turned out) so I had to wing it.  I started by cutting a hood.  I measured Ellie's head and left a little over an inch seam allowance everywhere just in case. I hemmed the "face" sides since they would not be sewed to anything else (I only gave a 1/2 inch hem, but the 1 inch allowance was still nice.  Then I sewed around the top and back of the head, leaving the face and neck sides open.
Next I created a ruffle for the neck of the hood.  I measured the bottom of the hood (about 15 inches) and cut two 4 inch wide strips of fabric a little more than 30 inches long.  I sewed the two together (be sure to leave a section open so you can turn your ruffle inside out so your stitches are hidden).  Then I sewed a loose, straight line across one end of the ruffle and gathered it until it was 15 inches long and sewed it around the bottom of the hood.  I added a 10 inch piece of fabric as a tie on each side of the hood next to the ruffle.
Then came ears.  Elephant ears.  I just free handed a couple of ears and then free handed a bit of pink to sew on top of the front.  Cut 4 ear bits (front and back for each) and 2 pink bits. 
First, sew the pink onto one of your ear pieces.  Sew your ear pockets together (again be sure to leave an open section so you can turn the stitches inside...also be sure to sew the pink so it starts on the inside so when you turn the ear pillow inside out the pink will end up on the outside).  I stuffed my ears (or rather, the costume ears) with a bit of batting to give them some body and then sewed them onto the sides of the hood.

Next comes the trunk.  I made mine 10 inches at the top and 4 inches at the bottom and just sewed it up the side.  I did sew a circle of pink into the thin end of the nose to add a pop of color.  I attached the finished trunk to one of my hood ties nearest the side of the hood so that when you tie the hood the trunk hangs from under your child's chin (see picture later on for that to make sense).

This is how my hood turned out...no beautiful, but functional.

Here is Bryce helping to sew a bit (he is sewing in jr high right now so it was good to put his growing skills into practice).

Also with the fabric I made a little shirt and skirt so we have a total outfit.  I also tried to make the skirt and shirt things that Ellie could wear some other time...yeah, I'm not sure that really worked out, but it will do for Halloween.  I think we are going to put a bit of wire in the trunk so that it can stand up a little bit.  I'll be honest, this is not my favorite costume I have ever made, but even without my undying devotion to the costume Ellie is thrilled and that was the goal to begin with.

One adorable little Ellie-phant.

 My other project this week has been Aubrey's dress.  She wants to be Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter.  I found this dress/cape at DI for $6 and thought the dress could be great for lots of things so I brought it home.  The dress was a bit long (as it is adult sized and Aubrey isn't adult sized just yet) so I added pick ups that you can see at the bottom of the skirt (that way I don't have to cut off the dress and it will still be usable as she gets taller).  Overall, I think it will be great for our needs (and can be used over and over for many years to come).
Oh, the creative fun of Halloween.

1 comment:

jess said...

Wow, that is really awesome that you just made that from scratch! She is very cute! Great job!

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