Halloween costumes are done. Huzzah!!


RED RIDING HOOD with a BIG BAD WOLF twist for Danica.
Danica wore this to her kindergarten Halloween party at school today. I was worried that she’d get her costume dirty and have a break down when she got home. I decided to take the proactive approach and just made her a second costume to wear to the party. There’s some serious twirl factor in this little costume.

Mask – 6×10 hoop – design by Gracefully Geeky. It’s actually the raccoon mask, but….. She doesn’t need to know that. I used felt from the dollar store. Nothing fancy. Especially since I’d never made mask before this Halloween sewing. For the backing against her face, I used a piece of foam.

Hair elastic – 9″ piece of fold over elastic. Tie in a knot at the end, and seal the edges, so they don’t fray. I use a lighter. I actually cut her a second one this morning and braided her hair. ADORABLE!

Dress – modified Briar Rose pattern by Made For Mermaids. The Briar arose has a “v” shape at the bottom of the bodice, and that shape is cut out of the skirt too. I just opted to eliminate this. I also didn’t put the ribbon across the front of the bodice. My skirt is cut the width of the fabric for the front and for the back. I used my ruffler foot to gather the skirt all up. It’s a super full skirt, and super soft. The fabric has a bit of stretch to it, which isn’t called for in the pattern. I just wanted to use this fabric. I also made the skirt a bit longer than the size I made her calls for. This was my first time using a Made for Mermaids pattern. The only squabble I have with it is that the instructions have you do the elastic casing in the flat and then sew up the side seams. I honestly don’t think doing it that way provides as nice of a result. It’s fine for quick and dirty. But not what I was going for. I did it in the round.

Cape – pattern from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. I’d borrowed this book a year or two ago from our local library. The library is actually an excellent source for sewing books, especially if funds are tight. A lot of them come with the patterns. Obviously you can’t cut up the ones in the book, so make sure you have tracing paper and a sharp pencil on hand. I opted not to do the elastic and button closure on the cape, and instead used a clasp. I positioned it awkwardly. Guys. It was 130 in the morning. I just wanted to be done. It’s not a deal breaker. I also extended the skirt 2.5″ from the size large length.


WATER FAIRY for Danica.
We have a whole Neverland theme going on for Halloween. This is the original costume I planned to make for Danica. I did make her Red Riding Hood one when I was only half way done this one. That way Red would be done for school and I could finish this during the day if I needed too. I finished it the night before Halloween though.

Wings – 6×10 hoop – design by Bobbin For Appliques. Danica’s wings were the last pair that I made. I learnt a few things along the way. River’s are made of just felt, and I put the fold over elastic on so the shiny side isn’t showing. That was an accident. I found River’s were too floppy, so for Elle’s I put a piece of foam in between the felt layers, except for the star piece. I didn’t make the same mistake with her elastic as I did with River’s. Danica’s are the 6×10 hoop size, whereas River’s and Elle’s are both the 5×7 hoop size. I decided that since Danica’s wings were bigger that I’d try make her star out of felt for one layer and foam for the other. Yeah. Do you know how many layers that is? Too many. See this post. There’s quite a few hooping a to make the wings. The bottom ones are made together. Each top ring is made on its own. And then you assemble it all on the star step. I found that for both the 5×7 hoop sized wings and the 6×10 ones, that I could do the star step in my 4×4 hoop. Just an FYI. Danica is 5.5 years old, and I cut her strap elastic to 14 inches.

Mask – 6×10 hoop – design by Gracefully Geeky. Is actually a Tinkerbell mask, but I swapped up the hair and hair tie colors. Now it’s water fairy themed. Perfect.

Hair elastic – 9″ piece of fold over elastic. Tie in a knot. Seal the ends. Best hair elastics ever.

Dress – modified Briar Rose pattern by Made For Mermaids. Pretty much the same adjustments as her Red Riding Hood dress. Except I didn’t include the overlay on the bodice. This dress also has two underskirt layers, that hang just slightly past the top skirt length. I hemmed the sheer layers on my serger with a rolled hem. I also put a little pleat at the bottom of the front of the bodice. Just for fun. I waned it to be a little “v” but I think it is more of a square than I was aiming for.


Wings – design by Bobbin For Appliques. River’s are the 5×7 hoop size. I cut her elastic to 13 inches. This was the first pair I made, and are a bit floppier than the other ones because they are just felt. I am a beginner at in the hoop (ITH) projects. The instructions for the wings are a generic wings instruction pdf. It is included with a few of the wing designs. Even though it is generic, it’s really easy to follow and thorough.

Mask – 5×7 hoop – design by Gracefully Geeky. Again, I’m a beginner to ITH projects. And while the masks are not hard to make, the instructions are fairly minimal. Almost point form, really. Obviously I was able to make the masks, but it did take me a bit longer to process the point form instructions than I’m sure it would for someone with more experience.

Hair elastic – 9″ piece of fold over elastic. Knot and burn those ends. No frayed elastics over here.

Dress – modified Briar Rose pattern by Made For Mermaids. River nearly four. Her birthday is the end part of January. She’s a size 1 in this pattern. She’s a tiny thing for her age, but the proper height. I added a bit of length to the skirt measurement. Just an inch or two. It hits her right at the knee. I omitted the overlay on the bodice. I opted to omit the little “v” in the bodice and skirt too. I added six layers of tulle on top of her skirt, and cut them so they’d be about 2 inches shorter than the underskirt. She wasn’t happy that she wasn’t getting a fairy dress like Elle’s, but I think it looks pretty cute on her. I did not hem the tulle. After hemming Elle’s dress, I needed a hemming break.


Wings – design by Bobbin For Appliques. I cut her elastic to 12 inches. Her wings have a layer of foam sandwiched in between the layers of felt.

Mask – 5×7 hoop – design by Gracefully Geeky. It’s just the Tinkerbell mask with a different hair and hair tie color.

Hair elastic – 9″ piece of fold over elastic. Tie a knot, and burn those ends. Burn, baby, burn.

Dress – Simplicity 0544 (now 2559) View E. That’s right. Gasp. Shock. And awe! It’s a paper pattern. Take a step back and breath. It will be ok. I know paper patterns, much like knit fabric, intimidate people. I learnt to sew with paper patterns. They don’t intimidate me. I can even fold the patterns back up perfectly. It’s my super power. If you click on the link and look at the pattern envelope, you’ll see Elle’s costume looks different from he view it was modelled after. I chose not to make her the pants. I also changed the skirt slightly. All I did was spin one of the layers. So instead of the front of the over skirt being on top of the front of the underskirt, I switched one of them. So the front of the over skirt is on top of the back of the underskirt. Make sense? I just liked it better. The dress has an underskirt, topped with four layers of organza, and then the top skirt. Organza is a jerk to hem. I did a roller hem on my serger, used water soluble stabilizer underneath, and went painfully slow. I switched up the hook and eye closure for a snap. I confess to only doing this because I just bought a pair of snap pliers and a whole whack of snaps. I really wanted to play with it. I want to put snaps on everything! Snap all the things!! So, why is she a light/animal fairy? She has the coloring of both a light and animal fairy, and the style of an animal fairy. She was originally going to be a light fairy, but Danny said that she should be an animal fairy, since she’s always dragging PupPup around with her. But, I’d already made her mask with a yellow hair tie. And it would have bugged me to make her an orange animal fairy costume with a yellow tie. Because I’m a crazy person. Hence the fairy mash up. She’s a light animal fairy. She only cares for lightweight animals. Like bugs.


PETER PAN for Jackson.
Mask – 5×7 hoop – design by Gracefully Geeky. Really, I think the Peter Pan mask could work for a lot of other characters too. Like Robin Hood. Don’t you think?

Hoodsie – pattern by Stitch Upon A Time. I was testing this while doing my Halloween sewing. I might be crazy. But I thought it would be adorable in green for his Peter Pan get-up. I had brown snaps picked out, but realized right before I put them on that the design on the brown snaps was flowers. I didn’t see Danny approving of that. So, yellow was my next choice. I meant to make him pants to match. Well, they were going to be brown and match the brown snaps. But, I just ran out of time. PS – use code “Laura” to save 25% on the Hoodsie pattern. Yay for discounts.

Phew! And that’s our handmade Halloween.


About manningthemachine

I'm Laura. Mama to four, and wife to one awesome guy. I'm ever so slightly sarcastic. Just a little bit. I like to quote movies, but since our house is managed by little people, most of those quotes come from kiddie shows. At least my husband generally gets the references. It makes me feel less awkward. I took sewing lessons starting at the age of 8, through the Kids Can Sew program. I took lessons for four or five years. Then I became a snotty teen and decided sewing was lame. I've repented of my ways, and enjoy sewing for my little ones. And sometimes other people. And almost never for myself. Oh hey. My blog name. "Manning The Machine." I think it's probably only funny if you know me in real life. And even then, maybe it is only funny to me. My last name is Manning. This is a blog about my sewing. Manning The (Sewing) Machine. Do you get it? Do you? No. That's fine. I think it's funny even if you don't.
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