Did you see Liza Jane’s daughter as a darling kitten earlier this week? She went all out! My little girl was also a kitten for Halloween this year, but in more of an abstract because-she-has-a-tail way. If you didn’t catch the post on MSN yesterday, here is my now nine-month-old daughter playing dress up for her first Halloween!
Happy Halloween everyone! When I was prioritizing my sewing plans for this month (so many plans, so little time!), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make baby girl a costume for her very first Halloween. She just loves cats, and I thought it would be pretty easy to make her a cat costume. Well, more like a kitten costume!
First, I needed a little fabric. I chose Mood Fabric’s black wool crepe (first used in these pants) because of course she had to be a black cat. It is Halloween after all! Next, I needed a cute pattern. I dug through my stash and came up with the Oliver + S Bubble Dress (first made here). The bubble skirt just kills me every time. After that, all that was left was planning the extra cat details, like a crafty tail and ears. Ideally, she’d also have a little painted-on nose and whiskers, but I don’t trust her to keep face paint on for more than five seconds!
When I started to cut out the pieces from the wool crepe, I actually had second thoughts about making an all-black dress for a little girl. There was something a bit too morbid about it, even for this lover of all things Halloween. So, I decided to make the skirt from Mood’s black and gray striped wool jersey instead (first used in this swing dress and in this Drape Drape 2 top).
It was really easy to add a tail. I just sewed a curvy tube of wool crepe, flipped it right-side out, stuffed it with a bit of polyfil, and pinned it into the center back seam when I was sewing the dress together. The ears are made of fabric glued to cardboard and sewn to fold-over elastic. They were a good idea in theory, but poor in practice. Sadly, most of the time they’re drooped forward like so:
Sad ears, but, hey, look! A tail!
The skirt features some of my best stripe matching yet. Take a look at those stripes above! Also, it turns out wool + crawling on the floor + two cats + a house that’s not cleaned as often as it should be = an extra realistic cat costume covered in actual cat fur! Would you believe I rolled all the lint off this costume before putting it on her? It doesn’t take long though for a little girl to find all the best dust bunnies, especially when playing peek-a-boo in the curtains!
Since it’s a little hard to see the dress on a little girl who won’t stop moving, here it is on a hanger:
The dress closes in the back with three buttons:
Following the pattern and instructions led to a garment with really neat insides. The lining of the bodice is machine sewn to the bodice in such a way as to enclose both the neckline and armholes, the lining of the skirt is machine sewn to the skirt in such a way as to form the bubble hem, and the lining of the bodice is then hand sewn to the skirt in such a way as to enclose the waist seam. The only downside is that you can only machine under stitch a few inches of the neckline the way the garment is constructed. I ended up hand under stitching around both the neckline and the armholes in order to keep the lining from peeking out. Next time I will cut the lining a wee bit smaller than the outer bodice to help keep it tucked inside better. Finally, I followed the instructions and topstitched the opening in the skirt below the button placket, but in hindsight it would have been just as easy to invisibly hand stitch it closed since I was already doing so much hand stitching on the inside.
I hope baby girl enjoys her very first Halloween. We plan to walk in the neighborhood parade with her cousin, and then she’ll probably have to call it an early night – she is only nine-months old after all!
Trick or treat!
This post can also be found on Mood Sewing Network. I used my MSN allowance towards the purchase of the fabric.