Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hacking a commercial pattern to make a Yoshi costume, part one

That's a mouthful.

This year, Mr. Man wanted to be Yoshi for Halloween. I kind of hoped he'd change his mind to something I could just buy at the Halloween store, or at least something I could buy a pattern for, but he stayed steady. No problem, though; I've used commercial patterns to create costumes before, and I've also just freehanded from what I had around. This is a little daunting, but once I get into it I think things will come together. In case I'm not the only one out there whose kid wants to be Yoshi, I thought I'd do a series of posts about how I turn a commercial pattern into something it's not.

I did consider commercial Yoshi costumes, but the reviews I saw for the kid version were kind of unclear about the fit, with most saying it ran small but some saying it fit just fine. The largest I could find was a children's large, which apparently fit like a children's small or medium, and Mr. Man is a size 8-10, so I didn't think small would fit the bill. I also didn't want to buy it and have to deal with the hassle of sending it back if it didn't work. Plus it just looked chintzy. I also looked on Etsy, and probably would have paid up to $50, but I'm too much of a tightwad to pay $90+ for a Halloween costume, even if he will wear it as pajamas. The costumes I saw were worth the $90+, but I have more time than money.

This is the pattern I'm using, view A.

This is my Yoshi reference picture.

I also have a Yoshi Happy Meal toy around here somewhere, but my kids keep stealing it.

I cut out pieces 1-4, 6-9, 12-14, 16, and 17. The pattern comes with three different sizes of spike patterns, which I believe are pieces 8, 9, and 10. I cut out 8 and 9 and was kicking myself for not cutting out 10, but then I found an awesome Yoshi plush pattern with hair, so I will be using that. More about that pattern next post.

I'm using fleece and felt for the fabric on this, but since I'm doing a few things that aren't in the instructions, I'm using some cheap to practice on. I like to check Wal-Mart's fabric section to see what I can get for a dollar or two a yard, but it can be hard to find just regular cotton there. It's also helpful to be a fabric hoarder or be related to a fabric hoarder. In my case, I am both.

Mr. Man's size requires 2 1/2 yards of fleece. Yoshi has a white belly and spots on the egg that I'd like to make as a bag, so I got a yard of white fleece for that. I also bought half a yard of red felt. I would have bought fleece, but they didn't have any in the right color red. Felt comes on a 60" bolt like fleece, so I was comfortable getting a smaller amount. I failed to notice that Yoshi's shoes are orange, so I may have to go back and get 3/8 yard of that, but I'm going to see if I have some felt I can use here. If you have a Hobby Lobby, look there for your fleece. It was $2 a yard cheaper than the regular fabric store, then it was on one of their always-on sales for 30% off. It ended up costing me around $5.60 a yard.

I don't foresee needing it for this project, but if you're doing significant alterations to a commercial pattern, it's a good idea to trace and cut a new piece. For this I use banner paper from Hobby Lobby. I bought a huge roll years ago and still have a lot of it, so it lasts for a while. Oh, and make sure you have scissors just for cutting paper. I will be using a printed pattern later on, so I need to have paper scissors so I don't ruin my good scissors.

The upcoming part two post will be about making the head. I figured I might as well eat the frog and do the hardest part, and I hope that the rest of the costume goes smoothly and quickly after that. It's one of those things that takes forever because I drag my feet, but I have two other costumes to make. I need to get moving. I'm about 80% of the way through the head muslin right now, so fingers crossed I can finish that up tomorrow and have a post up before the weekend. B has the rest of the week off so I will have some sewing time where I don't have to stop working when Baby Girl wants me to read a book or hold a toy while she plays with it. In theory, anyway.

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