Category Archives: Sewing

Homemade Halloween — Witch’s Tunic

Snaggle decided pretty early on that she wanted to be a witch this year.  She was with me at the fabric store one day this summer and instantly took a liking to this purple witch fabric.  Luckily, it was only like $2 a yard, so I bought a few yards and thought I’d figure out what to do with it later.  I had no idea how to make a witch’s outfit, and my clothes sewing skills are still in infancy.  But I hoped that I could put together some type of tunic and have her wear a black shirt under it.  I poked around online, but didn’t find a quick and simple tunic tutorial, and ultimately I put it together myself.  Here’s how I did it.

First, I folded the fabric in half vertically and then in half again horizontally.  Then I drew a half circle at the spot where the two folds met.  You can (just barely) see my chalk line drawn in the photo below.

Once I cut it, this was the opening for Snaggle to slip the tunic over her head. Here is Snaggle modeling the tunic at this stage:

Next, I refolded the fabric again the same way I had done for cutting the head opening.  I drew another curve shape at the other side of the fabric (this is the left side of the photo below but is hard to see).  Because the fabric is folded twice, I was able to cut through both armholes simultaneously, and make sure the armholes had a similar shape.  Cutting the armhole wasn’t a necessary step, but I was trying to give some shape to the armholes. 

As a next step, I turned the fabric inside out.  I also shortened the fabric a bit by cutting it down to tunic length — Snaggle helped.  No need to do more sewing than necessary, you know what I mean? 

Then I just went to my sewing machine and sewed a straight stitch down from the underarm to the bottom of the tunic.

As I sit here writing this, I’m really wishing I had taken more — and better —  photos.  These tutorials are harder than they look, but I’m a work in progress and will try to do better.  By this time, my eager little helper was getting antsy and wanted to move on to something else.  I practically had to do some pro wrestling moves to get her to let me do the finishing touch, which was to cut a jagged edge into the bottom of the tunic, to give it a raggedy, witchy feel.  As you can imagine, it would have been difficult to get photos of that.

Once the tunic was done, I happened upon the perfect tights for her — at Walmart of all places.  I try to stay out of that place, but we needed to make an urgent pitstop for one of the girls one day, and it was the most convenient store.  The black and purple tights and the witches hat jumped out at me.  As is Walmart’s way, the prices were (suspiciously) cheap, and I gave up my plans to try to make this hat and purchased one instead.  Here’s a picture of her riding the Metro in the tights.

You can sort of see the jagged bottom in the picture below.  I also crocheted a black belt to give some shape to the tunic.  It was pretty shapeless, but she was happy with it, and that’s what was most important. Stay tuned for another tutorial for the witch’s broomstick!

Homemade Halloween — Ragdoll Apron

Sunny was pretty clear that she wanted to be a Rag Doll for Halloween this year.  I thought it was a cute idea but wasn’t sure how I was going to execute it.  I started by looking up other homemade Rag Doll costumes and found this excellent site, aptly named  I got a little distracted by all the creative ideas, like the baby Chippendale dancer, the Cabbage Patch doll, and the pregnant basketball player.

But once I got focused again, I found some helpful costumes.  Most of them had a blue print dress and an apron.  I was going to put the dress in the hands of the thrift store gods and hope they would send one my way.  My clothes-sewing skills are seriously lacking, and I did not want to send Sunny out looking jacked up!  Luckily, she found the perfect dress for her costume, all by herself.  The thrift store gods heard my call.

Next we went hunting for an apron or something apron-like that we could use. In the linen section, we found a white cotton bed sham — for one whopping dollar — and inspiration struck.  Suddenly, I had a idea.

I figured I could cut a section of the sham for the top of the apron, a section for the bottom, and then sew them together onto a long piece of fabric that would also serve as the strap to tie the apron on.  As a plus, the sham had wide elastic bands that are intended to be used to hook the sham onto the mattress.  This wider band fit over Sunny’s head, saving me from having to sew a neck strap.  And the elastic sewn into the edging made a little gathered neckline, so I didn’t have to add that either.

Here we are trying to figure our where to cut the two parts of the bed sham to the right length and shape for the apron.

Then, I pinned the strap fabric onto the top part of the apron, as shown above.  I had a cute little blue and white fabric with little red accents that would have coordinated with the other parts of the costume, but Sunny insisted on the orange so she wouldn’t be too coordinated.  If you notice, I tried to get a little fancy and add pleats!  I also sewed along the sides of the apron top in order to neaten up the side seams. I then fit, pinned, and sewed a section of the sham onto the bottom of this strap, which became the bottom of the apron. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of this.

Sunny has locs that are kind of long, so we thought it would be cool to braid her hair around a section of wire (cut from a hanger) so that her ponytails would stick out a little.  I also cut some bright red yarn and mixed it in with her hair for some color.

As finishing touches, we tied pink ribbon in her hair, put some red makeup on her cheeks, and she put on red and white striped tights (the most expensive part of her costume!)  Here’s the finished product:

Very cute, don’t ya think?  My ‘apron’ even came out looking a lot like an apron.  So exciting.

Homemade Halloween

Welcome to my Homemade Halloween recap.  To be fair,  maybe I should call it “Semi-Homemade” Halloween, because both Snaggle and Sunny’s costumes were a combination of things bought and made by yours truly.  It was my first time making costumes for Halloween.  I don’t consider myself an apparel sewer — heck, I’m a “rudimentary” crafty sewer at best, quite rough around the edges — so I was pretty proud of myself this year.

Sunny was a ragdoll.  I made the apron and purchased the tights at a party store and the tunic/dress at the thrift store.  The bonus is that she can wear the dress through the winter (though it works better as a long shirt)! Still, not bad for 5 buckaroos. Snaggle was a witch, and I made her a tunic thingamajig and a witch’s broom as a prop.  I bought the hat and tights at Walmart and the shirt at the thrift store. Stay tuned for posts where I show how I made the apron, tunic and broom.

It was really fun making the costumes.  The best homemade costumes make you smile or even chuckle to yourself when you see them. I never made a big deal about Halloween before, but seeing how much fun the kids had when they dress as something else made me wish I had gotten into it sooner.

By the way, don’t think of this post as being late for Halloween 2011, think of it as early for Halloween 2012, or 2013, or even 2014 for that matter.  One thing I learned this year is that you can never get started making the costumes too early.  Snaggle and Sunny have already started tossing around ideas for next year — so far the plan is for them to be Ketchup and Mustard….and for little Mamacita to be “Small Fry.”  So cute!