Halloween 2016: Ninja Turtles

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There was a lot of back and forth this fall before I finally got the boys to settle on their Halloween costumes. For a while, I thought they were going to be superheroes again but then they finally settled on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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I was pretty excited because this seemed like a fairly straightforward costume. I would start with the same base as last year and then add the accessories. It ended being a little more of a brain-bender than I had anticipated figuring out how to make everything, but in the end I’m super happy with the results!

ninja-turtle-costumes-9-of-10My one qualification with handmade costumes is that if I’m going to spend a ton of time on them, I want them to be wearable the remainder of the year. Last year’s costumes got worn as pjs all year long, and I was hoping for the same results this time….meaning everything needs to be washable!

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I started with a very basic outline: Flashback Tees for the tops (sized 4&5)and Fancy Pants leggings for the bottoms (sized 4&6). Eliot’s pants are a wee big but at the rate he’s growing hopefully that just means they’ll last a while longer! The green fabric is Laguna Jersey in Grass which Rachael at Imagine Gnats was so kind to stock for me when I contacted her to see if she had any of this green color I needed! Other than that green jersey, all fabrics are from my stash.

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I used some more laguna jersey from my stash to make the elbow and knee bands. They are stitched on with some stretch thread so that the threads won’t break with movement!

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The shells on the front of the tees are made with yellow Kona cotton and a layer of quilt batting in between the tee and the shell. I wanted something to add a little bulk but since it had to be washable, I didn’t want too much bulk. The quilt batting gave the perfect extra layer to the shell. I just free cut and stitched these based on some pictures I had of the cartoon ninja turtles.

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The belts are made from some strips of brown laguna jersey: velcroed closed at the front and the felt initial circles are stitched on over the velcro.

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The back shells are little backpacks made of felt. Not washable but not meant to be worn all the time either. I stitched a shell design on the green felt and then stuffed the backpacks with fiberfill stuffing and stitched them closed. I also added a piece of cardboard inside them against the back of the backpack to add some firmness to the shell.

ninja-turtle-costumes-10-of-10I made the boys some masks with more jersey scraps but they’re not sure they want to wear those. Eliot completely boycotted his and Oliver only wanted to wear one for a few pics. We shall see what happens at Halloween. Masks are always a bit iffy so I didn’t spend a lot of time on them .

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These crazy boys and their photoshoots… I asked them to act like Ninja Turtles and these are the poses I get! But they really love their costumes, and I’m so happy I got them finished! I have plans for a full family set of Ninja Turtles for our Halloween costume party this coming Saturday but we shall see if this very pregnant lady can manage to get the adult versions done too! At least the kids are good to go now.

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Sew Geeky Halloween: Darth Vader Returns

So I was pretty excited to get the chance to sew along with Sew Geeky this month (started by Ari and Kat) and knew I was going to have to do something Star Wars related. Oliver has watched the Lego Star Wars spoof and is a little obsessed at the moment- we have epic light saber fights in our house every night! For some reason Darth Vader is his favorite character so when I asked him who he wanted to be for Halloween, he repeatedly affirmed he wanted to be Vader.

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So Vader it was. Thankfully his costume is actually fairly easy and fun. Let me give you the low down…

darth vader (8 of 11)T-Shirt: Flashback Skinny Tee, size 4. Kaufman Laguna Jersey in onyx from Fabric.com. I did a lot of research online. (Did you know there’s this whole website- wookieepedia– lolz- for accurate Star Wars trivia?) and decided to freezer paper stencil the shirt. I stenciled his armor onto a basic black t-shirt because I want his costume to be wearable the rest of the year, not just for one night. My stencil ended up bleeding a bit because I layered on the paint pretty thick so it would show up on the black shirt. Still, I think it ended up looking pretty good!

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Pants: Parsley Pants, size 3. I cut off the flare from the knee down to make the pants more of a skinny fit. In reality, Lord Vader would be in leggings/tights but I knew Oliver would actually get more wear out of a cotton pant, so I used Kona cotton in Black for the pants fabric. I did a narrow hem because they were almost too short!

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Cape: Totally winged this part of the outfit. Used the same black Kona as the pants. Oliver has a Batman jacket with a little cape  attached that measures like 8×12″ so I used that as a base idea. I measured how much further I wanted it to reach across his shoulders and then how much longer I wanted it to be….I just kinda guesttimated at how wide it should be at the bottom and cut a gradual angle from the top to the bottom. 1/4″ double folded hem on all 4 sides. Made some bias tape straps and sewed them onto the top of the cape sides and done! And fits perfectly! Phew.

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Helmet is from Amazon (affiliate link)…the one store-bought part of his outfit. Did not have the gumption to try to make that!

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Eliot is going as Yoda, and I have to admit to cheating a bit on his outfit. Some good friends gave us this yoda robe and hat and I didn’t see a point to making something that we already had! Plus the robe is a nice fleece, not the polyester yuck that’s sold at the stores so Eliot loves to wear it! It’s so soft. His pants are handmade so he’s at least partially in mama-mades. Pants are some quick change trousers- from AMH’s book Handmade Beginnings (affiliate link) in brown kona. Hand me downs from his brother and getting a second life as yoda pants!

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The boys had such fun in their photoshoot. They love to play lightsaber fights. FYI the lightsabers are made from pool noodles. Cheapest and most-loved toys ever. Also they don’t hurt so the boys can play rough and no one ends up crying! And I am well aware that Vader’s lightsaber is supposed  to be red but Oliver has declared this blue one to be his and no one can argue differently. Ah well, little details, right? 🙂

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I’ll leave you with a few more from our fight scene… Can we say photo overload? But my favorite one? The hug at the end. Like I told Oliver, Darth Vader does end as a good guy so it’s totally appropriate for him and Yoda to end things with a hug. 🙂

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