I told myself that I wasn't going to make Myla a Halloween costume until she was old enough to tell me what she wanted to be AND ask me to make her costume. I figure since I'm a crafty momma, that most likely I'll be spending lots of time over the next several years making costumes for her so why not just save up all that craftiness for the future? Last year I bought Myla a ladybug costume from a consignment shop. It was cheap, cute and since I wasn't sure if she would even allow me to dress her up, it was perfect. I promised myself that I was just going to find something used again this year as I still don't think she understands what Halloween is - plus, she's defiant about EVERYTHING including getting dressed even in regular clothes. But alas, I broke down… I made her a costume.
Myla has always had a super round belly… which is now slowly beginning to disappear. It's because of that adorable belly that I decided to make her a costume. All I think of when looking at her belly is Garden Gnome. I was mainly thinking of the male garden gnome with the pants pulled up under that round belly, and the red little nose and cheeks. I pictured her with white eyebrows and a beard too - and giggled. However, regardless of how tom-boyish she is, I couldn't dress her as an old man at the age of 23 months. If she decides to be something like that in the years to come, that's fine. But since this costume was all my decision and not hers, I decided to make a female version of the garden gnome. She needed a big, pointy red hat, a pair of gnome-y shoes, and an outfit that screamed cuteness. Just look at her… you know there's not a cuter gnome out there.
It took a lot of convincing to get her to try on the costume... including Elmo on TV and some Smarties... the costume stayed on just long enough to get a few shots.
Here are my super technical design techniques: I measured Myla's head, waist, and length for suspenders and laid out some simple designs on scrap fabric. After cutting them out leaving basic seam allowances, I hand basted the pieces and tried them on Myla. I marked some adjustments on the fabric pieces and used those pieces as my pattern. I left room for additional seam allowances, cut the pieces out from the actual fabric - all while crossing my fingers that it would come out OK. I did make a mistake on the sample hat - apparently late at night when I divide 19 by 2 - I get 8… therefore the hat was only 16 inches in diameter and wouldn't fit her head. Doh! Anyways, I made the necessary adjustments on the real fabric and again, crossed my fingers. Back in college I was able to eye-ball any measurement an inch or less and be right on... I continued sewing hoping that I still had that ability all these years later.
For the shoes, I used Myla's crocs as a template of sorts. I figured they would make a good shoe to wrap the gnome "shoes" around. This way, Myla could still wear a pair of shoes she was used to wearing and I would just slide the fabric "shoes" over the top of them and they would still have the grip on the bottom.
The shirt was a hand-me-down I found in a box of clothes - just so happened to be the perfect color and style to add to the outfit. Just added the flower.
I used a lightweight fusible interfacing for the suspender straps and a stiff fusible interfacing for the hat. I found the thick, yellow ric rac trim which screams "cheesy cute" and used Steam-a-seam for the flowers. It's the same material I used for the Baby Onesies - I told you I would find other uses for that miraculous product.
Now for the real test… to see if Myla will actually put on and keep on this costume for a little trick-or-treating fun. Happy Halloween!!!