Frozen’s Elsa-Inspired Dress

LET IT GOOOOOOOO
LET IT GOOOOOOOO
CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMOOOORE!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Every.  single.  day.  Yup, we’re still living in a Frozen obsessed world over here.  You know, we actually held out (and still do) when it comes to letting her watch “princess” movies.  Frozen is the first and really only that she’s seen, but she has dove head first into obsession and we’re just kinda going with it.  What’s the point of being a 3 year old if you can’t be an awesome ice power yielding queen.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

After my last blog post, I decided that I wanted Yuki to earn the dress since she’s so used to getting things all the time and she’s starting to think that things come so easily.  So I created a little sticker chart and told her that she needed to help out around the house to earn stickers and when she got 10 stickers she could have her dress.  She did things like putting away everyone’s laundry, hanging diapers for drying, setting the table and wiping it clean after dinner, etc.  She didn’t complain too much about doing the work and was super psyched to earn each sticker.

Earning her Elsa dress with chores // you & mie

And she was reeeeeally excited to finally get her dress!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Ok, on to the dress . . . this is inspired by the dress Queen Elsa wears when she “lets it go” and embraces her ice powers.  It’s definitely not a replica of what she wears in the movie, but heavily inspired by it.  I had a few criteria when designing the dress in my mind.  I wanted it to be knit – comfy and easy to put on and take off.  I wanted it to be easy to clean.  And I wanted the materials to be inexpensive.

At preschool, there is a group of kids that is REALLY into “dress up” and almost every time I go to pick Yuki up, she’s got a raggedy piece of tulle tied around her neck or head or wherever and she’s walking around like she’s the queen of the world.  It made me realize that these kids don’t need some fancy expensive costume to make believe – they can pick up any simple prop and turn it into whatever they see in their fantastic imagination.  So my goal was to make it special, but keep it simple.

I went to my favorite cheap fabric store, Fabrix.  It carries “off-price surplus and closeout fabrics and trims” so it’s hit or miss what you’ll find in there, but sometimes you come across something perfect for a really low price.  I get a lot of my solid knits there when I find good colors.  Anyways, I walked in hoping to score some blue knit when I laid my eyes on this:

Frozen fractal fabric from Fabrix

And the words that immediately popped into my head were FROZEN.  FRACTALS.

Now, I have no clue what frozen fractals even look like, but if you’re familiar with the song, “Let it Go,” Elsa belts those words as she is constructing her beautiful ice castle at the climax of the song.  Here are the images from the movie that I think of when I see this fabric and what became the inspiration behind the dress.

Let it Go - ice castle scenes

I actually went back to the store to see if I could buy more yardage to give away to one of you, but it was already gone!!  :(

And that’s the actual Queen Elsa dress.  So with those images in my head, I went to design a simple and kid friendly dress.  Along with two yards of that frozen fractal knit, I got two yards of whatever sparkly tulle they had and a little bit of trim, all of it costing about $2.39 per yard.  Score!  For the sleeves and top of the bodice I used leftover burnout knit that I think probably also came from Fabrix, but I used in this shirt here.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I started with the ever awesome Flashback Skinny Tee pattern by Made by Rae for the bodice.  I widened the neckline to more of a boatneck shape, but I think I went a little too wide and deep.  I brought the sides in a little, rather than slightly flaring out at the bottom, shortened the bodice and changed the shape of the bottom to a slightly curved V.  I cut the pattern along the colorblocked lines that you see and added seam allowance to attach the pieces.  The sleeves are unmodified.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I was just going to make the dress purely knit and leave off any tulle so that I could throw the dress in the washer and dryer without working about it.  But I worried that it looked too plain and not special enough, so I gathered some of the tulle and attached it with the skirt.  I like the way it looks, but it does make cleaning the dress a bit harder.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Watch out!  Ice power! 

With the rest of the tulle, I gathered it a bit and zig zag stitched it to a piece of sparkly elastic from Jo-Ann, to make the cape.  Elsa doesn’t even wear a crown for the second half of the movie, but Yuki wanted one, so I sewed some trim onto a piece of craft felt, and folded and sewed the bottom 1/2 inch to make a casing to slide a headband through.  Took me just a couple of minutes – yay!

She loves it.  She wants to wear it every minute of the day.  She’s started telling people her name is Elsa.  I’m happy that she is happy, but I really hope this phase doesn’t last forever because I can really only handle listening to “Let it Go” so many times.

Queen Elsa does her chores // you & mie

And the Queen does her chores.  She wore her well-earned dress to a Sing-Along Frozen showing at the Castro Theater over the weekend.  Her classmate wore a beautiful mom-made dress as well.  They got to walk across the stage in front of the entire theater with all the other kids in costumes.  She belted out the words to her favorite songs and stuffed her face with popcorn.  She said it was the best day ever :)

Queen Elsa and her baby sister // you & mie

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Super Yuki to the Rescue!

Superhero4My main Christmas present to Yuki was this superhero dress up costume, and honestly?  Best. Gift. Ever.  For two reasons – 1. it was all suuuper simple and fast to sew up and 2. she absolutely loves it.  Can’t get much better than that!

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SUPER YUKI!  Oh man, I get a pretty good kick out of this costume too, I must say!  I first got the idea to make her a cape awhile ago when Yuki started pretending that she was a magician.  But recently, she saw a few episodes of the 1980s show, Spider-man and His Amazing Friends, and got really into the character, Firestar.  She kept asking if she could be her, but she looks like this and I wasn’t going to make that costume for her.  Luckily, details don’t matter much to a three year old and as far as Yuki is concerned, she is totally Firestar.

Superhero2So there are a ton of great cape patterns out there, but this one was made with this free pattern/tutorial because I really liked the shape of it.  Though I used velcro instead of magnets and I also shortened it quite a bit.  The cape is reversible and one side is made of some sort of shiny red fabric with the felt star “logo” top stitched on.

Superhero3

The reverse side is black cotton with silver stars hand stamped on.  This side is supposed to be the magician side.  She hasn’t actually used this side since she’s much more into being a superhero, but I imagine that if I get her a hat and magic wand, she might be inclined to put on some magic shows as well.  I love that this cape is reversible and easy enough for her to put on by herself.

Superhero1

The mask and arm cuffs are made of felt (the red is a glittery felt) and are technically both reversible as well, though these are just yellow on the other side.  I used this template for the mask and this pattern/tutorial for the arm cuffs, though I shortened my cuffs to fit Yuki better.  I started by top stitching the yellow stars on the red layer and then sewed the yellow and red layers together close to the edges.  Sandwich the elastic in between the two layers for the mask and it’s done.  The arm cuffs close with velcro.  I think I finished these in one nap time!

Superhero9

I love how she falls into character so quickly when the costume is on.  All I have to do is give a Green Goblin cackle and she’s after me like the world is depending on it!

Superhero5

Stealth mode.

I just love her imagination right now.  Everything she does is so creative and intensely real and meaningful it is to her.  Sometimes it gets tiring to play the same games over and over again with her, but I also know that I’m going to miss this stage when it’s gone.  She is just always 100% in that moment.  I envy that.

Superhero7

OOF – she’s just too powerful for me!  Super Yuki saves the day once again!

What was the best present that you gave this year?  This would definitely be it for me, hands down.

Happy Bee-lated Halloween

Har har, I know.  I can’t resist a good pun!

Happy Halloween

But I hope you all enjoyed a happy Halloween (for those of you who celebrated)!  I realize it’s a bit late to be sharing our Halloween costumes, but that’s how things are rolling around here, so let’s just go with it, k?

So in the weeks leading up to the holiday, I had been asking Yuki what she wanted to dress up as.  Her answers changed every time I asked.  First, it was a purple dinosaur.  Then a pumpkin dinosaur – though I have no idea what that is!  Then she would just name whatever was nearby or happened to be on her mind, so I would get answers like “juice box” or “Mercury” (the planet).  We started planting the idea of Ladybug Girl into her head because we thought it’d be a fun and easy costume, but one she could get into.  Ladybug Girl is a character from a series of children’s books.  The stories are about a young girl named Lulu who calls herself “Ladybug Girl,” wears a costume, and likes to have adventures.

Yuki was still throwing out ideas like cat and owl, but when I found a pair of ladybug wings and a wand at Joann for 60% off, I decided it was meant to be.  I was worried that Yuki wouldn’t get on board, but took the risk anyways.

I had plans to make the costume identical to the book character, but you know how things change.  I knew Yuki would get excited about a tutu though, so I used one of the thousand tutu-rials out there to make one with red tulle from Joann.  And as expected, she loved it.

LadybugGirl5

Before I keep saying Joann, Joann, Joann – I’ll just say that I pretty much got everything I needed for both costumes at Joann.  This is not a sponsored post.  I just bought all the supplies on one trip, thank goodness for that!

So anyways, the headband is one of the few things that I got elsewhere.  Picked it up at a drugstore and used pipe cleaners and pom poms to make antennae.

LadybugGirl3

The shirt was made using the ever useful Flashback Skinny Tee in size 3T (you know I love this pattern, right?).  At first I just made a solid red tee like Lulu’s, but after seeing the costume the weekend before, Hideko felt like adding spots would make it more ladybug-ish.  Here’s what it looked like before:

ladybug

So I picked up some Tulip Fashion Glitter and tried that out for the first time.  I thought Yuki would like the sparkles and I could use the other colors on future projects.  If you use the Fashion Glitter pack that I did, you’ll need to buy the bond/glue separately.  I made a stencil to get the circular dots and the glitter was easy to apply.  Some of it came off during the drying/wearing stage, which I expected, but it held up really well otherwise.  I’ve washed and dried the shirt once (inside out) and it lost some of it’s glitter, but still looks pretty decent.  I’ll have to try it out on another project and see how it holds up through multiple washes.  I’m glad I added those spots though – I think they add a lot to the costume.

LadybugGirl1

I also made a little pair of shorts to go under her tutu using the Fancy Pants Leggings pattern.  They came together really quickly and I like how they came out, but I’ll never know how the fit was because Yuki refuses to wear them.  So she ended up wearing the plain black leggings I made for this outfit.  Her boots are from Target.

LadybugGirl2

The best part about her costume is that she absolutely loved it and seemed so proud to be wearing it.  She loved going up to other kids and saying, “Hey, I have wings like you!” or “You have a wand like me!”  (She’s really into comparing herself to other people these days – ugh).  But I didn’t have to bribe her to put it on like other costumes and outfits I’ve made for her!  I did, however, have a really hard time photographing her like always . . .

Happy Halloween2

And that brings us to our little bee . . .

Bumblebee4

There she is, zipping through the air!  Haha.  So I know it’s a little ridiculous to dress up a one month old, let alone hand-make the entire costume the day before Halloween, but I couldn’t resist.  When I decided on Ladybug Girl for Yuki’s costume, a bumblebee seemed like an obvious choice for Kaya, so I went ahead and bought the yellow and black fleece.  But a couple of days before Halloween, I still hadn’t had time to make her costume and I had to accept that it just wasn’t going to happen.  It wasn’t worth it if I meant having to loose sleep.  I went to bed pretty disappointed that night (If you don’t know me, let me just say that Halloween/making costumes is kinda my thing.  So it’s a big deal).

Then I woke up the next morning at 5am and decided it was a good time to start that damn costume after all.  It came out pretty decent considering I was determined to make it the fastest and simplest costume ever knowing that it would only get a few hours of wear.

Bumblebee1

The body is just a simple sack with an elastic casing at the neck and bottom with armholes.  I cut the stripes from black fleece and just top stitched onto the yellow fleece before sewing up the sack.  The wings are made from boning since I wanted something softer and more flexible than metal wire.  I just stretched some thin knit fabric and sloppily sewed/tied it on.  Not my best work, but no one could see the other side anyways.

I made the tights using Rae’s Baby Tights tutorial some black knit in my stash.  She offers a  free pattern for the tights in 3-6 mo. size, but since Kaya is a bit younger/smaller than that, I tried to size it down.  Unfortunately, I sized it down too much and I could barely get them over her bum!  Mostly because she wears cloth diapers but I had also shortened them too much as well.  They were super easy to make though, so I think I’ll try again with a better idea of how to make adjustments to the pattern.

Bumblebee2

I made the beanie using Zaaberry’s free baby hat pattern and tutorial.  I made the antennae with the same black knit and stuffed them with some poly-fil.  At first I tried to sew them into the seam to save time, but they just flopped down.  I really wanted them to stand up when worn, so I cut them off and hand stitched them on real quick.  Again, not my finest sewing, but that’s what Halloween costumes are about right!?

We went trick-or-treating with Yuki’s school during the day around some local businesses and Yuki was super excited and proud in her costume and Kaya slept the entire time getting lots of little “oohs” and giggles from other parents and kids.  So was it all worth it?  Absolutely.  And maybe a bit ridiculous?  Absolutely.  But that’s me!

How was your Halloween?  Did you make any costumes?  What was the best costume you saw this year?  And are you ready for Christmas?  Cuz the rest of the world seems to be getting ready already.  I can’t handle that.  It’s November 7th and I’m still on Halloween.

Totoros and Rain Clouds Galore!

Well, Halloween is over!  All that preparation and it’s gone in the blink of an eye!  We had a great time taking Yuki on her first real trick-or-treat outing and she wore her costume for most of it, so that was a big success.  Did you all have a great Halloween?

Today I’m super excited to be sharing a bunch of costumes made by readers!

When I made the Totoro costume for my daughter last Halloween, I was excited, but figured most people would have no clue who or what she was.  While we definitely had to answer the question more than a few times, it quickly became an internet hit.  It is, by far, my most popular post EVER.  Totoro has a big following!

When people started showing interest in the costume, I thought I might make a pattern for it or sell custom costumes, but I did neither.  I didn’t even make a tutorial for it.  But as Halloween approached, I started getting emails from people who were making the costume just based off of my pictures and brief description.  Some of them had questions, but they all drafted their own patterns and they all came out sooooo incredible!  Each of them unique in their own way.  I was thrilled when I started seeing pictures of the finished costumes and even more so when they said I could share them here on the blog.

As you guys may know, I love Halloween and costumes are probably one of my most favorite things to create.  Unfortunately, my daughter does not feel the same way!  She doesn’t like costumes and it makes me feel like I should give up on trying to get her to dress up.  But when I see that my costumes have inspired other people to create for themselves and their families it makes me so so happy.  Some of them are sewing for the first time or for the first time in years and I think that’s pretty incredible!  And as for Yuki, I won’t approach her with another costume until she’s ready (and hopefully she’s ready by next Halloween)!

Anyways, let’s start the Totoro parade!!

 Ina made this costume for her son’s first Halloween and I cannot get over the cuteness!!  See more of her beautiful pictures here.
The whole gangVenus of Suburbia Soup made this adorable costume for her daughter.   She calls it Totoro on a diet – haha!  But I think it fits her daughter perfectly.  While you check out her blog, you definitely must see her Hoodie Scarf tutorial!
Bree, momma blogger of Shark and Crow, made this for her daughter and it was her first sewing project EVER.  Can you believe it!?  (My first sewing project was 2 pieces of fabric sewn into a rectangular pocket.  And it sucked.)  More pics of the cute costume here.
Raquel sent me pictures of her son, Javier, representing Totoro all the way from Spain!  Look at that lil belly!
Elisabeth made this for her son and I love how she stuffed the tummy and nose and the exposed zipper in the back looks great!

Sarah made TWO Totoro costumes, one of the big gray Totoro and one of the medium blue one.  How cute is this sibling picture!?The Catbus was booked, so these Totoros had to walk the streets for candy tonight.Kristina made this costume for her youngest even though she hadn’t sewn since 7th grade Home Ec class.  She borrowed a sewing machine from a friend.  Didn’t it come out amazing?
And last in the Totoro parade, is this incredible costume that Sandie made.  She used my hood and leaf as inspiration but created the rest of the costume on her own and don’t you just LOVE the soot ball bag and those shoe covers?!  It’s also so awesome to see a slightly older kid as Totoro.  So super cute.

The Rain Cloud costume was a tutorial from this year and there were a few created by readers for both kids and adults!  This costume is a bit more simple in construction, but equally as cute, and it was fun to see some pop up so quickly after I posted the tutorial.

Kristina of Sir Bubbadoo created this adorable costume for her son and he LOVED it!Rachel, of Stitched Together, made her daughter into a little gray rain cloud and I especially love how two of her older kids helped with painting, stuffing and decision making!

Kady, a children’s librarian, said her costume was totally appropriate for her job and super comfy too!
And last, but not least, one of my staff members and her friend dressed up as a couple of clouds for a Halloween party!  Maddee (left) is a rain cloud and Laura (right) is a snow cloud!  I love the variation!

Thank you to all of the talented people who shared their beautiful costume creations with me and allowed me to share them on the blog with you!  I really loved seeing every single one.

If you ever want to share your photos with me OR have any questions, please feel free to email me anytime (see contact tab above)!  And remember there is a you & mie flickr group and I’d love to see your creations added to the group as well.

Now that Halloween has passed, I know that the holiday season will creep up on us so quickly.  Can you believe it’s November already!?  Here in the US, today is election day, so if you’re a registered voter – PLEASE GO VOTE!  It’s truly one of our greatest rights and responsibilities.  I know I’ll be anxious until the day is over, but I’m hoping for good news :)

So get out there and vote and have a great day!

Happy Halloween from my sneaky lil fox!

Happy Halloween!  Today is a big day for us over here.  Not only is it Halloween and Yuki’s first in preschool (meaning her first Halloween parade and party), but it’s the SF Giants Parade.  We won the World Series!  Again!  And this city goes craaaazy when it’s time to party!  It’s estimated that over a million people will gather to celebrate the win in our little city.  But I’m gonna miss the party to hang out with this little fox and her classmates.

When I made the Rain Cloud costume, I never thought it would be Yuki’s actual Halloween costume.  I was proved right when Yuki hated the costume and figured out within seconds how to rip it off (if you’re wondering, there was a lot of pleading and a bit of bribery during our photo shoot :)).  So I started a search for a new costume idea.  Since Yuki does not like hats, hoods, ears, tails, or anything bulky hanging off her, I felt pretty restricted in my choices.  I was trying to think of a costume that would require no more than regular clothes, but none of the ideas felt right or had any real meaning to her.

The fox idea was one of the firsts, but I quickly dismissed it because I knew Yuki would hate it.  She’s into the show “Dora the Explorer” and she loooooooves Swiper the Fox.  Swiper is the show’s villian.  He’s a sneaky little fox that shows up and swipes things from the other characters.  When she first started watching the show, she was totally scared of Swiper and she’d even cry a little when he came around.  But soon she couldn’t stop talking about him.  She’d take things and hide it behind her back and say, “Swiper took it!”  I think it was part of her alter ego.  She would sometimes refer to herself as Swiper and also giggle and say, “sneaky fox!!”  Pretty funny kid, that Yuki.

Anyways, after considering dozens of other options, my partner, Hideko, persuaded me to go for the fox outfit because it suits her so well.  I decided not to make a Swiper costume, but just a regular ol fox.  I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out!

The costume is pretty similar to the Totoro costume I made last year in terms of construction.  In fact, I used that costume to make the pattern for this one since it was the perfect size.  I used sweatshirt knit which is soft inside and warm, but not quite as much as fleece.  Unfortunately, it barely has any stretch which I thought was weird, but it still works.  The white fabric is also sweatshirt knit, but I sewed it on with the wrong side out so it’d be soft and fuzzy.

I moved the zipper to the front so I could attach the hood to the back and narrowed the wrists and ankles.  I added visible pockets to the front.  I wanted deep pockets for all the things Yuki would swipe (usually just rocks) and decided to make them contrasting for a fun visual look.

I added a little fox paw print to her booty, just for fun too.  All the details are just top stitched on.  Gotta love that knit doesn’t unravel!

So does she love it?  No.  I still have to struggle with her a bit to put it on and she definitely does not like the hood on (again, this photo shoot involved pleading and lots of treats!).  But I think she likes being a fox and she also gets excited when she sees other kids in costume.

Today will be the real test.  First her school Halloween Parade and then her first time really going trick-or-treating tonight!  Let’s see how much loot this fox comes away with!  Most of it is going to be mine anyways :)

Big festivities for you tonight?  Finish your costumes in time?  If you’ve made costumes for any of your kiddos, be sure to link it up at the Project Run & Play costume link up party and check out tons of other cute costumes!

Happy Halloween to you and your family!  And GOOOOOOO GIANTS!!!

Mollie Makes and a call for Totoros everywhere

Today, one of my old tutorials for a felt flower pin is posted on the Mollie Makes blogMollie Makes is a lifestyle and craft magazine for people who live and love handmade.  Their magazine is a BIG DEAL so I’m extremely excited to have my tutorial posted on their blog.

I’m also a little embarrassed because I made this tutorial a long time ago (you know, like a whole 8 months ago) and my tutorial photos are pretty bad (that polka dot background and horrible indoor nighttime lighting!?  Ugh!).  Anyways, hop on over to Mollie Makes to check out my tutorial if you haven’t seen it before, and definitely check out their Projects link for tons of inspiration for fall projects.

Also, with Halloween right around the corner, I know that a lot of people have been working on their own handmade Totoro costumes based off the one I made last year.

I feel bad because I said I would try to make a pattern for the costume by this Halloween and I never did.  I didn’t even do a tutorial for the costume, but people are giving it a shot anyways, and I’ve already received pictures of some really incredible Totoro costumes that readers have made!

If you’ve made a Totoro costume (or are making one right now), I would LOVE to see a picture of your finished costume!  Eventually I want to do a round up here on the blog sharing all of your Totoro inspired creations, so please email me your photos (or a link to the photo if you’ve posted it on your blog or in an online photo album).  When you send me your photo please let me know if I can share it here on the blog and any links you’d like me to include (if you have a blog or something).

Remember, you can always add pictures to the you & mie flickr group also!  I love to see what you guys have made using my tutorials or projects for inspiration.  It makes me so so happy! :)

In other announcements, there are a lot of exciting series coming up over the next few months that I get to be a part of.  Today, Jen of iCandy Handmade announced their upcoming series, Basic Bodice Design.

In this series, all of the guests are going to be taking a very basic dress bodice design and making adjustments to create totally different looks.  And there will be tons of tutorials showing you how!  There will also be linky parties so that you can share your creations too!  Go check out the announcement.  The series starts in mid-November and runs till mid-January.

How is your Halloween prep coming?  Are you making costumes?  I’d love to hear about what crafty projects or decorations you’re working on.  Hideko convinced me to make another costume for Yuki (since she doesn’t like the rain cloud one) but I’m really scared that she will refuse to wear this one too.  Here’s a little sneak peek though.

Thank you for stopping by!  :)

Rain Cloud Costume

Halloween is almost here!!  I LOVE making costumes and a few weeks ago, I posted this tutorial as part of The Train To Crazy’s Handmade Costumes series – click the link to see all the creative costumes that have been shared so far!

Since then, this costume made it onto the list of 21 Most Clever Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids on Babble, was selected as inspiration for Craftbaby’s DIY Halloween Costume Contest (go check it out and enter your costume!) and yesterday it was featured in a Martha Stewart Living article, DIY Kids’ Costumes from our Favorite BloggersMartha Freakin’ Stewart, people!!  I nearly died.  (Check out Kristin’s Fanstastic Mr. and Mrs. Fox outfits on the Babble and MSL lists too!)  I really didn’t expect any sort of reaction to this simple costume, so I’m, quite frankly, shocked.  And psyched.

Anyways, I wanted to bring this post home in case you didn’t see it and since Yuki was feeling under the weather (get it!? :P) the first time around, I decided to take some new pictures for this post.  Enjoy!

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Over the last several years I’ve made quite a few costumes including a Totoro costume for my daughter (it was a big hit!) and several others you can see here, including Russell from the movie, Up.  But I’m a total procrastinator and also super indecisive, so I haven’t even started figuring out what my daughter, Yuki, will be for Halloween this year.  So in the meantime, I thought I’d whip up a simple costume using only materials I already had a home.  Presenting . . . the Rain Cloud costume!

I wanted to make something pretty simple and very comfy.  I knew that Yuki would not be down with anything too big or cumbersome attached to her, so I kept it small.  And a lot of this stuff, you might already have at home!  So let’s get started.  Here’s what you’ll need.

For the pants:
- Pants or leggings in a “sky” color (blue, gray, white)
- Fabric paint
- Contact paper (or freezer paper)

For the cloud:
- White fabric (cotton, fleece, a white sheet, anything will do!  I used fleece and gauze because that is what I had at home)
- Ribbon (for the shoulder straps)
- Fiberfill or batting

The part of this project that took the longest was waiting for the fabric paint to dry on the pants, so I would start there.  Make rain drop stencils from the contact paper and stick them to your pants.  Use fabric paint to fill in your stencils (be sure to read and follow all the directions on the paint that you use).  I made 3 shades of blue and used two for each rain drop for a kinda gradient/ombre look.

I painted the pants in 3 stages – first the front of the pants, then when that was pretty dry, I removed the contact paper stencil and flipped it over and painted the back.  Then I split the pant legs open and painted a few more drops down the outside of the legs.

After the paint is almost completely dry, I hung them up to finish drying completely over night.  And those are da-DONE!

In between the stages of painting and drying, you can work on your cloud.

First, use a shirt to draw out a cloud pattern.  You’ll want the sides of the cloud to extend past the edges of the shirt (we’ll connect them later), but the pattern shouldn’t go past the shoulder to restrict arm movement.  Add seam allowance.

Cut out 4 layers of the cloud pattern.  I used fleece for the inside of the costume and gauze for the outside, so 2 clouds of each fabric.

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon for the straps.  Lay the inner fabric right side up, then the ribbons right side up.

Lay the outer layer right side DOWN, being sure to tuck all the ribbon inside the cloud.  Pin the layers together.

When you sew the back of the costume, be sure that you flip the direction of the pattern.

Sew around the cloud leaving an opening in the bottom.  Snip each point close to the seam.

Turn it right side out and press.  Fill with a thin layer of batting or fiberfill.

Hand sew the opening shut.  Quilt the cloud however you like to hold the filling in its place.

Stack the clouds right sides out and sew the edges together.

Try it on your model and mark how long you need the straps to be.  Trim your ribbon, fold the edge under and sew it to the back of the cloud.

Done!

Pair it with some rain boots if you got ‘em!

Sad cloud . . . err, happy cloud?

Yuki actually has a pair of rainbow striped pajama pants that would give this outfit a totally different look!  I bet there are a bunch of ways this costume could get adapted.

Thanks for having me, Andrea! I’m loving all the handmade inspiration in your series and feel lucky to have been a part of it!

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Have you picked out Halloween costumes for this year?  Are you making or buying?  I’m still looking for costumes for our family, so if you have any brilliant ideas to spare, leave me a comment :)

Mei-chan

Yay, it’s done!  My “movie inspired” outfit is finally done – better late than never, right?  When Project Run & Play announced the challenges for this season and one of them was “Going to the Movies” it didn’t take me very long to decide what I wanted to do.  I mean, the options are ENDLESS, but I wanted to stick with something simple and make her an outfit I thought she’d be able to wear regularly.  And since the Totoro costume I made for Yuki last Halloween was such a huge hit, I knew something from the same movie would be appreciated.  So that’s how I decided to recreate Mei’s outfit from the movie “となりのトトロ” or “My Neighbor Totoro.”  It’s a Japanese animated classic by Hayao Miyazaki and I’m obsessed with all of his movies.  So uhh, if you haven’t seen this movie, I think you should just go see it right now.

ANYWAYS, Mei is a 4 year old and the character is such a perfect match for Yuki’s personality!  Even though Yuki’s not even 2 yet, she’s got a lot of Mei’s fun, rough-and-tumble, stubborn personality and even how Mei tries so hard to keep up with her older sister.  Yuki loves playing with other kids too, even though she’s such a little runt compared to them.  I’m not going to give you a whole synopsis of the movie, you can look it up or watch a trailer, or better yet, just go watch the film if you haven’t seen it already.

So here are some screen shots from the movie:

And our little Mei-chan:

One of the most memorable scenes is when Mei is playing by herself in the yard and she spots a little peculiar creature running through the grass.  She tries to follow the chibi Totoro, and it tries to run away.  We had fun recreating that scene during our photo shoot (and I had a little fun with photo editing too :)).

Got him!!

So I made three pieces for this outfit.  The blouse and the shorts are from the Oliver + S pattern, Puppet Show Tunic and Shorts.  I don’t have a lot of experience making buttoned collared shirts, so I thought using a pattern would be a good way to learn.

The thing about a good Oliver + S pattern is that it is pretty tedious and takes a lot of time.  This, of course, results in a really high quality piece of clothing, but one of the things I love about making kids clothing is how quickly you can whip something up.  That’s just me being impatient though.  It’s really good that I’m learning how to do things the “right” way.  I made the shirt in 2T size which is HUGE on Yuki, but that means she’ll be able to wear it for a long time.  I used an embroidered white fabric just to make it a bit more interesting and added a button in the front just to make it look like the one in the movie.  I’ll probably take it off since it serves no purpose.

The shorts are so cute!  These came together very quickly and I want to make a few more of these for sure.  I made them white to match Mei’s bloomers, but I’m not sure it was a very practical move.  They make for some adorable summer shorts though!

The red jumper is a simple lined bodice that I adjusted from the Every Little Thing Tunic (recognize the lining fabric?) and a circle skirt.  I added some fun yellow flower buttons on the back.  This piece came together the fastest!

I also made the little white chibi Totoro right before our photo shoot out of some scraps of white fleece (from the original Totoro costume!) and tied little pom poms to her hair rubber bands to match Mei’s.

This blue Totoro is a stuffed animal – I didn’t make it.

Did you spot the creeper Totoro!?

And speaking of creepers, check out this paparazzi sneaking up on an unsuspecting girl.

Phew, that was a lot of photos!  Now that I’ve made a Totoro costume and a Mei outfit, all that’s really left for me to make is the Cat bus!  Haha, NOT!

60s Flower Child – Sewing Through the Decades for PR&P

“If you’re going to San Francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you’re going to San Francisco,
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there.”
- John Phillips 

The theme for Project Run & Play this week is “Sewing Through the Decades.”  The assignment was to pick a decade and design a children’s outfit based on the fashion trends of that decade.  I just took a look at the Flickr pool to see some of the other entries and there are some fabulous outfits!!

I had a hard time coming up with this week’s outfit.  There wasn’t one decade or style that was screaming out at me.  I considered doing a popular 50s girls dress with the poofy skirt and all.  At one point I wanted to recreate one of my mom’s outfits from the 50s.  Or do a 60s mod dress.  I love 20s style dresses, but I didn’t think the ones I really liked would look good on a toddler’s body.  I even considered an 80s Madonna tribute.  It’s pretty random how I ended up picking this style.

I chose this 60s hippie/flower child look because of a picture of a flowy top I came across while doing some research.  It looked so pretty, so I drew a sketch of it and though I kept looking for more ideas, I kept coming back to that sketch.  I wanted to do a hippie look – but not like the tie-dyed, super bright and colorful peace signs and big flowers exaggerated hippie look, but the bohemian flower child, super earthy, war protesting, barefoot kinda hippie of the late 60s.  It’s probably because I could kinda see myself as one, had I lived during that time.  I didn’t realize that San Francisco was the epicenter of the hippie subculture in the mid to late 60s.  It made me want to take my little hippie child down to Haight-Ashbury or Golden Gate Park for our photo shoot to recreate some fun scenes.  It may seem a little inappropriate for a child, considering drugs were such a huge part of the culture, but that part aside, it was a really fun style to try.

I had a few goals in mind for this week:
1. Sew something new and different (this is kind of a goal that I always have).
2. Keep it simple.  I knew I couldn’t go all out and pull off 5 pieces like last week.
3. Make something that fit the theme (was inspired by a past decade), but was something that Yuki could wear again as part of her regular wardrobe.
4. Blog about the outfit before uploading my pictures to flickr by Friday at 8am.

I’d say I was about 75% successful.

I accomplished the first and last goal!  I did attempt something new with both the top and the bottom.  Both pieces were completely new to me.  And look, a blog post before the deadline (barely, but still)!

As for keeping it simple, I tried.  I didn’t have the time to make a super elaborate outfit this week – nor did I have the inspiration.  So I thought I’d do something really simple this week and maybe start a little early on next week’s challenge (didn’t happen).  I wanted to do 2 simple pieces, a top and a bottom.  I made a fairly simple blouse pattern with no real crazy details or embellishments.  I hit a few rough spots when I was constructing it, but I was able to finish it in half a day and once it was done, it didn’t need any altering (thank goodness)!  I kept it pretty simple!

The bottoms however are a different story!  Originally, I made some denim cut-off shorts.  I spent a decent amount of time adding a lot of detail to the shorts to make them look like real jeans (I was inspired by all the great pants made by the contestants for Boys Week).  After they were done, Hideko said that she didn’t think it went with the top and the overall hippie look (she loves to give me her opinion AFTER I’ve finished making something :)).  She thought I should make bell bottoms!  I wasn’t planning on making anything too “hippie” because I wanted her to be able to wear it again.  But I gave in.

I had a pair of my old jeans that I thought I could use for the bell bottoms.  Since I was quite sure Yuki wouldn’t be wearing these again, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on them.  But they ended up being the most time consuming part of the outfit, BY FAR.  I hacked apart my jeans trying to make them fit my 16 month old and make them bell bottoms.  When I tried them on her, they didn’t look bell bottom-y enough, so I decided to add the triangles of fabric to really exaggerate the look.  Why not go all the way!?  They certainly look the part now!

I didn’t hem the bottoms, so they’ve have a bit of a tattered look – I just zig zag stitched the edge.  I hope to have a tutorial relating to these pants next week, so look out for that, if you’re interested!

So, I was able to keep the top simple, but spent too much time on the pants.  She’ll definitely wear the top again, but probably not the pants (unless we have a costume party to go to).  Overall, I’m not THRILLED with how the outfit came out.  I do like the top, but it looks a little oversized on her.  The bodice is perfectly fitted, but the sleeves and the body probably could have been a bit shorter.  The pants are also too long, so I’m afraid the whole outfit looks a bit sloppy.  Maybe accurate, but still a little sloppy.

I did have fun putting together a few accessories for the photos though.  I just bought some cheap wooden beads and strung them randomly on some string for her necklace.  I got a yard of leather and added some beads and glued a few feathers that I already had at home to the ends for the headband.  I also took a fake daisy and glued it to a clip for her hair, though it fell off half way through the photo taking.

I had a lot of fun on this photo shoot!  It was a chilly morning on the beach, but my crazy child wanted to go IN the water.  The FREEZING water.  She kept walking towards it and though it would have made for some cool pictures, I did not want to lose my child in the ocean while I was snapping away on my camera!  We did both get our feet wet though.  I think I do have a little hippie child.  Take a look at her dirty wet little feet.

After we finished taking these pictures I put her in some dry clothes and had a little cracker treat.  She was quite a trooper!

You like my dirty, hippie, photo-shoot-is-more-important-than-showering look?? :)

Next week’s theme is Outerwear!  I THINK I know what I want to make, but it’s going to be quite a challenge.  Have you ever looked at jacket construction?  It’s complicated!  What I probably SHOULD make is a raincoat – it’s finally started raining and it looks like it’s not stopping any time soon!

What have you been up to?  Hope you’re staying warm and dry!

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday we went to the pumpkin patch with our friends Emy and Nicky!  It was a hot and gorgeous day, but we couldn’t resist getting a few pics of Yuki in her (super thick and warm) costume.  We tried to make it quick and she was a trooper, but poor thing, we found out later she was actually sick :(

Totoro is real.

Yuki’s favorite part of the pumpkin patch was playing all the instruments along with the live music.

Getting up close and personal with a Scottish Highlander.  These guys were HUGE but Yuki did not seem impressed.

“Ok, get me out of here now.”

Wearing flip flops and sunscreen and it’s nearly November.  Happy Halloween from California!  Hope everyone has a fun and safe night!