Thursday, October 31, 2002

costume: curious george

(Curious George. fall 2002)

Chula Chu as Curious George- made out of towels.
At this point she was into just about everything, prompting us to refer to her as a monkey... and when Halloween rolled around, this was the obvious choice.

However, I had never made a costume before. I'm not sure I'd really sewn anything at that point... I was inspired by a chocolate brown towel. I cut it apart, making pants and a little jacket, using the finished edges for the trim around the hood. I didn't know how to size the costume to her, so used 2 old pair of jammies- I used elastic waist pants as a guide for her pants and a button-front long-sleeved pj with the legs cut off for the jacket. Next, I (poorly) hand-stitched the fabric directly onto the jammies. Afterwards, I cut away excess jammy fabric, leaving the waist band on the bottoms and the button closure on the top. I call this add and then cut away system the "cheater method."

To hide the messy stitching on the monkey jacket, I created the little tee-shirt. I disassembled one of my husband's old shirts, then resized it for a baby. I should mention that I had sew just about everything.

Once the shirt was assembled, I got out one of our many Curious George books and a sheet of white paper. I traced the logo onto the paper, then pinned the paper to the front of the shirt. Using yellow thread, I embroidered the logo directly over the paper. The needle perforated the paper and as I finished each letter, the paper surrounding it sort of peeled away. It was actually pretty easy, but the majority of time I used on this costume was spent embroidering- probably because embroidery was something I had never done before.

For the hood, I inspected one of her hoodies. After deciding which one fit the best, I selected one with a hood made of three pieces, rather than two. Hoods with two panels of fabric come to sort of a point on the top. The third piece used on this hood helps it lay closer to her head. For this part of the costume I didn't actually sew on "cheater fabric," I made the hood entirely out of towel pieces, then attached it to the jacket.

After having the main parts of the costume finished, it was time for details. I left a hole in the butt of the pants for adding a tail- basically a narrow tube of fabric. I used a tan wash cloth for the ear details to keep the texture consistent. The most difficult part of the hood was figuring out where to attach the ears so they would stick out in a monkey-like fashion.

I was extremely happy with the results of this costume. She looked adorable!

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