Friday, October 31, 2014

Harold and The Purple Crayon Costumes: the Purple Crayon

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.

I went to the thrift store in search of a few things for our costumes, one of which was a pair of blue pajamas for David's costume, but I had no luck. Instead, I found a giant purple sweatshirt for $3 and decided it would be great fabric for my crayon costume. Though I obviously made a purple crayon, any color would really work.

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

Baby Gown Pattern (I used McCalls M6103 view G)
3X Purple Sweatshirt*
Purple Thread
Black Fabric Paint 
Freezer Paper
X-acto Knife

*you could also use fabric from the bolt like a normal person. Just check your pattern for the amount.

First (after washing, that is) I totally disassembled the shirt, cutting along the seams around the arms and along the shoulders. I also cut off the neck binding as a complete loop and set it aside. It becomes important. The body of the shirt was woven as a tube, so I just picked a side and slit from the bottom to the middle of the arm-hole in a straight line so I could lay it flat.

I then cut all my pattern pieces out of the body. Because I am lazy, I made the bottom of the shirt my bottom hem by letting the bottom edge of the pattern hang over the bottom of the shirt 5/8 of an inch (the hem allowance listed in the pattern). If I had been doing this right, I should have unpicked the banding on the shirt a little ways so that I could resew the hem with everything tucked in. Hopefully know one who knows much about sewing will exactly be scrutinizing this thing, though, and since sweatshirt material doesn't fray much, I figured I could just be very careful lining up the hem and no one would notice.

Once I had all my pieces, I began sewing my gown as per the directions. I chose to hem the neckline without the optional decorative elastic. I obviously skipped the hemming the bottom part and began my deviation when it came to putting in the draw string.

The material at the bottom of my sweatshirt was doubled over, making a tube perfect for a drawstring. However, I sewed this tube shut in two places by sewing up the sides. If you want to do it right, you will have to unpick the ribbing fabric for at least a couple centimeters near each end of both the front and back. If you want to be lazy like me, slit two small holes on either side of both side seams after assembling the gown so the drawstring can jump over the seams. I whip-stitched the edges of these holes to minimize fraying, but you could probably skip that step.

Next, I took the discarded neck edging and cut the loop so it was a single strand and fed it through the bottom with a safety pin. Once it was all threaded, I sewed the two ends together again. To tighten it, I just pull my drawstring out through the holes by both seams and tie the emerging loops together.

To make the darling hat, I put the sleeve on Peter's head and found where it would naturally sit around his head without being too tight and marked it with a pin. Then I measured about 3 inches below that and cut straight across the sleeve. Then I decided how tall I wanted his hat to be and marked that with a pin as well. I cut straight across above that pin about 5/8 of an inch (seam allowance). I cut a circle with a radius 5/8 inch larger than I wanted the top of my crayon to be out of the scraps.

One side of the sleeve slopped inward already and I cut the other side to match it's slope by folding the sleeve/hat in half and cutting along the slope. I sewed the cut side back up. I used my basic geometry (2Ď€radius=circumference) to determine how big the top of my hat needed to be to fit my circle and subtracted the extra fabric from my hat by adding two darts.

I then attached the circle to the top by folding down the top of the hat while wrong side out, placing the circle right side in and pinning the heck out them before sewing.

The brim of the hat I made by folding the bottom up to the place I wanted to be the top and then folding the excess fabric back down in half. I folded the very edge of the fabric back inside the had and then sewed all the way around the bottom of the hat, making sure to catch the little bit folded under as well as the 3 other folded layers. That is not the best way to do it, but at that point it was the fastest and my boys had woken up from the afternoon nap.

To paint on the crayon markings, I drew an ellipse on a piece from freezer paper with help from Patrick. I was using the old string as a compass technique, but with 2 points in an ellipse, I didn't have enough hands to draw it as well, so Patrick helped me out. I then cut out the ellipse. If you want to perfectly replicate a Crayola crayon, the Crayola part is actually not written on an ellipse. I wasn't going for product replication, however. I also printed out the word Crayon in Arial font (size 180 I believe). I then cut both the ellipse and the letters out of freezer paper with an X-acto knife. With the ellipse, I actually wanted the part left behind by cutting out an ellipse as my stencil, but with the letters, I wanted the actual letters.

I ironed all my pieces in place and sprayed on some spray fabric paint (which is glorious for stencils but you have to cover everything you don't want painted). After the words had dried, I ironed on three stripes on each end all the way around the crayon and sprayed those. Word to the wise: the instructions on my paint wanted me to remove the stencil while the paint was still wet. This is extremely tricky by yourself when you have stripes going all the way around the costume; have a friend to help. Also, if you get it  before it really has a change to dry rubbing alcohol may get out your fabric paint if you accidentally boo-boo while the costume is wet. I may have used my fair share of rubbing alcohol.

I think it turned out really cute, what about you?

See the other Harold and the Purple Crayon costumes:


Book Pages

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