Nightmare Moon

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

 

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Phew!  This Halloween costume has been in the works for, what feels like, fooorever.  It’s ridiculous when I start thinking about just how much time (and money) I’ve spent on this kid’s Halloween costume!  But it was such a fun challenge for me – I really love making Halloween costumes!!  I get a lot of enjoyment out of trying to figure out ways to translate a picture or a character into something tangible, an outfit, or a costume.  So here’s the back story . . .

Yuki started watching the popular series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, about six months ago.   In the first 2 episodes there is a villain, Nightmare Moon, that Yuki immediately latched onto.  It’s not the first time Yuki has connected with an antagonistic character – I’m not sure if you remember 2 years ago, Yuki was into Swiper the Fox, from Dora the Explorer.  Anyways, this one was a little surprising because Nightmare Moon is SO EVIL and SO SCARY.  She’s got this wicked cackle that both Yuki and Kaya have mastered (a little too well).  But starting a couple of months ago, Yuki decided she wanted to be Nightmare Moon for Halloween.  I waited for awhile to make sure that she wasn’t going to change her mind.  But she was quite set on it, so I started brainstorming.  This wasn’t the easiest to translate into human/kid form.

nightmare_moon_nontrsprnt_hair_by_moongazeponies-d3jwib8

 

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Nightmare Moon is the evil alter ego of Princess Luna.  My Little Pony legend tells us that Princess Luna once controlled the moon and ruled over the land with her older sister, Princess Celestia, who raised the sun every day.  Princess Luna became jealous that all the ponies enjoyed and appreciated the day, playing in the sun, but slept through the beauty of the night.  Her bitterness took over and she transformed into Nightmare Moon, who refused to lower the sun and promised eternal night.  She was then banished to the moon by her sister.  You should definitely watch this video to see the transformation from Princess Luna to Nightmare Moon and see a little more into her character and appearance.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Spoiler alert: Nightmare Moon is defeated and transformed back into Princess Luna, who once again takes her place next to her sister to rule Equestria, the land of the ponies.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

ANYWAYS.  Moving on from Pony history . . . The costume had me a bit stumped at first.  Sure a shirt and pants, but how would I made a helmet?  How would I make her shimmery floaty mane and tail?  I mulled over it for a long time.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I knew I wanted to make a shirt and pants for Yuki that she could potentially wear again later and separately if she wanted to.  I used the Oliver + S Playtime Tunic/Dress and Leggings pattern for both the top and the bottom.  I made the top with black double gauze from Miss Matatabi and made it so the facing would be on the outside of the shirt.  I changed the shape of the facing in the front to mimic Nightmare Moon’s breastplate (or whatever that is).

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The fabric that I used for all of the armor details is some sort of suiting from Joann.  It is a woven fabric so I had a hard time figuring out how to sew it on without it fraying.  I tried a zig zag stitch around the edge, but I didn’t like the way it looked.  So I ended up using fusible web on all the pieces and then painting the edges with fray check and just top stitching as close to the edge as possible.  The fray check left the edges slightly darker than the fabric which was perfect since the character’s armor has a darker blue outlining all the edges as well.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The pants were made using the leggings pattern, but I flared out the bottoms to look more like yoga pants.  I appliqued the “cutie mark” (cloud/moon symbol on her rear) and the “armor” before assembling the pants.  Both the shirt and pants are size 3T and they fit her pretty perfectly.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

The helmet had me pretty stumped, but it finally came to me to make a version of Oliver + S’s Cozy Winter Hood from their Little Things to Sew book (affiliate link)!  I made the medium size hood, but altered the shape of the center panel to look more like Nightmare Moon’s helmet.  I actually ended up making TWO helmets because the first one just didn’t work out right.  It took me a while to get the shape and size right of that extended piece.  I also chose the wrong fabric for the lining and messed up the detail on the side of the helmet.  I omitted the ears from the pattern, which is sewn into the seam and I hand stitched self drafted ones and a horn to make sure they stood up and didn’t flop over :)

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I thought it would be cool to add some sparkle because both Nightmare Moon and Yuki are into sparkle, so I tried this glitter fabric spray.  Like an idiot, I tried it on the finished helmet not realizing that it leaves dark marks on the fabric.  It’s not super noticeable, but you can see it close up and it bugs the crap out of me!  Oh well.  I put the helmet aside because I had no clue how I was going to make or attach a mane.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Next up were the wings.  I used this tutorial for basic construction of the wings, altering it for my needs.  I used 4 large sheets of craft foam and each wing is 4 layers.  Looking at the image of Nightmare Moon, I drew two wing shapes that were meant to be overlapped.  I cut them out with an X-acto knife, then used a purple paint pen to draw the outline and details.  After gluing it all together, I used Krylon Glitter Shimmer in Moon Beam Black and IT WORKED PERFECTLY.  Just how I imagined.  Which is more than I can say for the fabric glitter spray.  I kinda think the wings are my favorite part of this outfit.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

We found the boots that Yuki wore last year for Halloween (they were too big for her then and disappeared afterwards since she never wore them).  And now they fit perfectly!  Hideko had the brilliant idea of spraying the boots too, just for extra sparkle (really anything to get Yuki to be excited about wearing them).

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

This stuff has been great in my experience.  It has a really strong smell at first (so definitely spray it outside), but I haven’t noticed it on the items since and they are both kept inside.  I put some paper inside each boot to prevent the spray from coating the inside (I wasn’t sure if it would make it stiff or scratchy), and I also unzipped the boot right after spraying so that it would seal shut.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

 

So finally I had to tackle the mane and tail – it was the only part left.  If you look at the picture of Nightmare Moon, her hair is this magical, floaty, ethereal, glowing mass.  What?  How?  Why?  I had no clue how to try and replicate that.  In most of the Nightmare Moon cosplay I had seen, people wore long curled purple-blue wigs.  I was going to go that route and just attach it to the helmet, but I couldn’t find the right color and I wasn’t sure if it would look right for a kid’s costume.  So I decided to cut up some tulle and while it’s not exactly what I want it to look like, I think it came out ok and definitely looks floaty and sparkly at least.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

I used two different colors of tulle: blue and glittery purple.  I laid them out and cut them to the general length that I wanted the mane and tail.  Then, with each layer separately, I cut one edge of the tulle into wavy hair-like strips.  Then I layered about 4-5 pieces of cut tulle and folded and rolled and scrunched up the other end to gather it into a pony tail.  I stitched it together to hold it in place and then hot glued felt around it to secure it together, then hand stitched that onto the helmet for the mane and onto elastic for the tail.

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

Unfortunately, it added weight to the back of the helmet so that it keeps sliding back and that nose piece often ends up near her forehead.

And that’s about it!  This costume took me a good 2 weeks to put together I think.  I seriously underestimated how long it would take.  Usually I can put together an outfit in 1-2 nights if I’m putting in the time, but there were just so many pieces and so much trial and error (LOTS OF ERROR).  I think I went back to the fabric store 3 times to get more stuff I needed.  In the end, Yuki likes the costume, but I don’t think she has any clue how much went into it.

People say, “You’re such a good mom, I just bought our costumes at the store!”  But if I’m being honest, I didn’t do this for Yuki – I didn’t stay up countless hours and spend lots of money because I wanted to make her happy.  She would have been just as happy with a store bought costume (if one existed for this character) or a much much simpler version.  But I did it for me.  Because once I had the challenge, it was my personal goal to make a kick ass costume.  I wanted to see how well I could match some of the details while still making it wearable for a 4 year old.  And I struggled and cursed and suffered some extreme exhaustion, but I LOVED it.  I’m really starting to understand why people enjoy cosplay so much!

Anyways, for all of those celebrating Halloween, have a spooky, silly and safe time!  Share your costumes with me – I LOVE seeing all the creative and fun ideas!   And beware the legend of Nightmare Moon.  She will return once again!  MUHAHAHAHAHA!  :P

Nightmare Moon Costume by you & mie

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Sew Geeky: Jiji the Cat

Jiji Sweatshirt by you & mie

So so so much sewing going on over here!  I wish there were more hours in the day so I could sew more!  But who doesn’t right?  I’m here with a post for Sew Geeky, a fantastically nerdy series hosted by Sew Chibi and Max California.  Each month, they pick a theme and invite some people to sew along with them!  In fact, everyone can sew along!  Everyone is encouraged to celebrate their inner geekiness!

This month’s theme is Studio Ghibli.  I jumped on this opportunity, because I’m a HUGE Ghibli fan.  If you’re not familiar with Studio Ghibli movies, I urge you to go and look some up and watch them immediately.  The director/writer/producer that is most strongly associated with Studio Ghibli is Hayao Miyazaki and he has created some of my favorite movies.  He is the genius behind My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle and many others.  And Studio Ghibli has produced other amazing movies as well, like Grave of the Fireflies, Arrietty and Whisper of the Heart.  Seriously, go watch them all now. Continue reading

Strawberry Skaters

Strawberry Skater Dresses by you & mie

 A month ago, I talked about a bunch of clothes I had made a month before that, and well . . . I still haven’t blogged half of it.  So two months later, but here are some dresses I made. :P

The fabric may be familiar to you . . . it’s from Heather Ross’ Briar Rose Jersey Knits line.  It came out about a year ago and it was all over the place at the time – I feel like everyone was making cute things with them!  Strawberries!  Knit fabric!  Cute!  But since I’m not one to follow the crowd (*cough* I’m actually just super lame), I decided to sew with this fabric when it’s not so popular and no longer available.  Haha. Continue reading

Watermelon Dress

Watermelon Week!  All watermelon!  All the time!

So yesterday I shared the watercolor watermelon invites that Yuki and I made for her party.  But what would a watermelon party be without a special watermelon dress?  I was having a hard time deciding between a color blocked dress that mimicked a watermelon slice like this one, or a solid fabric with watermelon printed all over like this one.  I was leaning toward the color blocked dress since that seemed easier, but finally I just asked Yuki and she said, without hesitation, the all over print dress.

Watermelon Dress // you & mie

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Cosi Swimsuits For Two!

Besides the summery “Elsa” dress, I made 6 other garments for the girls before our trip to Florida and they are all MATCHING outfits (3 things for each girl)!  Haha.  Didn’t really think that I was the type to go all crazy with matching sibling outfits, but I can’t help it – it’s just too cute!  I hadn’t made anything matching since their panda shirts, but Yuki really gets a kick out of it, and whenever she’s wearing her outfit, she usually wants Kaya to put on hers too.

Cosi Swimsuits for Two by you & mie

Anyways, these projects are also exciting to me because they are SWIMSUITS.  I don’t know about you, but sewing swimsuits has been on a different level of sewing in my head.  Something a little more intimidating than regular kids clothes, it just seemed complicated and tricky.  The fabric, the elastic, the fit . . . I was nervous to try it, but since I love learning new skills, I was also really excited to try it.

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Another Elsa Dress

I know, I know, the last thing the world needs is another Elsa dress!!  But here’s one for ya anyways :P

So a month ago, my family and I traveled across the country to Florida for a reunion.  We stayed in Fort Lauderdale for the first part of the trip, but we figured we might as well hit up Disneyworld while we were all the way out there!  I knew there was a good chance that we wouldn’t be going back out to Florida any time soon and we also knew that Yuki would have an absolute blast.

But I kept hearing horror stories about the Florida’s heat and humidity.  So between the unavoidable heat and all the fun activities we were going to be doing, I came up with a sewing list that was ridiculously long.  Then I had my very own Kids Clothes Week and though I didn’t even get through half my original list, I did make 7 pieces of clothing in about a week or so!  I’ll be sharing them throughout the next couple of weeks.  First up, Elsa’s summer dress.

Elsa's Summer Dress by you & mie

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Iris Shorts for Me!

Hey!  It’s Shorts on the Line time!  Have you been following along this series hosted by imagine gnats and small + friendly?  If not, you can catch up here.  So many awesome shorts have been shared during Week 1!

I was excited to join in the series, but Yuki doesn’t wear shorts, so I figured I’d make some shorts for the baby.  But then Britex so generously offered to provide me with some fabric and I couldn’t turn that down.  And when Britex offers you fabric you don’t use it on your 10 month old baby who will literally just poo poo on it.  So I decided to sew for myself and use the one shorts pattern I own for women but had never sewn, which is Colette’s Iris Shorts.  I bought this pattern in August of 2012, people.  2 years ago!!  So I’m really glad I got this push to finally try it.

Iris Shorts by you & mie

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Watercolor Dress {and tips for painting fabric}

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

So I have exactly one project coming out of this Kids Clothes Week, but I’m pretty damn excited about it!  The (optional) theme for this season was Kid Art and while this dress was probably the last thing I needed to make, I got really excited by the idea of getting Yuki involved in creating a one-of-a-kind garment for herself.  I had all sorts of ideas like fabric painting, stenciling, iron on transfers, etc.  But I knew I didn’t have much time so I could only pick one thing.  If you know me, you know that I looooove fabric painting (like this cardigan, this hat and bag, and this dress) and I thought Yuki should have a go at it since she loves painting too!

Watercolor Sundress and Tips for Painting Fabric // you & mie

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Birds Eye Skirt

July is a pretty busy month for me and I’ll be spending a lot of time with family and away from the computer.  So I thought it was a good time to bring some posts home, especially all the stuff I’ve been sharing on Miss Matatabi the last few months.  This one is back from February!

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I love to sew for my daughters, but recently I’ve been trying to sew more women’s clothing, so today I’ve got a skirt that I made for myself and I’m so excited to be here sharing it with you!

everydayskirt1

If you know me, you know that I’ve been a HUGE Nani Iro fan for a few years now, but unfortunately my local fabric store stopped carrying the fabric.  I had to search elsewhere to feed my Nani Iro addiction and that’s how I found Miss Matatabi.  Frances has been my official supplier ever since!  I started out only buying little bits of fabric and using it only for my daughter because it’s pricier than most other fabrics and I didn’t want to buy a large amount of yardage.  But after realizing that a toddler does not need or appreciate the perfection that is Nani Iro, I was determined to start using the fabric for me.  And I’m so glad that I did!

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I love nani IRO!

To tell you that I love nani IRO fabric is pretty much as high on the list as “I love sewing” on the ‘duh-that’s-obvious’ statements about me.  I love nani IRO and that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me.  I found some nani IRO double gauze in my local fabric shop three years ago and I softly gasped at the beautiful painted flowers, then I sharply inhaled at the price, but then slowly sighed when I felt how soft and luxurious the double gauze was.  And I haven’t looked back since!

nani IRO is designed by Japanese artist, Naomi Ito.  I love the unique hand painted designs and the high quality fabric.  It’s really like nothing else out there.  I decided to go through and find my old nani IRO projects and round them up for you . . .

nani IRO projects by you & mie

Sweetheart Bubble Dress // 1st Birthday Dress // Floral Baby Dress
Everyday Skirt // Little Letter Halter
Signature Look Top // Foldover Clutch // A-line Tunic
Ethereal Dress // Neon Dot Double Skirt // Reversible Spring Coat

Looking back at these pictures, I noticed two things.  1. I’m really drawn to her dots and florals – she just does them so well.  I’ve never used any of her other prints.  And 2. Out of all of these projects, only ONE was for me!  I figure it’s about time to change both of those things :)

Nani IRO fabric isn’t cheap.  Before, I loved the way it looked, but could really only afford to buy little pieces, which is why it was easier to sew things for a kid, or use it for an accessory.  But after a while, I realized that even though I’d have to spend a lot of money buying several yards of fabric to cover my adult body, it would still be totally worth it.  I appreciate this fabric and will wear it a billion times more than my toddler ever will.  I spend the time, effort ,and money to make the garments – why shouldn’t I get to enjoy it?

So then I decided ALL THE NANI IRO FOR ME!  Haha, just kidding.  But you know, I deserve nani IRO, and I think that you do too . . .

The month of June has officially been named “nani IRO month” by Frances of Miss Matatabi.  She’s asked some of her friends to help her showcase the latest collection of nani IRO fabric and I’m pretty sure we all just JUMPED at the opportunity.  Be sure to check out her blog for all the latest projects being shared throughout the month.

For my first project, I chose a really unique fabric called Freedom Garden (A – France) and decided I wanted to sew something for me.  It is double gauze and comes in three colorways and the design is kinda crazy and out of control, but in a beautiful way.  I went back and forth about it – can I pull it off?  What would I make with it?  Is it too crazy?  I asked people on Facebook and Instagram what they thought I should make and I got some reeeally great suggestions.  But in the end, I decided to make a good ol Wiksten Tank.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I knew that this would, by far, get the most wear and I am in need of some basic tanks and tees for the summer and as I transition back to work.  Sure, I could have made a special dress, but honestly, I just don’t wear dresses very often.  This tank, on the other hand, I’ll reach for again and again.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

LOOK AT THIS FABRIC!  It’s like Naomi Ito just went all craaaaaazy with her paints!  I felt like I was sewing and wearing some modern art.  Should this be a museum exhibit?  I love the variety of both bold and subtle colors in this fabric.  And the interesting variety of brush strokes.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

Double gauze is dreamy fabric.  It’s soft and airy, it’s comfortable and breathable.  It’s lovely to sew with too.  The only things to look out for is that because it’s a looser woven fabric, it can stretch out when sewing curves.  And it can get wrinkly when it’s worn/washed.  But I still love it.  It just feels soooo nice.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I’ve made the Wiksten Tank before and I really like the fit.  It’s perfect up top and then conveniently covers my mid-section.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I did make a couple of slight modifications to the pattern.  I lengthened the tank by a 1/2 inch for just a little extra coverage.  I also raised the neckline by about 2 inches, because as much as I like the look of the original neckline, it was always just a little too revealing and I felt uncomfortable at work since I’m constantly bending over to work with young kids.  Since I noticed a little gaping at the neckline in the back with my previous Wiksten, I made the same alteration as Rae did to decrease that, except I only moved the pattern over by 1/2 an inch, instead of a full inch.  Worked fine for me.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I can honestly say, I don’t have anything else in my wardrobe quite like this!  It’s fun to have a little something different from everyone else too :)

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

Be sure to check out the entire nani IRO stock in the Miss Matatabi shop.  They are all soooo gorgeous.  I have several other prints in my stash just waiting to be sewn up, but I mostly just like to stare at them and pet them :)

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers participating in nani IRO month!  I’ve got another project coming up later this month with more nani IRO – but this time with a fabric I’ve NEVER sewn with before!  Wish me luck :)

*This fabric was generously given to me, but everything I said is 100% my own opinion – I wouldn’t lie to you about nani IRO!  And trust me, I spend my own money on nani IRO too. ;)*