Monday, 27 January 2014

Children's Carnival Costumes


I know, this is mainly a blog about vintage sewing and all related things, but I am also a "modern" sewer for my children and for those of my customers. There is one thing I have never really done before: costume sewing. I made a kilt for my little son and a Scottish inspired medieval skirt for my daughter and me last summer for the Highland Games. But I had not so much opportunities, as the examples for those garments didn't allow too much room for my own imagination and fantasy.

So when my husband told me it would be nice to attend at the annual masquerade parade for carnival this year, it was quite a challenge, as carnival in my region is very early. OMG, it's so soon after Christmas! I had to hurry to chose the costumes and order the materials. My daughter, as usual recently, wanted to be a princess or an elf, and as my little son has not yet an opinion of his own (not to mention that he still doesn't talk), I decided to make toadstool costumes for both. For my daughter a kind of toadstool princess, and my son would be a sweet little toadstool boy.

I had no pattern, so I took some inspiration from the internet and created some simple base garments which could be "upgraded" into mushrooms.
I used mainly fleece to make the costumes warm and cozy. First I made an overall for my son with some appliques on the lower part, so it looked like grass growing up his legs. There is even a lucky shamrock on his bottom. Both, the toadstool and the shamrock, are symbols for good luck in my country, and my son's name is Irish, so it's perfect. The overall was large enough to wear several layers of underwear, as temperatures are still very cold here, and we even had some snowfalls during the night.

My daughter absolutely wanted a skirt. She's very girly currently, and she likes ballet, so I decided to make her a tutu. I cut strips of white and red tulle and knotted them on an elastic band. It looked really poofy in the end, and she was totally in love with her new skirt from the first moment on...

The biggest challenge was the hats. My son's hat had to be smaller, so it would not disturb him while sitting in the pram, but her's should be large to keep the proportions of a real mushroom. I didn't use a finished polka dot fleece, as I wanted to look the pattern more natural and irregular, so I had to cut lots of white "dots" and sew them on the red fabric. After stuffing my daughter's hat, I tried it myself on and realised it was too heavy. My husband had a brilliant idea, and we used an inflatable swimming ring as stuffing.

The parade should be held on Sunday shortly after midday, but on Saturday afternoon I realised I had forgotten  two important things: the crown for the princess and the bags for the confetti. For the bags I used a red fleece with withe polka-dots which I sew to a base of very thick crafting felt. I cut the crown from the same material in yellow to create a crown. I added a velcro closure, so the crown could be stored flat while not in use. As I am a very crafty person, I also had some nice rhinestones in different shapes and colours at home which I sewed on the crown.

We had a lot of fun during the parade and afterwards at the children's carnival party. There was even a contest for the best costume, and my children won the first place, but unfortunately we had left earlier as the little ones were too tired, so we didn't win the award. 

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