Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rainbow Leopard

It's almost Halloween!  You know what that means- time for another homemade Halloween costume.  There aren't too many traditions I've made a conscious effort to start with my child, but a handmade Halloween costume is one of them.  I plan to make her one every year that she'll let me.  And hopefully one day she'll take over and make her own.  Next year I'll have two costumes to make...

This year, Jane was a lot more opinionated about what she wanted to be for Halloween.  Although the idea to be her rainbow leopard Beanie Boo came about kind of organically.  I started asking her what she wanted to be about two months ago.  First it was a duck.  Then a tiger.  Then a fox, which she settled on for a while.  I'm thankful she asked for animal costumes because they are fun to make.  I figured a fox would be a cute costume.  So I started talking about buying orange fabric for her fox costume.  Well.  That was when the floodgate of ideas of opened up.  She didn't want to be an orange fox.  She wanted to be a pink fox, then a purple fox, and so on and so forth (the animal changed multiple times, too) until she settled on a rainbow fox (with spots and stripes and sparkles).  While talking about the rainbow fur with spots and stripes and sparkles, we had a revelation that she was really talking about her rainbow leopard Beanie Boo, Dotty.  And that was that.  I searched online for "rainbow animal print fabric with spots and stripes" and found this awesome fleece blanket on Amazon.  I told her that once I ordered the blanket, that was it.  She wasn't allowed to change her mind or give any more suggestions, which luckily she didn't.

Anyway, I used Simplicity 1731, a pattern for an adult, child and DOG jumpsuit.  Just in case you wanted to make the whole family matching onesies.  I honestly want to make myself a fleece onesie that will accommodate my pregnant belly this winter.  I am serious.  The pattern is great.  I measured the length against a set of footie pajamas that Jane wears all the time.  The length was exactly the same (I used the child's size XS/4-5) as her pajamas but there was a ton more width.  After getting the fleece blanket in the mail, I decided not to narrow any of the width down due to the blanket being so incredibly fluffy.  The rainbow fleece isn't a typical fleece, it's more like faux fur.  It has a super deep fluffy pile on both sides of the fabric.  It was a pain to cut, a pain to sew and a huge pain to clean up later on.  It shed something fierce while cutting and sewing.  There was rainbow fluff everywhere.  It would fly up in the air and then settle all over everything like rainbow snow.  I found it all over the house.  It was all over one of our cats at one point.  I am pretty sure I inhaled some of it.  I sewed everything with a zig zag stitch and serged seam allowances to reduce some of the bulk.  I really had to pull the fabric through my machine due to the pile being so fluffy.

Here she is showing me how fast leopards are and how they sleep in the grass :D

I made a couple of small changes while sewing. I rounded off the back of the hood.  And, of course, added the ears, tail and white belly.  The double layer of fleece at the belly was way too thick to install a zipper, so I had to sew it along the seam line and trim off the allowance of the white fleece.  The white fleece is leftover from her kitty costume from three years ago!  I also sewed on cuffs at the ankles and wrists instead of using elastic.  I used some scraps of black bamboo knit.  I did shorten the sleeves a teeny bit but the legs are the length per the pattern.  The tail is stuffed with a little bit of poly-fil.  And we found almost the exact same shiny pink fabric for the front of the ears.

She loves it!  And I love it.  She's like a big, snuggly stuffed animal when she's wearing it.   She's been wearing it around the house and actually wore it out to a restaurant to meet her grandparents the other day. And thank goodness it will be cold on Halloween this year because this thing is warm.  We took these photos on an almost 80 degree day and she was sweaty afterward.  She could wear this thing in the snow.

Happy Halloween, friends!