Friday, October 31, 2014

Harold and the Purple Crayon Costumes: Harold

We are being Harold and the Purple Crayon this year. More specifically, David will be Harold, Peter will be the Purple Crayon, and Patrick and I are being the pages. We got the idea from this site, which gives instructions on how to make pages shirts her way (I did it a bit differently). It also gives instructions on how to make a crayon as a prop instead of a costume like me, but the people in the post just purchased the blue pajamas.

Harold could have been really easy if I had been lucky enough to find a pair of plain blue pajamas in David's size, but alas, I did not (okay, I also didn't look all that hard). I did purchase a pair of sweatpants I thought could maybe be turned into the pajamas on the same thrift store trip as I got my giant purple sweatshirt for the crayon, but there was a least one piece I would not have gotten on it without having to add a seam and I found some forgotten light blue knit in my craft chest. I also had matching thread and some non-skid fabric for the bottom of the feet.

What I did not have was a good pattern (or a zipper, but a trip to the store easily solved that). I haven't found a pattern that I am truly satisfied with for baby pajamas once a kid starts walking; none of them have very well formed feet.

Not to be deterred, I made my own pattern from a pair of David's fleece pajamas.

To make a Harold costume like I did you will need the following:

Blue Fabric
Non-skid Fabric
Matching Thread
Narrow Elastic
Large Sheets of Paper (I Used Wrapping Newsprint)
Pair of Pattern Pajamas

The pajamas I used for my pattern are size 24 months, which is still a little big for David, but not so big that it drowns him. Making them big allowed me to put other layers underneath the pajamas to keep him warm for Trick or Treating.

I have often made shirts and the like by simply cutting around a part of an existing article of clothing, like I did with this maternity T-shirt dress or these baby jeans. I could have done that here. A pajama onesie, however, is actually a very complicated piece of clothing. As an article of clothing gets more complicated and has more parts, it matters more how well each piece is cut to fit. Thus, I decided to go for the slightly more precise method of tracing the individual pieces of the pajamas onto paper.

I will detail my pattern making method below. It can really be used with any piece of clothing, but please note that it is not without flaws and would be hard to use to replicate tailored clothing (for that I would recommend using pattern drafting tools and the like. I like to start with the back, but you can start anywhere.

1. Lay your chosen piece out on the paper, folding in all arms, etc so that one single piece is stretched out on the paper. If the piece is symmetrical, I recommend folding it in half  to make a pattern to be cut on the fold so that each side will be symmetrical.

2. Trace around the outside of the seams, making sure there are no wrinkles in the piece of fabric you are tracing. Also mark where other pieces join this piece so you can match up the fabric later.

3. Label the piece (back, front, arm, etc.)

4. Draw another line around the entire outside of your piece to leave a seam allowance. Standard seam allowance is 5/8 of an inch.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 with each part of the garment. When 2 parts are supposed to match up, make sure to compare the second piece drawn to the first to ensure a good fit.

Once I had all my pattern pieces, I cut them out of my fabric. Sewing them together took a little bit of planning ahead. I inserted the zipper first thing. I should have also put the elastic bands in the ankles of the pajamas, but I forgot. I still need to finish sewing those in by hand because getting a machine in the leg to sew in elastic was not happening. I plan on completing that project, however, because one of the best things about this costume is that it is perfectly usable as new clothes as well.

I think they turned out well. In any case David now has a new pair of pajamas.

Also, a confession: the picture is of the back of the pajamas because I didn't get a picture before we went to a family party and thus I didn't get a picture before a lollipop was thoroughly enjoyed in these pajamas. I haven't washed them just yet.

See the other costumes:

Book Pages

Purple Crayon

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